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Old 11-10-2011, 02:25 AM   #1
Haroon OP
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Which single SOUTH AMERICAN country for a 7 day self-guided (rental) bike trip?

Together with my wife riding as pillion with me, I would like to do a 7 day ride in one country in South America (no central American countries). With my present research Brazil seems good, but I am looking for more inputs. Ofcourse, my below needs are broad indications and not aimed at getting somebody to do a custom packaged trip, but I am requesting all you first-hand experienced inmates for the best suggestion of a single country to do this trip based on my below requirements & limitations:

  • First & foremost, all the touring is to be on fully tarmac roads (NO off-roading)
  • Need a rental street/touring bike (preferably 1000cc or bigger) with unlimited daily mileage option and with lockable hard sidecases & topcase. Harley is only if I don’t have any other choice.
  • Will be a Self-guided ride. No group riding or fancy group package tours
  • Need a combination of scenic mountain drives/passes, little of beaches, other natural beauty/wonders, history etc, all connected with tarmac roads.
  • Riding route in a round loop starting & ending in the same city. Max riding of about 200-250kms per day for 7 days. Daily we start early & finish well before sunset.
  • Budget category Bed & Breakfast/guesthouse/motels that are not flashy, but clean and safe (for us & the bike). We DO NOT camp in the open!
  • A country that is relatively safe in general terms. I mean, any country will have its good, bad & ugly, but I am asking in general terms.
  • Which is the best month to visit that country. I mean non-rainy season and if possible not too hot.

Although this dream ride is many months away, I would be extremely grateful to receive any & all your valuable inputs on 'that' one country- small or big.

Many thanks,
Haroon
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:19 AM   #2
Airhead Wrangler
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With that list of prereqs, I'd say Argentina and Chile are your best options, but if you want to see anything worthwhile, gravel roads are pretty much unavoidable at least small amounts. There's a company in Santiago, Chile they rents new BMWs. Don't know their name though, but someone else will.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:21 AM   #3
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With that criteria I say go to Europe or the states.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:51 AM   #4
theturtleshead
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Location: Medellin Colombia ain,t nowhere better
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Colombia

Colombia obviously!
Look up Mikey at Motolombia!!!
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:50 AM   #5
gpothoven
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Ecuador, based on most of your points. Specially due to 7 days and 250 kms. day.

gpothoven screwed with this post 11-10-2011 at 09:09 AM
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:12 AM   #6
princess jamaica
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Contact Court at Freedom Bike Rental.He is on this forum and rents bikes out of Quito,Ecuador.He has a great web site.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:11 AM   #7
gpothoven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princess jamaica View Post
Contact Court at Freedom Bike Rental.He is on this forum and rents bikes out of Quito,Ecuador.He has a great web site.

http://freedombikerental.com/
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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I'd say Argentina, Chile or Brazil are too large for any real sightseeing in 7 days. Especially if you want pavement only.

Colombia's twisties, people and sights will blow your mind and IMO fit your requirements pretty well.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
theturtleshead
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Location: Medellin Colombia ain,t nowhere better
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There,s that

There,s that and there are way way more hot chicks in Colombia!
Scenery buddy scenery
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:43 AM   #10
BjoernTheH
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I have not been in Colombia yet but taht sound just like what you need. To make a 7 day trip Brasil, Argentina, Chile are far to big - no gravel is almost not possible if you want to see the really nice places.
http://www.rideadv.com/ Eric from RideAdv has some information on his page and if not call him or write him a short email and say Hello from Bernhard the Big Fella he will know then

ok, good luck and am looking forward a to a short report when you made your mind up
cheers
B.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:43 PM   #11
Haroon OP
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A mighty heartfelt thanks to all you inmates for such prompt & direct responses. Naturally, my search work got easier and seems Brazil may be moved to the back burner for now. I am really indebted to advrider for putting me in contact with so many like minded individuals such as each one of you.

Being a zombie fed on CNN, BBC etc, its a pleasant surprise to also know from all of you that Columbia is not what it used to be...... Anyways, thanks for the head start, I will do some more detailed research with this country in particular and the other suggested countries in general. In the past I had contacted Eric from rideadv.com for Brazil & he did mention they only do guided tours. Anyways, I will also check on all the other options with him and few others.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:58 PM   #12
glasswave
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I'd say Ecuador or Colombia fit you list the best. Peru would be more ultimate, but rental would not be hassle free and I'd recommend a month,.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:32 PM   #13
markharf
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I've been to all of the above at least once, some twice or more, and I'm saying Colombia is your best bet.

You should know, however, that willingness to ride on a bit of dirt here and there will serve you well no matter where you go. A lot of wondrous places are not accessible without riding gravel roads (the list is far too long to bother here), and a lot of other places tend to feature seasonal washouts and dirt construction detours. This includes Colombia, so be alert to rainy season damage if you're really opposed to leaving the pavement.

Lots of paved roads in Venezuela, too. Plenty in Brazil, but the riding's not as interesting in most areas. Funnest places I went in Ecuador and Peru all involved backroads (i.e., dirt, mud, ripio). Same with Chile and Argentina. Uruguay's got good paved roads, but they're not that interesting for riding. Paraguay's similar, but the roads aren't so good. Bolivia is off-road heaven, and I don't think you'd like the Guianas.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:56 PM   #14
crashmaster
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For what you want, Colombia for sure. Plenty of tarmac, and quite good and scenic tarmac at that. You will not be disappointed.

Rent a bike from Mikey. http://motolombia.wordpress.com/welcome-2/ Good guy, good bikes, and a great tour guide if you want a guide.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:07 AM   #15
bush pilot
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My impression of Colombia after just riding through, is that's it's a police state, people are on edge and nervous. Inflation is wild, it seemed like the place was ready to blow.
Ecuador is a breath of fresh air by comparison, and the food much more interesting. Colombian cuisine is by in large pretty sad.
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