Andes Crossing by Horses from Argentina to Chile
Andes Crossing by Horses Expedition
Andes Crossing by horses is an amazing opportunity to cross the entire Andes mountain range from Mendoza Argentina to Chile. This is a unique experience that will take you through a forgotten land of a gorgeous beauty, it will be like a journey in time. We will set out from the beautiful mountain area of Tunuyan, to cross then the mountains of the Andes by following several breathtaking valleys and gorges surrounded by vertical walls, glaciers and 6.000 m high mountains. This pristine landscape is home of condors and guanacos that may visit us during the journey.
Andes Crossing by horses characteristics
Across pioneer trails in the rural Portillo pass in the middle of the Andes Mountains, an exclusive journey into the “gaucho” culture. Enjoy this fantastic adventure, relax in the depths of the pristine Andean wilderness, being introduced to the local people’s traditional way of life.
Historical Follow San Martin’s path, we are going to ride through the “Valle de los Patos” (Valley of the ducks). In January 1817, the “Ejército de los Andes” (Andes Army) undertook the most audacious military campaign of the Argentinean history. Nearly 200 years later, we offer you cross the Andes mountain ranges on horseback following General Don José de San Martin’s path.
Ecological we take care of the environment; we defend the activities, which are in direct contact with nature, far away from pollution and high-tension cables or any kind of civilization.
Expedition across the Andes: which will make this crossing a real “expedition” among a salvage and isolated world to reach one of the most defying objective of the Tourism Adventure: The Andes crossing on horseback.
The “gaucho” way: you will live every minute like a gaucho (Argentinian cowboys), sharing your time with our team of guides and muleteers who will teach you experiences and costumes from the everyday life of a typical gaucho in the high country.
Departure dates 2017/18
• Transfers by car from the city of Mendoza and to Santiago
• Please contact us if you want to return to Mendoza
• One night accommodation in the Maipo Valley (Chile)
• Full board during the trip
• Dining tent with tables, chairs and tableware
• High mountain tents to camp
• Specialized guides, experts baqueanos area, cooking services
• Horses in excellent condition and easy to drive
• 12 kg of equipment per pax. loading by horses
• Dinner with the group in Chile
• Satellite phone (in case of contingencies)
• Detailed information of flora, fauna and history of each place
• Personal equipment (clothes, sleeping bag, mattress)
• Extra expenses, drinks, farewell dinner
• Any costs resulting from the cancellation of the program before and during the trip
You have to arrive in Mendoza a day before the departure date since we will need to check your equipment. We can offer you an additional night of accommodation for that purpose. We will help you to arrange the booking and add the cost to the total rate.
Day 1: MENDOZA – MANZANO HISTÓRICO – SCARAVELLI
The expedition begins with a meeting in which you will get to know the members of the trip. Then we will drive in a private vehicle towards the “Manzano Histórico” (2h), located in the Uco Valley, at the southwest of Mendoza City. It is widely considered one of the top wine regions in Mendoza and all Argentina.
In the Manzano Histórico, you will be able to visit the museum in memory of the liberator San Martín.
We will arrive then by car to the Refugio Portinari (National Gendarmerie), where you will meet the other guides and local muleteers that will be part of this spectacular expedition. There we will perform customs clearance and registration with the authorities of the National
Dinner and bonfire at the refugee.
Day 2: SCARAVELLI – PORTILLO ARGENTINO – REAL DE LA CRUZ
Breakfast and enlistment of the horses to follow our route. This day we will climb the
“Portillo Argentino”, rising up to 4380 m. That will be about two hours of uphill riding, with the reward of an astonishing view of the Andes and the border with Chile.
Then after another 5 hours riding (mostly in a downhill trail) we will reach the valley of the Tunuyan River, where is the mountain shelter named “Refugio Real de la Cruz”. This shelter belongs to the Argentine Army and it is used by adventurers, porters and mountaineers. We will spend the night there and enjoy a energizing dinner.
During the night, some songs and stories may arise by the hand the muleteers and travelers met in the refugee.
This will be the longest day on a horse (8 hours approx.).
Day 3: REAL DE LA CRUZ
The third will be an active rest day. You can decide whether staying near the shelter or make a trek of recognition accompanied by the guide, that will show you the local flora and fauna.
After lunch you will be able to enjoy a demonstration of the gauchos’ skills (with ‘lazo’ and ‘boleadoras’).
Dinner and overnight at “Refugio Real de la Cruz”.
Day 4: REAL DE LA CRUZ – EL CALETÓN
After breakfast we will prepare the horses and mules for embarking the Tunuyán river crossing. The ride continues through the viewpoint of “Mount Tupungato 6800 meters” and then following upriver the beautiful “Palomares” stream, until the last campsite in Argentinean territory: “The Caletón.”
If the weather allows it, we can have a relaxing bath and “beauty treatment” in a stream with mineralized waters. It is a good opportunity to sleep by the campfire and under the stars.
Rest, night in tents.
Day 5: EL CALETÓN – INTERNATIONAL BORDER – TERMAS DEL PLOMO (Chile)
Departure towards the Argentinean – Chilean Border, another big challenge for our expedition. We will ride up to the Piuquenes step at 4030 m, the boundary between Argentina and Chile.
For sanitary and custom regulations, the horses can’t cross from one country to the other, and so we will have to change the animals at the international boundary. New Chilean horses and Chilean muleteers guides will lead us down to the river “El Plomo” in Chilean territory.
After crossing the river, private vehicles will be waiting for us. We will drive to the Cajón del Maipo, the “Embalse del Yeso” (reservoir) in San Gabriel where we will finally complete the custom paperwork at the Police office.
Accommodation in a beautiful complex of cabins and farewell dinner at local restaurant.
Day 6: TRANSFER CAJÓN DEL MAIPO (Chile) / SANTIAGO DE CHILE
Transfer to Santiago and end of the program. Optional transfer to Mendoza (consult).
• 2 Top underwear, polypropylene or capeline
• 1 Long sleeve shirts
• 1 Fleece jacket
• 1 Windproof Gore-tex jacket, It must have a hood
• 1 Down jacket, it´s better with a Hood
• 1 Pairs of liner gloves
• 1 Pair of fleece or wool gloves
• 1 Hat or cap for the sun
• 1 Fleece hat or balaclava
• Lower body
• 1 Bottom underwear
• 1 Trekking pant
• 1 Windproof Gore – Tex pant (we recommend side zippers)
• 1 Pair of trekking boots ( we recommend Gore-Tex models )
• 1 Pair of gaiters
• 2 Pairs of lightweight socks
• 2 Pairs of heavyweight socks
• 1 Pair of glacier glasses with side cobres (100% UV)
• 1 Headlamp
• 1 Sleeping bag (-20ºC)
• 1 Pair of hiking poles
• Sunscreen and lip protection (SPF 40)
• 2 Water bottles
• 1 Thermo
• Large backpack (25 l),gear bag or 90l backpack.
• Camera, video camera, extra batteries
• Personal first-aid kit
• 1 Pee bottle
• Personal hygiene kit
• 6 Batteries for headlamp or other