After the first bikepacking group experience in Patagonia we decide to return in Chile and to cross the Atacama Desert. This is a very special place for us, here in 2001 was born the idea of what we are today as a bike travel agency.
Chile with its geographic diversity, gives us a good opportunity to visit places like Los Andes, Atacama Desert, the altiplane’s lakesand also ancient cultures like Atacamaña, Aymaras or the Mapuches.
The Atacama Desert is the driest in the world, being protected from humidity on both sides by big mountain ranges, as the Andes along the interior and the Coastal Range towards the Pacific Ocean.
Hundreds of years ago, ancestor’s caravans went through the Atacama desert, looking for new lands to explore.
Now it’s our turn.
We will travel through this territory with our bikes to enjoy the beauty of its geologic creations and natural phenomenon. We will ride about 700 km starting at the sea level and gradually reaching 4.000 mt to get a final altitude of 4.500.
We will gain altitude progressively to allow ourselves a perfect acclimatization. We will camp in the middle of nowhere or in the small villages that we will find along the way.
Please read carefully.
For everything to go according to plan it is very important that a great team spirit is established among all participants. No one will be left alone or in situations that involve danger. The responsibility to solve the problems that arise during the trip is not restricted only to the guides, but we expect each participant to be involved in solving them. It will be an unforgettable trip and a great opportunity to work in a group and to learn to share, whether it be fun, effort, planning, organization, coordination, defeats and successes. And success is not just getting to our final destination, it is starting the journey and doing our best to get there together.
Before the departure date we will organize a virtual meeting where we will explain the trip and what kind of equipment our guides will take.
If for logistical reasons you cannot make it to the meeting, we will contact you via e-mail and you can ask us any questions you may have. A selection will be made among all the people who want to participate, in order to form as homogeneous a group as possible. If you are not selected for this edition, we will let you know when a group with the same characteristics is being formed. To help us make this selection we have prepared a form that you can find at the end of the trip’s technical sheet. Fill it out and send it to us before you register.
Refund and cancellation
Where, for whatever reason, one person is obliged to withdraw, the person must give written notice to Project Adventure Cycling.
Refund will be calculated with this penalty:
– Within 45 days from date of departure the penalty fare is 10% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 30 days from departure the penalty fare is 30% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 21 days from departure the penalty fare is 50% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 14 days from departure the penalty fare is 75 % of the total cost of the trip.
– After this date no refund will be given.
There will be no refunds for those who do not show up at the start of the trip or withdraw during the course of the tour.
There will be no refunds for those who are unable to start or complete the tour due to a lack or inaccuracy of personal travel documents (i.e Visa or Passport).
The traveller understands that some destinations pose more of a risk than other destinations due to weather conditions, socio-political situations and the geography of the region. The traveller acknowledges that factors such as, but not limited to, weather conditions, landslides, floods, flight cancellations or delays, strikes, labour issues, power failures, restrictive governmental laws or regulations, riots, insurrection, war or other (hereinafter called “Force Majeure Event”) are not the fault of Project Adventure Cycling and may hinder, delay or even prevent the Traveller’s ability to make or complete the trip. The traveller acknowledges that the Project Adventure Cycling shall not be liable to the traveller for any delay or cancellation of the trip due to a Force Majeure Event. The traveler is neither entitled to a refund nor any other payment for damages from the Project Adventure Cycling in the event that the trip is cancelled or delayed due to a Force Majeure Event. Please note that we are never responsible for any airfare ticket expenses.
In the event that you are unable to fly due to COVID 19 restrictions because of a declared state of emergency, PA Cycling, SL, guarantees:
RETURN OF QUOTE* (Except for expenses incurred up to the time of cancellation of the trip)
QUOTA FREEZE UNTIL NEXT DEPARTURE*.
FEE FREEZE UNTIL THE DEPARTURE OF ANY OTHER TRIP ORGANISED BY PA-CYCLING, SL*.
* The above conditions ARE NOT VALID in the case of a positive individual.
Included + Not Included
THE PRICE INCLUDE
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Arrival in Antofagasta, Chile must be within 2.00 pm. We will organize your hotel/airport transfer. Bike need to be set up. In the late afternoon we will have a briefing to introduce the staff and all the participants.
Day off in Antofagasta.
We´ll prepare our bicycles, we´ll go to the market to buy our meals for the next bike packing days and finally, we´ll put all together on the bikes and go to take a short ride over the city to make sure that everything is OK.
