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Cycle Chile & Argentina: Atacama to Salta
Cycle two South American countries on a 13-day cycle exploration tour. This trip takes you on a journey through a part of the world that resembles no other. Starting in the popular town of San Pedro de Atacama and finishing in 'Salta la Linda', this trip takes you through many roads in which you will see very little traffic and no other cyclists. This 'once in a lifetime' journey includes cycling through salt flats, ravines, a serpentine-like road through a rainforest and in the driest desert in the world.
- CategoryRoad Cycling
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration13 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level3 - Intermediate
- Activity Level4 - Challenging
- Elevation3 - Intermediate
- Distance314.4 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance31.7 miles
Where does the tour start and end?
The tour starts in San Pedro de Atacama at the hotel and finishes in 'Salta la Linda'. The closest airport to San Pedro de Atacama is Calama Airport (CJC). The closest airport to Salta is Martin Miguel de Guemes International Airport (SLA).
Getting from Calama Airport (CJC) to the start hotel is a fairly short journey of around 1.5 hours. There are taxis available at the arrivals terminal to take you. Alternatively, you can meet the group flight transfer at Calama airport and join at no extra expense.
You can join the group transfer at the end of the trip to Salta.
How long is the tour? How many cycling days?
The tour is 13 days long with 10 days of cycling.
What's the tour like?
This trip is classified Road with an activity level of 4 (moderate/challenging). The average daily distance: 51km (32 miles) with the number of days cycling: 10. There is full vehicle support. The set itinerary is not technical, however, please note that the majority of this tour is spent at high altitude and some days the group is cycling above 3000m/9842ft where the air is noticeably thinner. Because of this, the tour operator recommends that you have a good level of fitness for this tour.
Some cycling experience and a good level of fitness are recommended. The terrain and route are approximately 80% tarmac and 20% unpaved roads. There are some large elevation gains; mixed cycling terrain; variable weather conditions and some remote locations.
Is a bike available?
Yes, Giant Fathom 2 or Specialised Rockhopper are included in the tour.
Alternatively, you can bring your own bike (BYO) but this is on a request basis and additional charges may apply to cover the transportation of your bike during the tour.
1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.
Extra Bike Bits
You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. The tour operator encourages this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. They cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
Do I have the wear/bring a helmet?
Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in this cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire.
Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.
Recommended Cycling Clothing
Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.
Should I have travel insurance?
Yes. It is a condition of joining this holiday that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.
Can I have private room? What is the single supplement cost?
A single supplement is applicable if you are travelling alone or wish to have your own room. The price varies depending on the dates chosen with minimum price starting at AU$1,333.00.
If you would like to book a single room please contact us.
Please read here for the tour operator's message regarding Covid-19:
Before you travel
We recommend that your travel insurance policy includes COVID-cover so that your costs will be covered until you are able to return home should you test positive (subject to conditions). When comparing travel insurance providers, please ensure you read each PDS carefully so you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.
On your trip
Your tour leader will provide the latest local guidance, and let you know if any extra safety precautions such as face coverings may be needed in certain locations.
Should you fall ill, our team knows the most suitable medical care facilities for each point on the trip and will work in tandem with your leader to get you any medical attention, should you need it. If official travel advice changes during your trip, your leader will work closely with our customer operations team to reroute or help with repatriation if required.
In the unlikely event that your group needs to self-isolate, your local team will offer support throughout. We will help arrange accommodation and food and help to organise medical care and liaise with your insurance provider. In the unlikely event that your tour leader contracts COVID, they will be replaced immediately.
Should there be a requirement to show proof of a negative COVID test on arrival back to your home country, we have built time into our itineraries for this. On guided trips your leader will assist with this and if needed, will take you to the most appropriate local testing facility.
If, through no fault of your own, your test result is delayed, we will cover your accommodation costs until you are able to travel and rearrange your flights (for flight inclusive customers).
Small Healthy Groups
We keep group sizes small to maintain a low risk ‘small group bubble’, with an average of 10 guests in each group. It may not always be possible to socially distance, but as a precautionary measure, we encourage travellers to limit physical contact with others where possible.
Exodus COVID-Clear Policy
For extra peace of mind, Exodus requires all those travelling on group holidays to have had a vaccine or negative COVID test – known as ‘COVID-Clear’ status. Please ensure that you understand this policy and can comply with it before you travel with us. All customers will need to have one of the following in place prior to travel:
1. Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the last dose having been administered no less than two weeks prior to travel. The total number of doses must have been given, as required by the vaccine manufacturer (in most cases this is two doses).
• You will need to obtain the Australian-issued International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). Please visit Smart Traveller for how to obtain your certificate
2. A negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 72 hours of travel.
If you are travelling to a country where one of these is an entry requirement, you do not need to provide Exodus with proof of your COVID-Clear status prior to travel; you can expect this to be checked by your airline and by immigration officials when you arrive in the destination country.
If you are travelling within your home country, or there are no entry requirements of this nature in the destination country, please email a copy or photo of your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 2 weeks before departure.
With our COVID-Clear policy in place, we will no longer require you to complete a ‘self-declaration’ prior to travel, which was required for travel during 2020. Your tour leader however will remind you of any regional or national COVID rules or guidelines which apply, and as needed, the latest policy requirements from Exodus.
All of our destinations will be required to pass a 5-stage approval process, which includes all relevant government authorities advice and assessment of additional destination information by Healix, a leading independent Global Travel Risk Management company.
Our 5-stage approval process
We will only travel to a country where the following criteria has been met:
• The Australian Government does not advise against travel to your chosen country.
• COVID infection rates are under control.
• Entry requirements are reasonable and local restrictions do not significantly impair the itinerary.
• We have access to a list of approved emergency medical services.
• Our local partners can meet our COVID safety requirements.
We use Healix, a leading Global Travel Risk Management company to ensure we have correct, consistent and up-to-date information about all destination risks.
How do I know if my trip is going ahead?
We review all upcoming departures on a rolling, week-by-week basis, to assess whether we can safely travel to the destination country.
11 weeks before you depart: At this point we will either confirm that we believe there is a good chance of the trip running, or we will cancel the departure. All clients will be written to in either case.
7 weeks before you depart: We will make a final decision on running the tour and will contact you to advise if your trip is scheduled to travel or not. We will issue updated Trip Notes and ask you to read and confirm you understand the requirements to protect yourself and other group members, including our ‘COVID-Clear’ policy.
Up to the date of travel: We will continue to monitor all destinations and will notify clients immediately should the status of their departure change.
Clean & Safe
Enhanced cleanliness and hygiene safety measures have been introduced in our accommodation, transport, meal locations and venues, and our local teams will visit each one in advance of travel.
Exodus Travels has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travellers with additional assurance that we have adopted health and hygiene global standards designed to keep your travels as safe as possible.