Unique ride across the biggest salt lake


  • Do not underestimate the salar, although cycling is easy and there are many tourists
  • There are some holes in the usually flat surface. Don't end up in one of those, while dreaming when cycling...
  • On the Isla Inkawasi (Pescado) you can get water and there is a restaurant
  • After the Salar, do clean your bike from the salt! Once it is dry, the salt gets hard like a stone!

Route description

At Chiguana you cross the railway track and cycle across the open plain towards NW. After 35km you reach San Juan [GPS033]. From San Juan there are multiple exits. Don't take the one that leads to much north... The road is again very sand, with washbord. After about 12km the road turns north. Now you have good surface to cycle. But not for long, when you leave the plain to go to Mañica [GPS034], hidden in a valley. After another 6km you first reach a military camp. Just behind is Colcha "K" [GPS035] (accomodation, food).

From here it is another 21km north, until you reach the begin of the dam [GPS036] (Puerto Chuvica water, bread). Follow the dam for 3km onto the salar [GPS037]. Now turn north (compass direction 354°), towards the Isla Ikawasi (often wrongly called Isla Pescado) 40km across the Salar [GPS038]. After 10km the island will apear at the horizon (just left of the volcano Tunapa).

From the island head just left of the volcano. After 38km you reach the shore [GPS039].

Now you pass the village of Tanua, then the road climbs. After 9km you get to a turn off [GPS040], go right. Up and down passing some small villages. After another 13km go left to a little pass [GPS041], then passing a little village. The road climbs an reaches another little pass [GPS042]. Behind is Salinas de Gacia Mendoza [GPS043] (accommodation, food).

Now follow the 'main road', passing Tambo Tambillo and Qillacas to Huari(exhausting road). At Huari you finally reach asphalt. Hot springs at Pazña.

Sketch map

GPS Waypoints