Scout Brazil With Edelweiss Bike Travel

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The global leader in motorcycle tours, Edelweiss Bike Travel has added the South American country of Brazil to their catalog for the first time in the company’s 34-year history.

Slated as a scouting expedition, they are offering a select group of riders the unique opportunity to join Edelweiss staffers during a nine-day expedition where you will search out the best roads for future tour groups to travel.

This trip is limited to experienced riders who are able to manage dirt roads as well as paved proficiently. The staff needs to know you can keep up and won’t be thrown off by seven straight days of riding an average of 150 – 240 miles per day in unpredictable conditions. Don’t expect to be coddled as you would with any other Edelweiss tour. Here you will be in basic accommodations, with an open route and helping to gather information about the area, its roads and the best places to stay and eat.

The expeditions kick off in August which is considered winter in South America, and in tropical Brazil, it is also one of the months with the least amount of rainfall.

The Tours
Each tour is nine days in duration, with two days of flying and seven days of riding built in.

There are two expeditions on offer. The first, Delightful South Brazil takes place August 15 – 23 and begins in the metropolitan city of Florianopolis located on the coast and dubbed one of the “ten most dynamic cities of the world” by Newsweek. You’ll then travel on to Sao Joaquim where you will get your first taste of lush, twisty mountain roads riding through low cloud formations and even feel brisk 50 degree temperatures. The highway linking the coast to the highlands is popular with local riders with several tight hairpins on offer.

Sao Joaquim

Next, you’ll pass through the city of Sao Lourenco do Oeste on your way to Foz do Iguacu where you’ll explore the surrounding area for three days. As one of Brazil’s most-frequented tourist destinations, Foz do Iguacu is the home of Iguacu Falls that triples Niagara Falls in capacity and is situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguacu National Park that sits snugly on the Argentinian boarder. If you cross over to the Argentine side of the falls you can best experience Devils Throat, a portion of the falls which stands a whopping 318 ft high.

Iguacu Falls

After experiencing the Iguacu area, you’ll visit the cities of Guarapuava, followed by Rio do Sul that sits on the edge of three rivers and then finish back where you started in Florianópolis. Adventurers on this ride can expect to travel 240 miles per day.

The second trip, Best of Minas Gerais takes place August 29 – September 6 and sets out from Rio de Janiro. This trip explores mountain ranges with demanding roads (Petropolis) and the historic cities of Penedo, Tiradentes, Ouro Preto − which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Sao Joao Nepomuceno founded during Portuguese colonization. Completing the loop, riders will finish back on the coast in Rio de Janiro. Expect to travel 150 miles a day with this tour.

2014 BMW R 1200 GS

The Bikes On Offer:

Tour Price
Communications Manager, Karin Gritsch of Edelweiss Bike Travel expects each tour to cost in the ballpark of $5,000 – $6,000 per person. Final cost will depend on how many riders sign up in each tour group.

To Florianópolis: Coming from either the west or east coast of the U.S., prices are quite similar. Expect to pay $1,300 – $1,700 for a round-trip, economy class ticket.

To Rio de Janiro: Again, departing from either U.S. coast, pricing is within a few hundred dollars depending on which airline you choose. Expect to pay $1,100 –  $1,500 for a round-trip, economy class ticket.

To enter Brazil from the U.S., you will need to obtain a tourist visa costing $160.00, plus a $20.00 application fee and you’ll do this by visiting the Brazilian embassy twice. During the first visit, you’ll drop off your passport, completed visa paperwork and a new passport photo. You’ll return 5-8 business days later to pick it up. For an additional fee, you can pay a visa service to handle the embassy portion of this process for you.

Shots and Meds
The CDC recommends vaccines for Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and B, MMR, and a Tetanus booster. It is also advisable to be up-to-date on your routine vaccinations.

Additionally, you’ll need an anti-malarial drug and precautionary medication for traveler’s diarrhea.

Taking a SteriPEN is also an easy way to make sure the water you drink does not make you sick during your trip. They are compact, easy to use and one charge goes a long way.

Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country full of outgoing people. I recently spent three weeks there and was able to easily navigate by learning a few key phrases and carrying a pocket Brazilian Portuguese phrasebook by Lonely Planet. Additionally, your Edelweiss guide will be there to help you as needed.

Should you choose to tour with Edelweiss, you’ll be in good hands. They have conducted over 2,050 tours around the world with more than 34,300 motorcyclists in the last 34 years. If you are ready to take the plunge, visit to reserve your adventure.

Would you like to take a bike tour in another country? If so, where would you like to go? What would you like to ride?

