rappelling at the Jardin de las Delicias near El Torno, Bolivia
Staying true to its name, on this tour we set out to see 5 of the best sites that this region of Santa Cruz has to offer. We’ll spend the first couple of days riding dirt roads and crossing numerous streams and rivers near our base in the town of El Torno, not to mention exploring some breathtaking waterfalls and even rappelling down one of them. From there we venture out even further as we ascend into the mountains via the old highway, as we go we’ll stop to check out an old (read inactive) volcano as well some impressive indigenous ruins. In Santa Cruz’s backcountry we’ll reach elevations of more than 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). Then we’ll loop back around towards our staring point via some of nicest (read curviest) roads that Bolivia has to offer.
Day 1 (Sunday) - Welcome to Santa Cruz!
We’ll personally pick everyone up at the airport and settle you into a hotel in the city. After dinner we have an informal orientation and prep session and a good night´s sleep.
Day 2 (Monday) - Espejillos Nature Reserve
To start our tour off with a bang, we’ll take the bikes on a 52 km. (32 mile) roundtrip journey to one of the most unique attractions in this region of Santa Cruz, a place known to locals as “Espellijos.” After fording the Pirai River, it’s all off-road as we weave our way through the countryside to our destination. The main attraction is a beautiful waterfall followed by numerous natural pools that are perfect for swimming or just relaxing as we shake off what’s left of the jet lag. In the evening we’ll get a chance to explore some of our host town El Torno as well as enjoy a traditional meal for supper.
Day 3 (Tuesday) - To the Garden of Eden
Back on the bikes again, we set off on a 70km. (40 mile) adventure up to the Jardin de las Delicias, a waterfall on the edge of Amboró National Park. Dirt roads, stream crossings and maybe rapelling down the falls (depending on weather & group size). Back in town we’ll head up into the hills to our cabins where we’ll spend the night.
Day 4 (Wednesday) - The Climb: El Torno to Samaipata
Leaving El Torno we take old highway out of town and head straight for the mountains. If you’re ready for a break from the heat, todays ride will be just what the doctor ordered. Our destination is the town of Samaipata, known for having what many consider the perfect year round climate. As we ride the change in elevation won’t be dramatic but you’ll definitely notice as the temperature dips. Along the way we’ll stop to check out the picturesque “Laguna del Volcan” and then later take a tour of “El Fuerte,” site of the regions most important indigenous ruins.
Day 5 (Thursday) - Landscapes Galore: Samaipata to Vallegrande
At 8:00 a.m. we’ll drive past the central plaza in Samaipata and slip out of town as we hit the road once again. Nearly all of the approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) that we ride today are all on gravel roads of varying conditions. The views along the way as we climb and descend are nothing short of spectacular. We’ll take a break around mid-day to enjoy yet another breathtaking waterfall as well visit a couple of small villages that are tucked away in the valleys.
Day 6 (Friday) - The TWISTIES: Vallegrande to El Torno
The tour may be winding down but todays ride will make you forget all about it. As we depart Vallegrande we’ll endure a few miles of arrow straight highway, from there almost the entirety of the rest of todays 205 kilometer (128 mile) jaunt consists of curves and lots of them as we snake our way back to El Torno.
Day 7 (Saturday) - City Streets of Santa Cruz & Departure Day
Today’s a decompress day before returning to life as usual, so we’ll relax the pace as we do some site seeing around the city —last minute souvenir shopping, open markets and good food are a few of the options. We’ll treat you to a lip-smacking lunch before taking you to the airport to catch your flight back home. You’ll want to stretch out your sore backside before you board your flight and flip through your pics as you grin (and groan) thinking of all the fun that was had. From here it’s time to start planning your next adventure!
all geared up & ready to ride, El Torno, Bolivia
"Keep your bike in good repair: motorcycle boots aren't made for walking."
at the bottom of the waterfall at the Jardin de las Delicias near El Torno, Bolivia