Headed for South America, but aren’t sure you want to go all the way to Ushuaia? Here are the three easiest South American countries to ride if you can’t dedicate months and months of saddle time there just yet.
Ecuador is hands down the best South American country to explore if you don’t have a lot of time. Relatively small and compact, Ecuador is incredibly diverse: white sand beaches, high Andes, volcanoes, jungle trails – the nature in this small Andean country is breathtaking. The riding here is incredible, too: most major paved roads are in a very good condition, and there’s no shortage of dirt tracks for the off-road aficionados.
Ecuador is also very safe and peaceful, and its capital Quito, a beautiful, modern city, is easy to navigate. Ecuador uses US dollars as its national currency and there are plenty of motorcycle rentals available.
Peru is a larger, wilder version of Ecuador: traveling here is also very safe and relatively easy. Peruvian Andes are probably the most stunning in all of South America, and the country offers a wide variety of off-road trails and tracks crisscrossing Mars-like canyons, high plains of the Andes, and southern deserts. You can ride your motorcycle almost all the way to Machu Picchu and the Nazca lines, or stick to the Panamerican highway to enjoy the scenic Pacific route.
Choose Lima or Arequipa as your base: both of these cities have a great infrastructure with multiple bike rental companies offering both self-guided ad guided motorcycle tours.
Chile is significantly more expensive than Ecuador or Peru, but if you love comfort, this country feels like South American Italy. Safe and peaceful, Chile has both vibrant, bustling city life in Santiago and Valparaiso and pristine, untouched nature in the Southern wilderness of Patagonia. Chile’s Carretera Austral is considered to be one of the most beautiful roads in South America.
Multiple motorcycle rental places are available in major cities.