Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures

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The best way to explore Bolivia by motorcycle

Wild West Ladies Tour

19 Days  Level: Medium 2.300 km (by bike), 40% off-road              Price info

Bolivia really is a hidden gem among the South American nations and it has its visitors lots to offer on and off the motorcycle. If you like, a Wild West steeped in indigenous tradition, featuring breathtaking vistas and unique landscapes.

That sounds great? Well, it gets even better! We explore it all in our own pace with a small group of 6 to 8 like-minded female riders.

A unique experience on Suzuki DR 650 SEs (200’s are available as well) that will be even more memorable through the joined effort and shared laughter.

To keep it an all female affair, you will be guided by Franziska. She is a seasoned motorcycle traveller and would love to show you around Bolivia.

The itinerary of the Wild West Ladies Tour is similar to the classic Wild Wild West Tour operated by Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures, but features an additional 2 days 4x4 excursion into the unique Atacama Desert.

Our tour starts in the quaint little village Samaipata roughly 120 km south-west of Santa Cruz. We continue riding the famous ‘Ruta del Ché’ through untouched rolling hills to the beautiful colonial capital Sucre. We head south to the famous Salar de Uyuni, a ‘not to be missed’ attraction and host to the Dakar Rally.

The whole time you will be in good hands, our team is not only taking care of your riding needs, they are also medically trained and carrying supplies for most problems that can occur on the road.

The next 2 days we swap the 2 wheels for a 4x4 and explore the unique landscapes of the high-plateau desert. An absolute memorable holiday experience.

Back on the bikes, we follow in the footsteps of the infamous bandits Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and explore the spectacular mountains around Tupiza. In Tarija, the wine capital of Bolivia, you can enjoy a local creation after kicking some dirt on the way there. The last part of the journey is going along a notorious mountain road, treacherous for big vehicles, but no problem on the bikes. Keep your camera ready for some stunning vistas. In the end we follow the river Piraí back to Samaipata, where our adventure started two and a half unforgettable weeks laying behind us.

Highest pass: 4400m by bike, 5010m by 4x4 vehicle.

Day 1. Arrival Day

We will organize the transport from Santa Cruz to Samaipata (120km, roughly 3 hrs). Collection will be either from your hotel or directly from the airport. With presumably different pick-up locations, there might be waiting times for some.

Day 2. Samaipata (Height 1650 m)

We spend the first day in the picturesque village Samaipata, a great place to find ones footing on terra nova. We will give you an introduction about road safety, local traffic rules, information regarding the route and we will have time to get to know each other.

Afterwards we do a short ride to the archaeological site ‘El Fuerte’, which belongs now to the UNESCO world heritage. For some it is an unsolved historical puzzle for others it is, without a doubt, a Alien landing site. You can decide for yourself. However, it is a great opportunity to get familiar with the motorcycles.

Day 3. To La Higuera (Height 1900 m) Trip: 175 km, 50% off-road

Now we are ready to hit the road. We follow the tracks of Ernesto ‘Ché’ Guevara, South America’s most famous freedom fighter, until his sudden end. We start on a nicely asphalted mountain road with plenty of enjoyable corners. Halfway we leave the smoothness of the tarmac and hit the dirt. The ride goes through rolling green hills and ends in the tiny settlement La Higuera. Here we visit the school, that later was Ché Guevara’s prison and also the location of his execution. Today it hosts a small museum, which portraits the man and tells the story of his last days. We spend the night in the vicinity, in the former telegraph station. The place is a gem, a little rustic, but with a lot of charm. We will have our diner under the stars, if the weather allows, a perfect setting to exchange the experiences of the day.

Day 4. To Villa Serrano (Height 2100 m) Trip: 120 km, 100% off-road

We will slowly leave the revolutionary trails and head towards Villa Serrano. The ride takes us through truly unspoiled mountain scenery with fantastic views. The road is unpaved, the natural habitat for the DR´s. For lunch we will stop on the suspension bridge over the Rio Grande, we do a little picnic and if water levels allow it, you can go for a refreshing swim.