  • Glauco Delevedove

    Serra do Rio do Rastro (1st and 2nd pictures in this article) in southern Brazil is a bit like Stelvio Pass.

  • William Connor

    I can’t say I have a must have travel country. The closest might be Ireland and Scotland. This is where my ancestors come from and to see some of that history and heritage is appealing. Truthfully though I have barely scratched the surface of the US at this point. There are so many great destinations, roads, natural wonders, and areas of the country to explore.

    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      I bet Scotland would make an amazing tour… You’ve got me thinking.

    • Shea O’Connell

      Scotland and Ireland are great places to tour, although the roads could definitely be a little better! I live in Scotland and am from Ireland so travel between the two quite often on my GSXF. Well worth taking in the Highlands in Scotland and making the effort to do the entire West coast of Ireland, stunning scenery and some decent roads along the way. That, Guinness and everyone being friendly makes it worth a trip!

      • Lourens Smak

        Friendly people… I always have to think of the story of the man who hitchhiked across Ireland together with a FRIDGE. Something like that is apparently no problem in Ireland, where people are glad to help someone out. Hope to ride my motorcycle there one day.

        • UrbanMoto

          “Round Ireland With A Fridge” is a great book! One of my favorites, it’s very funny and can be had on Amazon for $.01 right now. I think I may dust it off and give it a re-read. Thanks for reminding me about it.

  • roma258

    Does the pricing seem a little steep? I get it if it was a regular tour, but if you’re kinda sorta helping them scout, maybe a bit of a discount should be on order. I dunno their pricing structure that well and I’m a bit of a cheapass, but that’s my initial reaction.

  • Sam Belton

    I’m a big fan of Compass Expeditions ( I went on a tour with their tour partner in Turkey and loved it. Later went with Compass to Cambodia as well. Very well run tours, always a small group, very personal, great accomodation (never staying in big American style hotels, but small locally owned boutique). Great trips, you feel more like you on a ride with some friends than a part of the circus. Well kept BMW’s as well.

  • Fred

    “The Delightful South”, the richest region of the country…. No crimes, clean water, educated people. You will know the “real” Brazil hu3hu3hu3

    Search for “Sertão nordestino”, or maybe “Rio de Janeiro favelas”, or even “extrados norte brasil”

    • Glauco Delevedove

      Yes, southern Brazil is richer than northern Brazil.

      And we have clean water: citizens from the first world countries don’t need to fear getting a diarrea.

      But “no crimes”? Are you crazy?

      • Jen Degtjarewsky

        Hi Glauco,

        Regarding the water… Travelers diarrhea is caused by bacteria in the water that you are not used to. It does not mean the water is not clean, simply that it contains things travelers have not built a tolerance to and it can result in stomach upset. Over time, if a traveler stayed in country for a long duration, they would build a tolerance to the bacteria in the water just like the locals. The same would likely happen if you were to come to another country, there may be things in the water that you have not built a tolerance to and you might feel ill as a result after drinking it out of the tap. This excludes things like Giardia, etc which can be found in a river or stream in the U.S., just the same as anywhere else. The SteriPen basically kills all of the bacteria in the water, making it OK to drink. Hope that helps!

        • Glauco Delevedove

          Hi Jen,

          We are not used to drink tap water (which is, indeed, very clean).

          We are used to drink bottled water (mineral water) which is as cheap and as easy to find as Coke.

          The issue here is not the water, or yellow fever, or hepatitis.

          Here we are not used to obey traffic laws, some of our roads have a lot of potholes, the winter is cold (32ºF = 0ºC, we are talking about southern Brazil) and, near São Joaquim, it is expected to find black ice.

  • Rick Germain

    I chuckled at the “don’t expect to be coddled” line in the piece above…for five grand I can easily travel for a couple of months. If I’m only getting 9 days, I damn well better be coddled! No disrespect to folks who have this kind of cash and a desire to be in a group but that’s a pile of money.

    • Gonfern

      I would expect that being coddled in Brazil simply means you returned home with both Kidneys. lol I’m sure lots of that money goes to buy “Please don’t Kidnap our clients” coupons.

      • Eduardo Fiorini

        hahahaha that’s a bit exaggerated, but it’s not far from truth

  • UrbanMoto

    Been to Brazil once, though not on bikes. Great food, great people, great music. I really loved it. But I have to agree with other commenters – if I’m helping discover some routes, and staying in basic accomodations, 5-6K seems a bit steep. A F800GS can be had for less than 200/day in Brazil, and another company offers a fully supported 14 day Brazil tour for just over 6K. That said, the trip definitely sounds pretty awesome, and Brazil is a tremendous country to visit. If you can swing the dough, I bet this trip would be a blast.