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9 Day "Motorcycle Diaries" Guided Tour in Bolivia

Samaipata, Bolivia

Bolivia Motorcycle Tour

This is Bolivia Motorcycle Advantures' smallest tour and dedicated to the famous revolutionary Ernesto Ché Guevara, who died in 1967 while trying to start a revolution in Bolivia. Mostly, you will follow the “La Ruta del Ché” and enjoy the fantastic roads and scenery of Bolivia. Some of the roads are the same that Ché took to escape. Possible options: Vado del Yeso, where passing Rio Grande, almost the entire Tania and comandante Joaquin group was massacred, as well as an encounter with members from the “Fondation Ernesto Ché Guevara” in Vallegrande.

Key information

  • Terrain: 60% off road
  • Bike: rental bike (Suzuki DR650SE)
  • Mileage: 915 kilometers / 569 miles
  • Daily rides: 120 - 175 kilometers / 75 - 109 miles
  • Meals: all meals

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Santa Cruz
  • Use of motorcycle, support vehicle available
  • Visit El Fuerte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tour to various places related to Ernesto Ché Guevara
  • Tour led by multi-lingual, experienced guide
  • 8 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


7 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: French, German
Group size: 3-8 participants
Airport transfer included: Viru Viru International Airport
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Accommodation

Various hotels will be your home during your stay in Bolivia.

Program

Day 1: Airport pickup at Viru-Viru, Santa Cruz (altitude 400 meters)

The staff will pick you up at the airport of Santa Cruz, Bolivia from where they will drive to the small town of Samaipata (120 kilometers, three hours). There, you 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 (altitude 1,650 meters)

You start with the briefing where you learn more about safety riding, the route, the local traffic rules, and about each other. To get used to the bike, you go for a ride to the archaeological 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 La Higuera (altitude 1,900 meters, 175 kilometers / 109 miles, 50% off-road)

Leaving early in the morning, you stop in Vallegrande to visit the hospital´s laundry, where revolutionary hero Ernesto Ché Guevara´s lifeless body was presented to the world. Also on the program, his thumb transformed today in a mausoleum, the thumb of Tania Tamara Bunke (Tania la guerillera) and the commandante Joaquín grave.

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 stop at Ché monuments and observe condors, the world's 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 the hotel, you listen to Don Juan’s comments from the time of the guerrilla war.

Day 4: To Villa Serrano (altitude 2,100 meters, 120 kilometers / 75 miles, 100% off-road)

After visiting the ancient school building where Ché Guevara was executed on 9.10.1967, and the related sites, you leave towards Villa Serrano. On the suspension bridge over the Rio Grande you have a picnic lunch and if the conditions are good (mostly the water level) you can go for a swim.

You arrive in Villa Serrano in the afternoon, Bolivia’s capital of the Charango. It´s a kind of a small, double 5 strings guitar, very difficult to play.

Day 5: To Monteagudo (altitude 1,130 meters, 120 kilometers / 75 miles, 100% off-road)

Following dusty gravel roads across wild scenery, you continue to Monteagudo. No infrastructure for far, lunch picnic on the road. Only basic comfort available.

Day 6: Via Lagunillas to Camiri (altitude 810 meters, 160 kilometers / 99 miles, 90% off-road)

You continue your route to Muyupampa and Lagunillas, were you visit the place where the guerilla camp was located. Your way leads you through the gas production zone of Bolivia. In Camiri, you visit a hotel room where Ché spend a night in 1967.

Day 7: To Samaipata (340 kilometers / 211 miles, 0% or 30% off-road, variants depending on weather conditions)

In the morning you leave Camiri. The road to Samaipata takes you alternately over sandy tracks, the road is more or less the route Ché escaped or asphalt roads along the Piraí River, the Eastern cordillera up to Samaipata, your starting point. You leave your bikes behind and hurry to jump into the hotel's pool.

Day 8: To Santa Cruz

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

Day 9: To the airport

Always a sad moment when you say goodbye. But who knows? You won´t be the first to come back for more!

Skill level(s) required for this tour: intermediate

Intermediate:

  • can ride for 3-4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

About the motorcycles

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 R

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

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.

Suzuki DR 650 SE

The bike for shorter people and woman. Easy to handle. Steers like a razorblade.

About the tour

Safely drive at all time and minimize potential dangers are Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures' principal concerns. Their tours consist of maximum 6 people, 8 people for groups. This tour is available on demand.

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.

Main guide speaks 5 languages, assistance vehicle driver and local guides speak English. The main guide is medically trained and holder of pre-hospital emergency certificates. Recommendations, venous access, arterial pressure, pulse oximeter, basic and emergency drugs, procedures and emergency equipment (spinal board, stifneck). Medicaments against altitude sickness, snake bite serums.

There will be triple communication methods, cellular phone, radio, and satellite. The main guide is equipped with a basic survival kit and an advanced First Aid kit. The main guide includes a PLB system (personal location bacon) registered at the International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC).

Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures respects the age, physical conditions and special interests (such as photographers) of their guests, with regard of breaks and drive rhythm. Their main object is to have fun, while traveling, visiting sites and inside the group.

The daily stages are never too long and calculated that even with several flat tires, the daily destination can be reached in any case before darkness. During some breaks, they offer snacks, coca tea and they give specific information about Bolivia. The team is specialized in nature, culture, history, ex-urban art, archaeology, prehistory, and rock art.

Election of rest days will be in pleasant climatic zones with many options for those who do not want to rest. Laundry service is available 24 hours. You will stay in some choice of good touristic hotels and restaurants (heating, buffet, A/C).

Your family members and friends can follow your adventure via GPS live tracker, at the BMA website and via BMA Facebook where they will post each evening (if possible) a picture from the day stage with a comment.

During the second day, the team offers a two-hour essential briefing on the particularities of Bolivia and safe driving. Before each tour (not before Mission Impossible tour), the Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures team offers "off-road and safe driving" training at the rental price of the bike. Ask them.

Their tours are adventure tours. The team recommends a few days of altitude acclimatization at Samaipata (1.650m) before starting the tour. Ask them for more details.

Location

This tour will bring you to some places which are related to Ernesto Ché Guevara. Some of them are La Higuera, a mountain village where he was captured and executed, as well as Ché monument.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda

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

  • Entrances
  • Restaurants
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Gasoline
  • Motorcycle rental

What's not included

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal items

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Viru-Viru airport (VVI) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia is your arrival airport. Direct flights with BOA and Air Europa from Madrid and with American Airlines and BOA from Miami. All offer luggage formula: Piece concept 2 x 23 kg. Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures offers transfer service to / from Samaipata.

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.
9 days / 8 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 3 participants

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