Horseback Travel & Equestrian Tradition
Menu

Horse riding from Chile to Argentina

Crossing the Andes at Aconcagua

11 days / 7 days riding from £ 2,195

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in tents, outdoor dining

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

ARGENTINA-Crossing the Andes at Aconcagua

11 days / 7 days riding from 2195£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

Cross the Andes on a horseback trail through the exact same spot that San Martín and his "Army of the Andes" did in 1817 to free the people of Chile from their European monarchs. This wilderness is flanked by the highest mountains in South America - Aconcagua and Mercedario. An adventurous trail for experienced riders looking for a truly unique riding experience in South America.

Strengths

- An epic journey following the route of General San Martin across the Andes with his army, from Chile to Argentina
- An exclusive chance to cross the border with special permission from the Argentine and Chilean authorities
- Change horses at the border in accordance with Chilean and Argentine law, so experience the incredible Criollo from both countries
- Amazing landscapes and mountainous passes, including seeing the largest peak in South America - Aconcagua
- Tour a vineyard in Mendoza and sample their world-renowned wines
- Possibility to explore Santiago de Chile and/or Buenos Aires if you have time for extra days

PLEASE NOTE: departures in 2021 include an extra day in Upsallata and are therefore one day longer. Please contact us for the itinerary.

Itinerary

Day 1: EUROPE - SANTIAGO DE CHILE -

International flight from Europe to Santiago de Chile. There are no direct flights and so you will need to change at least once and it is likely that you will fly overnight. Flights are not included.

Please note: this is a pack expedition and all luggage is carried by pack mules. Keeping this in mind, please keep your luggage under 20 kgs.

Day 2: SANTIAGO - LOS ANDES - No riding

You will likely arrive into Santiago in the morning. The transfer departs at c. midday to the town of Los Andes. The afternoon is free to explore this typical mountain town before meeting the rest of the group and your guide for dinner in the evening. Lunch is to your own account today.

Day 3: LOS ANDES - LAS TEJAS (1800m) - 4 hours riding

In the morning you will be transferred from Los Andes to Los Patos, where your Chilean horses and gauchos will be waiting. Immigration formalities are completed with the local authorities as the border itself is unattended. You ride upstream alongside the Rocin river to your first campsite at Las Tejas.

You will be following (in reverse) the route taken by San Martin's army on his way to Santiago, through the Aconcagua Valley and the Putaendo Valley. You will see the site of the Chacabuco battle which took place on the 12th February 1817. On the 14th February, San Martín and O'Higgins entered Santiago de Chile to declare independence.

Tonight is your first night camping. Dinner will most likely be a traditional 'asado' with chilean wine. Don't forget to look up - the stars are truly spectacular...

Day 4: LAS TEJAS - EL CIENEGO (2800m) - 7 hours riding

Ride along narrow paths which criss-cross the Rocin river repeatedly. Climb a pass and see beautiful wild flowers and waterfalls below you. Lunch is a picnic taken at a bend in the river.

Your path winds higher and snow-capped peaks appears on the horizon. Your camp at El Cienego is near a water meadow which provides excellent grazing for animals so you may see goat-herders passing through with their flocks. You can swim or fish in the river or just sit back and admire the view.

Day 5: EL CIENEGO - FRONTIER POST - VALLE HERMOSO (3500m) - 6-7 hours riding

Depart camp early in the morning for the ride to the international border, which is at 3,500m. You have to leave your Chilean horse behind and carry your belongings c. 200m across "no-mans land" to your new Argentine team. You have lunch here, at the side of a former Inca settlement.

Setting out on your Argentine horse, the view is spectacular - snow-capped mountains surround a valley which descends smoothly and then suddenly dips to the Volcan river, lazing amidst a glacial plain. From here Aconcagua (6,962m) seems very close - it is 35km as the condor flies! Your camp is at Valle Hermoso - the “Beautiful Valley”.

Day 6: VALLE HERMOSO - up to 4 hours riding

Today you have the option to rest or to ride in the area around camp. If you wish to rest in camp or perhaps fish in the river for trout then you can do. If you wish to ride, then the route goes along the valley to get a closer view of Mount Aconcagua. It is an easy going ride and at you can take your own pace. Return to camp for dinner.

Day 7: VALLE HERMOSO - RANCHO DE LATA (3550m) - 9 hours riding

Leave Valle Hermoso behind you and ride along the Los Patos Valley. Today is the longest day in the saddle, so you get as close to the foothills as possible. This valley was once at the bottom of the sea and you can find marine fossils on the path! Your camp at Rancho de Lata is at 3,500m.

