Day 1: Airport pickup at Santa Cruz
We'll pick you up at the airport of Santa Cruz, Bolivia from where we drive to the small town Samaipata (120 km or 3 hours). There we check into a comfortable hotel and spend the rest of the day to relax and rest from the flight. If your flight arrives late, we will spend the night in Santa Cruz. In that case the following day is considered day 1.
Day 2: Samaipata
We'll start with a "briefing" where we learn more about our route, the local traffic rules and about each other. Then it is time to meet your bike. To get used to it we go for a ride to the archeological site "El Fuerte" which is 5 km on tarmac and 5 km on dirt. "El Fuerte" is an old Inca town build around the, much older, largest stone-sculpture in America.
Day 3: To Cochabamba - (375 km, 40% offroad)
We start easy on decent, but sometimes missing, asphalt. Passing different climate-zones we'll see all sorts of scenery. Slowly we gain altitude.
Day 4: To La Paz - (375 km, 0% offroad)
Leaving the valley of Cochabamba we quickly start to climb. Through desolate, but beautiful, mountain scenery, we'll reach the Alti-Plano (the highlands). With the roads leveling out we quickly reach La Paz, the defacto capital of Bolivia. The rest of the afternoon we'll explore the city. Especially the witches market is worth visiting.
Day 5: Coroico via La Cumbre - (85 km, 90% offroad)
First we rise to 4,700m above sea level and then we almost literally plunge into the Amazon basin. Via the famous "Death road", officially the most dangerous road in the world, we reach Coroico. None of us will perish on this road, but less than 10 years ago on average 1 bus a week dove off the sheer cliffs the road is clinging to. Now there is a new, wider road on the other side of the valley and traffic is reduced to adrenaline seeking mountain bikers. For the really brave we'll finish today's ride with a 1 km zip-line adventure.
Day 6: To Caranavi - (75 km, 100% offroad)
The "Death road" does not stop at Coroico. In fact from here on it really gets exiting since we are no longer alone. We have to share what little road there is with trucks, busses and cars.
Day 7: To Rurrennabaque - (250 km, 100% offroad)
The narrow mountain-road slowly levels out as we reach the edge of the Amazon basin. Today we continue to our destination, Rurrennabaque, the jungle-trekking capital of Bolivia. Although it is a native Amazonian town, there seem to be more gringos then indians on its dusty streets.
Day 8: Welcome to the Jungle
We leave our bikes at the hotel and instead go by jeep to Santa Rosa where we exchange the jeep for a traditional longtail-boat and head up the river Yacuma for about 2 hours (lots of wildlife to be seen) until we reach our camp. Enjoying a cold drink we see the sun go down over the pampas after which we'll go crocodile spotting.
Day 9: Anacondas and Piranhas
First we'll try to find the (in)famous anaconda, the largest watersnake in the world (up to 10 meters), followed by wildlife spotting. Expect to see turtles, monkeys, caipibaras, macaws, sloths and many more. After lunch and siesta we will try our luck with piranha-fishing.
Day 10: Swimming with Dolphins
In the morning a sunrise-walk followed by (for many people) the highlight: Swimming together with the amazing pink dolphins. After lunch we return by boat and jeep back to Rurrenabaque.
Day 11: To San Borja - (150km, 100% offroad)
Again we set out on a road that exists by the grace of the rain gods. On the road-side you encounter several sunbathing crocodiles. In San Borja we will spend the night in a very special "Amazonian resort".
Day 12: To San Ignacio de Los Moxos - (140km, 100% offroad)
In this sleepy indigenous town we'll spend the night. Breakfast will be at the local market.
Day 13: To Trinidad - (95km, 100% offroad)
Trinidad, the capital of the department Beni, is a dusty town where you can see Boa Constrictors of 3 meters swimming in the open sewers. It has is a fantastic plaza and a 7 meter "pet anaconda". Special attraction is a Boeing 727 (a big plane) that crashed in the jungle close to town.
Day 14: To San Xavier - (415 km, 0% offroad)
Today we "enjoy" asphalt again. But don't be to happy, you'll be plenty busy avoiding potholes the size of minivans. Ay the end of this rather long day we reach San Xavier, one of the mission towns of Chiquitania. Before we set off to bed we'll have a look at the humongous wooden church.
Day 15: To Samaipata - (420 km, 10% offroad)
Mostly on smooth asphalt we head back to Samaipata, the place where we left more than 2 weeks ago. Steady we climb up again to more agreeable temperatures and more curvy mountain roads.
Day 16: To Santa Cruz
We leave our bikes behind and set off for Santa Cruz where we can do some last minute souvenir shopping and enjoy Brazilian churasquero and oriental cuisine.