A fun and exotic adventure for riders. While the roar of freedom was still heard in France and U.S., its echo rolled into South America… patriotic voices with gigantic dreams coordinated their actions to put an end to 350 years of monarchic domination and open an era of individual free will.
This ride lets you share the privilege of recreating one of the most amazing achievements in the history of mankind – Crossing the Andes on horseback via the exact route of San MartÌn and his “Army of the Andes” in 1817 in order to free the people of Chile from European monarchs.
A truly remarkable ride through completely pristine land, this ride is perfect for enthusiasts of nature and history. You will experience firsthand the efforts that these men independence had to overcome. A mythical journey that draws like a magnet.
This wilderness is flanked by the highest mountains in America, the Aconcagua (20,900 ft.) and the Mercedario (20,700 ft.). It is in these uninhabited places, only accessible on horseback, where huge herds of guanacos roam freely and the Andean condor nests.
As the sun sets, the spectacular stars of the southern hemisphere will completely cover the sky. Relax at the camp with its peaceful atmosphere. The campfire that illuminates the darkness as you share a cup of coffee, tea or mate (the traditional Argentine tea drink). All this creates the ideal ambiance to feel the timeless spirit of nature and reflect on each day’s adventure.
Rate: $3,490.00 – $5,390.00 USD per person in a shared room (Single Supplement: $350.00 USD)
***Rates are based on the size of the group: 6 Riders: $3,490.00 USD, 4-5 Riders: $3,660.00 USD, 2-3 Riders: $5,390.00 USD.
Start dates include: 2019: Dec. 28, 2020: Jan. 19, Feb. 20, March 9, Dec. 28 *Special dates available upon request from Dec. 1 through late March
- 6 nights camping
- 2 night hotel
- Transfers pre set time
- English speaking guide
- Horse and all tack
- Luggage transfer
- Camping equipment
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Travel Insurance
- Gratuities at the end of the stay
Your trip begins with your arrival in lively Santiago de Chile, Chile. From here, you will be transferred to the town of Los Andes at pre set times from the International Airport or at a meeting spot in downtown Santiago. During your transfer, you will see the site where the Chacabuco battle took place on the 12th of February 1817. On 14 February, San Martín and O’Higgins entered Santiago de Chile to declare it’s independence. You will have a free day in this lovely town and the relaxing chance to take in the mountain air, look around the shops and spend a leisurely night at your hotel. That evening a welcome dinner at hotel with the group and guides will officially “kick off” the start of your ride.
Today will be your first day of riding! Starting with a transfer Los Patos, you will begin your trip following the route taken by the South American liberator, San Martin, and his army. San Martin took this exact trail on his way to Santiago, through the Aconcagua Valley and Putaendo valleys. At Los Patos, where the road ends, you will mount up and continue onward. Please have your passports (and/or visa’s) handy as Migration Officers will be there waiting for you and will not allow passage without these documents. From here, you will ride upstream along the winding Rocin river to Las Tejas - your first campsite!
Today you will be riding along the Pacific Ocean watersheds as the group continues to move up the Rocín river canyon. You will stop for the night at the El Ciénego camp.
Rise and shine … you leave early in the morning to reach the international border, situated at an absolutely stunning 10,600 feet. Changing horses is mandatory here, so pat your trusted Chilean horse and thank your guide as you say farewell to Chile and meet up with the Argentine team. You will have an exceptional view of the Aconcagua Mountain (22,481 feet.), the highest peak in the entire Western Hemisphere so be sure to have your camera ready. Tonight night will be spent in Valle Hermoso.
Spending a second day at this heavenly spot to rest, you will enjoy a day of riding along the valley to get a closer view of Mount Aconcagua. After the last few days of rather rugged riding, this is an easy going day and we ride at a leisurely pace. Alternatively, you can go trout fishing or stay at camp and relax. Typical Argentine dinner at campsite, under the vast canopy of stars.
Today you will be riding along the Los Patos Valley which is an agricultural oasis as it was actually once at the very bottom of the sea. Keep a lookout as you may encounter a variety of marine fossils, as you make our way toward the Volcán river. Tonights camp is at an altitude of 11,483 feet in Rancho de Lata. The wonderful fresh air and the cool evenings insure a good nights sleep which will prepare you for the next day’s incredible ride through the pass!
One of the highlights of the trip, today you will cross the Espinacito Slope at an amazing 14,764 feet. This is the highest point of the journey. The landscape is beyond explanation … it truly is beyond your wildest dreams! You will also be acutely aware of the titanic efforts made by San Martin and Army of the Andes. Night will be spent in Peñón Colorado.
After breakfast you’ll saddle up for the last time and ride to Manantiales and Hornillas. This is the day you’ll begin to reflect upon and fully grasp the true meaning of this crossing. The terrain you have crossed and marveled at over the last days is much unchanged from the time of San Martin. It is with a sense of awe and wonder that you come to end of the riding portion of your journey. Leaving the horses, you’ll ride in 4x4 vehicles to the town of Uspallata to spend the night in a hotel. Here a fun and boisterous hearty farewell dinner await you.
A day of culinary delights, get ready to see some of the best Argentina has to offer. Sample some luscious Mendoza wines as you prepare to head to Buenos Aires. This day will be a gourmet experience: wine making, wine tasting and a superb lunch.
From Uspallata you’ll leave early to visit Luján de Cuyo. This area is known worldwide for producing several of Argentina’s best wines where you will visit some of Argentina’s best (and most famous) vineyards. Lunch will be served at the Club Tapiz boutique winery before your transfer to Mendoza city airport if you have to fly to Buenos Aires or bus terminal if your plan is to go back to Chile or your hotel in the city if your plan is to stay longer in Argentina.
OPTIONAL DAYS (for trip extensions):
Rafting: Rafting on the River Mendoza, the region’s best. 5-7 miles on the rapids surrounded by awesome scenery. The level of difficulty of this river is OK for everyone (level 2.5-3), thus combining adventure with safety.
Climbing and rappel: Rappel a natural wall located in a deep gorge in the Andes. Before you start, the instructors will go over the basics with you … enjoy the experience of climbing this wall using ropes. This activity does not need any previous training and there is no age limit. Duration: 4hrs and 30 min.
Trekking: Towards the Cerro de la Cruz (6900 ft.) … this takes you to the base of the mountain. This is a trek of medium difficulty that can be done by everyone. Highly recommended for young people who are fond of nature and like awesome mountain landscapes.
4X4 Wheel drive with mining tour: You stop by the “7 Colors Hill”. There, the guide will tell you about the geography, geology, flora and fauna of the area. You will have a mini trek (15-20 min.) and then you begin a ride along the Santa Helena creek. You’ll reach the lookout point, affectionately called “ El Balcón.” Here, you can see the Uspallata valley from an altitude of 6,900 ft. You’ll spend an additional hour or so exploring the talcum and fluorite mines with safety helmets and lights provided. This activity takes 4 hrs.