Day 8: RANCHO DE LATA - ESPINACITO (4500m) - PENON COLORADO(2913m) - 5 hours riding

Today you ride up to Espinacito pass at 4,500m. This is the highest point of the journey and it's a slow day with plenty of stops for the horses. The view from the top is incredible and you can appreciate the titanic efforts that the Army of the Andes had to overcome. Descend to 2,913m to camp at Peñón Colorado.

Day 9: PENON COLORADO (2913m) - HORNILLAS - UPSALLATA (Argentina) - 4 hours riding

After breakfast you ride to Hornillas, at 2,050m. The challenge is almost over as you follow a path through a sandy canyon to reach Los Patos amongst poplars, willows and cypress trees. Say farewell to your horses and depart by minibus (c. 3 hours) to Upsallata and complete passport formalities for entering Argentina. Spend the night at a hotel in the small town and a final dinner with your group and guides.

Day 12: USPALLATA - MENDOZA - BUENOS AIRES - No riding

An early start from Uspallata as you are transferred to Luján de Cuyo in Mendoza. This area is now known worldwide for producing several of Argentina's best wines. Your visit to Mendoza would not be complete without a visit to the famous Club Tapiz boutique winery. During this private visit you will have the chance to taste their premium wines directly from the oak casks. Lunch is taken at the winery and then you are transferred to Mendoza city airport for your flight to either Buenos Aires or Santiago, and then your connecting flight back to the UK.

If you wish to continue your trip with extensions (visits of Buenos Aires, outdoor pursuits), please contact us.

Day 11: EUROPE -

Arrival back in Europe in the early afternoon.


Price details

Promotional rate for 4 first bookings until 31/03/2020.

PLEASE NOTE: departures in 2021 include an extra day in Upsallata and are therefore one day longer. Please contact us for the itinerary.

- Flights are not included.

- There is a small group supplement payable if the group is less than 6 riders:
For groups of 4-5 riders the supplement is c. £620 per person.
For groups of 2 riders, the supplement is c. £1470 per person.

- If you end up in a single room/tent then there is a single supplement payable (c. £270). This will be invoiced to you when you book and refunded once a sharer is found.

- The usual group size is 4 - 20 international riders plus guides
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE INCLUDES

Support Team

1 local English and Spanish speaking horse guide
1 assistant guide

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
Guides and gauchos in charge of the horses
pack mules

Inland transports

Airport transfers (except if your arrival is different from the others riders)
all inland transports

Accommodation

Double or Triple room in hotel standard 3* in Santiago and Upsallata
2 persons in a 3 men tent or 3 persons in a 5 men tent

Meals

Full board from diner D2 to lunch D10
Mineral water and wine served at meal time during the trek

Additional equipment

Big saddle bags to carry some of your staff during the ride
Iridium satellite phone for emergency calls
First aid kit and oxygen bottles

OPTION

Accommodation

Single room/tent supplement

Extra

2 days extension in Buenos aires. Please contact us.

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Meals

Free lunchs on D2 and D11. Free dinner on D10
Beverage and personal extra

Transports

International flights bookable on request
Domestic flights Mendoza - Santiago
International airport exit fees

Extra

Tips to local team
Small group supplement

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

TIPS

Tips are welcome but not expected. You should tip what you feel the service is worth and what you feel comfortable with. We would recommend c. USD 10 per day, which can be given to your guide to share amongst the whole team.

HORSES

Criollo horses are a breed which originated from the Spanish horses imported by the conquistadors. You change horses at the border. Chilean Criollo's are generally smaller than their Argentine cousins. Both breeds are sturdy, docile and sure-footed - ideal for mountainous terrain.

The tack is traditional gaucho saddles with sheepskin covers for comfort.

Rider weight limit: 100 kilo/15 st 5 lbs/200 lbs. Heavier riders please contact us.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

You do not need to be an expert rider as the trip is not fast and is not technically complicated. However, you do need to be balanced in the saddle for the steep climbs and ascents, and you must be able to put your trust in your horse.

PACE

The pace is slow due to the terrain and the pack horses.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

You will be expected to groom, tack and untack your horse as well as assist around camp (erecting tents, collecting firewood etc).

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

You need to be fit for the long hours in the saddle and the altitude. You will ride between 1,800m and 4,500m and there are some steep vertical drops and difficult terrain. There will be times when you need to walk on foot and this can be difficult at altitude.

