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Cycle Chile & Argentina: Atacama to Salta

from $4,349.00

Cycle two South American countries

  • Reviews 5 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate / Challenging
  • Group Size Small Group
    5 - 16
All about the Cycle Chile & Argentina: Atacama to Salta.

This trip takes us on a journey through a part of the world that resembles no other. Starting in the popular town of San Pedro de Atacama and finishing in ‘Salta la Linda’, this trip takes us through many roads in which you will see very little traffic and no other cyclists. This ‘once in a lifetime’ journey includes cycling through salt flats, ravines, a serpentine-like road through a rainforest and in the driest desert in the world.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 9 lunches
* 12 nights hotels all en suite
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (if booking incl. flights)
* Local bike rental

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Cycle through a desert, salt flats, ravines and a rainforest
  • Two South American Countries
  • Excursions to Atacama salt flats, altiplano lagoons and the Tatio geysers
  • 12 nights hotels all en suite
  • 10 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • Routes mainly follow quiet roads
  • Group normally 5 to 16 plus local staff. Min age 16 yrs
  1. Day 1 Start Atacama; transfer to hotel.

    For those people who have booked Land Only and made their own travel arrangements, you are welcome to meet the airport transfer should you wish (and have informed us in advance). Otherwise the meeting point is at the start hotel in San Pedro anytime in the afternoon/evening.*Accommodation*: Hotel Pascual Andino or similar

  2. Day 2 Cycle to Moon Valley; visit salt mines.

    This morning we get on our bikes for the first time and go on an acclimatisation ride. We will depart the town of San Pedro and cycle to the Valley of the Moon. Here you will feel as if you have landed on another planet, as it is often compared to Mars due to its red colour of rock formations and dunes. Afterwards we will ride a bit further to visit some salt caves, before heading back a different way to San Pedro town.*Accommodation*: Hotel Pascual Andino or similar

  3. Day 3 Visit El Tatio geysers; afternoon ride to San Isidro's chapel.

    Today is a very early start as we depart our hotel in San Pedro and set off towards the Altiplano Lagoons. On the way we will stop off at the village of Socaire, set at 3218m. The village is noteworthy for its peculiar architecture using rough stonework. The inhabitants here still live by the age-old methods of planting terraced fields with corn, wheat and potatoes. Afterwards, we continue for roughly another 30km, climbing an additional 1000m in altitude to reach the highland lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques. The two volcanoes of the same name are visible in the background (almost 6000m). We will head back to town in time for lunch before a short ride scheduled in the afternoon. In the afternoon we will depart to San Isidro’s Chapel, stopping along the way at famous landmarks like the Devil’s Throat and Catarpe’s Tunnel. *Accommodation*: Hotel Pascual Andino or similar

  4. Day 4 Cross border into Argentina; cycle alongside Jama salt flat; transfer to Susques.

    Today is a long travel day so we will get up early in order to say goodbye to Chile and cross into Argentina (approx. 2.5 hours), via the Jama Pass (4275m). Once we clear immigration, we will continue our transfer to the town of Jama (approx. 2.5 hours). We will be making some stops at view points to stretch our legs and take some photos during the journey. In Jama we will have lunch before getting on our bikes and cycle alongside the Jama Salt Flats. Then we have another transfer (approx. 1.5 hours) to our destination for the night, Susques*.**Accommodation*: Hotel Pastos Chicos or similar

  5. Day 5 Transfer to Salinas Grandes; scenic picnic lunch and downhill ride to the Humahuaca Gorge. 

    Departing Susques, we transfer (approx. 1 hour) to the Salinas Grandes Salt Pans. Here you will have the opportunity to experience riding on salt before making a stop for our picnic lunch. We will cycle onwards, climbing to the view point of Abra de Potrerillos (4170m). From there we will then enjoy a fast-downhill ride with amazing views of the surrounding coloured hills and rock formations to our hotel located just outside the town of Purmamarca, our destination for the next 2 nights. *Accommodation*: Hotel Casa de Adobe or similar

