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ADV RidesTouring RegionCentral AmericaHere’s What It’s Like to Ride Central and South America

Here’s What It’s Like to Ride Central and South America

Tolga Basol's thrilling ride down south is sure to get your blood pumping.

Published on 06.27.2016

If you’ve ever dreamed of quitting your job, hopping on your motorcycle and traveling Central and South America, check out Turkish rider Tolga Basol’s videos. His adventures are good enough to make you really do it.

Tolga is a 35-year-old adventure rider from Istanbul who quit his job as a motion graphics professional and filmmaker to ride around the world. In other words, he’s a talented videographer who’s travel videos will surely get your blood pumping.


His Central American adventure begins after crossing into Belize from Mexico, where he tours ancient Mayan ruins nearly swallowed by the jungle and captures shots of street food vendors and night life. In Guatemala, Tolga and a riding buddy swim in the turquoise lagoons of Semuc Champey before dealing with a broken fuel line on his KTM 1190 Adventure R so he can continue on to Antigua. All part of the ride.

Tolga Basol rides Central and South AmericaCourtesy Tolga Basol

Tolga ended up spending a month in Antigua while waiting for new equipment to arrive. He filled in time by riding to the Volcano Pacaya, where he made tracks in the black ash of an active volcano.

In Nicaragua, a ferry ride took him and a riding buddy to the wide, empty beaches and archeological sites of the hourglass-shaped Ometepe Island, made up of twin volcanoes rising from the waters of Lake Nicaragua. In Costa Rica, he hooked up with a local who took him through airbox-deep river crossings, down red-mud paths and even on some sandy beach riding, where Tolga discovered that having full luggage and a big bike was a huge drawback.

Tolga Basol's Central and South America RideCourtesy Tolga Basol

He skirted the roadless Darien Gap between Central and South America by hoisting his bike on board the Stahlratte sailboat for a three-day trip to Colombia, then explored the jungles of Ecuador, snow-capped mountains in Peru, the driest place on earth in Chile’s Atacama desert, and ultimately made his way to the very end of the road in Tierra del Fuego.

Tolga has already made it back to Europe but his videos and photography attest to the stunning scenery that awaits adventure riders in Central and South America. To see more of Tolga’s epic journey through Latin America and beyond check out his website at

Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby

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June 27, 2016 11:41 am

Awesome! But yeah, no way in hell would I do a trip like that on such a big, especially complicated bike. I’d only trust my DR650. Comparatively lightweight, super simple and easy to repair… with tons of parts available in most areas if needed (unlikely).

Nick Ibbitson
Nick Ibbitson
June 27, 2016 11:45 pm
Reply to  RobG

I understand it was a KTM sponsored bike – just goes to prove it can be done 🙂

June 29, 2016 9:43 am

I met him in Ecuador!


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