You need to remember that you are a long way from civilisation and medical help.

There can be extreme temperature variations in the mountains - up to 30c in the day and dropping to -5c at night. It can be sunny but it can also be very windy!

Your belongings are carried by pack horses. You must have previous experience of camping trails lasting at least a couple of days. Previous experience of a riding trail would be advantageous too.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

Saddle bags are provided for you to carry belongings required during the day, and the rest is carried by the pack horses.

South Americam Recado saddles, comfortable for long rides.

COMFORT

On the trail you stay in three man tents (shared between two people) or five man tents (shared between three people). You should bring your own sleeping bag and mat. Mats can be lended to you on a first-come first-served basis, please contact us at the time of your booking.

There are no bathrooms and no showers on the trail. The first and last night are spent in hotels.

CLIMATE

The seasons in Argentina are the reverse of the UK and their summer is our winter. During the winter months, the Andes mountains have snow on the high passes and so this Andean crossing ride can only run during the warmer summer months.
Daytime temperatures can be high (10-30c), but night temperatures are cold and can drop to below freezing at high altitudes. You will need to be prepared for extreme temperatures and the mountains can throw inclement weather at you with no warning. It can also be windy, so good mountain clothing is essential.
Before/after the ride in Santiago/Mendoza/Buenos Aires, the weather can be hot and sunny.

Meals

Most meals are prepared over a wood fire. The food is traditional, tasty and plentiful with many fresh and local products. Lunches are usually picnics. Local wine is provided with evening meals.

WATER

You collect your own water from the rivers you pass along the route - the water is clean and pure. Camps are always situated near to fresh water and you cross rivers during the day where you can also re-fill your water bottles. You may wish to take water purification tablets such as Micropur for the water if you are worried.

Support Team

Guide and local team

Your guide speaks both English and Spanish - he will be assisted by a team of cooks and back-up guides/grooms. The transfer driver may only speak Spanish.

Packing list

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust
- Warm hat

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather (can also be worn at night)
- Down jacket or warm coat for the cold evenings
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermals in case of cold weather

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Good walking boots (or hybrid walking/riding boots)
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag with a comfort rating of at least minus 5c, preferably minus 10c. We also suggest adding a liner, such as silk or fleece for extra warmth
- Thermarest pad or similar insulating mattress

Our Recommendations
- You should use a soft sided suitcase which can easily be transported - we recommend a large backpack or rucksack of c. 60-80 litres. Remember that your luggage is carried by pack horses!
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Please be aware that internal flights in Argentina may have a lower luggage allowance than your international flight and you should pack according to the lowest limit.

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
- Water bottle - 2 x 1 litre, or equivalent
- Wet wipes for when washing water isn't available

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent
- Lighter for burning toilet paper

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Micropur or similar water purification tablets
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Toilet paper

ENTRY FORMALITIES

To enter Argentina, a valid passport and onward ticket is required by all British, Australian, Canadian and American nationals. Nationals not referred to are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Visas:
Citizens of the USA, Canada and Australia must pay a reciprocity fee prior to arrival in Argentina. The reciprocity fee must be paid online by credit card and you must print the receipt and take it with you to the airport. You cannot pay the fee at the airport. As of 2014 the fees are: USD 160 for US citizens; USD 100 for Australian citizens and USD 92 for Canadian citizens. Visit https://reciprocidad.provincianet.com.ar/ for more information.



Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade d'Argentine en France
    6, rue Cimarosa
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01.44.05.27.00
    Fax :
  • Ambassade de France en Argentine
    Cerrito 1399
    C1010ABC Buenos aires
    Tél. : 54 11 4515 7030
    Fax :
  • Embassy of Argentina
    65 Brook Street
    W1K 4AH London
    Tél. : +44 020 7318 1300
    Fax :

HEALTH

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Argentina, however, it's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Argentina. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended as well as a hepatitis A vaccination.
A yellow fever vaccination is recommended when travelling to the central north and northeast of the country, including the area around the Iguazu Falls.
Malaria is almost absent, except in remote areas along the border with Bolivia and Paraguay. Occurences are rare and taking normal anti-mosquito precautions is usually sufficient, so buy mosquito repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net. Also wear long sleeves and trousers wherever possible.
Argentina's public health system provides free services for emergencies and non-emergencies, regardless of your nationality or immigration status. The level of care does vary, however, particularly outside Buenos Aires.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

