The plane tickets are booked, the freight forwarder is on task, and the fixer is standing by. A South American adventure awaits. And we’re excited.

But first there’s planning to do. The fun stage of buying all the items needed to tour another part of the globe for nearly 6 months, is coming to an end, and it’s time to figure out where we’re actually headed.

As my girlfriend is riding pillion she’s left the route planning up to me. We mostly want to see the same things anyway, so there’s no issues there.

We’ve always known that we’d be starting (and potentially finishing) in Buenos Aires. The rest of the journey was mostly up for grabs until now.

Having read every South American ride report I could get my hands on, I plotted a course to take in the following sights:

Iguazu Falls, Salar de Uyuni, Yungas Road, Lake Titicaca, Cusco and Machu Piccu, Cocola Canyon, the Pacific Ocean, Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve, Parque Nacional Talampaya, Carretera Austral, Cuevas de Mármol (marble caves), Perito Moreno Glacier, penguins, The Dakar.

Along with an approximate route, I included a variety of POIs gathered during my note taking when reading ride reports.

You can view the route here – using Nokia Maps (Now called here) as the base.

south america map

Thanks to Yet Another Traveller for some of the POIs and technical details in setting up the route overlays.

The route

Flying in to Buenos Aries the route sees us head north to Iguazu, then east to Salta before crossing into Bolivia. The Salar is at the top of list when it comes to Bolivian sightseeing, but we’re also hoping to visit Coroico via the North Yungas Road.

Since Machu Piccu is a must see attraction, we’re aiming to get to Peru before the worst of the rains arrive (fingers crossed). Then it’s all down hill. Literally, all the way to the Chilean coast, before heading back on to the Altiplano.

The Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve of Andean Fauna in south west Bolivia needs some further planning in terms of acclimatisation and logistics.

Crossing back into Argentina should save us the bored of Ruta 5 to Sanitago whilst also taking in some fabulous mountain passes. Once back in Chile, there’s a long ride to Peurto Montt to start the famous Carretera Austral.

Whilst most Overlanders continue south to Tierra del Fuego, I think the fabulous Perito Moreno glacier will be south enough.

My research has turned up very little about the ride back north, most probably along Ruta 3, but it would be great to see the penguins of Punta Tombo or Camerones.

That probably takes us well into January, which coincides with the end of the Dakar in Rossairo, but there’s no rush. As such Uruguay could be a real option for some additional exploration.

If you have any suggestions or have ridden any of this route, share your experiences below. Even better if you’ve blogged about it (so I can get some more POIs).