South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition with Part 2. You’ve read Part 1; now learn what you will experience in Part 2 with Bolivia. Chile, and Argentina. Soon you will an expert on this vast and exciting continent.
Estimated Reading Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Here is MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition in TWO fantastic parts!
- SIX countries: Part 1 (Colombia, Ecuador, Perú.) Part 2 (Bolivia, Chile, & Argentina.)
- Lake Titicaca
- Bolivia’s capital La Paz
- Bolivia Altiplano
- Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats
- Potosi Silver Mountain
- Atacama Desert
- Torres del Paine
- Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia
What else do I get from this tour offered to me that will equal, if not surpass, Part 1?
Again the best answer must come from Mike Thomsen, Chief Rider, and Creator of the South America Top 2 Bottom expedition, originally referred to as”FIN DEL MUNDO,” which means “End of the World” in Spanish.
Uniquely, our MotoDreamer’s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition will take us all right there to the most southern point on this vast ^ exciting continent.”
The first thing to discover on your MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 is that Peru to the west and Bolivia to the east both share Lake Titicaca.
(Peru owns 60% of Lake Titicaca, and Bolivia owns the other 40%).
So with this South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition with MotoDreamer what else makes Lake Titicaca so unique?
- The largest freshwater lake in South America is nonother than Lake Titicaca.
- The lake is also called the “Cradle of the world” by the Incan Civilization.
- It sits proudly as the highest of all the world’s great lakes.
- Lake Titicaca is estimated to be over 60 million years old and referred to as an Ancient lake.
- There are only nineteen other lakes that are more than a million years old.
- Sitting at 12,500 feet, Lake Titicaca is the largest and highest navigational lake globally. Boats can maneuver the calm and tranquil waters comfortably.
- The lake is shaped like a Puma. Hence the name, Titi in English translates as Puma, and caca means Mount.
- You will find a 1000-year-old ancient temple at the bottom.
- No local person will traditionally come to your rescue if you fall in. Because you are now considered an offering to the Earth Goddess Pachamama. (Well, according to local mythology, that is.)
- Another legend says this is the birthplace of the first supreme Inca God. Viracocha, who rose from the depths of Lake Titicaca.
For those of you wondering if gold and other riches lie on the lake´s bed. We can confirm there is…… in all probability.
- Apart from rainwater and melting glaciers, 25 significant rivers empty their never-ending volumes of water into Lake Titicaca every year.
- Lake Titicaca has over 40 mostly inhabited islands. Thus allowing for both Peruvian and Bolivian cultures to live peacefully side by side for centuries.
- For obvious reasons, Lake Titicaca´s close neighbor – The Amazon Rainforest, gets all the publicity regarding its unique Ecology. But this Lake is definitely equal in many ways.
- If you have the time, you will count over 530 endemic aquatic species mixed with an abundance of waterbird species. Look out for the endangered Grebe.
Here is the following exciting Reason to be on the next MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 with….
Remember, Sucre and not La Paz (meaning Peace) is the official capital.
(More on that one later.)
You may well struggle with the local dialects here in Bolivia. Apart from Spanish, there are many indigenous languages to contend with. But, please don’t let that put you off.
The most amazing experiences await you. Explore on your motorcycle a country steeped in ageless history and ancient cultures that refuse to go away.
From the map above, See landlocked Bolivia, with no coastal areas. It’s surrounded by Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, and Argentina.
The country of Bolivia is named after its famous Venezuelan-born Liberator – Simon Bolivar. The capital city, also named after Bolivar’s close friend, General, Freedom Fighter, and Venezuelan Leader – Sucre. At the same time, Sucre had the option to go it alone from the Spanish by declaring Independence. And which he happily did in 1825.
So with this South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition with MotoDreamer, what is the answer to:
Why is Bolivia’s capital is Sucre and not La Paz?
You have to go back to 1899 to discover why Bolivia has TWO capital cities. The decision that seemed to make sense to the governing powers was deemed to honor keeping Sucre as the official Judicial capital.
Since then, La Paz (the highest placed capital globally) has been allowed to house the Executive and Legislative government seats. Hence making it the Administrative capital.
Author’s Note: I know it sounds a bit weird a country having two capitals. Imagine in the UK, London as the Capital and the Houses of Parliament in Manchester or Liverpool, or the White House in Washington and the Senate in San Francisco or Huston. But it appears to work well for the Bolivians and their 37 official languages!
If you are a fan of traveling on Cable Car Systems, you will be pleased with La Paz’s system. It’s the highest and longest in the world. You are guaranteed fantastic views, so make sure you have your camera and video recorder at the ready.