Day 5. To Sucre (Height 2700 m) Trip: 190 km, 30% off-road

We will have an early start to visit the Sunday market in Tarabuco. Here you can find everything, from traditionally made crafts to farming and household goods, plus it is a great authentic and inexpensive place to do some souvenir shopping.

And if you are not interested in that, you will have the opportunity to watch the locals in their best Sunday attire catching up with friends and the country gossip.

Afterwards we will ride to Sucre, the capital of Bolivia. It’s white painted old town is also part of the UNESCO world heritage and posses a unique charm. Therefore you have some time in the afternoon and evening to your own disposal. Go out and explore the town. If you like, you can enjoy the nightlife a little without a guilty conscious, we will have a late start the next morning.

Day 6. To Potosi (Height 4090 m) Trip: 155 km, 0% off-road

We will leave town after lunch, so you can use the morning for a stroll through Sucre or if needed sleep in.

The ride to Potosi is pure enjoyment, brand new asphalt, winding mountain road, you can’t ask for more.

However this is also the day when we steadily gain altitude. We will end up over 4000m, which can cause altitude sickness symptoms, but doesn’t have to. Potosi is one of the highest cities in the world. During the ascent, the guides will give us instructions about altitude sickness.

Day 7. The silver mines in Potosí

In the morning we visit the miner’s market where we can buy anything, ranging from coca leaves to dynamite. Here we do some shopping to for some fun activities later.

Then we continue to the mines where we will be geared up and descent into the belly of Pacha Mama (mother earth) to visit the 500 year old, still operating silver mines. Not suitable for those who don’t like small spaces.

After lunch we visit the Casa de la Moneda (the mint) museum. At one time every single coin, used in the western world, was coined in Potosí.

Day 8. To Uyuni (Height 3700 m) Trip: 205 km, 5% off-road

The route takes us through breathtaking canyons, passing picturesque villages and we will now see more often the animal inhabitants of the Altiplano, especially vicuñas, emus and lamas.

Near Uyuni we will visit the Pulacayo Railway and Mine Museum and it’s famous train cemetery, one of the biggest in the world, but for sure the one in the most surreal setting. The old steam locomotives and wagons of the nearly forgotten 19th century railway system rust slowly in the blistering sun and in front of the white backdrop of the salt flats. You have the opportunity to take some very special adventure shots in this location.

Day 9. At the Salar (Height 3700 m) Trip: 195 km, 90% salt-road

The Salar de Uyuni stretches over more than 10,000 square kilometers and is therefore the biggest salt lake on this planet. A unique and stunning natural wonder. The bright white of the salt stands in harsh contrast to the deep blue of the sheer endless skies. A truly breathtaking experience. In many parts there are no common reference points such as vegetation or hills, which gives photographers the opportunity to play with this total lack of perspective. Some laughs and plenty of funny pictures are guaranteed for those who try.

Here we will visit the cactus island Inca Huasi, the salt market, the national flags monument, the salt hotel and …. of course, the famous Rally Dakar Monument.

Day 10 & Day 11. In The Desert (Height between 3500 m and 5010 m)

For the next 2 days we swap the bikes for a 4x4. You can’t be in this part of the planet and not visit the desert of the Altiplano, the high plateau. A unique and fascinating world that is worth discovering.

Because of the high altitude and the extremely difficult riding conditions, we choose 4x4 vehicles for transport. This way we can cover more ground in a short space of time, which means that you can see more and are much more relaxed when arriving at the spectacular sites. There are photo opportunities wherever we stop and the lagoons are home to hundreds or sometimes even thousands of flamingos. Furthermore, there are lamas, alpacas and vicuñas spotted regularly. Some of the highlights are the lagua colorada, laguna verde and árbol de piedra (stone tree, see picture). A holiday memory you also won’t forget easily is the nightly display of uncountable stars, which is supported by the isolated location, clear skies and high altitude.

