After traversing Chile by bicycle, first from Santiago to Punta Arenas in 2014, then the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego in 2015 and finally from Punta Arenas to Visviri in 2017-2018 I came up with some knowledge and experience of what is to traverse remote areas and rural roads with the bicycle. My guide is not to find the touristy or crowded places but what not everybody sees and there where no tourism has arrived yet. It is there, in the deep places of everycountry where I find motivation to keep exploring. It is due to the encounters with the locals and its fauna, flora and funga where all the previously acquired knowledge can be used.
Due to this and after traversing Chile from south to north and after crossing the Atacama Desert I decided that the road to follow was the Chilean Altiplano. Following my own judgement and contrary to what everybody was telling me, I decided to keep the pace through Chilean territory rather than crossing to Bolivia. I left Calama not knowing if the talks about the altiplano were real or not; bad and nonexistent roads, lack of communication, lack of water and of inhabitants, presence of smugglers and drug dealers. However, the beauty of the landscapes and the natural attractions that you could timidly find over the internet and the isolation itself of the road made it of a huge attractiveness for me.
It was because of this that I started the journey north, ready for long days of pushing my pedals with self support for several days, with a lot of weight on the bicycle and through eternal climbs in awfully bad shape. What I found overcame everything I thought it would be and what the knowers of these roads had told me. The journey was extremely difficult and from my own perspective, one of the most difficult roads you will find on Chilean soil. Roads in awful shape, electric storms almost above your hair, sand traps, holes and creeks with no end, and altitude, too much altitude.
Because of this and the lack of on the road support is that after finishing this part of my journey I decided to write a technical guide in order to help others that decide to wander these roads. The beauty and experience that there roads offer are a must for those that enjoy nature and traveling in a different way. Salt flats, mountains, thermal waters, unique towns are what give it uniqueness to the remote area of Chile.
The guide is in PDF format and only in Spanish. If there is enough interest I can translate it. You can find it in the link below together with a kmz file for google earth of the description of the road I took.
Hoping the guide helps you on your journey through the Altiplano. Enjoy!