Cycling from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
If you are a long-time follower of TDA Global Cycling than you may recall that once upon time (or to be specific in 2009), we ran our inaugural South American cycling tour which we named Vuelta Sudamericana. A former staff member lobbied hard, that after creating the Tour d’Afrique, Orient Express and Silk Road bicycle tours, it was time for South America. He spent about a year traversing the continent in a car and came up with what he called the ‘Mother of All Cycling Tours’. Part of that tour was cycling from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Santiago, Chile before the route turned north.
Vuelta Sudamericana, though a great tour, somehow didn’t catch the imaginations of our cycling community – maybe we should have called it the ‘Mother of All Tours’. Years later when the fighting in Colombia subsided, we thought cycling top to bottom of South America was feasible, and we created the South American Epic. The inaugural South American Epic (SAE) took place in 2015, and I joined the tours once it reached Santiago and participated until the finish in Ushuaia, Argentina. The SAE route caught the imagination of the cyclists and we were happy that it did. And I must say I loved the part I was on.
Fast forward, and Covid times are special times, and special times require special measures. One of the measures is to eliminate border crossing as much as possible. Thus was born the 2022 version of SAE – Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Buenos Aires to Santiago following the 2009 Vuelta route and then Santiago to Ushuaia following the route we have been using since 2015 on the SAE. As it turns out, I am the only person here in the office who has actually been on the two parts of the 2022 tour, albeit a while ago.
So, do I think this is a great tour? You bet! The start of the tour is in one of the world’s great cities, a city where people dance Tango on the streets and party late into the night. Since my visit in Buenos Aires, the authorities made some serious investments in cycling infrastructure and cycling is now the best way to explore this fascinating metropolis, including riding from the famed La Boca to the outskirts where a legend called Maradona grew up.
From there the tour heads northwest to Rosario known as the birthplace of a couple of people you may have heard of. One recognized by three letters – Che – and the other Messi. Besides checking out the statue of Che Guevara and the giant fresco of Lionel Messi, neither of which were there when I was in Rosario, there is plenty to do and see in this city of well over a million people.
Continuing northwest, though more west than north to Cordoba, a UNESCO site, city known for its Spanish colonial architecture, and one of South America oldest universities. More alluring to some, Cordoba is situated in the center of La Pampa or as we call it Pampas, the iconic Argentinian landscape. Cycling all the way across it to the Andes, you will have plenty of opportunities to experience the culture of this areas, sip a maté tea, meet a gaucho or two, discover all the miracles performed by ‘Gaucho Gil’ as well as maybe catch a glimpse of the native wildlife such as Rhea, Pampas’ fox and deer.
From Cordoba the tour heads to San Juan to a city where the route joins the original South American Epic and whose charms have been described in several of our company blogs such as The Lake District: A Welcome dose of Pleasant, Cycling Patagonia: Everything You Need to Know, Just Another Day on The South American Epic, and Wine and Dine Like an Argentine, so I will not bother to repeat them here. Suffice to say that in the past, this part of the tour until the end was the most popular both for the sectional riders as well as the one who did the whole route. I mean there are few places around the world that have the natural attractions of Patagonia.
Need more reasons why you should sign up for this tour? How about this one. Two years ago, Covid was a word we have not heard of. Since then, we all had to put our plans away and take advantage of what was allowed and doable. Covid will likely be around for a time but apparently the best way to avoid it, is to be outside and enjoy outdoors activities. The 2022 South American Epic with a few exceptions of some cities, will keep you outdoors, mostly in stunning nature, where you will simply feel alive and happy. And as Covid has unfortunately shown to all of us, grab the opportunity while you can, as you never know what the future brings.
South American Epic
This challenging expedition offers you the best opportunity to explore the vastness and diversity of South America by bike. In keeping with the TDA...