Motorcycling in Patagonia is adventure in its purest form: forget busy highways with convenient fuel stations and roadside cafes, bustling cities and fast WiFi. Out here, it feels as though you’re traveling in the outback, so remote and so untouched by civilisation you will almost feel like you’re the first human on Earth.
This motorcycle tour of Patagonia is an all-encompassing route, designed as a truly ‘once in a lifetime’ adventure that ticks all the boxes, leaving no stone unturned and sending you home with a feeling of accomplishment, knowing that you’ve just ridden one of the World’s greatest motorcycle adventures.
We’ll travel some of Patagonia’s most scenic routes including the famous Ruta 40 and Carreterra Austral, stay in traditional hacienda and experience the gaucho culture. Finish up in Punta Arenas or continue the ride to reach Ushuaia, AKA “The World’s End”. Ushuaia is the southernmost city of the planet which has long been the absolute pinnacle of adventure motorcycling destinations.
Along the way, we’ll zig and zag between Chile and Argentina traversing the otherworldly Patagonian landscape, cross Torres del Paine National Park, see the natural marble caves, the Perito Moreno glacier and taste the famous Argentinian steak.
Expect the unexpected, prepare for some gravel roads and strong winds, and let the adventure begin!
“Bienvenidos” (Welcome) is something you’ll hear a lot in Chile and Argentina, as South American hospitality is truly unparalleled. You’ll be met at Temuco airport and transferred to Pucon, where your adventure will finally begin! The transfer time is approximately 2 hours so sit back and relax as you enjoy the Chilean scenery. After a ‘welcome briefing’ and lunch at your hotel, you will have the opportunity to get familiar with your bike with a leisurely afternoon.
An excellent day’s riding is ahead of us as we leave Pucon and venture into the Patagonian backcountry, tackling a mixture of gravel and tarmac roads.
We’ll skirt around some of Argentina’s most picturesque lakes, catch a glimpse of Volcano Lanin and hit a region known as the Argentinian Switzerland, with San Carlos de Bariloche as our destination for the day. Bariloche is beloved by locals and travellers alike: famous for its awe-inspiring scenery, bright turquoise lakes corralled by the snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Lunch today will be enjoyed en-route and then it’s back on the bikes to enjoy the phenomenal riding to Bariloche. With its quirky mountain town vibe, Bariloche is a must-see in Argentina. There are some great restaurant options in town so this evening you are free to choose where to tempt your taste buds with some local cuisine.
Another incredible day of riding today. With our first border crossing complete, we’ll join the legendary Ruta 40, Argentina’s most famous road frequented by two-wheeled travellers from around the world.
We’ll ride the fantastic Circuito Chico to admire the views of the Lake Perito Moreno, then head South, following the thrilling twisties to the Butch Cassidy’s ranch where we’ll stop for lunch and take a look around the notorious gunslinger’s cabin. This is rugged Patagonian cowboy country and the notorious gunslinger’s legend is still very much alive here!
Traveling towards Futaleufu (beers are on us if you can pronounce that correctly the first time!), we will experience the insane riding through Los Alerces National Park and end the day back on the Chilean side of the border.
Time to go off grid and brave the wilderness: today, we’ll hit Carreterra Austral, Chile’s most beautiful and remote road meandering across pristine, unspoiled landscapes.
It’s a relaxed day designed to let you catch a breather and take advantage of the breakfast buffet and swimming pool, before we take you for some dirt riding. For the first 50km, we’ll ride a gravel road followed by 90km of tarmac with plenty of curves and bends. Next up is a 40km gravel stretch of vertigo-inducing switchbacks (take it easy on this section!) and then 20kms of paved bliss to finish off the day. The road is slowly being upgraded to tar so the gravel sections are becoming shorter with each visit we do.
Our hotel has no road access, so when we’re finished with the bikes, we’ll hop on a boat that will take us across the water. If you like natural hot springs, this resort will be right up your street. There’s no internet here and it’s a great place to really switch off from the world, have a long soak in the thermal pools, and relax, admiring the shimmering Southern Cross in the unpolluted Chilean skies.
