Crossing the Andes Mountain Range, 6 Days
Horse Riding Holiday in Argentina / Chile
Route: “Tunuyan Valley” – Piuquenes Pass
Season 2019 / 2020
The horseback riding “Crossing the Andes Mountain Range”, starts in Argentina and ends in Chile.
This expedition crosses the international border on horseback. We will ride above 4380 meters to cross the famous “Portillo Argentino”.
Duration: 6 days / 5 nights (05 days in the mountains on horseback).
The high mountain pass “Portillo Argentino” 4380m. (located in the Argentinean Range), is the gate to an old trail used by ‘arrieros’ (muleteers) and travelers, such as Charles Darwin and General San Martín, to cross the Andes. From this steep col at 4.380 meters of altitude, the path descends into a world where an ancestral culture of horsemen and mountain people is still alive, in harmony with the wildlife and breathtaking landscapes.
We are going to follow the history path, of those who bravely transited these mountains two centuries ago, integrating the columns of the Army of the Andes led by “Liberator General San Martin”
Departure dates 2019/2020:
|DECEMBER 2020:||22 DIC to 27 DIC|
|29 DIC to 03 ENE|
|JANUARY 2020:||09 ENE al 14 ENE|
|FEBRUARY 2020:||06 FEB al 11 FEB|
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Reservation and payment
It is advisable to book as far in advance as possible. This allows us to give recommendations regarding the equipment, clear doubts and coordinate additional services to the package in case of requesting them.
Payment is through international bank transfer (up to 03 payments).
- Transfer Mendoza City / Manzano Historico (start point of the expedition).
- Mountain horses, tame, with comfortable saddles: “apero criollo”.
- Professional mountain guide and muleteers. English speaking guide.
- Saddle Bags
- Transport of the equipment on mules. Up to 10 kg per person.
- All meals and drinks during the riding expedition.
- Complete camping equipment. (Tents, cutlery, plates, etc.).
- 04 nights of accommodation in tents (igloo shape, for 2 or 3 people).
- First Aid equipment.
- Satellite phone (in case of emergency).
- Transfer from the end point of the horse expedition to a complex of cabins in “Cajón Del
- Maipo” (Chile).
- 01 night of accommodation in a complex of cabins (3 to 8 people per cabin) in “Cajon Del Maipo” (Chile), with Dinner.
- Transfer “Cajon Del Maipo” to Santiago de Chile Bus Station. Ask us for other destinations.
Services no included:
- Transport to Chile of the equipment and bags that you don’t lead the expedition.
- Personal gear. (Clothes, shoes, etc.)
- Sleeping bag (You can rent with us, the sleeping bag and the blanket)
- Food not stipulated in the program.
- Drinks in restaurants.
- Personal expenses (phone calls, tips, laundry, etc.).
- Any costs derived from early withdrawal from the program.
- Rescue or evacuation costs.
- Medical assistance or insurance.
- Transfer Airport / Hotel – Hotel / Airport.
- 02 nights of accommodation in a 3* hotel in Mendoza City with breakfast (one nigth before and one night after the horseriding program).
- Bus ticket Santiago de Chile / Mendoza.
Rate per person (single room): USD 230
Rate per person (double room): USD 170
You have to arrive in Mendoza a day before to departure date. It’s necessary to check equipment. We offer you add one night of accommodation, we can help you with this reservation and add this cost to the total rate.
Day 1: MENDOZA – MANZANO HISTORICO – SCARAVELLI
In the morning the expedition begins with a meeting during which you will get to know the members of the trip. Then we will drive in a private vehicle towards the “Manzano Historico” (2 hs.), located in the “Valle de Uco” (Uco Valley). Uco Valley is a viticulture region southwest of Mendoza City in Argentina. It is widely considered one of the top wine regions in Mendoza, and all of Argentina.
Here lies a monument in memory of the liberator “San Martin”, which will have a chance to visit. Reception and presentation of guides and local muleteers that will be part of this spectacular expedition on horseback. Here we perform customs clearance and registration with the authorities of the National Gendarmerie. Dinner and bonfire.
Day 2: SCARAVELLI – PORTILLO ARGENTINO 4380m.- VALLE DEL RIO TUNUYAN
Breakfast and enlistment of the horses to follow our route. This day we are going to climb to the “Portillo Argentino”, rising to 4380 m. The mules help us to carry all the luggage. It is a pair of hour’s uphill riding, with the reward of an astonishing view of the Andes.
Then it is a 5 hours plus riding (mostly in a downhill trail) to the valley of the Tunuyan River, where is the CAMP “Real de la Cruz”. We spend the night here and enjoy a dinner that will surely be energizing adorned by the experiences of this day for adventure.
The evening may offer some songs and stories.
This will be the longest day on a horse (8 hours approx.).
Day 3: VALLE DEL RIO TUNUYAN (Valley of the Tunuyan River)
This day is for resting. In the morning, we make a trek of recognition accompanied by the guide, identifying flora and fauna. In the afternoon we will take a two-hour trip to the “lagoon duck” and then return to the camp.
