Backpacking in South America- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Backpacking in South America

    Hello! Hola como estan todos? I am planning to backpack for about half a year or until I go broke.

    Now for my question, is it cheaper/smarter to travel with my gear and rent a bike OR to take my bike with me and travel with it? I am willing to accept the fact that I might be riding some epic trails on a crappy bike. I also, can't even fathom traveling with my bike as it's too big of a liability. I plan on taking buses, sleeping in hostels, sleeping on people's couches AND it's not like I will be riding everyday.

    Does anyone have an advice? How common are XL bikes in south America? I'm 6'4 tall. I don't plan to make riding a priority out of this vacation BUT I do want to ride and even compete in some races (just for fun).

    Para todos que no hablan ingles...es mejor rentar una bici en sur America o viajar con my bici de lado a lado? QUe tan comun es la talla XL en las tiendas en donde rentan bicis? Tengo plan de vivir y viajar por medio ano. Me llevo mis guantes, casco y zapatos? Y si alguin quiere manejar la bici, mandenme in mensaje. Gracias

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimphatty View Post
    Hello! Hola como estan todos? I am planning to backpack for about half a year or until I go broke.

    Now for my question, is it cheaper/smarter to travel with my gear and rent a bike OR to take my bike with me and travel with it? I am willing to accept the fact that I might be riding some epic trails on a crappy bike. I also, can't even fathom traveling with my bike as it's too big of a liability. I plan on taking buses, sleeping in hostels, sleeping on people's couches AND it's not like I will be riding everyday.

    Does anyone have an advice? How common are XL bikes in south America? I'm 6'4 tall. I don't plan to make riding a priority out of this vacation BUT I do want to ride and even compete in some races (just for fun).

    Para todos que no hablan ingles...es mejor rentar una bici en sur America o viajar con my bici de lado a lado? QUe tan comun es la talla XL en las tiendas en donde rentan bicis? Tengo plan de vivir y viajar por medio ano. Me llevo mis guantes, casco y zapatos? Y si alguin quiere manejar la bici, mandenme in mensaje. Gracias
    Start your trip in Colombia and enjoy all the great riding and cheap living expenses until you move on to your next country. I live in Las Vegas and also Manizales, Colombia which has world class riding at 6,500-8,000 feet. You'll also want to ride in Salento, Medellin, Pereira and Villavicencio.

    One issue your going to have is finding an XL bike anywhere. Most South Americans regardless of what country you visit are relativley short in stature so size large is usually the largest frame size you'll find.

    You should plan on hitting Colombia 1st 3-1 exchange rate and very cheap and great bus system. Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay....very dangerous so avoid and Argentina are also very economical. Ecuador uses the Dollar for everything so finding value is key. Chile, Uruguay and Brazil are more expensive.

    Finally Venezuela is an absolute no go if your American and although that country is very beautiful Colombia is better in every regard.
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  3. #3
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    Here's a little sneak peak of my city and it's most famous rider.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBEE-K43BI8

    Also the EWS race #2 of 2018 is in Manizales and Colombia for the first time even in late March 29 thru April 1st
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  4. #4
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    Finding an xl bike could be a problem.

    For the record,
    27.5 is winning the wheel size wars in Medellin at least.

    I find Peru safer, (a lot, safer) than Colombia. I am a blue eyed gringo. Colombian girls give good enough kisses to make up for the violence and then some. When I walk around Lima at 11pm, nothing happens, Old women try to sell me Sublime chocolates.

    In the mountains of Peru they sell 26 inch tires and canti brakes.
    The mountains of northern Peru are a good place to visit

    Consider bringing a xl 26er with you, or a long bus ride to pa capital for a 27.5 tire or disc brake part.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWhCejqb02w

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnybex View Post
    Start your trip in Colombia

    Finally Venezuela is an absolute no go if your American and although that country is very beautiful Colombia is better in every regard.
    Sad, I want to visit Venezuela, might have to wait, sad.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Finding an xl bike could be a problem.

    For the record,
    27.5 is winning the wheel size wars in Medellin at least.

    I find Peru safer, (a lot, safer) than Colombia. I am a blue eyed gringo. Colombian girls give good enough kisses to make up for the violence and then some. When I walk around Lima at 11pm, nothing happens, Old women try to sell me Sublime chocolates.