TELEPHONE AND JET LAG

To call Argentina, the following dial code is required:
+54 to dial in (00 54 from UK)

To call from Argentina, the following dial code is required:
00 code to dial out (00 44 for UK)

Standard Time +0400 GMT

BUDGET AND MONEY

Argentina's currency is the peso (ARS or AR$). Within Argentina the $ symbol is used to denote a peso. To avoid confusion, the symbol for the US dollar is often one of several variations including, US$, U$, U$S or U$A.
One peso is divided into 100 centavos. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and of 1 peso. Notes come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos.
Exchange rates vary depending on where you try to exchange your money. Rates at the airport are usually substantially worse than the rate in the city. Be careful where you exchange your money - there are what Argentineans call "arbolitos" which are people who exchange AR$ for US dollars or another foreign currency on the street, and they can take advantage if you don't speak Spanish or if you don't know the exchange rate. Also be aware that there are many fake notes going around. If you get one then you can change them for good notes at Banco National.

VOLTAGE

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plug fittings in older buildings are of the two-pin round type, but most new buildings use the V-shaped twin with earth pin. Travellers should bring a world travel adaptor.

ACTIVITY :Pack Trip

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

Cross the Andes on a horseback trail through the exact same spot that San Martín and his "Army of the Andes" did in 1817 to free the people of Chile from their European monarchs. This wilderness is flanked by the highest mountains in South America - Aconcagua and Mercedario. An adventurous trail for experienced riders looking for a truly unique riding experience in South America.

  • Crossing the Andes at Aconcagua
    Horse riding expedition from Chile to Argentina
  • Horse riding expedition in Argentina
    Crossing the Andes at Aconcagua
  • Expedition on horseback in Argentina
    Horse riding expedition from Chile to Argentina
  • Ride against the dramatic backdrop of the Andes
    Horse riding expedition in Southern America
  • Exceptional scenery along your trail ride in Argentina
    Horse riding expedition from Chile to Argentina
  • Riding trail across the Andes through Aconcagua
    Horse riding expedition in Argentina

STRENGTHS

- An epic journey following the route of General San Martin across the Andes with his army, from Chile to Argentina
- An exclusive chance to cross the border with special permission from the Argentine and Chilean authorities
- Change horses at the border in accordance with Chilean and Argentine law, so experience the incredible Criollo from both countries
- Amazing landscapes and mountainous passes, including seeing the largest peak in South America - Aconcagua
- Tour a vineyard in Mendoza and sample their world-renowned wines
- Possibility to explore Santiago de Chile and/or Buenos Aires if you have time for extra days

PLEASE NOTE: departures in 2021 include an extra day in Upsallata and are therefore one day longer. Please contact us for the itinerary.

ITINERARY

Day 1: EUROPE - SANTIAGO DE CHILE -

International flight from Europe to Santiago de Chile. There are no direct flights and so you will need to change at least once and it is likely that you will fly overnight. Flights are not included.

Please note: this is a pack expedition and all luggage is carried by pack mules. Keeping this in mind, please keep your luggage under 20 kgs.

Day 2: SANTIAGO - LOS ANDES - No riding

You will likely arrive into Santiago in the morning. The transfer departs at c. midday to the town of Los Andes. The afternoon is free to explore this typical mountain town before meeting the rest of the group and your guide for dinner in the evening. Lunch is to your own account today.

Day 3: LOS ANDES - LAS TEJAS (1800m) - 4 hours riding

In the morning you will be transferred from Los Andes to Los Patos, where your Chilean horses and gauchos will be waiting. Immigration formalities are completed with the local authorities as the border itself is unattended. You ride upstream alongside the Rocin river to your first campsite at Las Tejas.

You will be following (in reverse) the route taken by San Martin's army on his way to Santiago, through the Aconcagua Valley and the Putaendo Valley. You will see the site of the Chacabuco battle which took place on the 12th February 1817. On the 14th February, San Martín and O'Higgins entered Santiago de Chile to declare independence.

Tonight is your first night camping. Dinner will most likely be a traditional 'asado' with chilean wine. Don't forget to look up - the stars are truly spectacular...

Day 4: LAS TEJAS - EL CIENEGO (2800m) - 7 hours riding

Ride along narrow paths which criss-cross the Rocin river repeatedly. Climb a pass and see beautiful wild flowers and waterfalls below you. Lunch is a picnic taken at a bend in the river.

