Amazonia and Amazonia+
17 Days Level: Medium 2.305 km, 30% dirt-road Price info
21 Days Level: Medium 3.310 km, 30% dirt-road Price info
The Amazonia tour takes you from the breathtaking highlands into the steaming Amazon basin and in the Amazonia+ version also to the Jesuit Missions (World heritage site by UNESCO) of the Chiquitania region. Amazonia+ tour version is a combination of an Amazonia with a The Mission tour.
Be prepared for mud, sand, dust and lots of river crossings. Many “asphalt” roads consist of stringing together potholes. To avoid them, precise, tiring slalom driving becomes a real challenge.
Also on this tour program: The infamous “Death Road” and a 100 years time travel in Totora.
Photographer get prepared for an unforgettable 2 day trip to Amazonia. From a safe longboat or on a hike, we can observe capivaras (species of water pig), thousands of birds, sweet water dolphins, anacondas, 3.5m long crocodiles, turtles and curious groups of monkeys. Special events are: Crocodile watching on a night excursion, the piranhas fishing and the swimming with sweet water dolphins… don´t try the opposite!
Highest riding peak: 4.650m.
This tour always starts on Monday.
Day 6. To Caranavi (alt. 980 m) via the Death Road (alt. 4.650 to 1.750 m) 165 km, 40% dirt-road
Leaving the crowded streets of La Paz behind us, we climb the “cumbre de Coroico” till 4.650 m altitude. Today we have to traverse the famous “Death Road”, what was once officially the most dangerous road in the world. Plummeting down into the tropical Yungas region the views are magnificent and if we keep our speed down, we have a very good chance to arrive safely in Coroico. If we survive this, we get a chance to prove our bravery on a 500 m zip line, maybe in spider position!
After all this, we get to ride a real death road as it continues from Coroico to Caranavi. This time there are no tourists on mountain bikes. Instead it is filled with cars, trucks and buses that are all in a deadly hurry.
Day 7. To Rurrenabaque (alt. 200m) 250 km, 40% dirt-road
The narrow mountain road slowly levels out as we reach the edge of the Amazon basin. We continue to our destination, Rurrenabaque the jungle/ pampa trekking capital of Bolivia on the shore of Rio Beni. Although it is a native Amazonian town, there seem to be more gringos tourists then Indians on its dusty streets.
Day 8. Amazonia (by local tour operator) via Santa Rosa de Yucuma (alt. 170m) 105 km by bus and boat
The road to Santa Rosa is rough, dusty and hot, but just before it all becomes too much we have an relaxing touristic lunch. In the afternoon we change to the typical longboats to reach our pampa lodge on the shores of the Yacumo river.
Once installed, we start exploring this amazing natural hub, filled to the brim with wild animals such as crocodiles, capybaras, sweet water dolphins, turtles, various sorts of monkeys and literally thousands of birds.
After dinner we try our luck with piranha fishing and at night we do some extremely exciting crocodile hunting (all ecofriendly of course).
Day 9. Amazonia (by local tour operator) and return to Rurrenabaque
In the morning a sunrise walk to capture one of the (in)famous 12 m Killer-Anacondas, with 2 heads (Yeah!), followed by for many people, the highlight: Swimming together with the amazing pink, sweet water dolphins.
After lunch we leave this little paradise, returning by the same ways to Rurrenabaque.
Day 10. To San Borja (alt. 200m) 95 km, 30% dirt-road
The first part of the road is known, no problems. The second road part goes 100% strait and gives us a “pure introduction” of what we have to expect tomorrow: Potholes.
Day 11. To San Ignacio de Moxos (alt. 140 m) 140 km, 50% dirt-road
Road 100% strait, potholes+++ and very hot, nothing more to say!
We are plenty busy avoiding potholes whole the day and quite exhaust when arriving in this sleepy indigenous town of San Ignacio de Moxos, which only offers basic comfort.
Day 12. To Trinidad (alt. 130 m) 95 km, 40% dirt-road
The day starts with breakfast at the local market and continues with… guess?… potholes…
Just before reaching Trinidad we pass Rio Mamoré by a small pontoon.
Trinidad, the capital of the department Beni, is a large Amazonian town where people rides in the evening with small motorbikes around the main plaza while conversing and having different kinds of milk shakes. No, not a joke!
Special attraction is a Boeing 727, which crashed in the jungle close to town.
Day 13. To San Javier (alt. 540 m) 415 km, 0% dirt-road
Today we enjoy asphalt again and… though less potholes…
At the end of this rather long day we reach San Javier, the first of the Jesuit Missions towns of the Chiquitania region. After dinner, we walk for a photo shooting around the humongous wooden cathedral from the year 1752.
Day 14. To San Ignacio de Velasco (alt. 410 m) 230 km, 10% dirt-road
(Only in the Amazonia + version)
Via Conception, the capital of the missions, where we visit the cathedral, we ride to San Ignacio de Velasco. Here we enjoy the swimming pool of our mini resort hotel or a walk to the huge artificial lake to watch the fishermen at work.
