Ride To Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

December, 2023

Part Of The "Bad As You Want To Be" Series

Click On The Above Country Flags To Take You To That Country's Section   /   Click On Above Image For Interactive Google Map Below

Spotwalla Satellite Tracking Below

 

Now that I completed my ride to the Panama Canal and southern Panama it's time to start the planning for my ride to Tierra del Fuego!

I created this webpage to be sure I take care of everything that is need's to be completed before my ride to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Also as a future reference for others who may want to ride Tierra del Fuego in South America. There is a lot of detailed information below with my plans and country specific routes and country requirements.

Keep checking back here as I will be continuing to add more information about my ride to the Tierra del Fuego as it gets closer.

Getting my motorcycle to South America is the most expensive part of my ride. There are two options, one to fly the motorcycle to Colombia as air freight which is very expensive, $2,500, and the second option is to ship my motorcycle by ship which is about $1,000 cheaper each way. I am still looking at other shipping companies to see who offers the best price. I will update here once I find the best option.

My currently planned route is 7,900 miles and has me arriving in Colombia and ending in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This will take me through a lot of the larger cities in South America. I will not be riding in Venezuela as it is very dangerous. I am going to ride into Bolivia and go as far as La Paz, Boliva and then turn around and ride back to the Pan American Highway entering Chile at the

I will be registering with the US State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ). This program allows you to register your trip with the US State Department so that they can notify you of important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

I have a medical transport insurance called MedJet Assist that provides hospital to hospital transportation on an air ambulance or other means. I also have the motorcycle shipping option that will handle shipping my motorcycle back home if I am transported by MedJet. For this ride to South America I am upgrading my MedJet service to what I call MedJet Black. It is really called MedJet Horizon and with the upgrade to Horizon I get the following additional services (  travel security and crisis response services benefits powered by corporate security experts FocusPoint International ) that at least make my wife and me feel a little more secure knowing I will have some additional help if I need it.

The entry requirements for each country I will be riding through is a little different ???.

COVID Update: Up until recently ( July 2022 ) no COVID test is required if you are fully vaccinated.

This is the current planned cities along my route of course things can change depending on fuel range, border crossings and other types of incidents. An interactive Google map of my route is below is below.

  • Bogota, Colombia - Start Location - If I ship my motorcycle by air freight

  • Cartagena, Colombia -  Start Location - If I ship my motorcycle by ship

  • Cali, Colombia

  • Tulcan, Ecuador - Enter Ecuador

  • Quito, Ecuador

  • El Alamor, Peru - Enter Peru

  • Lima, Peru

  • Guaqui, Bolivia - Enter Bolivia

  • La Paz, Bolivia

  • Chungara, Chile - Enter Chile

  • Santiago, Chile

  • Neuquén, Argentina - Enter Argentina

  • Ushuaia, Argentina

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina - End


During my planning I have been trying to figure out what we will need to take with us on the ride and I have been building this list that is still growing. This is pretty much the same equipment that I had on my ride to the Panama Canal.


Bad As You Want To Be Riders - At The Panama Canal


The Motorcycle and Gear

On my ride to the Panama Canal I rode my 2019 BMW GSA and I think it was a great choice with its all around capabilities. Other than the flat on the rear tire in Guatemala the GSA performed great. I will be riding this same motorcycle to Tierra del Fuego from Colombia. The GSA should be able to handle all the different types of roads I will encounter.

Obviously I have done a few modifications that help me be a ride farther, longer and more comfortable. The changes I made make me be a better long distance endurance rider. Many of the modifications listed below will come in handy on this ride to Tierra del Fuego and give me a better chance of completing this ride successfully.

My motorcycle is well prepared for rides like this so I do not expect any issues related to my motorcycle. I performed a full maintenance including valve check and the drive shaft spline check prior to the ride.

Tires

I am going to be running a the best rear tire that gets the most mileage. I have even been looking at a car tire option that would give me a lot of miles. I normally get around 10,000 miles out of a motorcycle rear tire so hopefully I will pick a tire that can make the trip with out needing a tire change. On the front I normally get around 12,000+ miles so I should be good there.

 

Electronics

I have a lot of electronics on my motorcycle that help me keep informed and headed in the right direction. This includes multiple GPS, weather and weather radar, radar detector, night vision thermal camera along with other electronics. It takes a elaborate audio mixer system to get all of this information into my helmet as I do not want to take my eyes off the road when I can hear it in my helmet.