On the second day, still having a few stops on our list, we slowly make our way back to Uyuni, where we will arrive in the late afternoon to be reunited with our motorcycles.

Day 12. To Tupiza (Height 2950 m) Trip: 185 km, 20% off-road

In the morning we leave the salt dessert behind us and join the brand new asphalt road 21 to Tupiza. We will have an enjoyable ride through barren but nevertheless beautiful landscapes. The second half will have more mountains again.

Some might even say it is the Monument Valley of Bolivia. This comparison might be also due to the region’s connection with the infamous bandits Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which raided the land in the beginning of last century and allegedly also found their end here.

Day 13. To Tarija (Height 1860 m) Trip: 230 km, 90% off-road

First we will follow the ruta 14 through jagged landscapes south of Tupiza before we change course north-east and continue the ride in the natural reserve of Cordillera of Sama. In the end we will be greeted by the biggest wine region in Bolivia with Tarija in it’s center.

Day 14. Rest in Tarija (Height 1860 m)

Tarija is tranquil and very pretty. The perfect place to rest your bones after all the on and off road riding of the last few days. Cafes and restaurants invite you to have a brake. For those who would rather do something, you can visit the small but interesting paleontological museum, hosting some pretty unusual findings, or have a look at Casa Dorada and the Castillo Azul. The obvious choice is of course touring a local winery and sample some of their produce.

Day 15. To Villamontes (Height 390 m) Trip: 245 km, 20% off-road

This leg is rich in corners and leads from the hills around Tarija to the arid region El Chaco. A big part of the road is dreaded by many bus drivers as the most dangerous road in Bolivia (so much for the tourist attraction ”Most Dangerous Road” near La Paz). However, on the motorcycles it is a different story and definitely an experience in itself.

Day 16. To Abapo (Height 445 m) Trip: 321 km, 10% off-road

After all the off road riding, it is great to feel some smooth asphalt under the wheels. The next part of the trip goes straight through the gas mining area in Bolivia. A small highlight is the ride over an abandoned railway bridge, which guarantees to get the adrenaline pumping.

Don’t look down when crossing!

Day 17. To Samaipata (Height 1650 m) Trip: 206 km, 0% or 20% off-road (depending on weather conditions)

The last day of our adventure through Bolivia’s Wild West will take us over some sandy trails or a tarmacked road along the river Piraí back to Samaipata, where everything started. As hard as it will be, now it is time to hand the motorcycles over, and what will be left are all the fantastic memories from the last few weeks. Those are shared best with an ice-cold beer in hand and with your fellow riders.

Day 18. To Santa Cruz

Late in the morning, we will set off for Santa Cruz where we can relax, hang out at the plaza or do some last-minute souvenir shopping. In the evening, we come together for a last time to enjoy our farewell dinner.

Day 19. Departure Day/ to the airport

Now, you really have to leave! We will transport all participants to VVI Santa Cruz airport, where you will catch your flights home.

And if you enjoyed your stay, you are always be welcomed to discover the rest of Bolivia!

Your tour guide: Franziska Jenetzky,

in cooperation with Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures.

Motorcycles and traveling are the two big passions of my life and both joined together are unbeatable.

Therefore I have explored parts of 4 continents and one subcontinent on motorcycles. The last 3 years I have spent in Central and South America. Among others I spent multiple months in Bolivia, which is one of the best countries to explore on a bike. The landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful and diverse, while the country still possesses a certain wild, unpolished edge and from a rider’s point of view, you won’t be disappointed! All in all it is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will remember in years to come.

And this I would love to share with a group of like-minded female riders. I hope I see you on board.

If you have any questions regarding the tour please feel free to get in touch with me:

E-mail: fjenetzky@yahoo.de

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