Preliminary Daily Program
Day 1 – Arrival in Santiago de Chile, Chile. Fly to Santiago de Chile. Transfer from the airport is 2.00 pm and it takes about 1½ hours to drive to the city of Los Andes and your hotel. Check-in and then you are free to explore together with your guide and the rest of the group until it is time for dinner.
Day 2 – The ride starts. Transfer from Los Andes to Los Patos. This is the route that San Martin’s army took through the Aconcagua and Putaendo Valleys on its way to Santiago. You can see where the Battle of Chacabuco took place on 12 February 1817. On 14 February, San Martin and O’Higgins entered Santiago and declared independence. The Chilean horses and gauchos will be waiting for you in Los Patos. The local authorities will give permission for you to pass the unmanned border crossing. You will ride upstream, along the Rocin River, to Las Tejas and your first camping spot.
Day 3 – You are riding the Pacific Ocean watersheds. You move up the Rocín river canyon. Night at El Ciénego camp.
Day 4 – You head off early in the morning to reach the national border at 3,500 meters above sea level (11,400 ft). You will have to change horses here and say ‘good-bye’ to your Chilean horses and gauchos and continue your ride with the Argentinean team. You are now close by Mt Aconcagua (6,962 m; 22,800 ft), the highest peak in the Americas and the Western Hemisphere. Overnight at Valle Hermoso. You will soon understand why this is known as the ‘Beautiful Valley’.
Day 5 – You will spend a second day in this heavenly place. Today you will ride through the valley to get a closer look at Mt Aconagua. An easy ride at your own pace. You can also go fishing or stay in the camp and relax. Dinner at the camp.
Day 6 – You ride along the Volcán River and through the Los Patos Valley, once the ocean floor and now covered in marine fossils. You will camp at 3,500 meters (11,400 ft) above sea level at Rancho de Lata and prepare for tomorrow’s challenge.
Day 7 – Riding (continued): Today you will cross the Espinacito Slope at 4,500 m (14,700 ft) above sea level. This is the highest point of the ride. This is a magical landscape and you can imagine the enormous challenges the army in the Andes had to overcome. Overnight at Peñón Colorado.
Day 8 – After breakfast you will ride to Hornillas. The challenges have almost passed now and you will have an understanding of the real meaning of crossing the Andes. You say good-bye to your horses and finish your adventure. You will drive to Uspallata city by minibus and spend the night at the hotel. Farewell dinner.
Day 9 – Mendoza wines and Airport. This is a real gourmet day: wine production and wine tasting and a superb lunch. You leave Uspallata early and drive to Luján de Cuyo. This area is known worldwide for producing some of Argentina’s finest wines. Any visit to Mendoza would not be complete without a visit to the famous Club Tapiz boutique winery. During your visit you will have the opportunity to taste some of their premium wines direct from the oak barrels. Lunch at the winery. Transfer to Mendoza city airport.