Carretera Austral

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Carretera Austral

Postby molly » 7 Nov 2019, 8:45pm

Does anyone have any experience/advice regarding getting out to Chile from the UK with luggage and a bike to ride the Carretera Austral?

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Re: Carretera Austral

Postby simonhill » 8 Nov 2019, 12:39pm

Without knowing what research you have done, difficult to offer useful advice.

Nonetheless, don't just go for cheapest or most convenient airline before you check out their bike policy. Plenty of airlines in the Americas have punitive cycle carriage policies.

BA and their partner airline Iberia could be worth a look.

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Re: Carretera Austral

Postby yutkoxpo » 8 Nov 2019, 4:57pm

Have a look on CrazyGuyOnABike.
Search the journals for the more recent tours.
Filter out the ones originating in the UK.
If necessary, contact the authors.

Good luck!

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Re: Carretera Austral

Postby randonneur » 8 Nov 2019, 5:24pm

When I went out to Chile to cycle the Carraterra Austral, while not the cheapest flight, I flew via Brazil on TAM Brazil which has a very generous luggage allowance of 2 X 23kg bags, so bike in one bag and panniers in the second bag. Obviously had to take a domestic flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt using Lan Chile, this I booked on the same ticket hence the same luggage allowance. Since flying out there I believe TAM and Lan Chile have now merged to LanTam so things may have changed. However flights through Brazil do generally have better luggage allowance. As mentioned above definitely worth avoiding any American Airlines if travelling with a bike together with the hassle of clearing US Immigration.

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Re: Carretera Austral

Postby willswitchengage » 9 Nov 2019, 5:37pm

BA are excellent for bikes, I think they fly to Santiago and Buenos Aires. A friend who visited the area had to get a bus down to Tierra del Fuego - that might be the only public option to get further south. He also got robbed on the bus, so watch out!

BA's policy gets tweaked every now and then but IIRC you get to just take a bike as one of your 23kg bags. That's it. So fill a bike box with your bike and all your camping stuff up to 23kg and you're good to go. Extra bags with BA are pretty cheap too. I have never had an issue flying with them.

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Re: Carretera Austral

Postby MartinBrice » 18 Nov 2019, 9:27pm

I did this a few years ago. Flew Heathrow Santiago with brief stop in saõ paulo, spent day in the Santiago bus station, bought ticket on one of the very many buses going overnight to Puerto montt, rebuilt bike in the bus station, went to place to stay. Was away for seven weeks. Your main problem will be getting back from the remote area of southern Chile. I clubbed together with others to hire a minibus to get us away from o'higgins, then a pick up truck then managed to get the only spare seat that week on a flight into Santiago. All a bit of an adventure. Best place is to check crazy guy on a bike and ask direct questions of the bloggers there.
Great place, Chile, lovely people. I've cycled in a lot of places and traveled all over the world: the caretera austral is the worst road I have ever seen, anywhere.

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Re: Carretera Austral

Postby Mr.Benton » 21 Nov 2019, 6:28pm

I am planning this trip for next year.
I have booked a return ticket with BA to Buenos Aires, I contacted the help line and added my bike as luggage for which there was a £50 charge.
I have booked a ticket with Aerolinas Argentina to San Carlos Barloche and contacted their english speaking help desk to add my bike as luggage. there is a charge to pay at the airport for oversize luggage. I booked the flight which leaves from EZE airport, which is the same airport as I arrive so I have also booked an overnight stay in an airport hotel. this saves having to trek across BA with a bike in a box.

From San Carlos Barloche it is possible to cycle to the start of the Carretera Austral by a couple of routes, I am planning to cycle south in Argentina and then cross to the CA at Futaleufu.

I haven't worked out how I am going to get back to Buenos Aires yet, this will depend on how far I get.

Can't say if this is will work or not, only time will tell.

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Re: Carretera Austral

Postby rualexander » 21 Nov 2019, 9:52pm

Mr.Benton wrote:
From San Carlos Barloche it is possible to cycle to the start of the Carretera Austral by a couple of routes, I am planning to cycle south in Argentina and then cross to the CA at Futaleufu.

That is the route I took back in 1997, nice route through the Siete Lagos, El Bolsen, Parque Nacional Los Alerces, Trevelin, Futaleufu, etc.