tour companies

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Rider 101, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

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    I am looking to do a ride in Peru / Bolivia 2014 and am looking for a reputable tour operator with decent hire bikes. The trip is still in the planning stage so any advice ( time of year, equipment to take from Oz etc ) would be more than appreciated. I don't do hot weather and prefer our cooler months here rather than the Aussie summer at the beach so I can discount a Dakar follow up tour. Pity they don't run the event in spring or autumn.
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  2. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Yes, it's summer during the Dakar, but it's never very warm in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia, especially over 8,000 feet. Bring your warmest waterproof clothing.

    There are several decent tour operators but I haven't ridden with them and I don't personally know anyone who has so I can't offer legit advice. I think the guy from Compass Expeditions used to post here but I haven't heard from him for a while.
    #2
  3. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Are you looking to book a tour or bikes? I did a tour with Compass Expeditions and was VERY happy with the experience. For me, it was the right mix of adventure and comfort. Here is a link to the ride report: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=756161

    They also have a contact who rents bikes in SA so even if you wanted just to rent one, it wouldn't hurt to contact them.
    #3
  4. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

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    Thanks for the link. I don't really know too much about SA but the photos look awesome. I will have to do a little research. I know what you mean about using a tour company. I used to sweep ride for an off-road company. They are great if time is limited or you want to ride for riding's sake. I think Compass were at the Syney Motorcycle show 18 months ago. If they are there this year I will definitley be talking to them. In the mean time I shall continue exploring the back roads of the Great Dividng Range.

    #4
  5. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Rider 101,

    I used Peru Moto Tours and was extremely pleased with their bikes and professionalism. The owner, Alex Luna, was a professional MX racer and genuine good guy. Here is a link to their website:

    www.perumototours.com

    They are located in Cusco, which is a quick cheap flight from Lima.

    The Sacred Valley Peru ride report is in my signature line.


    Cheers,
    #5
  6. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

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    Poolman,
    thanks for the link. SA is looking more and more spectacular. It makes all the long hours of overtime a little more meaningful if I can get to ride through such exotic places. I need to sit and make a list of what i would like to visit ( probably 6 months worth of travel! )
    #6
  7. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Plus One on a one man, local operation. Lots of the BIG outfits contract out to "agents" , ya never know how it will go. A local guy is more invested but sometimes the bikes might not be the best.

    That said, get onto Horizon's Unlimited web site. Many tour companies advertise there. Some good, some not. But its a start and may allow some comparison of services/prices. Most tour outfits will stay only in one country, but there are exceptions.

    It would be cool to be able to tour Peru' and Bolivia. Both worth it. Huge countries, so much territory to cover. I spent 3 months in Peru' and saw only a tiny fraction. (same with Bolivia) try to learn a few words of Spanish so as not to embarrass yourself! :D
    (I had to bail two Aussies out of jail in La Paz, Bol for fighting ... all due to a miscommunication! A great fight though, until the guys with the machine guys turned up! :eek1 )

    Have fun!
    #7
  8. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

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    Thanks to all for hints. There is an inmate on the Oz side looking to do a trip in October 2014. I think we should be able to hook up. Again any advice re tours, bike hire etc etc is greatly appreciated. 2014 is a long way out but it will help with the planning and heighten the anticipation :D
    #8
  9. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    I'm the inmate on the Oz side and any help greatly appreciated. I think Oct 2014 will be here before I know it :lol3 much reading to do. Gavin
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  10. Andean Rider

    Andean Rider n00b

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    Hi guys, I actually run a company called www.motorcycletoursbolivia.com and we are doing a special 7 day tour taking in the Dakar rally here in the Salar de Uyuni. We are a small freindly company with great bikes and a Land cruiser for support.Check out our web page and if interested email me.
    #10
  11. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

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    Ambitions completely outstrip abilities!! I watch Dakar every year and wish I was young and fit enough to even think of doing it. Can you give me more details? route average temperature etc etc.
    #11
  12. charapa

    charapa Been here awhile

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    Rider, Don't write yourself off. Chasing the Dakar is rigorous as far as the hours/day you have to put in, but your riding skills don't have to be in top shape.

