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22 Days Mission Impossible Guided Motorcycle Tour in Bolivia with Pre-tour Off-road Training

Samaipata, Florida Province, Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia

Ultimate Bolivia Motorcycle Tour

Mission Impossible tour is basically a Wild Wild West tour, but including five desert days. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, takes you to the unbelievable beauty of the South Lipez desert, located between 4,400 and 5,000-meter altitude. The desert sections are simply hard. Big sands and wide volcanic gravel fields, rocky roads, no roads, 1.000-meter wide corrugated roads - it is all included. Ride through the absolute highest road in the world, the double super Uturuncu volcano, a hot spring, geysers, salt lake, and snow-covered volcanoes among other, this will be a challenging, and yet rewarding adventure!

Key information

  • Terrain: 60% off-road
  • Bike: rental bike (Suzuki DR650SE, Kawasaki KLR 650/685, Honda XR 650 L, Honda XR 650 R, Suzuki DR 650 SE)
  • Mileage: 3,030 kilometers / 1,883 miles
  • Daily rides: 120 - 321 kilometers / 75 - 200 miles
  • Riding gear: not included: helmet, boots, pants, jacket, and gloves
  • Meals: all meals

Meet the guides

Roland
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Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Samaipata
  • Trace back some of the revolutionary hero, Che Guevara's paths
  • Ride on the absolute highest road in the world on the super Uturuncu volcano
  • Set off to Potosí, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highest city in the world
  • Enjoy a fantastic “Martian” landscape in the middle of snow-covered volcanoes
  • Ride to Salar de Uyuni, the enchanting largest salt lake of the world
  • Enjoy a hot spring bath and the view of thousands of flamingos
  • 21 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


18 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: French, German
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
Airport transfer included: Viru Viru International Airport
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Accommodation

During this tour, you will stay in various hotels along the route as mentioned in the itinerary.

Program

General description

In this tour, you will drive a peak at 5,014-meter altitude and on top of this all, you will attempt to ride your motorcycles on the absolute highest road in the world, the double super Uturuncu volcano, 5,800-meter or 19,000-foot above sea-level!

For all your efforts, you get compensated by a bath in a hot spring, thousands of flamingos, a geyser at 4,950-meter altitude, a railway line that crosses a salt lake, spectacular rock formations, lakes of all colors, an active volcano, and a fantastic “Martian” landscape in the middle of snow-covered volcanoes. At the end of the third day, you will stay in a four-star hotel, entirely ecological, in the middle of nowhere. This is the best South America has to offer.

Naturally, you will also visit a lot of classical tourist site of Bolivia. Starting with the “Ruta del Ché”, you will cross the mountains towards Sucre, the colonial capital of Bolivia and the indigenous market of Tarabuco. Then the 500-year-old silver mines of Potosí, followed by the “Salar de Uyuni”, the largest salt flats in the world, the train graveyard, and the Dakar monument.

Follow the footsteps of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid in the spectacular scenery of Tupiza, pass an old tunnel, taste a selection of wines in Tarija, Bolivia’s wine capital, ride the actual most anxious road of Bolivia, have a “high” snack on an yesteryears railway bridge, and enjoy the fantastic roads and scenery of the wild west of Bolivia. The highest peak will be at 5.800 meters.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Airport pickup at Viru-Viru, Santa Cruz

  • Altitude: 400 meters

You will be picked up at the airport of Santa Cruz, Bolivia from where you will drive to the small town of Samaipata (120 kilometers, three hours). There, you will check into a comfortable hotel and spend the rest of the day to relax and discover.

Day 2: Pre-tour off-road training with the Bolivia safety training

During this training, you will be given the theory, then you will ride, have some correction, ride more, and another correction. There will be a theoretical part for 2 hours and then you start some easy off-road tracks and easy sand tracks, etc. and you will pass the same stage twice.

For the improvement objectives and skill achievements after training completion, you will feel more comfortable on off-road tracks, base to progress during the tour days the off-road skills faster, with guides recommendations, safely riding in Bolivia. In joining the training, you should be an experienced asphalt rider, off-road beginner, or looking for new challenges. Please note that an international driving license is required. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 3: Samaipata

  • Altitude: 1,650 meters

You will with the briefing where you learn more about safety riding, the route, the local traffic rules, and about each other. To get used to your bike, you will 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 4. Samaipata - La Higuera (175 kilometers / 109 miles)

  • Altitude: 1,900 meters
  • Terrain: 50% off-road

Leaving early in the morning, you will stop in Vallegrande to visit the hospital's laundry, where revolutionary hero Ernesto Ché Guevara's lifeless body was presented in 1967 to the world.

