October 19 to November 2, 2024

 

BIKEPACKING ATACAMA

After our first bikepacking group experience in Patagonia, we’ve decided to return to Chile and cycle across the Atacama Desert. After all, the Atacama is a very special place for us—it was here in 2001 that the idea was first born to start our own bike travel agency!

Chile, with its geographic diversity, gives us a good opportunity to visit places like the Andes, the Atacama Desert and the Altiplano lakes while retracing the roots of ancient cultures such as the Atacamaña, Aymaras and Mapuches people.

The Atacama Desert is the driest in the world, protected from humidity on both sides by high mountain ranges with the Andes along the interior and the Coastal Range towards the Pacific Ocean.

Hundreds of years ago, caravans crossed the Atacama Desert, looking for new lands to explore—Now it’s our turn.

We will travel through this remote territory by bike to enjoy the beauty of its geological formations and natural phenomena. We will ride 700 km, starting at sea level and gradually climbing to reach 4,000 meters—our final altitude will be over 4,500 meters!

We will gain altitude progressively to allow ourselves safe, steady acclimatization, camping in the middle of nowhere and in the small villages that we will find along the way.

Of course, for this expedition to be truly successful, it is absolutely necessary to create a strong team spirit amongst all our travelers. No rider will ever be left alone or find themselves individually facing difficulty for any reason. It will be the responsibility not only of the guides, but also of the individual participants to help problem solve throughout the duration of the trip, working together to make the most of our adventure as a team. It will be an unforgettable cycling experience and journey, but also a unique opportunity to educate ourselves on group consciousness and the ability to share—be it joy, fatigue, planning, organization, coordination, defeat or success.

And in this case, success will not be defined as arriving at the final destination but setting off and doing our best to arrive all 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 rider list will be made from 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 notify you when a group with similar characteristics is being formed. To help us make this selection, we have prepared a short questionnaire, located at the end of this 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 30% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 30 days from departure the penalty fare is 40% 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.

THE PRICE INCLUDE

  • PA Cycling bike guides depending on the number of participants
  • 2 nights stay in Hotel in Antofagasta
  • Stay in hotel in Peine one night with breakfast and dinner included
  • Stay in Socaire two nights with breakfast and dinner included
  • Luggage transport for the Queen stage
  • One night in Toconao
  • Stay in hotel in San Pedro de Atacama the last night
  • Entrance to the Valle de la Luna
  • Transfer from Antofagasta airport (as in the program)
  • Transfer to Calama airport (as in the program)
  • Travel insurance coverage

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Airfare and baggage fees, bike equipment
  • Lunch and dinner at Antofagasta and San Pedro de Atacama
  • LunchES at Peine and Socaire
  • Dinner in Toconao
  • Board and lodging during cycling days except Peine, Socaire and Toconao
  • Additional costs in case of logistic modification (transfers and extra nights’, etc.)
  • Anything not included in “The price includes” section
  • Dates
    October 19 to November 2, 2024
  • Duration
    16 days
  • Stages
    9
  • Length
    700 km
  • Elevation
    10.000 m
  • Difficulty
    Hard
  • Price
    2.450 €

THE TRACK

THE STAGES

20 October

Arrival in Antofagasta, Chile must be before 2.00 pm. We will organize your hotel/airport transfer. Bikes need to be set up. In the late afternoon, we will have a briefing to get to know the staff and all participants.

21 October
Day off in Antofagasta.

Finalizing trip prep, we´ll go to the market to buy our meals for bikepacking, and after everyone’s bikes are assembled, we’ll go for a short shake-down ride around the city to make sure that everything is working properly.

22 October – STAGE 01
Antofagasta-Desert – 90 km / 1.200 m

We will begin our adventure in Antofagasta, following roads to cycle deep into the desert.

Leaving behind the sea, we´ll see how everything changes as we ride toward the mountains and the vast Atacama Desert.

23 October – STAGE 02
Desert-Desert – 51 km / 1.000 m

After the previous day’s approach, we´re now going to truly enter the desert. It´s an all-day climbing stage where we´ll be gaining altitude and… solitude!