Note that the city is constructed in a vast crater and great potent-looking mountains surround it. Also, note that you can go from 6562 feet to 13,123 feet above sea level in one hour.
Author’s Note: Please keep an eye on your health and make sure you are not suffering from altitude sickness. If you suspect you or any team member is showing the signs of this sickness. Report it immediately to the expert MotoDreamer On-bike Guides, who will act quickly and efficiently.
Time to ride your motorcycle on your MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 in Bolivia to:
Historic home to almost half of the indigenous population of Bolivia.
Bolivian roots and culture are nearly as steeped in history as the Andes Mountains. All Indigenous Bolivians can trace their 5000-year roots to the Inca Empire and beyond.
Living and farming on this highest plateau in the world outside of Tibet come naturally for them. Many families live and share in one house. Situated precariously on the steep slopes and snow-filled peaks as if it’s the most natural way to do so.
Radio is still the essential way of reaching each community in Bolivian culture. Especially those at the remotest parts of the Andes.
Well understandable when the Bolivians have the highest set of lakes, the highest city, the highest cable car, and the highest forest. All, in turn, ensuring this country they live in is the highest globally.
On your MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 in Bolivia. Your next destination has to be the Salar de Uyuni.
The world’s largest expanse of salt flats.
The history of the Salar began some 30,000 years ago. When the salt flats you will see on this expedition were underwater. Yes, then you would have seen a gigantic-sized prehistoric lake surrounded by the Andes mountains. Nowadays, the whole region is dry.
The Salar stretches for over 4000 square miles. Numerous smaller prehistoric lakes form it. These lakes dried up between 10,000 to 25,000 years ago.
No wonder many WHO are lucky to visit this vastness and witness the endless hexagonal patterns in the salt. They always comment on how the salt flats look like they belong to a different planet.
Author’s Note: As in Part one of MotoDreamer’s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition. We must again reiterate that when dealing with extremely high altitudes. You must always be conscious of how your body’s coping with the 12,000 feet above sea level altitude.
If you start to suffer from severe headaches or feel nausea at any time. You notify your MotoDreamer On-bike Guides immediately. Their dedication and knowledge will work wonders for you.
For those of you Motorcycle Adventure Riders. Who is a “Dab hand with the Camera.” You will love the thrill of creating your own uniquely jaw-dropping images with this “of the grid” backdrop. Especially if the ground becomes wet from the odd rainy periods that turn the earth’s surface into a colossal mirror.
Do not forget while riding on this South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition with MotoDreamer, you save time for capturing epic images of star-filled black skies, sunsets, and sunrises. None of which will disappoint you.
Salar is home to enormous magnesium, borax, potassium, sodium, and lithium. As we all know, this latter element is in all of our mobiles: Salar, the region where 50 to 70% of the world’s lithium reserves are generated from.
This next destination on your MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2, in Bolivia is full of history, both good and bad.
The infamous Potosi Silver Mining Town
Is there still silver to be mined in the Potosi Silver mountain?
- Since the Spanish commenced a large-scale excavation in the 16th Century, the answer is a resounding YES. This region is truly the world´s largest deposit of silver.
- Potosi is the name of the mining town that came into existence after discovering silver and other precious metals.
- Within 30 years, its population of miners had risen to over 150,000.
- These miners went to work in the Cerro Rico Mountain, also known as the “Rich Hill.”
- Soon Potosi became known as the biggest city in the “New World.”
From the beginning and for the next 200 years. Nearly 80% of the world’s Silver came from this South American mine.
If you pause with your South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition with MotoDreamer and think about it. Potosi was the city that gave birth to capitalism. With its endless supply of the essential ingredient needed – Dinero or Money.
Author’s Note. Potosi made the money that has irrevocably changed the economic complexity of our world as we know it today. Yet the craziest fact is that Potosi today cannot be dismissed. It is a city of poverty with its former wealth only existing in literature and legends.
For those of you who love to read the classics. Check out the following phrase from Don Quijote de la Mancha – “To be worth a Potosi,” or “to be of great wealth.” It is still in Spanish use to this day.
The precious metal veins were, or should I say once the most bountiful. The Spanish Empire and colonization of the New World were financed almost exclusively by El Cerro Rico.
With such unmeasurable wealth, there always has to be a downside. In this case. It has to be the fearsome amount of loss of men who since the 16th Century have fallen foul of the “Mountain that eats men.”
