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Old 03-04-2008, 07:03 AM   #1
bananaman OP
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
Oddometer: 7,635
Ride Report Link Thread

Now that Latin America is its own place... (In the olden days, the world was divided in such a way that there was one section, "Outer Darkness." It included everything that wasn't in the United States. One day, after vigorous but largely ignored debate, Outer Darkness got split into sections. Latin America was created. Hence, Mods are Gods, separated only by letters H-L).

Here's my nomination for the Best Short Ride Report:

Originally Posted by El Explorador View Post
Edit: Post got long. TL;DR: Riding the coastal roads was unexpectedly rewarding and beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone who is prepared to cross hours of desert for a surreal coastal experience.

Well I don't get any prizes except maybe for stupidity, and just barely avoided getting a Darwin after flying helmet-first into a modular construction barrier after trying to stretch my miles by riding at night. Lost and I are ok now and made it to Buenos Aires in 7 days rather than 6.

Notes from the road:

After the town of Victoria, Chile, a bit after the crossing to Iquique, the road is no longer painted with lines and the cats eyes disappear. About 500m after this, which is plenty of time for the intelligent traveller to slow the fuck down, the road veers to the right in the one gravel detour I experienced among my time on the Chilean highways. If you keep going straight at that detour you will hit a dirt ramp which is soft, you will go down instead of up.


You were right Mark, the cops in Peru were waiting for me. I used up $15 and an expired license in the name of progress, real pain in the ass as I had taken pride up until that point in not paying bribes.

Taking the fast route: It didn't suck, in fact I would do much of it again. The endless stretches of shitty desert in Peru were more than made up for by the impressive coastal roads, which just grow more imposing and magnificent as you make your way farther South until it feels a lot like you're in one of those shots they have in movies of other worlds where it zooms over the planet's surface. You gotta ride it to get it, but I would definitely call the Costanera route "unmissable". the desert parts can suck, but hold their own cold beauty and are undeniably intriguing for the little shacks you can find HOURS from anything in the middle of nowhere, asking yourself what could possibly possess someone to want to stay here.

In Antofagasta MotoKing is the shop to go to, the owner is a real decent guy who helped me immensely at the expense of getting any of my business for himself.

Finally, while I ended up buying SOAT to avoid the stress, I found that I could get away without being stopped at the checkpoints in Argentina from Mendoza to Buenos Aires by following transport trucks through checkpoints so by the time cops noticed me I was already on the way out. YMMV.

Please keep your comments to a minimum. Any bitching and moaning will be completely ignored, or else maybe it'll be directed elsewhere, or something, according to whatever Nata Harli, Lone Rider, and/or Albert the Turtles Head say. GS Diablo, either of the Seguin Bros, and Throttlemeister are equally to blame.

Somewhere there's a huge list of rules about ride report threads- read them after you've read all these ride reports, and before you post a question on this thread. Feel free to send any of us a PM. There's an ADV journal at Panama Bikers, on Via Espana in Panama City, where you can leave comments. You can do all the complaining you want to Javier at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires (but he won't listen). We're working on getting ADV books in Albert's bars (The Barking Spider in Medellin, The Turtles Head in Quito). Some day we'll do a geo-cache in Ushuaia.

We're a friendly bunch. We've had a Rallye's. Planning for it: Second Annual Latin American Riders' Rally (SALARR) - Carbondale, CO. Getting there and back: Prostitution's legal, ain't it?. The 2009 rallye was north of Minneapolis. It was the best place in the world to hear SOB (south of the border) stories. Third Annual Latin American Riders' Rallye - ALARR III

You absolutely have to read Seattle to Argentina on a KLR650, 5/7/2006, by OZYMANDIAS. His e-book is here:; ... Charlotte to Canada to South America, by Funklab, is another must-read, but with a not-quite-as-sad-ending.

The best trip prep info you can buy is a DVD by Dr. Benny. Get it here:

On account of the total insanity of Cruthas, I'm putting his crossing of the Darien right after Ozy's. This is a MUST READ. The good stuff starts on page 7. The thread started out as a question, "Shipping bike from Panama to Colombia" CAUTION: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU WORRY ABOUT STUFF. Cruthas lists his sailboat research here, and a few of us have chimed in with misc. info.: A list of sailboats and captians from Panama to Colombia

Most of Latin America is pretty safe, but... Avoid the dirt road from Santiago Atilan to San Pedro in Guatemala, and Avoid this guy at the Honduras border.

Chickens hogs and other road hazards, by Boyscout. This should be included in any MSF course on Latin America.

Dr. Benny's new site,, is going to have a "how to ride Mexico" movie. This also should be included in any MSF course on Latin America.

How far is it from the US/Mexico border to Ushuaia? There's a little discussion here. Hopefully it helps your planning, because 15,000ish miles is hard to wrap your head around. Just Butt-Time

The Most Fun Way To Cross The Darien Gap:, by our very own C5!

How to cross into Honduras, by Luciosiq- this is a link to the page: Read the whole ride report here: 2 UP FROM 5 TO 9- from New York to Brazil. Here's a video of them getting interviewed once they made it to Brazil.

How to get into Bolivia is so damn confusing, and fascinating, that I'm adding this post from JediMaster. He has a blog: How to get out is even more confusing. Here's how Crashmaster did it: Bolivia: Uyuni - Laguna Verde, exit question. Don't read this if you get vertigo or are afraid of sand. An oxygen pack is suggested unless you're used to riding at 16,500 feet.

"Chasing Summer," by Jean-Luc. Epic 2007-2008 trip from way up north to way down south.