I have multiple Garmin GPS's  ( Garmin Zumo XT and RV 890 ) mounted on the handlebar and the cross bar behind the windscreen. My Garmin GPS's are loaded with 2023 Garmin South America Maps. You can also use free maps that are Garmin GPS compatible from Open Street Maps. Here is a link to the website. http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

I will running Google maps on my Verizon cell phone mounted on the left handlebar. I also have a backup phone that is a Google Fi phone with service in Central America. With Google maps and my two Garmin GPS's I should hopefully not get lost.

I have a satellite based tracking device ( SPOT 4 ) also mounted on the dash that will show my tracking location every 5 minutes ( see Spotwalla map link below ) and when I stop for border crossings, hotels or gas stops I will mark the locations with a SPOT OK message.

I am going to be using a GoPro camera to take video of as much of the ride as possible. I am hoping to get some good video of the border crossings and the roads and towns I will be passing through. I also want to try and remember to video the border crossings to share for future riders making the trip.

AUX Lights and AUX Tank

I have installed Sevina AUX lights from Clearwater Lights that will light up the night when ever I am riding through the night. They also add a lot of conspicuity to be seen in the day time.

I have a 3.4 gallon AUX tank built by Boyd Welding mounted over the passenger seat that will give me a total of 11.2 gallons of gas that should provide me a 400+ mile range. When I rode to the Panama Canal last year I had no problem finding gas and from what I have heard and read that should be the same in South America. I am identifing gas stations in all of the countries I will be riding through. There seems to be gas stations near most of the border crossings and I have used Google maps street view to check them out.

Other Gear

I have Aerostich tank panniers that are mounted on the left passenger foot peg that I have tools and supplies stored in. On the right passenger foot peg I have a 1 gallon jug for water mounted with a Garauld hydration system mount. The 1 gallon jug usually last me about 20 hours and keeps the water cold for about the same 20 hours. This is a nice way to carry things low on the motorcycle to keep the center of gravity low.

I have a large tank bag by SW-Motech that I can carry things I need to get to while riding including snacks to keep me going. I also store some electronics in a box in the SW-Motech tank bag. I have a pretty elaborate audio mixer setup in the tank bag to mix the audio from multiple devices like my Garmin RV890 GPS and my radar detector.

I am carrying two First Aid kits with different items in each to be sure I can take care of pretty much any thing that comes up.

Riding Gear

The first thing I put on before anything else is my LDComfort underwear / base layer as this is what keeps me comfortable in all types of weather from damn hot to freezing cold. LDComfort really does a great job of transferring the moisture away and keeping me dry. I have been wearing LDComfort gear for over 15 years and I can't find anything better.

I wear Aerostich Darien Hi-Viz jacket and Aerostich AD1 pants that will keep me safe and dry throughout the ride. This setup works well and is comfortable enough that I may not take them off for 3 days at a time. I also wear TCX Gore-Tex boots that keep my feet dry and well protected.


Tierra del Fuego Ride Planning

I started planning this ride to go along with my ride to Panama years ago. I have always wanted to ride from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego but because of work I have had to break this ride up into multiple rides. I rode to northern Alaska in the summer of 2012, Panama in April of 2022 and now I want to complete the ride by riding to Tierra del Fuego.

I have a lot of information that I have used to help make this ride successful. If you are interested in riding in South America to Tierra del Fuego the information below should be helpful.

Now that I have ridden to Panama and nothing happened it was easier to convince the wife that riding to Tierra del Fuego would be safe.

It did take some convincing but I was able to prove that I could do this ride safely. Before you decide to head south to Tierra del Fuego you should review the US State Department Travel Advisories, here is the link. Travel Advisories (state.gov)

List Of REQUIRED Items

  • Passport - Valid for more than 6 months minimum

  • COVID Vaccine Card

  • Drivers License

  • Vehicle Registration

  • Vehicle Title - Some Countries

  • Fire Extinguisher - Some Countries

  • Reflective Safety Road Hazard Triangle - Some Countries

  • Local Currency

All of the countries have some fees you have to pay to enter the country. They are not expensive but they do add up. Some are less but I think it is better to be prepared so I can shorten the time it takes to complete a border crossing.

