Central Chile: (IT-CHRT05)
The legendary crossing of the Andes through the route taken by San Martín in 1817
While the roar of freedom was still heard in France and U.S., its echo rolled into South America… patriotic voices with gigantic dreams put an end to 350 years of monarchic domination and opened an era of individual free will.
We invite you to share with us the privilege of re-enacting one of the most amazing achievements in the history of South America. Crossing the Andes on horseback through the trail that San Martín and his “Army of the Andes” did in 1817 to free the people of Chile from their European monarchs. We have the chance to feel the enormous efforts that the fathers of Chilean independence had to overcome. A trip of a lifetime, this mythical journey draws like a magnet.
This wilderness is flanked by the highest mountains in the Americas: the Aconcagua (20 900 feet) and the Mercedario (20 700 feet). It is in these uninhabited places, only reachable on horseback, where huge herds of guanacos roam freely and the Andean condor nests. Only in unique places like this can one enjoy the privilege of watching them at ease. As the sun sets, the spectacular stars of the southern hemisphere cover the sky. Relax at the camp with its peaceful atmosphere and the campfire that lightens up the darkness as you share a cup of coffee, tea or mate. All this creates the ideal ambiance to feel the timeless spirit of nature and settle each day’s emotions. Only after we have reached the other side of the Andes we will be able to say that we now completely understand the exact value of each of San Martín’s words: “...and to the Army of the Andes remains forever the glory of saying: in 24 days we have done the campaign, we crossed the highest mountains of the globe, we ended tyranny and gave freedom to Chile” (declared by José de San Martín, 22 February, 1817, Santiago de Chile).
This is truly a spectacular horse trek into the wild Andes range; travel from the Los Patos Mountain on a journey exploring the Chilean Andes and Argentinean Andes borderlands. Following the historic route we learn about the Chilean huasos and Argentinian gauchos and test your zest for adventure as you camp among the rugged and beautiful Andes Mountains. Rustic camps are framed by stunning glacier capped peaks as you revel in the splendor of the elevations. You will travel in the shadow of Aconcagua, the tallest mountain of all the Americas and navigate difficult mountain passes such as the Aleton Pass, 300 meters above a bold river. Even in the extreme elements an abundance of wildlife is present for riders to discover: the furry camel relative Guanacos, chinchilla-like Vizcachas and the impressive Condors, the largest flying land birds of the Western Hemisphere with a 10 foot wingspan! The semi-desert and mountain landscapes keep you involved and alert with numerous rivers and streams to cross, rocky summits and mountain passes to challenge, and chance snowfalls on a colorful, isolated setting - perfect for the adventure camping trip of your life!
You will be partnered with a mountain veteran - your sturdy Criollo bred horse - and accompanied by a guide and trusty pack mules to carry your camp essentials and belongings. Come navigate the Andes as you gain insight into the life and times of the South American cowboy and relive a little bit of history in the steps of the courageous Army of Liberation.
Accommodations - 2 nights Santiago hotel (Chile), 1 night in Upsallata hotel (Argentina), 7 nights camping!
This trip includes
some wine with dinner
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Suitable for novice to experienced riders who are looking for a real riding expedition. We travel light and keep camping gear to a minimum
American citizens do not require a Visa, but Chile requires them to pay US$ 130 upon arrival.
Those under 21 years of age require legal parent authorization.
You must comply with customs regulations
Included: Accommodations - 6 nights camping where everyone in the group is asked to help to the extent possible, 1 night hotel at Los Andes, Chile, 1 night hotel at Uspallata – double, triple rooms.
Transfer Santiago de Chile – Los Andes, Los Andes - Los Patos, Barreal – Uspallata – Mendoza.
English speaking guide, gauchos, horses, pack mules, camping equipment.
Cooking equipment and table ware.
First aid kits for people and horses. Oxygen bottle. Iridium satellite phone for emergency calls.