After lunch we can participate in a demonstration of gauchos’ skills (with ‘lazo’ and ‘boleadoras’).
Dinner and overnight at camp “Real de la Cruz”. in the Tunuyan Valley
Day 4: VALLE DEL RIO TUNUYAN / THE CALETON– THE CALETON
After breakfast, we prepare the horses and mules for crossing the Tunuyán River, riding with the strong horses guided by the skillful muleteers. 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 Caleton.”
It is a good opportunity to sleep under the stars.
Dinner and rest.
Day 5: THE CALETON – INTERNATIONAL BORDER 4100m.- PARQUE DEL YESO (Chile)
Departure towards the Argentinean – Chilean Border. Another big challenge lies ahead on the fifth day. Departure to Piuquenes Pass to 4030 m., boundary between Argentina and Chile. At noon we will enjoy a unique lunch at the border.
For sanitary and custom regulations, the horses can’t cross from one country to another, so we have to change the animals at the international boundary. New Chilean horses and Chilean muleteers’ guides will lead us going down to the river “Yeso” in Chilean territory, the final leg of the expedition.
After crossing the river, private vehicles are waiting for us. Move by track to the “Cajon del Maipo”, the “Embalse del Yeso” (reservoir) coasting to San Gabriel, people carrying out customs formalities where we complete custom paperwork at the Police office.
Accommodation in a beautiful complex of cabins and farewell dinner at local restaurant.
Day 6: TRANSFER CAJON DEL MAIPO (Chile) / SANTIAGO DE CHILE
Transfer to Santiago and end of the program.
- Wide-brimmed hat.
- 1 windstopper jacket.
- Warm clothes (1 sweater, 1 polar jacket, thermal underwear, long underwear or cotton leggings).
- Waterproof jacket.
- Wool cap and gloves (like ski gloves).
- Warm sleeping bag (-10ºC).
- 2 trousers (comfortable for riding) like the gaucho bombacha. If the weather is cold you can carry warm underwear. Don´t use jeans as they are hard and in low temperatures they make you feel cold.
- 2 long-sleeve shirts.
- 3 to 6 pairs of socks.
- 2 T-shirts.
- 02 pairs of comfortable sports sneakers or trekking shoes. Don’t bring width shoes (it’s necessary that you can put your feet easily in the stirrup). You can wear riding boots.
- Gaiters to mount.
- Leather gloves to mount.
- A blanket which you will use to pad the saddle and to warm you up during the night.
Suggested personal gear:
- Personal medicine.
- 1 plastic bottle or a water bottle.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Sun glasses. Eye drops (for persons who are sensitive or allergic to the dust).
- Sun protective cream (factor 30 or more), moisturizing cream, protective lipstick, milking cream in case of chapped skin.
- Elements for personal hygiene (hand towel, soap, toothbrush, towelettes, etc.).
- Don’t bring watch.
Preparation of the luggage for the horseback riding trip
During the horse riding, we recommend not wearing a backpack or hanging elements that may be uncomfortable throughout the journey. A fanny pack is the most convenient option, although it is not mandatory to have one.
It is NOT necessary to bring bags or backpacks to carry the luggage during the ride.
To each rider we deliver you:
1- One saddlebag: Here you must keep the personal items of first necessity that you are going to use during the day of riding (documentation, sun glasses, sunscreen, water, camera, hygiene items, etc.). The saddlebag is placed on the back on the saddle. Everything that is stored in the saddlebag will be easily accessible to the rider.
2- A resistant plastic bag, labeled with the name of the rider: Here you must keep the rest of the luggage that you bring to the ride (clothes, footwear, etc.). These bags are then placed in a duffel bags, specially designed to carry the luggage on the back of the mule (animal pack). It is important to know that you will not have access to the luggage thau you have kept in the bag until the end of the day of riding just in the camp (at which time the load is disarmed).
The sleeping bag and the blanket are packed separately (they do not go in the saddlebag or in the bag).
You must also prepare a change of clean clothes (minimum clothing that you will use in the cabins of Chile and for the trip back to your home city), pack it inside a tightly closed bag, and place it at the bottom of the plastic bag labeled. In this way, the extra clothes will remain clean during the expedition and you can use it in the cabin complex in Chile after an expected bath (last night of the program).
the excess baggage cannot be put in a suit case or rigid bags or backpacks of the rigid structure because in the transfer on the mules, they can be damaged. We provide duffel bags in these cases, and you can only carry a lightweight bag to place your luggage at the end of the expedition.
You must know, this is a difficult trip, but this is possible for beginner riders.
Why this is possible if for novice riders? Because the horses are very strong, and they always take the safe and firm step, and you only need to have confidence with them. Then, why is a difficult trip? Because you are exhibited over 4500 meters above the sea, and the wind can be very strong, and the forecast can be bad. If you are lucky you can spend a very good weather during the trip. Sometime is snowing, sometime is sunny, sometime the temperature is over 10 degrees during the days in the mountains and sometime the temperature is 1 degree below zero. The weather in Los Andes Mountain Range can be change very quickly.
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