Cycling is largely associated with transportation over short distances. However, cycling broadly covers transportation, recreation, exercise, and sport.

As a sport, cycling is big business worldwide with cycling events taking place all year round. In South America on the other hand, the crowd puller for cyclists is more of an adventurous nature with frequent cycling tours and leisure rides taking place in the most visited cycling routes found in South America.

South American countries have some of the most challenging terrains and breathtaking landscapes suitable for cycling. The captivating ascents and descents across the mountains present ever-changing scenery as you ride through the wild and ragged terrain.

The unmatched scenery in South American cycling routes consistently pull both first-time and repeat cyclists who visit the routes for a thrilling bike ride.

Top 5 Cycling Routes in South America

1. Ruta Austral, Chile

For a stretch of 810 miles, an equivalent of 1,300 kilometers, the route begins from Puerto Montt all the way to Villa O’Higgins in northern Patagonia. However due to its length, the route has several ferryboat transfers along the way.

This route is famous for its wild and beautiful landscapes. Cycling along it exposes cyclists to vast stretches of native forest and ferns surrounding Puyuhuapi Hot Strings, not to mention a ride through the two well known National parks.

2. Death Road in La Plaz, Bolivia

This road is known for killing hundreds of people yearly because of its treacherous stretch and no cliff railings for cyclists’ protection. Despite the guided rides, the routes are still very risky judging by the high recorded deaths per year. Despite this there hasn’t been a shortage of thrill seeking cyclists on the road all year round.

Riding on a cliff side for most of the journey, staying focused is important when on the bike since the road is full of gravel and loose rocks which can easily make you tumble. Most riders get out alive by slowing down on descents, riding with confidence and not taking photos at dangerous points along the terrain.

Cycling tours are a great way to have a fulfilling ride in new terrains for an adventurous cyclist. The high altitude of The Andes and the rainy forests of Amazon are prime candidate locations for cycling in Bolivia. With limited outside influence, the country’s wilderness has remained intact making it ideal for organized mountain cycling tours.

3. Cycling through Mountainous Peru

Peru is home to mysterious cities and ruins that provide for good scenery to the adventurous cyclists visiting the country.

The majority of the country’s population is of indigenous descent and that has significantly contributed to the preservation of its cultural heritage. Cycling through the mountains and countryside settlements of Peru provides for unforgettable scenery as well as abundant exotic wildlife.

4. The Canyons and Valleys of Argentina

Depending on where you begin, cycling through Argentina takes you across colorful canyons and valleys found in the Northern area. Vineyards are a common site around here and bike hire are a common service in the area in case you don’t have your own. The landscape around here changes fast with dry environment quickly replacing the vineyards over long stretches of land.

5. The Andes Trail Across South America

If you can’t decide on a specific cycling route to exploit, consider enrolling for a cycling tour cutting across several South American countries. The Andes Trail is a product of Bike Dreams, an expedition organizer offering bike race expeditions covering over 10,000 kilometers.

The expedition is physically involving given the length of the tour ride. You get to ride through several routes cutting across the mountainous Ecuador, Peru’s tough climbs and then to the high altitudes of Bolivia. The final route cuts through Argentina, which presents its mix of landscapes before giving way to the finish line at Ushuaia.

The Andes Trail covers challenging paved roads with sections of rough roads and loose sand which are typical of a cycling route. The shifting weather conditions might dampen spirits for cyclists but the expedition is organized to take place is less harsh weather conditions.

Riding Caution

Cycling can be a dangerous activity, and appropriate custom made bikes and gears are designed just for that. For starters, a special bike called a road bike is the ideal bike for cycling even though it’s largely manufactured for competitive cycling. However, good alternatives are also available as the common mountain bikes. Protective gears like helmet, cycling boots, gloves are often a recommended for any cyclist since you never know when you might need a soft landing, professional or not.

Author's Bio: 

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