Photo by: Serge LAROCHE

Once limited to the jungles and mountains of Costa Rica, now the mountain biking revolution has spread down across the Darien Gap to South America, all the way south to Patagonia. Countries such as Peru and Chile, previously never mentioned together with the word biking, are international sensations with first class tour operators and gear shops. This is the land of volcanoes, deserts, glaciers, jagged mountains, and ancient ruins.

  1. World’s Most Dangerous Road, Bolivia The La Paz-to-Coroico road descends approximately 11,811 feet. The 40 mile route starts in the Bolivian altiplano and ends in the sub-tropical Yungas.
  2. Carretera Austral, Northern Patagonia, Chile Ride through temperate rain forests while glacier capped mountains spew waterfalls during Chile’s summer months, the only time this difficult ride is possible.
  3. Copper Canyon, Mexico More than 400 miles of fat tire trails dissect Copper Canyon, which is four times larger than the Grand Canyon. This intense journey can take as much as two weeks to complete.
  4. Mérida, Venezuela Bike downhill from 7,000 feet in the high Andes to cloud forests, while admiring coffee plantations and waterfalls, on this 11.8 mile run.
  5. Iguazu National Park, Argentina and Brazil Lush Atlantic rainforest cut by several rugged dirt trails, on both sides of the border, are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Arrange for your tour operator to combine the trip with rafting and rappelling in the park.
  6. Salta, Argentina Argentina’s mountainous northwest city is an adventure sports capital and area trails are finally getting their fair share of riders.
  7. Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua Bike a 15.5 mile trail between volcanoes, while dodging New World monkeys and visiting indigenous settlements, on this island in Central America’s largest lake.
  8. Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica This is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Now one of the world’s hottest biking sites and most memorable.
  9. Sacred Valley, Peru Ride below the snow covered peaks in the Vilcabamba range, from one Incan ruin to the next, and stopping at lively Andean markets.
  10. Altiplano, Chile Northern Chile is one of the driest places on earth, but is not short on geological wonders from moon like valleys, geysers, and sand dunes.

Click here for Top 10 Mountain Biking Vacations in Africa and the Middle East