The slaves from Africa and the local Indigenous inhabitants controlled by the Spanish Invaders were the first victims. Historians estimate as many as 8 million souls have been “eaten” in the Cerro Rico.
Many succumbed to the countless underground accidents, the often non-reported brutal treatment of working 20 hours or more per day. And the poisoning effects from the extracted mercury, lead, and zinc processing.
Even in today’s health and safety climate, we all live by in the western world. Cerro Rico still “eats men.” The life expectancy is as low as 40 on average. Each month at least fourteen women will find themselves as widows.
What’s even more unbelievable. There are still over 15,000 men who still work in this shockingly dangerous Silver mining industry location.
At the top of El Cerro Rico lies a sinkhole that has been partially filled with the most ultralight cement possible. A remedy appears to hold the peak in place with the arch structures, layered sand, metal nets, and polyethylene embedded into the mountain itself.
Will these measures keep the miners safe? From possible collapses after 470 years of continuous digging in a mountain now riddled with sinkholes and tunnels? Only time will tell.
These brave miners make offerings to their nearest “El Tio” or Uncle Statue each day. All pay homage to the lord of the underworld. In the hope and belief that the devil-like deity will permit them to return to their families safely. The only problem “El Tio” or “The Devil” does not like to be left alone…….
Your next country on your MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 is irrepressible…..
The Republic of Chile is one of the most extended countries globally.
It is a narrow ribbon-shaped South American country with a coastline of over 4000 miles. And its width of only 61 miles at the most. Hence equating to a landmass of only 291,932 square miles.
The Chilean capital is known as Santiago. It houses roughly 40% of the 17 million Spanish-speaking population voted as the warmest and safest people to visit and mingle with.
The country is rich in natural beauty, animal life, and flora. When riding your motorcycle down along the coastlines. You will meet up with numerous colonies of Penguins, Sea Lions, and Pelicans. Also, do not be surprised when encountering Flamingos, Butterflies, Alpacas, and Grey foxes. And not forgetting the Vicunas (the smallest of the camel family.)
You may well see migrating Whales in the ocean or overhead soaring Condors. Even, the odd Puma out hunting his prey.
Chile was initially ruled by the Inca Empire and the Mapuche native communities. That was until the Spanish Conquistadors’ arrived in the 1500s.
It took nearly 300 years before Independence from Spanish rule finally arrived in 1810. As the next new century neared, many travelers worldwide started settling down and making Chile their home of choice.
Today, with the South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition with MotoDreamer you will find descendants who have roots going back to France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and China.
Then in 1973. The peaceful country entered the world of chaos when the Marxist elected government at that time was overthrown by a dictator by the name General Augusto Pinochet. It was a further sixteen years before democracy prevailed again in 1989.
Chile is a hotspot for the number of earthquakes it endures each year. Due to its location within the Ring of Fire.
Author’s Note: Because Chile is so earthquake-prone. A lot of hard work has ensured its building structures meet all the seismic building codes needed. Furthermore, the assurance that the Chileans maintain that only the best structural engineering practices are utilized.
Your next mindblowing destination in this MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 in Chile:
The Ring of Fire is heading towards the Atacama Desert.
So firstly, what is the Ring of Fire in Chile?
Chile sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, meaning it houses a surprising number of snow-capped mountains and volcanoes. Many of which are active. Although it is still uncertain how many of the 2,900 volcanoes are active at one time. Recent estimates quotes at least 500 are potentially active.
Many lie deep below, circulating the Pacific Ocean floor. As you can expect, the seismic movements from the unstable tectonic plates make this piece of real estate pretty dangerous.
At least 90% of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur here.
Atacama desert is officially one of the driest regions on this planet, and it’s home to copper, cacti, and reptiles.
The 36-foot-tall “Hand of the desert” sculpture symbolizes the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Chilean Sculptor Mario Irarrazabal completed it in 1992, and it sits proudly near the Chilean town of Antofagasta.
Herewith your South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition with MotoDreamer, you will witness and experience 15 astonishing facts regarding The Atacama desert:
- The Atacama Desert is a South American plateau. It covers a 41,000 square mile landmass on the West side of the Andes and the Pacific Coast Range.
- These two mountain ranges prevent moisture advection from both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, thus creating a two-sided rain shadow.
- Many parts of this desert have not seen raindrops for hundreds of years.
- It is easy to feel you have headed to another planet. Especially when you arrive at the “Valle de la Luna” or “Moon Valley.”
- Because there is minimal light pollution caused by cities and almost clear skies nearly all year round. Stargazing is the norm here, with a Hub of over 40 International Observatories for the global Astronomy and scientific communities.