After lunch, you continue your ride towards the tiny mountain village of La Higuera, the place where Ché was captured and executed. On the road, you observe condors, the world biggest bird.

After your first special drive, you arrive at the end of the afternoon in La Higuera. In the evening at the campfire in the courtyard of your hotel, you will listen to Don Juan’s comments from the time of the guerrilla war.

Day 5: La Higuera - Villa Serrano (120 kilometers / 75 miles)

  • Altitude: 2,100 meters
  • Terrain: 100% off-road

After visiting the ancient school building where Ché Guevara was executed and the related sites, you leave towards Villa Serrano. On the suspension bridge over the Rio Grande, you will have a picnic lunch and if the conditions are good (mostly the water level) you can also go for a swim.

You will arrive in Villa Serrano in the afternoon, Bolivia’s capital of the charango. It is a kind of a small, double five-string guitar, very difficult to play.

Day 6: Villa Serrano - Sucre (190 kilometers / 119 miles)

  • Altitude: 2,700 meters
  • Terrain: 30% off-road

You leave Villa Serrano early in the morning so you 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.

After lunch, you continue to Sucre, the capital of Bolivia. The rest of the afternoon and evening is for exploring this beautiful colonial city. The entire white painted city center is classified World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Day 7: Sucre - Potosí (155 kilometers / 97 miles)

  • Altitude: 4,100 meters
  • Terrain: 0% off-road

You leave Sucre after breakfast. On smooth tarmac, you start to climb towards the altiplano (high planes) until you reach to a strange bridge, which you will intent to ride. The mining city of Potosí is with 4,100-meter altitude, the highest city in the world and also classified World Heritage by UNESCO. During the ascent, the guides will give you instructions about altitude sickness.

Day 8: The silver mines in Potosí

In the morning, you will visit the miner’s market where you can buy anything, ranging from coca leaves to dynamite. There, you will do some interesting shopping to have some “boys fun” later.

Then, you will continue to the mines where you will be “geared up” and descent into the belly of “Pacha Mama” (mother earth) to visit the 500-year old, still operating silver mines. It is not suitable for those who do not like small spaces.

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

Day 9: Potosí - Uyuni (205 kilometers / 128 miles)

  • Altitude: 3,700 meters
  • Terrain: 5% off-road

Crossing incredible canyon scenery, passing tiny villages, watching for vicuñas (family of camelids), emus (ostrich family bird), and thousands of lamas, you arrive at the small mining village of Pulacayo. Here, you will walk a little around the ancient railway station, the mine entrance and you climb the train wagon with which the American outlaws Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid arrived in Bolivia.

Next break is Uyuni, where you visit the train graveyard, a fantastic collection of discarded railway material dating back to the 19th century. This includes at least a dozen steam locomotives, perfect photo shooting.

Day 10: Uyuni - Quetena Chica (260 kilometers / 162 miles)

  • Altitude: 4,200 meters
  • Terrain: 100% off-road

Leaving Uyuni, you enter the desert. Almost nothing grows here but the emptiness is far from boring. Until Alota, the roads are clear, but the further you go, the less obvious the roads become and the more spectacular the scenery becomes. Far before reaching Quetena Chica, you will notice the double peaks of Uturuncu volcano. You will spend the night in a basic comfort lodge at the base of the Uturuncu volcano.

Day 11: Climb Uturuncu volcano and to Polques (120 kilometers / 75 miles)

  • Altitude: 4,400 meters
  • Terrain: 100% off-road

You will try to scale Uturuncu volcano via the absolute highest road in the world (5,800 meters or 19,000 feet). At the end of the track, at 5,800-meter altitude, the landscape will look like how it looked 4.5 milliards years ago: sand, rocks, scree fields, and gases hissing from the ground, nothing has changed since.