    Up front I'll tell you that I own a moto adventure tour company out of Peru, and having lived in Peru for 30 years and ridden Peru/Bolivia/Argentina/Brazil, I can help you with most anything you need to know, whether you choose to use me or not... that's not why I do it....

    (1) Do you know that you cannot (under current laws, I'm hoping that the Dakar in Bolivia this year will change that) take a motorcycle across the Peru/Bolivia border? You would have to use Chile as a crossing place between the two countries unless that changes..

    (2) Most moto rental places don't let their bikes out of the country. PeruMotors does not, but Alex / PeruMotoTours does. I do, but not as a rental. I do custom tours according to what the client wants and then guide them. That doesn't mean expensive, with my contacts and my moto rates I can organize and guide a trip for cheaper than you can do it yourself!

    (3) How long a trip are you thinking of? Past a certain amount of time, you are better to purchase a moto... Most places charge $80 to $100 a day, whether you use it that day or not. They keep almost new bikes because they don't want to have to go pick them up long distance if something breaks. My bikes are a little older, but I keep them in top shape and I accompany them and can fix anything on the spot.

    (4) The temperature does not change much in South America through the year, it changes through the day. In the Andes, day and night is about 40 degrees F difference. The big thing is the dry vs rainy season. For Peru/Bolivia, May to October is the best, always 70 degrees F , dry and sunny. December to April can be done, but you can't travel as far in a day, nor count on traveling every day!

    (5) Not having someone fluent in Spanish can make or break your trip. Having grown up in Peru, I speak some Quechua/Aymara besides being fluent in Spanish and it makes a HUGE difference for everything from the cost of lodging to getting past police!

    Anything else you would like to know about a moto trip in Peru and Bolivia, just write me. I am doing a 2-week Peru/Bolivia low budget trip in early December, just to stage my motorcycles in Santa Cruz, Bolivia to pick up the Dakar down there. Maybe you and a buddy should accompany me on that one to pre-check a larger trip you want to do! http://www.aroundtheblockmotoadventures.com/moto-tours/15-day-peru-bolivia-2013/

    Cheers! Toby
    #12
  13. charapa

    charapa Been here awhile

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    Grifter,

    You are so right. These international companies are not on the ground with their own motorcycles! It makes a HUGE difference! :deal
    #13
  14. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

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    Toby,
    thanks for the info and the link.
    Some years ago I was involved in a tour operation hear in Australia as a sweep rider. The overwhelming comment at the end of a ride ( usually 2 days on enduro bikes ) was how much fun riding was when you don't have to consider where you are going, where is lunch, etc. We operated in our local forests and customer satisfaction was very high judging by the number of repeat clients. Your web site looks and feels professional. Having local knowledge and language is a huge plus for any prospective client.
    I will certainly be poring over google maps and sifting through as much travel information as I can. I am looking at 12 to 15 days of moderate riding ( not snotty gnarly single track! )

    As for the Dakar I had pictured 40 degree celcius days under a blistering sun. I had presumed this as it is run in high summer and where I live the bike is parked until the weather cools off.

    I will put your website in my favourites and with some good management be able to look at a trip in 2014 whether it is a Dakar or one of your others.
    #14
  15. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Hey Toby, I hope your operation is a big success! Kudos to you for jumping in and providing a good alternative to the BIG companies!
    I'll be happy to recommend your tours to anyone.
    Best!
    #15
  16. compassexpeditions

    compassexpeditions Been here awhile

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    Hi Rider,

    I hope you don't mind us popping on here to say hello. As mentioned earlier in the thread we run some pretty amazing trips through Bolivia and Peru as well as further afield such as the trip that runs from coast to coast which is a bit of a longer journey. We'll be heading to the Sydney bike show so definately come up and say hi and we can answer any questions that you have. One of our staff lived and worked in Peru for several years based mainly in Cuzco and explored most of the country and a huge portion of that was on motorcycles rented in the area.