Day 03 – STAGE 01
Antofagasta-Desert – 90 km / 1.200 m
We will begin our adventure in Antofagasta. We´ll use roads to go deep into the desert.
Leaving behind the sea, we´ll see how everything changes as we move toward the mountains and the vast Atacama Desert.
Day 04 – STAGE 02
Desert – 60 km / 1.240 m
After the approaching day, now we´re going to enter into the Desert.
It´s an all-day-climbing stage where we´ll be gaining altitude and… solitude!
Day 05 – STAGE 03
Desert – 67 km / 1.600 m
We´ll spend all our journey pedaling through the Desert!
We´ll pass several mining companies, we´ll cross many different types of rocks/sands/colors and we´ll reach our recovery spot on an old salt mines of Imilac, where we´ll find plenty safe water.
Day 6 – STAGE 04
Desert – 65 km / 1.000 m
This is a hard stage: we will face some tough climbs, moreover under the sun. But the views are so incredibles that we´ll keep pushing the pedals until we reach the area close to Campamento Negrillar, where we´ll spend the night.
Day 07 – STAGE 05
Desert-Peine – 54 km / 300 m
At this stage, we are going to descent… but depending on the on the state of the sand, it will be a quick path or a challenging one.
Anyhow, we´ll end our day resting on the spectacular natural swimming pools from Peine. There, we´ll spend the night under a roof, we´ll sleep in proper beds and we´ll have a dinner at the table.
Day off at Peine
We´ll use this day to rest, have some good food, adjust our bicycles and buy some supplies for the next stages.
Day 09 – STAGE 06
Peine-Socaire – 69 km / 1.150 m
After our day off, we´ll visit the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile (3.000 km2) and also the world’s largest and purest active source of lithium… an impressive territory.
After the flat salar, we are going to climb up to Socaire, reaching 3,300 meters above the sea level, where we´ll see the ancient agricultural terraces and impressive views from that altitude. We´ll sleep in beds and have a good dinner in the village.
Day 10 – STAGE 07
Socaire-Meñique y Miscanti-Socaire – 60 km / 1.250 m
We´ll visit Las Lagunas Meñique and Miscanti, a brackish water lakes at 4,200 meters above the sea level.
The lakes are part of one of the seven sectors of Los Flamencos National Reserve.
An overwhelming landscape where we´ll notice the altitude in our muscles.
We´ll spend the night at the same hotel, so we´ll be able to climb all the way up to the lakes without our baggage over the bicycles.
Day 11 – STAGE 08
Socaire-Vulcan Lascar-Toconao – 80 km / 1.500 m
We´ll climb up to 4,400 meters above the sea level. It will be tough but we will not carry our baggage and the prize, the views and to experience the Lascar Volcano, will worth the effort.
First, we´ll face a 11 km long hard climb. We´ll take a “breath” in a depression and then we´ll continue climbing another 10 km, surrounded by a lunar landscape. After that, we´ll descent to Toconao, where we´ll sleep in good beds and… perhaps sharing some beers?
Day 12 – STAGE 09
Toconao-Valle de la Luna-San Pedro de Atacama – 75 km / 500 m
The first half of our day will be a descend. We´ll cross El Salar de Atacama once again and, before stepping into San Pedro de Atacama, our final destination, we´ll visit El Valle de la Luna: Carved by wind and water, it has an impressive range of color and texture, looking somewhat similar to the surface of the moon. We´ll pedal through the valley, visit La Cueva de la Sal and, finally, go to find our charming hotel where we´ll be able to rest, have a shower and prepare ourselves for the celebration dinner!
Day off in San Pedro de Atacama
Just relax and enjoy this special village and the mix of emotions that you´ll find at the end of this great adventure.
This night, we´ll enjoy the incredible and unique sky of San Pedro de Atacama.
Willy Mulonia, expert lonely traveler and cyclist for more than 30 years. He made several solo expeditions, but the most important is without a doubt the 28,640 bike trip from Ushuaia (Patagonia) to Prudhoe Bay (Alaska). He raced in the Crocodile Trophy (Australia) in ’98 and the famous IditaBike (Alaska) in 1999, 2000, 2018, 2019 & 2020 as well as many other mountain bike stage races all over the world. In 2003 he founded the bike travel agency Progetto Avventura, now renamed Project Adventure Cycling. In 2010, with the help of all the team of PA-Cycling he created the Mongolia Bike Challenge, one of the most important MTB stage race in the world. Today you can find him guiding most the tour offered by Project Adventure Cycling.