After lunch, you will continue your route to Polques at the “laguna Chalvin”. You will spend the night next to a hot spring where you can sit in steaming hot water, gazing at a zillion stars. Only basic comfort available.

Day 12: Polques - Laguna verde - Agua de Perdiz (182 kilometers / 114 miles)

  • Altitude: 4.300 meters
  • Terrain: 100% off-road

Heading south, you will pass painted desert landscapes, endless valleys littered with massive rock pillars until you arrive at the “Laguna verde”, the green lagoon.

After lunch, returning to Polques, you turn north passing volcanic vents that blast their gasses into the cold sky, bubbling boiling colored mud pools and geysers at 4,950-meter altitude, and the colored lagoon (Laguna Colorada) with islands made of crystal white borax where thousands of flamingos come to breed.

Passing the famous stone tree (arbol de piedra), you end the day at Agua de Perdiz, an amazing sandy valley where the “road” is 1,000-meter wide. You will stay at a four-star hotel tonight.

Day 13: Agua de Perdiz - San Juan del Rosario (150 kilometers / 94 miles)

  • Altitude: 3,700 meters
  • Terrain: 100% off-road

This morning, you will first have a date with soft sands, than with an ambush canyon, followed by a snack at the 1,000 flamingo view point at “Laguna Hedionda”, the stinking lake. At the visitors viewpoint to the active volcano Ollague, you will make your lunch picnic.

Before you arrive at the remote town of San Juan del Rosario, you will have to pass a railway over a salt lake.

Day 14: San Juan del Rosario - crossing the salt flats to Uyuni (247 kilometers / 154 miles)

  • Altitude: 3,700 meters
  • Terrain: 95% off-road / salt road

Still surrounded by empty desert, you will make your way to an even more desolated area, the Uyuni salt flats. The Salar de Uyuni is a dried up salt lake, the size of a small country (11,000 square kilometers). Since the largest salt lake of the world has no references, whatsoever, and because there are only two colors in the world (blue sky and white salt), there is no perspective. Your brain will have a meltdown and you can take the weirdest photos (crazy photos with crazy bikers).

On your way, you will visit the cactus island “Inca Huasi”, the salt market, the flags monument, the salt hotel, and the Dakar monument.

Day 15: Uyuni - Tupiza (185 kilometers / 115 miles)

  • Altitude: 2,950 meters
  • Terrain: 20% off-road

In the morning, you leave Uyuni behind you on a new asphalt road. You will be surprised to find a huge espresso machine at café “Alamo” in the small mining village of Atocha, where you have lunch.

Before entering Tupiza, you will ride to the Bolivian Monument Valley. This is a part of the region where the (in)famous Banditos Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid operated and were finally killed. But with all the spectacular stone monuments, do not forget the hotel's pool!

Day 16: Tupiza - Tarija (205 kilometers / 128 miles)

  • Altitude: 1,860 meters
  • Terrain: 40% off-road

When the rubber touches the off-road track, the landscape changes instantly into scenic back country roads with deep canyons. There is no infrastructure among this itinerary, so a picnic lunch is the only option.

The ride to Tarija, the wine capital of Bolivia continues quite diverse, just after passing the last mountain, a fantastic panorama opens up to the Tarija valley. Dinner will be served at restaurant “El Marqués”, a gastronomic highlight.

Day 17: Rest day in Tarija

Options for those who do not want to rest:

  • Visit of Casa Dorada and Castillo Azul
  • Wineries tour with local tour operator
  • Visit of the paleontological museum (extinct mammals)

Day 18: Tarija - Villamontes (245 kilometers / 153 miles)

  • Altitude: 390 meters
  • Terrain: 20% off-road

Snaking mountain roads take you from the rolling hills of Tarija to the arid dry Chaco region. The last part of this road is considered one of the scariest bus rides in the country. On the motorcycle, where you are in control, it is a lot less hazardous. Photographers get ready… and if you miss the part, no problem, you can just ride it again.

Day 19: Villamontes - Abapo (321 kilometers / 200 miles)

  • Altitudes: 445 meters
  • Terrain: 10% off-road

After all the off-road stages, it is again pleasant to feel asphalt under the tires. Your way leads you through the gas production zone of Bolivia. You will ride on a special road to a monastery and cross an abandoned, very narrow railway bridge. An exciting ride, nothing for people with fear of height. Only basic restauration, so you will have a Bolivian grill dinner tonight.