  6. Day 6 Cycle to Tilcara passing the hill of seven colours; optional ride back.

    After breakfast we will start cycling straight from the hotel and head on a gravel track to visit one of the highlights of this trip, the Cerro de Siete Colores, ‘Hill of Seven Colours’. This unique colour range is formed over millions of years, caused by lake and river movements which got elevated with the movement of tectonic plates. Our destination is the small town of Tilcara. From here you can choose to jump in the transfer vehicle or cycle back along the same route to Purmamarca.*Accommodation*: Hotel Casa de Adobe or similar

  7. Day 7 Transfer to El Carmen; cycle through rain forest; transfer to Salta.

    We start the morning with a transfer (approx. 1 hour) to the small town of El Carmen. Today’s ride will feel completely different as we cycle through a rainforest on a paved road heading south towards Salta. This was the route that joined the two main cities in the province, Salta and Jujuy. This is one of the most spectacular cycling stages as you will encounter a serpentine road surrounded by lush rainforest on either side of the road. We will stop for a picnic lunch near the town of La Caldera before boarding a transfer to our destination for the next 2 nights, the beautiful city of Salta.*Accommodation*: Hotel Design Suites or similar

  8. Day 8 Free day in Salta.

    Spend today at leisure and enjoy exploring beautiful Salta. We recommend you visit the high mountain archaeological museum (MAAM), located in the centre of town. Here you will find three mummies of children from the Inca civilization, who were sacrificed at the Llullaillaco Volcano. Only one of the mummies is on display at any one time, as they are changed every 6 months. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.*Accommodation*: Hotel Design Suites or similar

  9. Day 9 Transfer to abandoned train station; cycle along Las Conchas river.

    Following breakfast, we transfer (approx. 1 hour), to the abandoned Alemania village and train station. After exploring this fascinating village, we will get on our bikes and start cycling along the Conchas River. We will pass many interesting rock formations which have over the years received names like the Amphitheatre and the Devil’s Throat. Today is our longest ride but we end in the tranquil town of Cafayate, which is renowned for its wine production.  *Accommodation*: Cafayate Wine Resort or similar

  10. Day 10 Cycle to the Sacred City of Quilmes; guided tour and transfer back.

    This morning we cycle towards the Sacred City of Quilmes. These are Calchaquí native ruins, from a tribe who once lived amongst the Calchaquí mountain range. It is considered as the largest pre-Colombian settlement in Argentina. We will have a guided tour of the ruins before having lunch and then transfer (approx. 1 hour) back to Cafayate. *Accommodation*: Cafayate Wine Resort or similar

  11. Day 11 Ride through the Valley of Arrows; transfer to Molinos.

    After breakfast we set off on our bikes towards Los Molinos. This is one of the most spectacular cycling stages, riding through the Valley of Arrows. You will not be disappointed, and we will make sure to stop off at the best locations to get great photos. Everywhere you look you will see horizontal rock formations which look like they have been fired at Earth from space. We will pass a few sleepy small towns and hamlets along the way. On arrival to Seclantas we will board the vehicle and transfer to Molinos.*Accommodation*: El Cortijo Hotel or similar

  12. Day 12 Cycle in Los Cardones National Park; downhill stage along 'Bishop's Hill'; final transfer to Salta.

    For our final day of cycling we will depart from the hotel and travel through the Los Cordones National Park. The name comes from the hundreds of cardon grande cactus which are everywhere throughout the park. From here we will have our final biking stage, downhill along the mesmerising Bishop’s Slope. The last leg of our journey is completed with a transfer back to Salta.*Accommodation*: Hotel Design Suites or similar

  13. Day 13 End Salta airport.

    On our final morning, we transfer to the airport to catch our flight to Buenos Aires. We will arrive in time for evening flight times.

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Where you stay

Hotels

We spend 12 nights in a range of hotels along the route. All rooms are en suite and breakfasts are included each day. Accommodation has been chosen to suit our group size and requirements. They are all cyclist friendly and strategically located for the best cycling routes possible.