Day 15. To Santiago de Chiquitos (alt. 620 m) 360 km, 50% dirt-road
(Only in the Amazonia + version)
In the morning we leave San Ignacio on great motorcycle roads. After a lunch at a Mennonite hangout and a short visit of the following Jesuit Mission churches, we arrive on the “Brazilian” highway. On this smooth asphalt we continue to Roboré, where we turn off to our destination: Santiago de Chiquitos. Pleasant to feel the temperature difference at 620 m altitude.
Day 16. Daytrip to Aguas Calientes and rock formation 80 km, 0% dirt-road
(Only in the Amazonia + version)
Aguas Calientes is a lake filled with hot springs, so the water is around 35 – 40°C. We spend the morning hanging around, and in, the water, which is supposed to have healing powers, so our “saddle sore” should be completely gone at the end of the morning.
In the afternoon we’ll climb a mountain with an amazing view and phallus-like, mysterious rock formations.
Day 17. To San José de Chiquitos (alt. 300 m) 160 km, 0% dirt-road
(Only in the Amazonia + version)
Leaving Santiago de Chiquitos in the morning, we arrive in San José de Chiquitos, the last of our Jesuit Missions towns, well before noon. Hanging around the plaza and visiting the cathedral with museum is a must do.
Day 18. To Buena Vista (alt. 400m) 385 km in the + version, 230 km in the regular version, 10% dirt-road
Mostly on busy asphalt, crossing Rio Grande by a new built bridge, we ride to the almost hidden center of Buena Vista, a small oasis in the busy Santa Cruz trade center of Bolivia. Our hotel, of course with pool, is on the plaza where we can sit on the terrace, sipping a cappuccino frio, watching the hustle and bustle of daily town life.
Day 19. To Samaipata 185 km, 40% dirt-road
Today we cross the Amboro National Park on narrow roads and curvy trails. Half a dozen river crossings make this a very exciting morning.
After lunch in El Torno, we enjoy majestic views on a crumbling asphalt road that curves up into the foothills of the Andes towards our final destination, Samaipata. We leave our bikes behind and hurry to jump into the hotel´s pool.
Day 20. To Santa Cruz
Late in the morning, we set off for Santa Cruz where we can relax, hanging around the plaza and do some souvenir shopping. In the evening, we have a farewell dinner.
Day 21. To the airport
Always a sad moment when we say goodbye. But who knows? You won´t be the first to come back for more…
Day 1. Airport pickup at Viru-Viru, Santa Cruz (alt. 400 m)
We pick you up at the airport of Santa Cruz/ Bolivia from where we drive to the small town of Samaipata (120 km, 3 hours). There we check into a comfortable hotel and spend the rest of the day to relax and discover
If your flight arrives late, you need to spend the night in Santa Cruz. In that case the following day is considered as Day 1.
Day 2. Samaipata (alt. 1.650 m)
We start with the briefing where we learn more about safety riding, our route, the local traffic rules and about each other. To get used to our bike, we go for a ride to the archeological site of “El Fuerte”. Classified World Heritage by UNESCO, it is an old Inca town build around the, much older, largest stone sculpture in the Americas. For some people, it is an ancient Alien landing field!
Day 3. To Totora (alt. 2.800 m) 265 km, 40% dirt-road
We start easy on decent, but sometimes missing asphalt, trailing scenic mountain road.
After a simple lunch we follow the curves of the Rio Mizque valley. The scenery becomes one of rough and colorful mountains and the road becomes challenging. Suddenly it changes for an 80 km (roman!) stone road, let us feel like Ben Hur. At the end of the afternoon we enter Totora, a small colonial village, laid out as a labyrinth of alleyways and bridges, where time stands still since 100 years. A paradise for photographers.
Day 4. To Cochabamba (alt. 2.500 m) 145 km, 0% dirt-road
The road to Cochabamba is all high quality asphalt that curves though picturesque valleys filled with farms and fields. We have lunch on the shores of a large lake where the menu is fresh fish or fresh fish, you choose…
The ride into Cochabamba is chaotic. A good practice for the traffic horrors of El Alto tomorrow. Our hotel is close to the main plaza, where we can have the best us known “café cortado” and for dinner we enjoy the best us known “Pique Macho”, a traditional dish.
Day 5. To La Paz (alt. 3.700 m) 375 km, 5% dirt-road
Leaving the valley of Cochabamba we quickly start to climb until 4.400 m. Through desolate, but beautiful, mountain scenery, we reach the altiplano (high planes). By the new build motorway, we cross the altiplano desert and quickly reach La Paz, the defacto capital of Bolivia.
If all goes according to plan we stop at the La Paz view point and be on time to witness the changing of the guards at the presidential palace.
If possible we visit the witches market where we could buy anything ranging from magic potions and amulets to mummified llama embryos.
The best way to explore Bolivia by motorcycle
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