Inching ever closer to some seriously remote Southern lands, we’ll have an early start today heading for Coyhaique, a true frontier town with sculptures and artwork honouring the gaucho culture lining the streets and the best Chilean empanadas in the country.
We’ll kick the day off riding gravel roads knotted up in narrow switchbacks, then enjoy a 170-kilometre stretch of tarmac leading us through mountains and amazing scenery as we descend into Coyhaique at the end of the day.
If Coyhaique is the capital of Chilean Patagonia, Puerto Rio Tranquilo, is one of its most iconic gaucho towns still retaining the spirit of an authentic, remote outback trading post. Think cowboys, sheriffs, and saloons: founded in the early fifties as a hub for local ranchers, Puerto Rio Tranquilo has stunning natural beauty and a wonderful rugged atmosphere.
We’ll cover the first 95km of paved roads, then tackle some 120km of gravel with a few sections under construction here and there. Keep an eye out for trucks on the road, but don‘t forget to take in the scenery: today, we’re entering the very heart of Chilean Patagonia.
Along the way, we’ll have a delicious picnic lunch and plenty of photo stops before we arrive in Puerto Rio Tranquilo where we can then relax in our comfortable accommodation. We’ll stay here for two nights for some R&R and the chance to explore the town’s best kept secret: the marble caves!
Puerto Rio Tranquilo translates to “The Port on the Tranquil River”, so if you feel like putting your feet up and having a relaxed rest day, we can’t blame you: the views, the vibe and the cuisine here are perfect for recharging after some hard days of riding. If, however, you’d like to go on a different type of adventure and explore the marble caves, you can join the three-hour boat excursion to see the surreal caverns on Lake General Carrera.
Still itching to ride? Jump on the bike and ride around the lake, taking in the views of the Andes and chatting to local gauchos you’ll undoubtedly spot here. You can also try your hand at fly fishing or horse riding if you fancy.
It’s time to leave Chile and return to Argentina, with 165km of gravel, incredible scenery and one of the most exciting stretches of the entire route ahead! Make sure your camera is fully charged: today, you’ll want to stop around every corner for some jaw-dropping photo ops!
It is all gravel riding today and we will end the day next to a spectacular lake.
Travelling southward on the fabled Ruta 40 today, we’ll hit the road at 7am to cover some distance.
Today’s route is among the loneliest of them all: nothing but the endless Patagonian pampa stretching out as far as the eye can see, the wild guanaco (a creature that resembles the Peruvian llama somewhat) and ostriches our only company on the road.
Brace for the notorious Patagonian side winds today and let your imagination run wild: this is the real deal, the vast, faraway corners of Patagonia, sparsely dotted with a few remote ranches and small settlements here and there.
Brace yourself for a serious adventure today: we’ll tackle 120km of gravel roads leading us through some of Southern Patagonia’s most scenic landscapes, sprinkled with glacial lagoons and pristine forests. For the first 40km we’ll travel the old Ruta 40 on gravel, then hit the famous 73 Malditos – a stretch of 73km of deep, loose gravel that will require a bit of concentration.
Past Tres Lagos, a town that looks like an old fur trading post, we’ll put in 140km along Lake Viedma, one of the most beautiful glacial lakes in this part of the world. There’ll be plenty of challenges, photo stops, and some riding which’ll feel right out of this world!
Lago Argentine, a lake we will skirt on our way to El Calafate, is so impossibly turquoise blue it looks like it has its own technicolor filter, but the secret behind the crazy hues of the water is the Perito Moreno glacier feeding the lake.
No trip to Patagonia would be complete without seeing the famous Perito Moreno glacier, a beast of an icefield towering 240 feet above the waters of Lago Argentino.
Glistening in the most incredible hues of blue and white, Perito Moreno glacier is a sight to behold: slowly advancing forward, this creaking, shuddering, breaking mass of ice looks like a frozen tsunami, and today, we’ll get to see it from up close.
It’s a scenic ride to the viewpoint of the glacier with plenty of twisties and big, sweeping curves along the way. When we arrive have lunch at any of the 2 restaurants at the glacier park, then enjoy a short hike around the viewpoints or hop on a boat to see the glaciers from up close. Be sure to put on a warmer layer – it gets chilly near the glacier!