Day 20: Abapo - Samaipata (206 kilometers / 128 miles)

  • Terrain: 0% or 20% off-road, varies depending on weather conditions

The road to Samaipata takes you alternately over sandy tracks or asphalt roads along the Piraí River, the Eastern cordillera up to Samaipata, your starting point. You will leave your bikes behind and hurry to jump into the hotel's pool.

Day 21: To Santa Cruz

Late in the morning, you set off for Santa Cruz where you can relax, hang around the plaza, and do some souvenir shopping. In the evening, you will have a farewell dinner.

Day 22: To the airport

Always a sad moment when one say goodbye. But who knows? You would not be the first to come back for more.

Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures' bikes

Kawasaki KLR 650/685

  • A reliable “thumper”
  • One cylinder 650/685cc, no surprises travel bike
  • The large fuel tank gives it a comfortable range and the seating position is relaxed
  • Suitable for a passenger

Honda XR 650 L

The “little” sister of the XRR. Not as fast, not as light, but with an electric starter and more comfortable suspension and seat.

Honda XR 650 R

This monster would do great in the Dakar rally. With more than 60 HP and less than 140 kilograms, it is like sitting on top of a crate of dynamite (only kickstarter).

Suzuki DR 650 SE

  • The bike for shorter people or woman
  • Easy to handle
  • Steers like a razorblade

Riders are participants that ride a Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures motorcycle (the standard). Passengers are participants that accompany the riders, either as a pillion, in the support vehicle or with their own bike. Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures will try to give you the bike you like, but if everybody chooses the same bike, they will have to decide who gets which bike. For this, they need to know your gender, experience with motorcycling, your height, and weight and age.

Riding gear

Note that you will only be provided with a motorcycle. You need to bring your own bike gear. A helmet is of course obligated, boots, pants, jacket, and gloves are requisite as well as a daypack for your daily needs. When booked, you will receive a list of recommendations for bike and urban gear and a lot of other info.

4x4 assistance vehicle

Each tour is accompanied by a 4x4 assistance vehicle with a motorcycle trailer and for some tours also with a spare bike: luggage, medical material, technical assistance but also offers riders the opportunity to rest during the tour. Riders drive only with a small daypack, containing camera, bike gear, snack, drinks, personal belongings, etc.

Skill level(s) required for this tour: advanced

Advanced:

  • can ride for 5-6 hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Novice:

This level is for: beginners with less confidence / Competent riders new to enduro/off-road riding / Motorcycle refresher needed.

Guides

Roland

Location

This tour will take you exploring Bolivia, from the South Lipez desert, Uturuncu volcano, Salar de Uyuni, and more.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 21 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily meals
  • Motorcycle rental
  • Fuel
  • Museum and other entrance and tour fees
  • Road taxes & tolls
  • Ferries
  • Multilingual guide on motorcycle
  • Transfers from and to airport
  • Support vehicle with spare parts and mechanic
  • Pre-tour off-road training

What's not included

  • International flight
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal items
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Bike gear

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Viru Viru International Airport (VVI). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures will pick you up from the airport.

After you have a confirmation from Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures that you are in fact booked in the tour, you book a flight to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Your arrival date should be the same as the tour start date, not later than 6 p.m. If this is not possible, you should arrive a day earlier.

There are four direct flights to Viru Viru International Airport (VVI), Santa Cruz/ Bolivia, and all offer Piece Concept with 2 x 23kg luggage:

  • From Miami with BOA (Bolivia de Aviación) and American Airlines
  • From Madrid with BOA and Air Europa

When you arrive, you will be picked up from the airport by someone who has a big sign with a logo that says: “Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures”.

Depending on the arrival time, you go directly to your base in Samaipata or spend one night in Santa Cruz. If you spend the night in Santa Cruz the following day will be day one. If you arrive earlier, Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures can make arrangements for you to be picked up or you can simply appear at the arranged hotel. Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures will let you know well in advance.

Airport: Viru Viru International Airport Airport transfer included: Viru Viru International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 10% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 28 days before arrival.
22 days / 21 nights
from --
Availability

This tour is available all year round, with arrival on Wednesday.

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