The Desert is also home to the ALMA Telescope, the largest of its kind in the world.
- Over the past 100 years, the desert has been the largest natural supplier of Sodium Nitrate. This is an element used to produce explosives and fertilizers, to name but a few.
- For a long time now, NASA has used this desert for testing its instruments for many missions destined for Mars. The reason is that many samples from the Red Planet have proved to be very similar to what is found in the desert.
- Visitors to the Atacama desert will experience extreme temperature variation from daytime highs of 104 F to nighttime lows of 41 F.
- The oldest artificially mummified human remains are not as many believed to be found in Egypt but here in the Atacama. Scientific dating shows that these mummies predate the Egyptians over 4000 years to 7020 BC.
Believe it or not, you can still find snow in this extreme location.
- Mind you, you will have to climb a fair bit to the highest peaks where the altitude prevents temperature variation.
- The following snippet will be hard to believe. But surprisingly nearly one million people live and work in the Atacama Desert. You will find them mainly in the many coastal fishing villages. The odd oasis settlements, and the copper and other mineral mining sites.
- The majority of the desert inhabitants are prolific growers of tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. Furthermore, you will find many herders of Alpacas.
- In 2010 a 120-year-old copper & gold mine in Copiapo suffered an accident. Whereby 33 miners found themselves trapped for a total of 69 days. Each miner safely rescued on the 13th of October 2010. To a world audience who attentively hoped and prayed for a positive outcome for the men involved.
- On rare occasions, rainfall can occur in the Atacama Desert. In 2015 in the Southern part of the desert. Severe heavy flooding resulted in the deaths of more than 100 souls.
MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 has not finished with Chile yet.
Next up is Torres del Paine, Chilean National Park.
The renowned eighth wonder of the World with its cinematic scenery will leave you utterly speechless.
Apart from your Motorcycle Adventure Rider gear. Make sure you have a sturdy backpack and your favorite walking shoes or boots. Since this National Park has everything, an adventure requires. In other words, enjoy the 17 hours of light that will accompany you everywhere you go and investigate.
If time is going well for our MotoDreamer Expedition. Then there may well be time for those who wish to walk through a lenga forest, climb steep slopes and take in as many amazing views as possible.
Author’s Note: Remember, don´t push yourself too hard. You’ve still got to reach Argentina yet!
Sail across the Lake Grey to admire up close the massive Grey Glacier. Then witness the antics of the wildlife from pumas, to condors, to foxes, guanacos, and huemuls.
Your final country on your MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 has arrived, and it is…..
You have ridden and explored five unique South American countries. Now you are entering the final chapter of your magnificent “South America Top 2 Bottom” Motorcycle Adventure Expedition.
With your motorcycle, you are now entering the magnificent South American “made of silvery landmass” known as Argentina.
You are now closing in on the Southern tip of South America by entering the 8th largest country globally. And in South America, it is only second to mighty Brazil.
Argentina boasts of having both the highest and lowest points in the whole of South America. These are the 6,962 meters tall Mount Aconcagua which you will ride to in Mendoza. And Laguna del Carbon at minus 105 meters located in Santa Cruz province.
Now let’s give you some interesting facts you probably do not know regarding Argentina.
- Like the United Kingdom, Argentina has had two female political leaders. We call them Prime Ministers, and the Argentinians call them Presidents.
Who remembers Isabel Peron, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Theresa May, and Margaret Thatcher?
2. Roughly at the same time in 1920, both the UK and Argentina commenced radio broadcasting to their people. Mind you, in Argentina; there were only 20 people who actually owned a receiver.
Author´s Note: I researched for my Danish-born buddy at MotoDreamer and found Danes did not start broadcasting till 1946. I suspect these latter-day Vikings were far too busy making a nuisance of themselves with motorcycling around the country.
3. In 1892, Argentina was the first country to use the method of identification of fingerprinting to solve various gruesome crimes. Now the whole world uses these methods.
4. A wonderful tradition, first introduced by the Italian immigrants who settled in Argentina, was on the 29th of each month. Everyone who had no money ate Gnocchi, a cheap meal of flour, salt, and potatoes. This tradition continues in many restaurants and is well worth checking out.
5. Like the world over, the locals in Argentina love a good movie, so Spanish-language movies from Argentina are highly regarded. If you have an account with Netflix, you too can enjoy the masterful storytelling by the Argentinians.