After exploring the Perito Moreno area, we’ll jump back on the bikes and return to El Calafate enjoying the breath-taking views of Lake Argentino. We recommend taking an hour or two to explore El Calafate on foot: it’s the adventure capital of Argentinian Patagonia and it’s worth checking out its quirky bohemian cafes, artisan shops, and local eateries.
Today we make our way back into Chile and will get our first glimpses of the Blue Towers of the Torres Del Paine National Park, one of the most stunning national parks in Patagonia.
Before we cross the border we will stop to refuel in a little coal mining town called Rio Turbio, expect gail force winds, stark and extremely desolate landscapes all the way there. Our destination for tonight is Puerto Natales which is a beautiful coastal town open to the Patagonian fjords.
Today we can explore Torres del Paine National Park or take a well deserved rest day if you prefer. However, the riding, the scenery, and the feeling of complete, unbridled freedom as you discover Torres del Paine is something we highly recommend.
If you choose to explore the park, there is a good lunch option called Lago Grey Hotel that puts together quite a good lunch.
Today we head South, traversing a wild, untouched country of gauchos and windswept roads which take us to Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost port city known for its Antarctic expeditions (and Chilean lamb asado, which is to die for by the way). 250km of pure two-wheeled bliss awaits, with gravel patches here and there and a lake inhabited by flamingos.
As tonight is the final night for those not continuing to Ushuaia, we will enjoy an excellent farewell dinner as a group.
For those of you departing today, we’ll arrange your airport transfers and bid our farewells before we continue to Ushuaia with those who have opted to continue the End of the World…
While the best riding and scenery is now behind us, there is still one box that remains unticked… ‘The End of the World’. The reward of reaching Ushuaia does not come easy though – the fierce Patagonian winds will be roaring, the riding days will be long and the scenery less impressive than what we’ve experienced during the past couple of weeks. The high winds also wreak havoc with the ferry crossings, so our plans may need to change with the timetables and there is even the risk that cancelled ferries will cause us to arrive back in Punta Arenas later than intended. But for those who want the feeling of reaching Fin del Mundo, it has to be done!
So, after a short ferry crossing we’ll ride into Tierra del Fuego – the ‘Land of Fire’ – an island famous for its otherworldly scenery of Antarctic tundra, the stunning Garibaldi Pass and finally, Ushuaia, the World’s southernmost city where the road literally ends.
Congratulations: you have reached the World’s End! If you’d like to celebrate with a hearty lunch and a glass of local Fernet, we don’t blame you. If, however, you’d rather take a ride for that iconic photo at the Fin del Mundo sign, see where Route 3 ends, or take a boat to the Beagle Channel, we’re up for it!
Crossing the enchanting Tierra del Fuego, we’ll once more be heading for another ferry crossing before looping back towards Punta Arenas. It’s a big day in the saddle that gives you time to reflect on the epic journey behind us.
Upon reaching Punta Arenas, we’ll bid an emotional farewell to our bikes before arriving tired yet triumphant at our final hotel.
It’s hard to believe, but the journey ends here. You’ve traversed the length of Patagonia on your motorcycle, braved the mountains and the steppe, survived the notorious sidewinds, crossed Tierra del Fuego, and reached the World’s End: an adventure of a lifetime indeed! We wish you a safe journey home… until the road calls again.
Twin-share accommodation is included as standard – see ‘Optional Extras’ below for single room availability and pricing.
Please see the daily itinerary for details on the type of accommodation.
On this tour we stay in excellent 4-5* hotels & resorts where available, and the very best available accommodation where options are more limited.
You’ll be collected from Temuco Araucanía Airport (airport code: ZCO) on the morning of the first day. It is important you book the early morning (approx 07h30) flight from Santiago (SCL) as we will be collecting the group together in a small coach / minivan and driving 1h30 to our hotel in Pucon. (You are of course welcome to arrive a day or two earlier, but there will be an extra cost for airport pickup).
At the end of the trip we will arrange transfers from our final hotel to Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport (PUQ).
We will prepare all required paperwork for crossing borders with your motorcycle.
Your tour will be led and managed by a highly experienced member of the Ride Expeditions team (trained as a wilderness first response medic).
