The tour will take place during fall in the Southern Hemisphere in the driest region on Earth. Some of the weather stations in the Atacama Desert have never recorded any rainfall. This satellite image shows why: Humidity from the West gets trapped over the Pacific by the coastal cordillera mountains. Humidity form the East gets trapped by the Andes in the lower regions of Argentina and Bolivia.
Expected daytime temperatures range between 21°C/70°F and 2 6°C/79°F. Night time temperatures will be between 3°C/38°F and 9°C/48°F. At high altitude, such as in Bolivia, night time temperatures can be below freezing. We can reasonably expect not to encounter moist days, rain, heavy clouds, fog, or snow.
Average wind is specially low in the very north of the Atacama Desert. Around San Pedro de Atacama we may expect average wind speeds below 20km/h / 13mi/h. Along the Pacific coast wind speeds are expected to be higher.
We will have more than 12 hours of daylight per day. Sunrise will be around 7:30h and sunset around 19:50. UV exposure at high altitudes is extreme. Please always protect your eyes and skin adequately.
As this region is very dry, we recommend to bring skin moisturiser and lip balm with UV protection. Please always remain sufficiently hydrated during the tour.
Participants are urged to inquire with their physician about their ability to visit high altitudes between 3000 and 4250m (10,000-14,000ft) before coming on the tour. Cyclists should additionally inquire about their ability to do prolonged endurance sports at these altitudes.
In some cases, additional vaccinations may be required before the tour. Please consult your physician.
If we reach the maximum of 17 participants, the support team will consist of 6 people: Fangye and Dirk of Aliveness Cycling. Two Chilean, multi-lingual guides, one being an expert in astronomy and the other being an expert in geology. Two Chilean staff with experience in hospitality, gastronomy and cycling. Furthermore, at least one Chilean bus driver will join the tour.
The main language of the tour will be English. In addition, German is used as a secondary language. In the group, at least two Aliveness Cycling staff will be speaking German. Communication with locals is in Spanish and will be done by our Chilean staff.
Chile regularly ranks as the safest country to travel to in South America. Chile is categorized as “very high” in the Human Development Index by the United Nations which combines life expectancy, education and per capita income.
Bolivia, while being one of the poorer countries in South America, is a comparatively safe destination. Ranking around the fourth safest destination in South America after Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and EU can enter Chile with a valid passport for up to 90 days of stay.
For most EU countries, as well as Canada and Australia, citizens are not required a visa to visit Bolivia. US citizens are required a visa to enter Bolivia.
For further details please contact us or the respective embassies in your country.
Participants are required to have adequate travel and health insurance including the option for extended medical care in the destination countries and the option for medical transportation to your home country.
The flight is not included in the tour price. Please consider the following when booking your flights.
Arrival: Calama/Chile (CJC) on March 12, 2020 (Thursday)
Most probably you will need to fly via Santiago de Chile (SCL). There are several flights per day from Santiago to Calama and this flight takes about 2h. Please arrive in Calama as early as possible to have time to rest. Cyclists should have enough time for a test ride with their rental bike.
Departure: Iquique (IQQ) on November 16, 2019 (Saturday)
Most likely you will need to fly via Santiago de Chile (SCL). There are several flights per day and flight time is 2:15h. If necessary, you can also take a flight in the late evening of March 27.
Airport transfer in Calama and Iquique is included in the tour price—we pick you up and bring you to the airport.
The photo/video package gives access to the best photos taken by the staff during the tour as well as the videos of the tour that we will produce during the trip. In addition, we will produce a printed photo book which will be sent to those who have ordered this package. Price: 175€. Every few days we will show a video/slide show including the highlights of the last few days. These videos will be included in the package for purchase.
If you can stay longer than just two weeks, we highly recommend our Sea, Mountains & Wine Pre-Tour. We can also prepare customized tour extensions for you. For example: explore Santiago de Chile for three extra days before or after the tour. Additional costs apply. Please ask us in your booking request.
The needs of cyclists will be accounted for. If you have any special dietary requirement, please let us know well in advance and we can accommodate for your needs.
Support Cars in Chile:
We will have four support vehicles: Depending on the number of participants we will accompany the tour with one or two Sprinter-style buses. A cycling support car following the cyclists primarily used for mechanical support. A van/mini-bus dedicated to taking the explorers on their independent excursions. A media and management car to take photos and drone footage and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Support Cars in Bolivia:
From Ollägue (Chile) we will go on a five-day excursion into Bolivia. For this section of the tour the support cars will switch to 4by4 off-road Land Cruisers, each with an experienced off-road driver who knows the area well. Once we return to Chile, our original support cars will re-join us for the remainder of the tour. All bicycles, luggage and support staff will be joining us into Bolivia.
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