Ready for Adventure? Seek out South Americaby Carol Busch - Wednesday, August 31, 2022
One year ago the prospect of traveling to South America during the North American winter was complicated. While entry into Argentina was similar to what other European countries had been requiring with proof of vaccination and negative PCR test results, Chile had a few more layers of requirement that made entry costly and inconvenient. The uncertain opening of the border that we cross from Argentina into Chile on Bicycling Patagonia’s Lake District Plus! the Island of Chiloe was the final deal breaker.
But with the announcement on September 1 that Chile has lifted its mobility pass requirement, all barriers to entry into the country have been removed. That’s exciting news for anyone ready for a burst of South American adventure. In fact, we’ve already confirmed both February 2023 departures of Bicycling Patagonia’s Lake District (10 and 8-day itineraries) and the January 2023 Carretera Austral Expedition tour. Folks are eager once again to experience Argentina and Chile by bike.
If there were ever a time to experience Argentina and Chile by bike, the coming 2023 season is it.
Escape the cold and snow this December through February by venturing to one of South America’s most enjoyed destinations: the northern gateway to Patagonia. Our base 7-day itinerary winds from the high plateau setting of San Carlos de Bariloche along Andean lakes, down through the valleys of the border region between Argentina and Chile before entering Chile’s Lake District where you’ll cycle past conical volcanoes and spay snow capped Andean peaks. You’ll visit a rushing, braided waterfall, walk among ancient myrtle trees, relax in the tranquil settings of our lovely hotels, and eat and drink like a local.
If your schedule allows, extend your stay so you can explore the Island of Chiloé with its tranquil fjords, wooden houses and churches, and rugged Pacific coastline. Though it was inhabited long before the Spanish arrived in 1567, the island remained isolated from the commercial trade routes until the founding of the nearby port city Puerto Montt in 1853. During these three isolated centuries, a unique culture developed. The Chilote are of Spanish and indigenous Mapuche descent, and depend on their marine environment to support their way of life.
Highlights: Chile’s Lake District, Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, waterfalls on the Petrohué River, thermal pools, San Carlos de Bariloche, Chiloé Island, wooden churches, penguins.
Dec 3-9, 2022 – 1 more to confirm departure
Feb 4 – 10, 2023 – Departure confirmed
Feb 18 – 24, 2023 – Departure confirmed
Dec 3 – 12, 2022 – 1 more to confirm departure
Feb 4 – 13, 2023 – Departure confirmed
Feb 18 – 27, 2023 – Departure confirmed
Expedition: Cycling Chile’s Carretera Austral – The Epic Adventure
The famed “Carretera Austral” is an intrepid bicyclist’s paradise through a full third of Chilean Patagonia. Paved only part of the way, which makes for a nice introduction to gravel riding, this road was started in 1976 during the regime of General Augusto Pinochet. The Carretera Austral – also known as Route 7 – connects some of Chile’s most remote communities located across a wild and mountainous, fjord-laden region whose snow-capped volcanoes, dense forests, stunning lakes, impressive rivers, and glaciated peaks are largely protected within national parks and preserves.
Expedition tours savor the long haul pedal across continents while including the best of a “Classic” ExperiencePlus! tour – arrows, great guides, most meals, and premium bicycles (sorry, e-bikes aren’t available on this tour). Expeditions are for folks who want long days in the saddle followed by fantastic meals and a good night’s sleep before doing it all over again.
January 7-23, 2023: Departure confirmed
Length: 17 days
Distance: 640 miles – PART GRAVEL
One of the most prestigious “new world” wine producing regions, Chile’s central valley produces award-winning wines year over year. The Maule and Colchagua wine valleys of central Chile were featured in National Geographic as a must-see for both adventurers and foodies. What better excuse to hop on a bike and pedal the gently rolling terrain along the foothills of the beautiful Chilean coastal mountains while tasting some of Chile’s world-class wines before exploring some of the coast. We stay in historic colonial cities, one of Chile’s most luxurious hotels, and visit secluded villages and beaches. This is an excellent trip for both wine and food lover and photographer! And the plus: arrival and departure couldn’t be easier as we’ll pick you up and drop you back off in Chile’s capital city Santiago.
Highlights: Visit four Historic Vineyards, Chilean wine, Colonial Chilean cities, Santiago de Chile
Bicycling Chile’s Wine Country (7-day)
March 11-18, 2023 – 4 more to confirm departure