10 reasons to cycle South America from top to bottom
1. A climber’s paradise
The Andes is the longest mountain range on the planet and you can cycle up and down and across it as many times as your heart desires. Bonus points – you will become intimate with the Gods of the Mountains.
2. Biological Multi-diversity
Experience the biodiversity of Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile from the seat of a bicycle. No other continent can compare to this one.
3. Be the modern gaucho
Riding South America is for the tough ones – real men and women – the longest and toughest continental bike ride. You will become an honorary gaucho; rough, tough and free. To start, you will dip your bike in the Caribbean Sea, for fun at the half way point dip it again somewhere on a beautiful isolated Pacific beach in Chile and finally, for the last time, immerse your mechanical partner in the frigid Southern Ocean in Ushuaia, Tierra de Fuego.
4. Experience Magic Realism
As one day of cycling the 13,000km (8000miles) route merges into the next, you will experience magic realism – what happens when a highly-detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something ‘too strange to believe’ – best described by the Colombian author, Gabriel García Márquez
5. Incredible ascents and more amazing descents
You have not experienced descents until you cycle nonstop from above 4,000 meters to sea level. You have never known what climbing is until you climb all day on the South American Epic from sea level to over 4,000 meters, all the while slowly observing the ever-changing scenery.
6. Patagonia – enough said
Cycling the length of Patagonia, you will experience jagged peaks, unspoiled rivers, and nature that is wild, barren and beautiful.
7. Visit that “special place”
On the long journey, day in day out, over 5 months, you will inevitably come face to face with yourself and inevitably visit that ‘special place’ – one that men and women who have undertaken extraordinary challenges know only too well.
8. Follow in the footsteps of people who are larger than life
Cycling South America means you can follow in the footsteps of Che Guevara, Simon Bolivar and Butch Cassidy. Spin through the jungles of Columbia and Ecuador, cross the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, pedal for 1200km on the wild Carretera Austral and visit UNESCO World Heritage sites like Cuzco, Nazca, Chan Chan and more than a dozen others.
9. Experience the famed Southern winds or catch a glimpse of Hell
The sailors sailing the Southern Hemisphere have a saying; “below the 40th latitude there is no law; below the 50th there is no god” As the infamous Southern wind tries to push you off your bike, as you get closer to Ushuaia on the tip of South America, you will begin to understand Bruce Chatwin’s comment that “a journey is a fragment of Hell“.
10. A Magical and Mythical continent
There is no better way to experience the music, culture, the food, the people, the beaches, the wildlife, the nature of this amazing continent than by crossing it on a bicycle.