Your path winds higher and snow-capped peaks appears on the horizon. Your camp at El Cienego is near a water meadow which provides excellent grazing for animals so you may see goat-herders passing through with their flocks. You can swim or fish in the river or just sit back and admire the view.

Day 5: EL CIENEGO - FRONTIER POST - VALLE HERMOSO (3500m) - 6-7 hours riding

Depart camp early in the morning for the ride to the international border, which is at 3,500m. You have to leave your Chilean horse behind and carry your belongings c. 200m across "no-mans land" to your new Argentine team. You have lunch here, at the side of a former Inca settlement.

Setting out on your Argentine horse, the view is spectacular - snow-capped mountains surround a valley which descends smoothly and then suddenly dips to the Volcan river, lazing amidst a glacial plain. From here Aconcagua (6,962m) seems very close - it is 35km as the condor flies! Your camp is at Valle Hermoso - the “Beautiful Valley”.

Day 6: VALLE HERMOSO - up to 4 hours riding

Today you have the option to rest or to ride in the area around camp. If you wish to rest in camp or perhaps fish in the river for trout then you can do. If you wish to ride, then the route goes along the valley to get a closer view of Mount Aconcagua. It is an easy going ride and at you can take your own pace. Return to camp for dinner.

Day 7: VALLE HERMOSO - RANCHO DE LATA (3550m) - 9 hours riding

Leave Valle Hermoso behind you and ride along the Los Patos Valley. Today is the longest day in the saddle, so you get as close to the foothills as possible. This valley was once at the bottom of the sea and you can find marine fossils on the path! Your camp at Rancho de Lata is at 3,500m.

Day 8: RANCHO DE LATA - ESPINACITO (4500m) - PENON COLORADO(2913m) - 5 hours riding

Today you ride up to Espinacito pass at 4,500m. This is the highest point of the journey and it's a slow day with plenty of stops for the horses. The view from the top is incredible and you can appreciate the titanic efforts that the Army of the Andes had to overcome. Descend to 2,913m to camp at Peñón Colorado.

Day 9: PENON COLORADO (2913m) - HORNILLAS - UPSALLATA (Argentina) - 4 hours riding

After breakfast you ride to Hornillas, at 2,050m. The challenge is almost over as you follow a path through a sandy canyon to reach Los Patos amongst poplars, willows and cypress trees. Say farewell to your horses and depart by minibus (c. 3 hours) to Upsallata and complete passport formalities for entering Argentina. Spend the night at a hotel in the small town and a final dinner with your group and guides.

Day 12: USPALLATA - MENDOZA - BUENOS AIRES - No riding

An early start from Uspallata as you are transferred to Luján de Cuyo in Mendoza. This area is now known worldwide for producing several of Argentina's best wines. Your visit to Mendoza would not be complete without a visit to the famous Club Tapiz boutique winery. During this private visit you will have the chance to taste their premium wines directly from the oak casks. Lunch is taken at the winery and then you are transferred to Mendoza city airport for your flight to either Buenos Aires or Santiago, and then your connecting flight back to the UK.

If you wish to continue your trip with extensions (visits of Buenos Aires, outdoor pursuits), please contact us.

Day 11: EUROPE -

Arrival back in Europe in the early afternoon.

Back to top

YOUR ADVISOR

Crossing the Andes

In January 1817 General Jose de San Martin set out to cross the Andes with a combined army of Argentine soldiers and Chilean exiles, in order to librate Chile from Spanish rule. Considered to be one of the most significant events in the Argentine and Chilean wars of independence, the crossing took 21 days.

They set out from their base camp El Plumerillo on January 19th 1817 with 4,000 men. Sadly only two thirds survived the 500km crossing to succesfully enter Santiago, Chile on February 13th 1817.

The Spanish Royalist forces blocked San Martin's advance at Chacabuco valley near Santiago where the famous Battle of Chacabuco took place on February 11th. San Martin split his army into two groups and sent them down paths at dawn. By the afternoon 500 Spanish soldiers were dead and 600 taken captive. San Martin lost only twelve men in battle but another 120 later lost their lives as a result of wounds received during the battle.

San Martin's main troop crossed the pass at Los Patos, which you reach on your 7th day of riding along this trail. His second troop crossed slightly further south at Uspallata.


Early bird discounts
Get 3% off all trips booked before 31/12/2019 for a departure in 2020.
Terms and conditions:
  • This 3% early bird discount applies to the cost of the trip, and excludes transfers & supplements, international or domestic flights, and any additional services.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other current discount.