Machu Pichu, the alternate route, by Boyscout. Nobody is supposed to be able to ride to Machu Pichu (or Aguas Calientes), you're only supposed to be able to ride to Cuscu, and from there you're supposed to walk for 4 days, or take an expensive train. Nobody except Boyscout. (Brian and Marie also did it, and they were two-up! Mere mortals can't.)

Most riders take the Lima/Nazca/Cuzco route to Machu Picchu. Crashmaster has a better way, outlined here: Peru Route Question

South America Top 10 Rides, by Mickycito. Mickycito is the owner/operator of His "South America Top 10 Rides" is a must-read. Have a napkin ready because you're going to drool some more.

Martincito very awesomely posted this: Uyuni, Laguna Colorada and Verde. Mini Report for those who don't know, this is in Bolivia, and it deals with the salt flats and lakes. This is an extremely remote area. You probably shouldn't even read this if you're not an expert, or else you're going to have serious anxiety attacks.

Originally Posted by Nata Harli
Brazilian couple Lucio and Paula, residents of New York City, decided to take a break and visit their relatives back in Brazil.
Originally Posted by Nata Harli
bgoodsoil rides from Georgia through Central America. Lonely Planet's "Central America on a Shoestring" is his guide.
Originally Posted by Nata Harli
South America: Until our Luck or Money Runs Out

Thornado has a good one going: Southern Exposure: Seattle to Argentina, a guy and a girl, each on a KLR of their own.

I can barely add Hi-Jay's Patagonia-Bound, about two Michiganers (Go Wisconsin!) riding fancy brand-new matching shiny fully-kitted BMW R1200GS motorbikes from Michigan USA to Patagonia-where?
Finding PANAMA, by Jeff Munn, from January 2006. Also in the Hall of Fame.
Here's another good one from Gpothaven. "Americas - All the way up, all the way down... "

Originally Posted by bananaman is Nina's and sp4ce's blog. 2up to TDF (San Fransisco to Ushuaia) is their ride report. As of today, they're stranded by floods on the atlantic side of Panama, near the Costa Rica border.
- this quote is from 11/26/08. Read on, try not to drool over the photos. I think Nina is the best photographer on advrider.

[quote=AndyT]Cheesehead rides from Texas to Tierra del Fuego - '06-'07

Calrider, all over Colombia: [/quote]

"SS in Vzla." has a nice one going: "A dozen drops in the Venezuelan Andes." No wild condor shots, but otherwise pretty good.
Two up - Going down +1: South America Bound, 8/21/2007, by BriKielyGSman

Nata Harli's Journey - Panama to the US, 1/18/2008, by Nata Harli

A Journey For Healthcare: 21 countries, 60,000 KM and 11 months on the road, 8/13/2006, by Salcar

Dave & Pam's Excellent Adventure To Ushuaia, 2/15/2008, by robocop1

GatoGato's Ride from Iowa to South America, 1/1/2008, by GatoGato

A dozen drops in the Venezuelan Andes." 4/29/2008 by SS in Vzla.

2up to India via Tierra del Fuego, 4/20/2008, by 2uprtw

Another one from Lone Rider: Lower Latitudes - Better Attitudes. Started January 8, 2007.
"Excited about taking another large dose would be an understatement. Don’t just fix me, drown me, please, Senor. Weird is cool."

Aussie Gringohas this one: Southern Comfort, started December 2006.
"...At roughly 5 pm and a mere 60 miles from Ushuaia, I was too cold to continue riding...l"

South American Adventure - 2 up on a R100GS, by Flyingavanti, with amazing then-and-now photos.

SF to Panama... eventually, by Stickfigure, including a "rescue" from the Darien Jungle by Panama army-cops who didn't think Gringos should be quite so close to Colombia.

Around the World in My Bug, by Ross- actually driving a '71 Beetle

Originally Posted by Nata Harli
Here´s a link to a ride report not on AdvRider. But, Thierry, from Switzerland, is on the first month of a 5 year ride around the world.
Buenos Aires to Quito (via Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia), by AdventureGoddess, March 2008

Nicaragua: Riding into the unknown, by Salcar, April 2008

Los Angeles to Buenos Aires

If you want to know what it's like to ride through Hurricane Alma, read this:

"Texas to Tierra del Fuego," by daveg, including his robbery in Guatemala, "Avoid the dirt road from Santiago Atilan to San Pedro in Guatemala."

"ride reports sent me to Costa Rica," by Coug66. A group of buddies and brothers rent from, inspired by Finger Mullet's Working Man's Costa Rica Ride.

Originally Posted by RockiesTwin
Shameless self propeganda! But isn´t this the American way???
ahoraquemister is riding from Bogota to Buenos Aires,

Originally Posted by Frodo
I'm adding a report of a trip we did in November 2008 here: Up to Punta Arenas so far. Will complete over the next few days. Cheers
Originally Posted by Nata Harli
A couple of down-unders try to conquer South America.
Originally Posted by Nata Harli
Annette rides solo from Alaska to Argentina.
Originally Posted by Nata Harli
I discovered it while reading about riding 2 up on a China bike in Colombia.
Side-car-ing? mikepa has Hacking My Way to Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia hidden in "Hacks."

Originally Posted by redwagonrider
Here is the link to our blog on Blogspot Jen and and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Here is the link to our ride report on Ride Reports and Jen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
c5 suggests Teddy's La Gran Sabana. Venezualans riding in Venezuela!

Originally Posted by Nata Harli
SunnySideUp and, ocassionally, some companions tackle South America and, if all goes according to plan Central America and North America. Just depends on whose bike is running at the time.
French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, by Markharf

Nobody ever goes there, but he did.
I am Charlie.

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