Ride Expeditions Ltd is committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. At no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ‘The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018’, all passengers booking with Ride Expeditions Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form.
The policy also includes repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Ride Expeditions Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Travel through Evolution Insurance.
During the COVID-19 crisis, every rider that requested a refund was issued a cash refund.
All fuel for your motorcycle is provided by us and we carry spare fuel in our support vehicle for the sections of the route where fuel stations are scarce.
This motorcycle tour is accompanied by a GPS tracker that displays our live location and track history on an online map. We will provide you with the link and login details which you can then share with your family at home so they can track your progress throughout the trip.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided on most days.
Please see the daily itinerary to see what meals are included on each day.
At least one member of the support team will have been trained as a Wilderness First Response medic.
An extensive medical kit including a defibrillator (AED) & stretcher is carried in the support vehicle.
We also have consulting doctors on call, 24/7, who are always ready to assist in the case of an emergency. Our doctors are fully briefed on all riders medical info prior to the tour, they know what we do, where we are riding, exactly what we have in our medical kit and what training our medics have.
Tours are accompanied by GPS trackers and a satellite messenger device so our doctor and office can see exactly where we are and can maintain communication.
If you have you your own suitable & reliable motorcycle at the start point, you are quite welcome to use that for this trip. If not, we will provide one of our own rental motorcycles for you… Please see the Dates & Prices section for available bikes.
INCLUDED WITH THE RENTAL:
Since the day Ride Expeditions started running tours in Cambodia back in 2012, we have been dedicated to supporting the local community.
Part profits from every motorcycle tour are donated to M’Lop Tapang – a local Cambodian charity dedicated to bettering the lives of young children & their families.
This motorcycle tour of Patagonia is accompanied by a large support vehicle, equipped to carry your luggage, an extensive medical kit + stretcher + AED, drinking water, snacks, tools and spare parts. It is also capable of carrying a motorcycle & passengers in the event of a breakdown / emergency.
We’ll welcome you with a bag of Ride Expeditions goodies which will include:
You’ll need to book flights to arrive in Temuco Araucanía Airport, Chile (airport code: ZCO) on or before the morning of Day 1 of this trip. You will then fly out of Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport, Chile (PUQ) on the last day of the trip.
While other locations will connect with these two airports, Santiago, Chile (SCL) will be the easiest major international airport for most visitors to fly via.
It is important you either:
Please be aware that you are responsible for all damage caused to the motorcycle up to the standard excess amount (£3600), and on these bigger adventure bikes, these costs can add up very quickly.
See ‘Optional Extras’ below for ‘Insurance Excess Reduction’.
It is a condition of booking that you obtain appropriate travel insurance that covers you for riding the same capacity motorcycle that you’ll be riding on this motorcycle tour.
The insurance must cover emergency evacuation, medical bills, repatriation etc.
Road / adventure style kit is the way to go on this motorcycle tour, rather than off-road or enduro gear. So that means a good helmet, protective riding jacket and trousers, ideally with CE or equivalent approved armour on the pointy bits – elbows, knees and shoulders.
You are also going to need good leather gloves, a neck tube, thermal base layers and a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots.
Please bring waterproofs if your kit doesn’t keep out the wet stuff.
Yes, there are ATMs in the larger towns, but not the villages.
Don’t forget to tell your bank you are heading to Chile and Argentina, as without this information they will most likely think some rogue hacker is dipping into your account and promptly block your card.
Yes, please do 🤠
This really should not be a problem in Patagonia and we will make every effort possible to communicate your requirements to the places we visit. However, as we are not preparing the meals ourselves, we are unable to make cast iron guarantees. If you are going to go into a life-threatening spasm if you touch a stray peanut, then please let us know – we need to know that stuff, we really do.
At the time of writing, British nationals do not need a visa to enter Argentina or Chile as a tourist for periods of 90 days or less. However, we always recommend you check the foreign office website for the most accurate and up to date information relating to visas and other entry requirements.
Follow this link for Chile entry requirements and this link for Argentina entry requirements. These links to the UK foreign office website – if you are not a UK resident, please search for the equivalent info from your home country’s foreign office.