24 October – STAGE 03
Desert-Salar de Imilac – 67 km / 1.400 m

We will spend the whole stage cycling through the desert! We will pass different mining companies, cross different types of rocks / sands /colours. In the background you will see the wagons that slowly carry the copper panels to the  commercial port of Antofagasta. 4×4 vehicles with armed guards on board, monitor from afar to prevent malicious assaults.

It seems to be in the Far West where the cowboys escorted the stagecoach. After a break at the entrance of the Mina Escondida, we will reach the much loved Salar de Imilac with its springs in the end. Yes, fresh water. And where PA-Cycling, in the heart of Willy Mulonia, took shape way back in June 2001.

25 October – STAGE 04
Salar de Imilac – Campamento Negrillar – 65 km / 910 m

This is a hard stage: we will face some tough climbs, made harder by the relentless sun. But the views are so incredible, it will all be worth it as we keep pushing our pedals until we reach an area close to Campamento Negrillar, where we´ll spend the night.

26 October – STAGE 05
Campamento Negrillar – Peine – 54 km / 300 m

Finally, we are going to descend… but depending on the state of the sand, it will be either a quick path or a challenging one.

Either way, we´ll end our day resting in the spectacular natural swimming pools of Peine. There, we´ll spend the night under a roof, sleeping in proper beds and having dinner at an actual table.

27 October – STAGE 06
Peine – Socaire – 69 km / 1.010 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 Salar Flats, we’ll cycle up to Socaire, reaching 3,300 meters above sea level, where we´ll see ancient agricultural terraces and impressive views from that altitude. That evening, we´ll sleep in beds and have a good dinner in the village.

28 October – STAGE 07
Socaire – Meñique y Miscanti – Socaire – 60 km / 1.120 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.

29 October – STAGE 08
Socaire – Vulcan Lascar – Toconao – 80 km / 1.500 m

QUEEN STAGE.

Today we´ll climb up to 4,400 meters above sea level. It will be tough, but we will not be carrying our bikepacking bags and the prize – the views and experience of the Lascar Volcano – will be well worth the effort.

First, we´ll face an 11 km long, hard climb. We´ll catch our breath as the road levels out before   we continue climbing another 10 km surrounded by lunar landscapes. After that, we´ll descend to Toconao, where we´ll sleep in good beds and… perhaps share some beers?

30 October – STAGE 09
Toconao – San Pedro de Atacama – 78 km / 370 m

Last stage.The last stage. The first half of our day will be downhill. It will be a light day to finish in the characteristic village of San Pedro de Atacama. We will still pass through El Salar de Atacama before entering San Pedro de Atacama,
our final destination.

Our adventure wi l l end in our comfortable hotel located in the center of the village. A hot shower and a celebratory dinner await us. We made it!

31 October
Day off in San Pedro de Atacama

We will visit El Valle de la Luna: sculpted by wind and water, where we will be able to appreciate an impressive range of colors and textures. Very similar to the lunar surface. So much so that NASA tests its means right here.

Then, 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 can enjoy the incredible and unique sky of San Pedro de Atacama.

YOUR GUIDE

Ignacio Pellejero

Ignacio Pellejero

Travel Logistic Coordinator & Guide

With a divided heart, of Argentine parents, born in Venezuela and raised in Spain, since childhood Nacho has had a nomadic and adventurous soul. In 2017, together with his best friend, they decided to cycle the Americas with their @260litros project until the pandemic put the dream of getting from Patagonia to Alaska on standby. Nowadays, after living five years in South America, he returns home (Spain) to join the PA-Cyling family and thus continue his dream of pedaling around the world, but this time, offering the possibility to others to accompany him to live even if it is for a few days how wonderful it is to travel and get to know different places and cultures on board of a bicycle.

Angela Pulliero

Angela Pulliero

Travel Logistic Coordinator & Guide

Angela Pulliero is a lover of outdoor sports and in particular of cycling on off-road trails. She has an all-round view of the bicycle: from commuting to traveling. She feels part of the community of female cyclists ready to explore the world on two wheels.
In her spare time she loves to take spanners and allen keys to fix old bikes.
One of her favorite activities is designing routes while studying the maps. Since 2021 she has been doing this professionally for komoot, for which she coordinates the Italian team of editors.
She is the newest addition to the PA-Cycling family: she will accompany you to unbelievable places with a tireless big smile.

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