Mountains and Wine

Cordoba/Mendoza Argentina: (IT-ARRT21)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/argentina_ceiling_of_america.aspx

Introduction
Cordoba/Mendoza Argentina
We will ride Mount Aconcagua region. Here stand the biggest mountains in America, including its tallest peak, Aconcagua (6962 m - 23 200 ft.). A mecca of mountaineering. Riding 10 000 ft. high, through small trails, past unspoiled valleys and colorful creeks… It is in these uninhabited places, which you can only reach on horseback, where huge herds of guanacos roam freely and the Andean condor nests. Only in places like this you can enjoy the privilege of watching them at ease. This is also a place where history was written. In 1817, the Los Andes Army crossed through this exact same spot. They moved on from Argentina to liberate Chile from the Spanish Conquistadors. We will have a glimpse of the titanic efforts our Fathers of Independence had to overcome.

As the sun sets, the spectacular stars of the southern hemisphere will cover the sky. Relax at the mountain lodge with its peaceful atmosphere as you share a cup of coffee, tea or Argentine mate. All this creates the ideal ambiance to feel the timeless spirit of nature and make new friends. Our last day will be purely gourmet: wine making and tasting and a superb lunch. We will visit Luján de Cuyo. This area is now known worldwide for producing several of Argentina’s best wines, including Malbec. Our long experience in riding tours guarantee an unforgettable vacation.

Accomodation


Accommodations
This is a stationary ride where are all 5 nights are spent at a cozy mountain lodge in Upsallata.

Description
Located in a beautiful valley, the hotel offers simple and comfortable accommodation. All ensuite rooms come with A/C, a TV, free Wi-Fi access, a phone and a private bathroom. There is also an outdoor heated swimming pool and a Jacuzzi where guests can relax after a long day in the saddle.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is only mandatory if you are unwilling to share a room.



Meals
All meals and beverages (excluding spirits) are included during this trip.
Breakfasts and dinner are taken at the accommodation and lunch is usually a picnic on the trail.

Breakfast: homemade pastries, jams, fruits and locally sourced nuts
Lunches on the trail: sandwiches (roast beef, ham, cheese) salami and homemade cheese and fruits or other sweets for dessert.
Dinner: local traditional meals like lamb barbecue, stew or "empanadas". Fruits, pies for dessert. Wine, water, soft drinks.



The hotel serves regional mountain style dishes for dinner and has a great selection of local wines (the Mendoza region is wine country).

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most special diets with prior notice. Unfortunately, we are unable to cater to vegans on this trip.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Pace
We will be riding at high altitude, often above 6000-9000 feet.
The pace is slow with a few trots and canters during most of the trail due to the terrain. This allows to enjoy the scenery, the conversation, take pictures, etc.
The average riding day includes 3 hours on horseback in the morning and 3 to 4 hours in the saddle during the afternoon with plenty of intermediate stops to take pictures, spend some time at specific points of interest, etc.

Horses
We assign horses according to each rider's preference. We have plenty of horses, some are more challenging while others are very easy to handle. They are sure-footed as they were all born and raised in the mountains.

Safety measures
The trails are well known by our guides. In those places we believe risky, we step down the horse and walk. In case of emergency, our guides are trained and know what to do. We carry radio equipment, First aid kits for people and horses and Iridium satellite phone in case of emergency. We consider a must that all our guests follow our guide's instructions.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes.

Day 1 – Arrive Buenos Aires/Uspallata:
Flight to Mendoza out of Buenos Aires Domestic Airport. Arrive Mendoza city airport. Transfer to Uspallata town (1:30hs drive), located right in the middle of the Andes Mountains and very close to Mount Aconcagua. Check in at Uspallata Hotel. This mountain lodge is like a throwback to the 30’s-40’s. Enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day 2 – Ride to La Gloria
After breakfast we will have the first chance to ride these massive mountains. We will drive on an off road truck which is the only possible way to get to Chacay, well into the Tiger Range. It is considered to be the backbone of the Andes. Our horses will be waiting for us for the ride to La Gloria (The Glory). Moving upwards with our horses to 3000 meters – 9000ft. high we reach the viewpoints from where there is a great view of Uspallata Valley. Back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 3 – Ride to Cueva de la Bruja
After breakfast we start our 9hrs day outdoors. Our off road truck will carry us to the Tiger Range. On horseback we will ride upstream the Ranchillos Creek to Cueva de la Bruja (Witch Cave). We will have lunch there. The massive rock wall in front of it houses condor nests. If lucky, we will have the chance to watch them close by. After lunch we ride along the Durazno stream downwards to Uspallata. Its sandy river bed makes it a perfect place to try cantering. It is an unforgettable experience to run your horse into town. Are you willing to give it a try? Dinner.

Day 4 – Ride to Agua de la Cueva
Today we will ride the Bonilla Range through the Quebrada de Santa Helena and towards Agua de la Cueva (7hrs ride including lunch outdoors). The same unspoilt trail used in 1817 by the army sent to free Chile from the Spaniards. On this virgin land, we will have a feeling of the titanic efforts of the task. When we reach Agua de la Cueva, we will have majestic views of the Aconcagua. Its 6 962 mts. – 21 000 ft. make it the highest peak in America. This was their camping grounds two centuries ago. On our way, we will stop at the abandoned mine Rivadavia and explore its tunnels. We have a barbecue dinner there. Back to Uspallata on off road truck. Our horses will wait for us there for next day.