6. Now, if you feel your body needs a bit of reshaping. You are in a good place here in Argentina for the largest concentration of locally placed plastic surgeons. In other words, the Argentinian ladies now number themselves as one of the most looks conscious people globally.
7. This following interesting fact may have something to do with number 5. Per 100,000 Argentine residents, you can expect 145 Psychologists are treating them.
8. Back in 1536, the first settlement constructed in Argentina was done by Pedro de Mendoza. Today we know this settlement as Buenos Aires.
9. It takes a further 280 years before Argentina finally declares Independence from Spain.
10. Unlike the previous countries you will visit, Argentina has very few indigenous communities. 95% of Argentinian roots are found coming from Europe. Such countries as Spain, Germany, and Italy are very common descendants.
Now let’s get you back on the road again with your MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2. In Argentina.
With a visit to Mendoza with its one million-plus exceedingly friendly local population.
As you can probably guess from the next image. MotoDreamer could not resist escorting you on your motorcycle through the largest wine-producing region of South America. Here you will find literally hundreds of dedicated wineries.
If you have missed the finer things in life generally associated with city life. Well, smile when you arrive in Mendoza. (Translated as “Cold Mountain”) It is a very cosmopolitan and thriving South American city.
Mendoza has all you can wish for, wide tree-lined walkways and streets, and an abundance of spas to choose from. In addition, there are world-class plazas, eateries, restaurants, and diners to explore.
All visitors to this somewhat safe location must be careful when out and about for the usual safety reasons. Note, that the local Police Force is helpful, and you will see their presence in most areas. But we are still in South America, so please do not go around flaunting your wealth. So, be sensible, and you will be fine.
You have made it to your end of MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2 in Chile & Argentina.
Finally, you have reached “The Land of Fire,” locally known as
Tierra del Fuego
You will find this is an archipelago off the southern tip of both Chile and Argentina.
Author’s Note: The weather down here is often cool or extremely cold. Furthermore, you can expect a good deal of rain to try and dampen your spirits. But after all the experiences you have gained. A spot of chilly dampness is going to be nothing to write home about.
Here is your final list of interesting facts. Why not read them before starting from your hometown to the World of South America.
Tierra del Fuego and the city of Ushuaia
- The archipelago was first discovered by the Spanish navigator Ferdinand Magellan back in 1520. As he sailed past, he named the strange landmass Tierra del Fuego.
- For the next 350 years, the terrain was occupied by the local indigenous Alacaluf, Ona, and Yahgan communities.
- By 1880 both Argentine and Chilean explorers started to colonize the region with gold prospecting and sheep farming.
- Best to dismiss the roads in Tierra del Fuego. As they are extremely poor, and also, you will find no railway network to speak of. In contrast, adequate Sea and Air services connect the region to both Chile and Argentina.
- The region´s city of Ushuaia is home to approximately 60,000 plus individuals. Many, are employed in the sheep raising, fisheries, lumbering, and trapping industries.
- Records show that Ushuaia was first settled back in 1870 by an English Missionary called Wasti H Stirling. Fourteen years later, the “city” gained its present-day naval base managed by the Argentine Navy. Nine years later, in 1893, Ushuaia became a recognized city.
- If you ride a final couple of miles towards the southernmost part of the archipelago. You will be in the Chilean part of the region and facing the infamous Cape Horn.
Well, that is the end of MotoDreamer´s South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 2.
Finally, to sum up, I am sitting here picturing all you seasoned Adventure Motorcycle Riders. All who will be experiencing all that I have written and more. Both I and MotoDreamer cannot wait to hear your individual experiences and highlights.
We ask you all to send us your videos and images of the expedition. Pick the ones that you consider tells MotoDreamer the reasons why we do this touring thing with big bikes. We promise to update our newsletters in the future with many very tired but happy sets of Adventure Motorcycle Riders.
When replenished and roaring to continue, head to the following link;
South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition – Part 1
South America Top 2 Bottom Expedition Part 1 & 2 with MotoDreamer is a massive 60 Days of full-on adrenaline, mind-blowing, and life-changing excitement for those lucky to go. Come with me to learn what you will experience in Part 1 with Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Then head to Part 2 for Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Author’s Note: Just in case you read part 2 before you read Part 1.
The final call to Action for you Seasoned Motorcycle Adventure Riders is to check the calendar below and reserve your place.
Global Rescue or Travel Insurance
Global Rescue or Travel Insurance. Is there a difference? Surely they are the same thing? Here’s To Dreamer’s in-depth report on why over a million members trust them. To answer the first question. If there is a difference between Global Rescue and Travel insurance, then the answer is YES.