    In the mountains of Peru they sell 26 inch tires and canti brakes.
    The mountains of northern Peru are a good place to visit

    Consider bringing a xl 26er with you, or a long bus ride to pa capital for a 27.5 tire or disc brake part.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWhCejqb02w
    Hmmmm, Lima is not safe at all unless your referring to Barranco and Mira Flores as well as the finacial district. Way less police presence in Peru in general and poverty is generally higher which lends to more theft and shady shit. I've been to Peru about 10 times but I truly love the country and it's my second favorite after Colombia. Ecuador is also fantastic apart from parts of Guayaquil.

    Just like anything else if you avoid the big city barrios or most of the favela type areas built on the mountain sides at night you'll be fine. And not constantly shooting photography with a high end DSLR on every run down corner where there is a raw and beautiful photo opportunity.

    I've spent in Excess of 15 years all over South America and Colombia is 100% the most safe in almost every circumstance. I love the Colombian and Peruvian people.....Chile, Argentina and Brazil are just okay if not a bit arrogant. Uruguay is my favorite southern country.....Paraguay is bad news and not much going on regardless for adventuring.

    Bolivia is raw and amazing with great culture and scenery and Ecuador is the most diverse in regards to the outdoors....Jungle and Rain Forest, Big Mountains and Volcanoes, Desert and Arid and of course some fantastic beaches and surf.

    I've had multiple girlfriends in almost every country and obviously the Colombian girls are pretty much perfect in all respects. My wife is Colombian. If they have the choice between spending their money on anything its to make themselves look beautiful and elegant and they show so much happiness and respect to others even when saying hello....Brazilian girls are the most overrated. maybe 15 years ago was a different story but an Olympics and World cup have ruined the charm of that country IMHO.
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  7. #7
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    Well, maybe I should stop hanging around in zona central in Medellin. Got any ides on where to hang around in Colombia next time I go down there? The Paisas are so very pretty, Colombia is th only country I have visited and not traveled about the country side.

    I have not seen any violence in Peru. I have seen violence in Bogata, and Medellin, and Barranquilla.

    Uruguay you say, hmmm.


    Quote Originally Posted by skinnybex View Post
    Hmmmm, Lima is not safe at all unless your referring to Barranco and Mira Flores as well as the finacial district. Way less police presence in Peru in general and poverty is generally higher which lends to more theft and shady shit. I've been to Peru about 10 times but I truly love the country and it's my second favorite after Colombia. Ecuador is also fantastic apart from parts of Guayaquil.

    Just like anything else if you avoid the big city barrios or most of the favela type areas built on the mountain sides at night you'll be fine. And not constantly shooting photography with a high end DSLR on every run down corner where there is a raw and beautiful photo opportunity.

    I've spent in Excess of 15 years all over South America and Colombia is 100% the most safe in almost every circumstance. I love the Colombian and Peruvian people.....Chile, Argentina and Brazil are just okay if not a bit arrogant. Uruguay is my favorite southern country.....Paraguay is bad news and not much going on regardless for adventuring.

    Bolivia is raw and amazing with great culture and scenery and Ecuador is the most diverse in regards to the outdoors....Jungle and Rain Forest, Big Mountains and Volcanoes, Desert and Arid and of course some fantastic beaches and surf.

    I've had multiple girlfriends in almost every country and obviously the Colombian girls are pretty much perfect in all respects. My wife is Colombian. If they have the choice between spending their money on anything its to make themselves look beautiful and elegant and they show so much happiness and respect to others even when saying hello....Brazilian girls are the most overrated. maybe 15 years ago was a different story but an Olympics and World cup have ruined the charm of that country IMHO.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Well, maybe I should stop hanging around in zona central in Medellin. Got any ides on where to hang around in Colombia next time I go down there? The Paisas are so very pretty, Colombia is th only country I have visited and not traveled about the country side.

    I have not seen any violence in Peru. I have seen violence in Bogata, and Medellin, and Barranquilla.

    Uruguay you say, hmmm.
    Scroll down and read the post on Colombia - lots of good options discussed.


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