Ecuador ‘s requirements for visas and border crossings are among the easiest in South America. Generally, the whole continent is relatively easy to travel in:  for US citizens, the only two countries that require visa fees are Bolivia and Brazil. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina are visa-free for 90 to 180 days depending on the country

I am going to arrange to have local currency for each country so I can pay the fees at border crossings. Many banks will do this for you if you give them about a weeks notice. Also there are some online companies that sell foreign currency and mail it to your house.

I am going to try and NOT use any border helpers as I have heard that it only makes it harder for travelers who are following you. Also you never know what will happen to your paper work.

Here are the current border crossings I plan to use and the times they are open. I need to plan my ride to arrive at each border when they are open. I do not want to be hanging around for long periods of time while waiting for the border to open.

From To Border Name Times
Colombia Ecuador Tulcán, Ecuador 24 Hours
Ecuador Peru El Alamor, Peru 24 Hours
Peru Bolivia Guaqui, Bolivia 24 Hours
Bolivia Chile    
Chile Argentina    
       

Below is some specific information I found for each country. Each country has there own specific requirements and they may change at any time.


Colombia

What you need at a minimum to ride in Colombia.

COVID-19 Requirements: If fully Vaccinated no test required.

Border Operations - Banjército Allende/Piedras Negras: 24 Hours

Google Map Link To Colombia Customs:

Keep TVIP / TIP Open: Yes

  • Passport - Valid For More Than 6 Months Minimum

  • COVID Vaccine Card

  • Drivers License

  • Vehicle Registration

  • Vehicle Title In Your Name

  • Vehicle Insurance

 

Photo Of  Colombia Customs - Google Street View

I am not sure yet if I am shipping my motorcycle by air or ship so I am not sure where I will be entering Colombia. Either way I will be using an agent to handle all of the customs and immigration requirements including obtaining vehicle insurance ( SOAT ) for my motorcycle.

The route through Colombia is still not known. It is based on where I enter the country, Cartagena by ship or Bogota by air freight.

Roads In Colombia On My Route

  • HWY ???

Colombia Border Crossing Fees

  • Entry Fee = $0

  • Vehicle Insurance = $30 - For 30 Days

  • Vehicle Import Fee = ???

  • Exit Fee = $0


Ecuador

What you need at a minimum to cross into Ecuador.

COVID-19 Requirements: If fully Vaccinated no test required. Updated 3-18-2022.

Border Operations - 24 Hours

Google Map Link To Ecuador Customs: Rumichaca International Bridge

Keep TVIP / TIP Open: Yes

  • Passport - Valid For More Than 6 Months Minimum

  • COVID Vaccine Card

  • Drivers License

  • Vehicle Registration

  • Vehicle Title In Your Name

  • Vehicle Insurance - Obtained At The Border

Ecuador ‘s requirements for visas and border crossings are among the easiest in South America. Ecuador has a fairly hassle-free entry system, and even the smaller border posts are usually fast and efficient. Currently there are no costs associated with crossing this border. Exiting Ecuador is pretty easy as entering: get your exit stamp, then go to the aduana office and hand your TVIP in. Normally, the whole process takes about 15 minutes. Ecuador does not require you to buy local ( SOAT ) insurance. Also Ecuador does not require you to have any vaccinations to enter the country except for COVID vaccine.

Drive across the bridge from Colombia and take a right. Crossed the main highway and park on the left side of the road near the rock/dirt wall. Go to Migracion which is now on the right inside portion of the building. Once you enter turn to the right and get in the line on the right side of the lobby.

I have read and heard that Ecuador is one of the most peaceful and safest countries in South America, but do be careful with your valuables in bigger cities just as you would anywhere else.

 

Photo Of The Ecuador Border Crossing - Google Street View

Roads In Ecuador On My Route

  • HWY ??? 

Ecuador Border Crossing Fees

  • Entry = $0

  • Vehicle Import Fee - $0

  • Vehicle Insurance = $0 - Not Required In Ecuador

  • Exit Fee = $0


Peru

What you need at a minimum to cross into Peru.

COVID-19 Requirements: If fully Vaccinated no test required. Updated 3-18-2022.

Border Operations - 24 Hours

Google Map Link To Ecuador Customs: Puente Internacional Perú - Ecuador

  • Passport - Valid For More Than 6 Months Minimum

  • COVID Vaccine Card

  • Drivers License

  • Vehicle Registration

  • Vehicle Title In Your Name

  • Vehicle Insurance - Obtained At The Border

 

I will be entering Peru at the El Alamor, Peru border crossing.