Day 5 – Ride through Pampa de Canota
Our truck will take us back to Agua de la Cueva. Our last riding day will go through Pampa de Canota (7hrs ride including lunch outdoors). This area is known because of its herds of guanacos and the Andean condor. At sunset we reach Uspallata. Feel free to gallop back into town. Say farewell to your horse and get ready for dinner.

Day 6 – Mendoza wines and airport:
This day will be very gourmet: wine making and tasting and a superb lunch. From Uspallata we leave early to Luján de Cuyo. This area is now known worldwide for producing several of Argentina’s best wines. Each night during your ride you have been enjoying a different wine from this area. Your visit to Mendoza would not be complete without a visit to the famous Club Tapiz boutique winery. During this private visit, we will have the chance to taste their premium wines directly from the oak casks. Lunch at the winery. Transfer to Mendoza city airport. End of program.

NOTE: depending on your flight time back home, you might need to spend the night in Buenos Aires. We will be happy to assist you with the continuation of your trip (hotel reservations, transfers, etc.). 

Subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.



EXTRA DAYS:

Buenos Aires: Take some time to visit the city and learn about its icons in a very special way: tango, Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada’s balcony, Eva Peron, etc. Lunch not included. In the evening we attend a tango show w/dinner and a tango lesson. Night in hotel.

Mendoza: Adventure activities (Rafting, Climbing with rappel, Trekking).
 1) 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. Night in hotel.
 2) Climbing and rappel: Rappel a natural wall located in a deep gorge in the Andes. Before we start, the instructors will teach the basics that will help enjoy the experience of climbing this wall using ropes. This activity does not need any previous training and there is no age limit. 4hs and 30 min. Night in hotel.
 3) Trekking: Towards the Cerro de la Cruz (6900 ft.) we reach 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. Night in hotel.


Rates and Dates for Mountains and Wine

Rates include:

Accommodations- 5 nights Uspallata Hotel or similar (basic mountain lodge) in Uspallata. All meals and beverages (excluding spirits). Hot meals at dinner and pic nic at lunch. English speaking guide, gauchos, horses, saddlebags, pack mules, camping equipment. First aid kits for people and horses. Iridium satellite phone for emergency calls. Mendoza Airport transfers. All others indicated in program.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20196 day ride, AP$1750
    • Small group supplement (4-5 riders)$190
      Single supplement for hotel$290
      Extra days/nights -- please inquire$0

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Transfer from Buenos Aires Int'l airport, per car, each way (1-3 pax)
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
$60
2019 Transfer from Mendoza Airport included $0

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 01/01 - 04/30 6d / 5n 6 day ride, AP 6 /12 Reserve
A 2019 10/01 - 12/31 6d / 5n 6 day ride, AP 6 /12 Reserve

Dates Note: Additional dates can be arranged for groups of 4+

Rates do not include:

Flights, Buenos Aires International airport transfers, travel and medical insurance, gratuities and all others not indicated

Other Info
Meeting: Upsallata
Airport: Mendoza - Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airpor (MDZ)
Transfer: Mendoza – Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airpor (MDZ)

Climate:
                                                Mendoza area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

90

87

82

74

66

60

60

65

70

78

85

89

Average Low Temperature (°F)

65

63

59

50

42

35

34

38

44

52

58

63

Average High Temperature (°C)

32

31

28

23

19

16

15

18

21

26

29

32

Average Low Temperature (°C)

18

17

15

10

6

2

1

3

7

11

14

17

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

5

4

3

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

Source: NOAA


Seasons
This tour runs only during the summer. Summertime weather is usually great because it is dry and raining is very unlikely. We will be riding always above 8000 feet and up to 12500 feet, which means the weather is High Mountain typical. Nights are cold but days are sunny and warm. You will need a warm sleeping bag at night and polar sweaters or jackets to wear on. For the case it rains, which is rare, we ask everyone to bring a cloak.

What To Bring:
During the ride it is much better to keep your personal clothing and items light!  Normally, you only use half of what you take along.
As these are pack trips we provide saddlebags to place your personal items.
You can leave everything you will not need at the starting point and pick it back upon return. 

· Two changes of clothes: loose pants, long sleeve shirts which protect better from the sun than polo T-shirts. For the cold weather it is better to carry along some but thin warm clothes rather than just one thick one. Polar sweaters do well both in summer and winter.
 · Undershirt and underpants
 · Water bottle
 · Jacket and/or poncho
 · Hat (not a cap)
 · Scarf, neckerchief, gloves
 · Rain cape
 · Swimsuit
 · Insect repellent
 · Sneakers (the ones that can get wet) and riding boots (optional)
 · Personal medicine
 · No specific vaccine is mandatory in this region but as for any outdoors activity we recommend tetanus vaccine
 · Personal hygiene items and a small towel
 · Sunglasses (optional)
 · Sunscreen
 · Small lantern and batteries
 · Binoculars (optional)
 · Camera, batteries and film for at least 100 snapshots


Others

• We provide saddle bags.

In case you do not have some of the items below, our partner in Argentina will be happy to help you get them locally.

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets

Passport

Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR

Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)

Riding boots (waterproof) + Minichaps

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING

Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts

Jeans

Shorts

Underwear and socks

Pajama

Bag for dirty clothes

Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes

Swimsuit

 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING

Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

Sewing kit

Handkerchiefs

Adapter for electric appliances (optional)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm  

Binoculars