To secure your place we simply need a 20% non-refundable deposit (subject to a minimum of £500). The remainder does not need to be paid until 60 days prior to the tour start date.
As this is a largely inclusive tour, you won’t need much. You will only need money for the items not listed as inclusions, which is mainly just alcohol, souvenirs, some evening meals and any other personal spending. Unless you go mad in the gift shops and bars, around £300 – £400 should be adequate. Shopping in Chile and Argentina tends to be very reasonable so you can get quite a lot for not much!
Yes. Here at Ride Expeditions, we take the necessary precautions to ensure that we protect both ourselves and you as the customer, with insurances covering financial failure, public liability, professional indemnity and employers liability (you will need your own travel insurance).
To obtain this insurance we must meet strict safety standards and local regulations. We must also carry out thorough risk assessments about all aspects of a tour before tyres can hit tarmac (…or dirt!).
Yes. All passengers booking with Ride Expeditions Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy also includes repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Ride Expeditions Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Travel through Evolution Insurance.
Not riding the motorcycle, no (although this will of course depend on the extent of your limited mobility). However, we may be able to accommodate you in our support vehicle. We advise you to give us a call and we can discuss.
Most of the accommodations (but not all) will have wi-fi, but there will be a few places where the wi-fi is quite slow.
To be legally riding in Argentina and Chile you are required to carry your local driving licence, which must cover the size of bike you will be riding. This will also be a stipulation of any travel insurance company too.
You will also need an International Driving Permit (IDP). An IDP is basically an official, multi-language translation of your driving licence.
You will also need some paperwork to cross borders with your motorcycle, but we take care of all of this for you.
Your motorcycle will be provided with new (or nearly new) tyres, capable of lasting the duration of the tour (unless we otherwise indicate that we plan to replace your tyres during the tour). It is your responsibility to look after the tyres and not cause excessive wear. Should your tyre/s need replacing during the tour as a result of your riding, the cost of replacing the tyre/s will be for your account.
Average group sizes are 8-9 riders and we limit the groups to 12 riders.
If you cancel your booking before departure, cancellation charges will be applied as follows:
Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for further info regarding cancellations, changes and transferring your trip to a friend.
In Chile, the local currency is the Chilean peso (symbol: $, code: CLP). USD is not widely accepted in Chile.
In Argentina, the local currency is the Argentine peso (symbol: $, code: ARS). USD is widely accepted in Argentina.
For the most accurate and up to date info on travel advice for Patagonia, we advise you to visit the foreign office website.
Follow this link for Chile travel advice, and this link for Argentina advice from the UK foreign office. As we are a UK company, this is the official government advice we follow. If you are not a UK resident, we advise you search for the equivalent info from your own country’s foreign office, as travel advice may differ.
This tour is a mix of tarmac and gravel roads, so you will need to be competent and confident riding a similar size motorcycle on the gravel. While the majority of the gravel roads are well maintained, there will inevitably be sections of deeper gravel in places.
Please also be aware that we will encounter some seriously strong winds on this tour.
If you are unsure of your experience, please let us know and we will talk you through. We may also recommend you take an off-road adventure rider training course prior to signing up to the trip.
Patagonia – ‘The End of the World’ – is known for its harsh conditions. While we schedule our motorcycle tours during the optimum riding months, you can still expect extreme conditions! Temperatures will range from 2°C – 25°C, we will probably get caught in some rain and we WILL get hit with some seriously strong winds.
The minimum required number for this trip to run is 6 riders. We reserve the right to cancel the tour if this number is not met and we will provide you with a minimum of 56 days notice. Please know that this is an absolute last resort for us and we will always do everything in our power to avoid this happening.
We accept GBP payments by Visa, Mastercard & American Express and direct bank transfers. Please get in touch if you would rather pay in another currency – we’ll do our best to accommodate!
We recommend you bring a Type C adaptor as this will work in both Chile & Argentina.
For Chile there are two associated plug types, types C and L. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and type L is the plug which has three round pins in a horizontal line. Chile operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
For Argentina there are two associated plug types, types C and I. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type I is the plug which has three flat pins in a triangular pattern. Argentina operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.