    Its an incredible place to ride and the scenery is truly mind-blowing. The main thing is having something reliable and, depending on what you have planned, it certainly pays to be able to speak the language if you're heading away from the main centres. Our trips are one way trips so they do things like Lima to La Paz or the reverse, Atacama Desert (Chile) to Machu Picchu (Peru) and the coast to coast from Peru to Brazil and back. Our website shows the various trips we offer there and i'm sure there will be one there that may suit you. Groups are small in size but fully supported so that you can just focus on the riding and meeting others with similar interests. The majority of our trips are inter-country which gets rid of the hassle of crossing borders for you because it is taken care of by us and as others have said on the thread, arranging to take rental bikes across borders can be a headache.

    The trips are relaxed so you ride at your own pace, there is always a support vehicle with you which means that you can ride just with the top box, a day pack and the rest of your luggage will be carried in the support vehicle. It makes the riding easier as there is less weight to throw around and means you can just enjoy the experience of being there. Our bikes are 2012/2013 BMW's (at this stage - they get updated every year) and they are all owned by us for that part of the world, well maintained and the support vehicle carries a wealth of spares in case they are needed.

    So....depending on what you have in mind one of our trips could be perfect for you and we'd love to chat to you further about them. We are really proud of what we have achieved and really proud of our trips. We enjoy helping clients see parts of the world they have never been and the truth is the trips work. There is a real bonding experience with the others at the same time as being able to explore as you wish in the towns, etc. It can be like riding with a group of mates and if you have mates that want to ride the same trip as you then even better. You can relax and ride with you mates on good, reliable bikes and we take care of the rest.

    Anyway, feel free to contact us with any questions or further info or visit our website and we'll be happy to help...
    #16
  17. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

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    Hi People from Compass,
    wild horses ( or wild bikes is better ) won't keep me away from Sydney this year. I will see you there on the Saturday.
    #17
  18. compassexpeditions

    compassexpeditions Been here awhile

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    Hi Rider 101...that sounds great we'll see you there..
    #18
  19. wildstar2014

    wildstar2014 n00b

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    [FONT=&quot]Back from a self guided tour (2 weeks in September 2014 with two rental bikes from Peru Motors, Arequipa) this evaluation should help people who intend to make similar trips with Peru Motors. We booked two bikes and accommodation in one package.
    Accommodation was ok, mostly mid class hotels. Evaluation of the Motorbikes (BMW, new model GS 650F) is difficult: Beginning of the tour: During hand over, one of the bikes could no be started, clutch lever was broken, Lars changed the bike (1st time). End of day one: battery low, electric problems, just managed to reach the hotel. Lars delivered spare parts, repaired the bike by myself. Replacement of bike was not possible due rock slide blocked the main road, 2nd day bike stopped due broken alterator in the desert 100km from Nasca. We managed to reach the hotel in Nasca after 4 hours, broken bike was parked in the desert. Spend half day with organization. 4th day Lars organized a the replacement of the broken bike. 6th day the replaced bike sputtered in high altitude and motor stopps several times, lost confidence. 8th day: another bike was offered. With this 3rd bike I end the tour. Lars had no ideas what are the reason for this special problem. I found in the internet that other guys had still the same problem with this type of BMW (high altitude, long distances, over heating of petrol pump?). We are very frustrated about Peru Motors due low maintenance and low knowledge about their own bikes. Lars offered no compensation: I can not recommend Peru Motors at all. FYI: have done a lot of self guided tours with rental bikes all over the world but never had this bad experience. 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    #19
  20. Woody2627

    Woody2627 Grey Wobbler

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,775
    Location:
    Jindabyne
    I've done 3 trips with Compass, but no more. Not allowed. Can't recommend them highly enough. I see this is an old thread and you might have already done a trip, but the Andean Discovery is a cracker. And i don't know what that bloke is talking about taking bikes across the Peru Bolivia border, Compass are doing it all the time.
    #20