All meals, wine and beverages during ride and others indicated in town.
Luggage: 20 kilos per person.
Not included: International and domestic flights, travel and medical insurance, gratuities and all others not indicated
Day 1 – Arrive Santiago de Chile, Chile: Transfer to Los Andes town at preset time around noon. Rest of day at leisure. Night at hotel. Welcome dinner with your guides and the rest of the group.
Day 2 – Start of horseback ride: Transfer from Los Andes to Los Patos. This is the route taken by San Martin´s army on his way to Santiago, through the Aconcagua Valley and the Putaendo Valley. We will see the site where on 12 February 1817, the Chacabuco battle took place. On 14 February, San Martín and O’Higgins entered Santiago de Chile to declare the independence. At Los Patos, the Chilean horses and gauchos will be waiting for us. Migrations at local authorities to allow us to cross this unattended border. We ride upstream the Rocin river to Las Tejas, our first campsite.
Day 3 – Horseback riding (cont.): We are riding the Pacific Ocean watersheds. We move up the Rocín river canyon. Night at El Ciénego camp.
Day 4 – Horseback riding (cont.): We leave early in the morning to reach the international border at 3500 mts. Changing horses is mandatory so we say farewell to our Chilean horses and continue our ride with an Argentine team who came all the way to fetch us. We will have a very close view of the Aconcagua Mt. (6962 mts. – 20 900ft), the highest peak in America and Western Hemisphere. Night at Valle Hermoso. For a reason it is called “Beautiful Valley”.
Day 5 – Horseback riding (cont.): We spend a second day at this heavenly spot to rest. Today we will do a day ride along the valley to get a closer view of Mount Aconcagua. Easy going and at your own pace. Or you can just go trout fishing or stay at camp and relax. Dinner at campsite.
Day 6 – Horseback riding (cont.): We ride along the Los Patos Valley, which gives the name to this pass and is an old sea bottom full of marine fossils, and the Volcán river. We camp at 3500 mts. in Rancho de Lata to get ready for next day challenge.
Day 7 – Horseback riding (cont.): Today we cross the Espinacito Slope at 4500 mts. (13 500 ft.) high. This is the highest point of the journey. The landscape is daydreaming and makes us feel the titanic efforts that the Army of the Andes had to overcome. Night at Peñón Colorado.
Day 8 – Horseback riding (end): After breakfast we ride to Hornillas. The challenge is almost over and we now fully grasp the real meaning of the crossing. Say farewell to our horses and leave behind the adventure. We go to Uspallata town in minibus to spend the night at hotel. Farewell dinner.
Day 9 – 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. 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.
-- subject to change --
NOTE: We will be happy to assist you with the continuation of your trip (hotel reservations, transfers, etc.).
Optional 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.
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 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.
Trekking: Towards the Cerro de la Cruz (6900 ft.) we reach the base of the mountain. This a 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.
Rates and Dates for Freedom Ride
Accommodations - 1 night hotel in Chile, 1 night in Upsallata hotel (Argentina), 6 nights camping, all meals, wine and beverages during the ride (not in hotel), 7 full riding days, all transfers, vineyard tour, camping equipment, English speaking guide and camp staff.
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Santiago airport included
Return bus ticket to Santiago de Chile
- to be paid locally
9d / 8n
9 day camping ride, AP
Rates do not include:
Gratuities, meals not mentioned, return transfer to Santiago ($50 by bus). Travel and Medical Insurance (mandatory). Entry VISA into Chile (available on arrival)
Max luggage is 45 lbs.
Airport: Santiago / Medoza
Transfer: Santiago airport or hotel
Climate: The climate in the Andes varies greatly depending on location, altitude, and proximity to the sea. The southern section is rainy and cool, the central Andes are dry. The northern Andes are typically rainy and warm.
Summer Hi 30°C (86ºF) - Lo minus 5°C (25ºF). The program is subject to the natural weather contingencies.
What To Bring: