Best cycling routes – The Americas

After taking a look at a few of the best cycling routes which Europe has to offer, we’ve turned our attention to North and South America. Once again these routes provide a great basis for planning an adventure, but can equally be scaled down and enjoyed in smaller quantities, if you’re less experienced or have less of a desire to spends hundreds of hours and miles on your bike!

Pacific Coast Highway - USA

Route Length – 1700 Miles

Known  also as Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway is America’s dream drive, yet it’s also really popular as a long-distance cycling trip. The views are amazing with stunning coastal views along almost the entire twisting route from the northern border with Canada to the southern border with Mexico.

Washington is generally flat to rolling hills, with a few climbs and the Oregon coast means hills, some steep, but it also means that your spectacular views will be well-earned. Northern California is generally hilly, with lots of ups and downs following the coastline. This trip can also be extended to take in Vancouver, Canada at the start or end depending on your route.

Carretera Austral, Chile

Route length – 800 miles

This fabulous route runs from Puerto Montt in central Chile, south through Caleta Yungay to Villa O’Higgins passing through the region of Patagonia, with numerous ferryboat transfers along the way. Take in some of Chile’s most amazing terrain, including mountains, lakes and glaciers, and through national parks including Queulat and Cerro Castillo. This is a mountain biking tour, with more than 1,200 kms of mostly unpaved gravel road – so its not for the faint-hearted.

Santiago de Cuba - Havana, Cuba

Route Length – 650 miles

Starting in the east in Santiago de Cuba, riding west to the Capital Havana, or start in Havana riding east to Santiago de Cuba, either way this is an incredible ride. With very little traffic outside the main towns and cities, this is a great way to experience this unique island. It’s easy to get quickly off-the-beaten-track, and the terrain is relatively flat with very few climbs. Throw in a string of beautiful beaches and stunning colonial towns along the way, you can see why cycling tours in Cuba are growing in popularity.

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile - Uyuni, Bolivia

Route length – 300 miles

An average altitude somewhere between 4000 and 4800 meters, sections where you have to push your bike through deep sand for more than a few miles, potentially freezing cold (upto -21° C), possible fierce headwinds and this quest may take up to 10 days. Inspired? Don’t be put off just yet. Although this ride is extreme it’s so worth it. The scenery and landscape is beyond incredible, and you’ll find it hard to believe you’re even on this planet. Red, green and blue coloured salt lakes, filled with flamingos, colourful, mineral rich mountains, white peaked volcanoes, deep blue skies, red sandy desert and strange moon-like rock formations.

You’ll also be able to cross and camp on the incredible Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest salt flat, and surely one of the most amazing places on Earth. Needless to say this is an extreme bike ride with tough conditions and terrain, but it is the ultimate adventure!