We can arrange single rooms throughout the trip for a supplement (subject to availability). Please ask your sales consultant for details.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 9 lunches included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style, and lunches will either be at convenient restaurant stops during our rides or packed lunches. There is a variety of good quality food on offer in the hotels and local restaurants for the evening meals that are not included in the price of the trip. Chile and Argentina traditionally have a lot of meat dishes in their cuisine, however vegetarians can be catered for throughout the trip. Please ensure that you advise us of any dietary requirements before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

This trip is classified Road.
Activity Level: 4 (Moderate/Challenging).
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure for more important information on classification and grading.
Average daily distance: 51km (32 miles)
Number of days cycling: 10
Vehicle Support: 100%

The set itinerary is not technical, however please note that the majority of this tour is spent at high altitude and some days the group is cycling above 3000m where the air is noticeably thinner. Because of this we recommend that you have a good level of fitness for this tour.

Some cycling experience and good level of fitness is recommended. Total distance covered: approx. 510km

Terrain and route: Approx. 80% tarmac, 20% unpaved roads. Some large elevation gains; mixed cycling terrain; variable weather conditions and some remote locations.

Most of the roads are in good condition, although there can occasionally be potholes and poorer conditions in some short sections. You should be prepared for some cycling on unpaved gravel/dirt roads.

The roads are generally free of heavy traffic until we reach towns where we are more likely to encounter other vehicles.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Fantastic scenery

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Salt plains, geysers and hill of 7 colours. Two awesome downhill rides.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Ale was excellent- not only in role of trip leader, but also in imparting knowledge of local history and politics. Very organised and helpful.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walking boots or shoes recommended for sand dune and geyser walk. Trip rating of 4 feels right. None of us had significant altitude symptoms. The only climbing at altitude was on the last day of the trip, when we had acclimatised. The 30% non tarmac was on sandy/gravelly/corrugated roads which needed some care for the uninitiated. The birdwatching/ barbeque option for the day off in Salta was hugely enjoyed by the 10 of us who chose this.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The scenery was stunning - pack your best camera

Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Brilliant variety of rides. Best trip ever!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ride through the rain forest; riding on the pampas.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant - your tour leaders are always good, but Ale was exceptional and inspirational. The support staff were brilliant too!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t be fooled by seemingly short distances - most of the rides are at high altitude, so pace yourself.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were astounded by the variety, the silence on the high planes. The best trip ever.

Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Smiling in Atacama

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting on the bike every day and discovering that once again the scenery was superb and different.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Leader and crew were a brilliant team.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be sure to have your own comfortable saddle or a gel seat cover because the corrugated gravel roads can be hard on your tail end! You might also want to take a buff or something you can use to cover your mouth as some of the days can be quite dusty. The cycling looks like short distances, especially at the start but the roads/terrain and altitude mean it is still quite challenging.

Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Cycling in Chile & Argentina

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day had its own inspirational moment - the Moon Valley in the high desert, the Tatio Geysers at sunrise followed by a dip in the thermal pool, cycling on the salt flats, the 2 incredible 35km descents, the breathtaking geological features and amazing colourful rock formations.... I could keep going on!! One really special moment was being entertained by local musicians in the incredible amphitheatre - a fallen cavern created by an ancient waterfall.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Ale was first class! He was a great leader and went over and above the call of duty every day. He also had great knowledge of the political and local history - fascinating sensitive and charming. Also the support team were fantastic.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for altitude- much of the trip is at significant altitude but the trip allows for acclimatisation. Also bring clothing for all temperatures- above 4000m it is quite chilly and it’s well below freezing visiting the Geysers at dawn! Others on our trip have recommended a good saddle or padding for the rutted gravel and a good camera is a must!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I just couldn’t recommend this trip and the leader and more highly - both were exceptional (legend) Book it - you won’t be disappointed!!

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

A fantastic trip with incredible varied sceneries

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding through the hill of seven colours in Purmamarca.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    The guide we had on our trip has been working with Exodus for many many years and is very knowledgable of the area as well been born in Argentina. He went above and beyond to make sure everyone had the best time and gave us tips to ride on different terrain, as sand for instance and I felt I've learnt a lot by the end of the week.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book and go!

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
April 4, 2020
Available
$4,349.00
N/A
May 16, 2020
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$4,349.00
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June 6, 2020
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$4,349.00
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August 22, 2020
Available
$4,349.00
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September 12, 2020
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$4,349.00
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October 3, 2020
Available
$4,349.00
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