 

 

Photo Of The Peru Border Crossing - Google Street View

 

Roads In Peru On My Route

HWY ??? 

  • Entry Fee = $0

  • Vehicle Insurance = $20

  • Vehicle Import Fee = $0

  • Exit Fee = $0


Bolivia

What you need at a minimum to cross into Bolivia.

COVID-19 Requirements: If fully Vaccinated no test required.

Border Operations - Bolivia - Chile Border: ???

Google Map Link To Bolivia Customs: Controles integrados BOLIVIA -PERU

Keep TVIP / TIP Open: Yes

  • Passport - Valid For More Than 3 Months Minimum

  • COVID Vaccine Card

  • Drivers License

  • Vehicle Registration

  • Vehicle Title In Your Name

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Two Reflective Safety Road Hazard Triangles

  • A Major Credit Card In Your Name

  • Tourist Card - Obtained At The Border

  • Vehicle Insurance - Obtained At The Border

I will be entering Bolivia at the Guaqui, Bolivia Controles integrados BOLIVIA -PERU border crossing.

Photo Of The Bolivia Border Crossing - Google Street View

 

The route through Bolivia is ??? mile which should be around ???

Roads In Bolivia On My Route

  • HWY ???

Bolivia Border Crossing Fees

  • Entry Fee = ???

  • Vehicle Import Fee - ???

  • Vehicle Insurance = ???

  • Vehicle Fumigation = ???

  • Exit Fee = ???


Chile

What you need at a minimum to cross into Chile.

COVID Vaccine Card

COVID-19 Requirements: If fully Vaccinated no test required.

Border Operations -

Google Map Link To

Photo Of The Chile Border Crossing - Google Street View

  • Entry Fee = ???

  • Vehicle Insurance = ???

  • Vehicle Import Fee = ???

  • Vehicle Fumigation = N/A

  • Exit Fee = N/A


Argentina

What you need at a minimum to cross into Argentian.

COVID-19 Requirements: If fully Vaccinated no test required.

Border Operations - ???

Google Map Link To Argentina Customs:

Keep TVIP / TIP Open: ???

  • Passport - Valid For More Than 6 Months Minimum

  • COVID Vaccine Card

  • Drivers License

  • Vehicle Registration

  • Vehicle Title In Your Name

  • A Major Credit Card In Your Name

  • Tourist Card - Obtained At The Border

  • Vehicle Insurance - Obtained At The Border

Important Argentina Land Entry Process - Currently Required

 

 

Photo Of The Argentina Border Crossing - Google Street View

I hear ???.

My route through Argentina is ??? miles .

Roads In Argentian On My Route

  • HWY ???

Argentina Border Crossing Fees

  • Entry Fee = ???

  • Vehicle Insurance = ???

  • Vehicle Import Fee = ???

  • Vehicle Fumigation = N/A

  • Exit Fee = N/A


 

Photo Of The Argentina Border Crossing - Google Street View

Right now my idea is ???

Roads In Argentina On My Route

  • HWY ???

Argentina Border Crossing Fees

  • Entry Fee = ???

  • Vehicle Insurance = ???

  • Vehicle Fumigation = ???

  • Exit Fee = ???

 

 

Interactive Maps Below

Below are three interactive maps Google route map, Spotwalla tracking map and weather map.

Route Map

The Google route map and the Spotwalla tracking map allow you to zoom in and out using the + and - buttons in the bottom right of the maps and you can drag the map with a mouse. You can also zoom in and out of the maps with a mouse that has a wheel. They show my planned route ( Google Map ) and below that map is a map of my current location with the use of a SPOT satellite tracking device and Spotwalla.com ( thanks Jason Jonas ).

Weather Map

Here is a link to my ride to the Tierra del Fuego, Argentina weather webpage with weather for 30 cities along the route and 15 different weather maps. This is a great way for me to see what weather lies ahead on my route. There is a nice interactive weather view at the bottom of the weather webpage.

Weather Webpage Link:  


Spotwalla Tracking

Here is my direct Spotwalla tracking links that will open in a new browser window. Also below is my embedded Spotwalla tracking map. I have two SPOT satellite tracking devices and I transmit my location every 5 minutes with both SPOT devices.

Spotwalla Tracking Link:


Interactive Route Map - Initial Route Plan

Greg Rice's Current Location From Spotwalla.Com

Interactive South America Weather Map

You can check out my website for more information. http://www.gregrice.com/

Copyright Greg Rice 2022