~3mths of South America starting July '12

Discussion in 'Americas' started by dsp1207, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. dsp1207

    dsp1207 n00b

    Apr 1, 2012
    Hey guys!

    This is supposed to be an introduction and questions thread for my 2012 July-Sept trip through South America. I'll mark my questions/issues orange.

    About me:
    • 23 years old
    • male
    • from Switzerland
    • English: Fluent
    • Spanish: Enough to get by, been to Cuba and Spain for a few months learning the language.
    • Portuguese: Not really, but with my Spanish and some months of self studies that should be okay too.
    • Motorcycling: 3 years of street riding experience on a Kawa Z750, done a few hours of offroad dirtbiking, never really went on big tours though
    • Motorcycle Maintenance: I understand the basics of how everything works and I think I could fix simple things. I've got a 76 Honda CB250, which I'm working on at the moment, so I'm still learning.
    • Survival: Never really went camping or hunting, so no real skills here. I'm quite good at improvising and keeping my calm though :)

    The situation:
    I'm a student and I'll get my BA this June and I'll leave it at that. So before I start working and everything, I want to do a big trip around South America, which should take about 3 months give and take. I don't want to do too much small trails, just mainly see the countries, meet people, experience the cities and the cultures.

    The plan:
    Basically I wanted to buy an affordable bike somewhere in South America, I don't really have any other choice. I was planning to start off in Buenos Aires and go clockwise from there, with the main checkpoints being:

    1. Santiago, Chile (Buy bike)
    2. Valparaiso, Chile
    3. Paso San Francisco into Argentina
    4. Cafayete, Argentina
    5. Salta, Argentina
    6. San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina
    7. Paso Jama back to Chile
    8. San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
    9. Ollag├╝e, Chile -> Avaroa, Bolivia
    10. Uyuni, Bolivia (Salt lakes, Train cemetery)
    11. La Paz, Bolivia
    12. Cross the Strait of Tiquina by boat
    13. Copacabana, Bolivia (Lake Titicaca)
    14. Bolivia -> Yunguyo, Peru
    15. Lima, Peru (to: 3 days)
    16. Cuzco, Peru (Machu Picchu)
    17. Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
    18. Asuncion, Paraguay
    19. Foz do Iguazu, Brazil (Iguazu Falls)
    20. Posadas, Argentina
    21. Colon, Argentina -> Paysandu, Uruguay
    22. Montevideo, Uruguay
    23. Puente Libertador San Martin to Argentina
    24. Buenos Aires, Argentina

    The bike:
    I'll be buying a bike in Santiago, since it's the easiest as far as I know. (Following this guide on HU) I'll probably buy a used bike off chileautos.cl; Here the question is, what kind of bike?
    I was thinking of buying an older bike with minimal electronics and a kick-starter, like a small Honda twin from around 1975-1985, because I'm in love with those bikes (Like this one), is that a good idea? Or should I go for a newer kind of dirtbike like a Honda XR250?

    Here's the list of equipment I'm planning to bring, this list is incomplete as of 2/4/12, I'll update it with whatever equipment I can find from other threads, but I'm still happy about any input on what I really shouldn't forget

    • GPS Nav (Try to keep it below 300$)
    • Compass & Maps
    • Tools (Standard Motorcycle Toolset?)
    • Compressor (Too heavy?)
    • Knife
    • Solar Charger
    • Camelbag
    • Backpack
    • Sidebags for bike
    • Bike lock
    • Spanish Dictionary (Portuguese one too if going to Brazil)
    • GOOD Sleeping bag & Tent (Remember, it's winter down there)

    Will the Andes border crossings between Chile-Argentina and Chile-Bolivia be a problem for it being winter down there, or is it too far north for snow storms?

    Will 3 months be enough to do this trip comfortably?

    What bike should I get? As I asked above, is it recommended to buy a bike older than a 90s?
  2. dsp1207

    dsp1207 n00b

    Apr 1, 2012
    Okay, I'm kind of stuck here. I've tried to use the Search function but it keeps giving me timeout errors, so I'll just ask here: Does anybody have experience with buying a locally registered bike in South America and taking it across borders? Where's the easiest place to buy and transfer ownership?
  3. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Jun 20, 2007
    Although they don't sell bikes, the people at Dakar Motos, in Buenos Aires, are very helpful and knowledgeable. www.dakarmotos.com