Map of your Motorcycle road trip :
Airport pickup at Viru viru, Santa Cruz
We pick you up at the airport of Santa Cruz, Bolivia and drive to the small town Samaipata, 120-kilometers away. There we check into a comfortable hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing and resting from the flight. If your flight arrives late then we will spend the night in Santa Cruz. In that case, the following day is considered day one.
We start our Bolivia motorcycle adventure with a briefing where we learn more about our route, odd local “traffic rules”, and about each other. To get acquainted with your bike we go for a ride to the archeological site “El Fuerte”, an Incan town built around the largest stone-sculpture in the Americas.
To La Higuera
In the morning, we go towards the tiny mountain-village of La Higuera, the location where revolutionary hero Ernesto Che Guevara was captured and executed. We stop for lunch in Vallegrande where we visit the “Che Guevara” museum and the hospital where Che’s lifeless body was presented to the world. At the end of the afternoon, we arrive in La Higuera. With some luck you can have a chat with eye-witnesses of the historic events.
To Villa Serrano
After visiting the school building where Che Guevara was killed, we head towards Villa Serrano. On the suspension-bridge over the Rio Grande, we’ll have a picnic lunch and if the water level is right then you can go for a swim. We’ll arrive in Villa Serrano in the afternoon where, if we are lucky, we can see the world’s largest charango. The six-meter tall guitar was built to commemorate don Mauro, a local charango hero.
We continue our Bolivia motorcycle tours by heading for Villa Serrano early so we can visit the Tarabuco “Sunday-market”. This is the only place in Bolivia where you can take photos of traditionally dressed indigenous people without them turning away or throwing stuff at you. After lunch we continue to Sucre. The rest of the afternoon and evening is for exploring this beautiful colonial city. The city-center itself, originally Bolivia’s capital, is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
On smoothly paved roads, we climb towards the Altiplano high planes until we reach Potosi. At 4,000-meters above sea level, Potosi is the highest city in the world. In the afternoon, we visit the “miner’s market” where you can buy anything, ranging from coca leaves to dynamite. Our team will do a bit of shopping ourselves for a bit of fun later. We continue to the mines where we gear-up for our descent into the belly of “Pajcha Mama”. Here in Mother Earth, we see a 500-year-old, still operating silver mine… not suitable for claustrophobics! When we come out of the mines, we’ll find something to “blow up” with goodies bought at the market.
Crossing incredible scenery and passing tiny villages, we head to Uyuni where to visit a “train graveyard”. This fantastic collection of discarded railway material dates back to the 19th-century. The graveyard includes at least a dozen steam locomotives.
Salar de Uyuni (Largest salt-flats in the world)
The Bolivia Salar de Uyuni tour brings us to a dried-up salt-lake the size of a small country or 11,000 square kilometers. With no trees, houses, roads or mountains the area consists of blue sky and white salt plains with zero perspective. Your brain will be thrown into a twist as you take the strangest photos imaginable. Please see our Bolivia Salar de Uyuni tour Weird Photo Contest. Even the human eye cannot see the difference between an actual car in the distance and a toy car nearby. Of course, we take some photos at the “Dakar Monument”.
In the morning, we leave Uyuni behind and pass through several small villages. We make our way to Oruro, a community famous for its markets and barbeque restaurants.
To Copacabana, Lake Titicaca
To avoid the chaotic traffic of El Alto, essentially an overgrown slum with more than a million inhabitants, we take a short-cut towards Lake Titicaca. Crossing the crystal-blue waters to the peninsula of famous Copacabana on a pontoon, we enjoy views of snowcapped mountains over a clear blue lake.
“The island of the Sun” and "The island of the Moon"
Exchanging our bikes for a boat, we visit two legendary islands dating back to Incan times. On the “Island of the Sun”, we make a short hike with fantastic views along the mountains bordering Lake Titicaca.
To La Paz
In the morning, we leave Lake Titicaca behind on our Bolivia motorcycle adventure and arrive in La Paz in the afternoon. It is possible to visit the “witches market” where you can buy anything. Items range from magic potions and amulets to mummified llama embryos. In the evening, we see the “changing of the guards” at the presidential palace.
Visit Valle de la Luna, climb Chakaltaya
We visit the “Valle de la Luna”, or moon valley, a surreal valley filled with chaotic mud-sculptures from flooding. We ride to Chakaltaya, a 5,400-meter-high mountain. There is a ski-lodge at 5,300-meters which makes it the highest ski resort in the world. As an alternative, we offer a round trip by funicular. Uniquely, there are five available lines in service each made in Doppelmayr, Austria.
The death road
From La Paz, we ride to Coroico on what was once officially “the most dangerous road in the world”. Plummeting down into the Yunga, the views are magnificent. If you keep your speed down then you have a very good chance to arrive safely in Coroico! For the brave, we’ll finish the ride with a 1.5-kilometer zip-line adventure.
We leave Coroico and follow narrow unpaved mountain-roads to Yungas, a town well known for its coca-plantations. Passing small picturesque mountain-villages, we’ll arrive in Chulumani around noon. Time to soak in the swimming pool or explore this bustling, yet chaotic “trade-center” of the Yungas.
Chulumani to Quime
Again, an entire day of narrow, unpaved roads following deep ravines, crossing rivers, and passing tiny settlements. Late in the afternoon, we’ll arrive in Quime, a small town cradled by massive mountains. Our dinner and hotel will be very basic and very Bolivian.
After a breakfast in the market, we leave Quime. Crossing several high mountain-passes at 4,500-meters, we make our way to Cochabamba, a very large city surrounded by huge mountains. Dinner will be a treat in what is considered the culinary capital of Bolivia.
In the morning, we visit the largest sculpture in South America. At almost 40 meters, it stands quite a taller than the famous “Cristo de Rio de Janeiro”. We leave the city to have a fresh trout or carp for lunch. Passing beautiful valleys, we make our way to Totora, a small colonial town in the mountains.
This last day of riding, we return to Samaipata via a marvelous motorcycle road that curves through the mountains.
To Santa Cruz
We leave our bikes behind and set off for Santa Cruz where we can do some last-minute souvenir shopping and enjoy Brazilian Churasquero or oriental cuisine.
To the airport
Always a sad moment when we say goodbye at the airport. But who knows? You won´t be the first to come back for more !