Andean Crossing from Argentina into Chile

Northern Patagonia Argentina: (IT-ARRT05)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/argentina_andes_crossing.aspx

Introduction
Northern Patagonia Argentina
Join us on a very special horseback expedition, trekking from Argentina into Chile!

Your journey will start in the Northern Patagonia region of Argentina, from a 15,000-acre cattle estancia nestled in the beautiful Andean foothills, just 45 miles from the city of San Martin de los Andes. The intriguing and changing landscapes of  the wide-open meadows, rolling hills, vast plateaus, rushing rivers, and  clear and crisp lakes is set against a backdrop of the impressive, snow-capped Lanin Volcano (13,000 ft.) and the majestic Andes mountains.

From the estancia you will ride for 4 adventure filled days up into the breath taking Andes and through the Andean  Steppes.  You will ford rivers, pass through Indian reservations, explore magnificent rocky gorges and ride over ridges from where you can almost see the distant Atlantic. The fast paced portion of the ride will have you galloping across the water meadows and racing along the soft and sandy tracks of Argentina before crossing over into Chile where the pace will slow for navigating the exquisite and more difficult terrain.

At the border crossing you will change horses and then continue your ride through ancient forest and hidden hot springs. In Chile´s Lake District nature has produced a most fascinating land where blue and emerald lakes, hot springs, torrent rivers, jungle-covered mountains and perfect cone volcanoes extend in a brilliant chain over 225 miles from Villarica to Puerto Montt.

Accomodation

 

The trip starts at the estancia. There are three guest lodges just a stroll across the lawn from the main farmhouse. We have eight twin/double rooms, all with bathroom en-suite and there are communal sitting room areas in each cabin.

On the camping expedition, guests will sleep in two person tents. Good quality, down sleeping bags are provided. Camp staff provide the preparation of tents and meals, and also look after the horses. One night of the camping portion does not have any vehicle support. That day all camping gear etc is transported on pack horses. Consequently, that night camping is a bit more rustic than the other nights!

 

Meals at the estancia are served in the dinning room of the main house and guests gather for drinks in front of the fire in the living room. Alternatively we make use of the 'quincho', our function room, with an open fire pit perfect for 'asados' and dancing if the occasion arises! During the camping trip, meals are prepares by the staff and are usually "Asado Style" - grilled over the open fire.
Lunch and dinner are large meals in Argentina. Ham and bacon from our pigs are cured in the smoke-house, eggs come from the chicken run; milk and home made yogurt from the dairy cow and of course our own beef, venison and wild boar. With our large orchards, fruit is in abundance and all the preserves, bottle fruit, even the apple juice are homemade! There is a large vegetable garden and bread is freshly baked on a daily basis!

Argentine wines are finally achieving international recognition and we like to serve wines from the province. The beers and spirits are good too - we always have a siesta!
We can cater for different dietary requirements - but please give us prior notice.








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

Riding

Fitness level
This is a wild and rugged ride across one of the world's largest mountain chains dividing two countries.
It is a fairly challenging ride and therefore it is essential that all riders are physically fit.
 
Tack
The saddles used are "montura de monte" which are similar to old English army saddles with a sheepskin on top. Following traditional gaucho methods, you will find only the stirrups have buckles on our saddles. The saddles are sinched using leather hide, a custom not forgotten from the days when gauchos, like the American cowboy, would ride into the wilderness unable to replace a broken buckle.

Pace
Moderate with trots and good canters, slower riding on the Chilean side due to the terrain. Some long days in the saddle.

Horses
The estancia is home to about 50 horses and with 15,000 acres, as much as is possible they live as 'wild' horses. Our riding horses are criollo crosses, part anglo-normando, of about 15.5 hh. They are bred and trained on the Estancia and are sure- footed and well behaved. As much as possible we like to have them out enjoying the freedom of the water meadows which makes for an exciting ride rounding them up!
We ask arriving guests to provide us with an insight into their riding experience and history so we can try and get a feel for the type of horse would be a good match.
We have an eclectic selection of horses allowing us to cater to all riding abilities and confidence levels. They are neck-reined and the riding is similar to Western style.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - Subject to changes.

Day 1:
You will be met at Chapelco airport, (San Martin de los Andes) and driven to the Estancia (approx. 40 min.). After a late lunch there will be an afternoon ride to give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the horses, the tack, and the way we ride.

Day 2:
A full day’s ride on Estancia Huechahue with an "asado" lunch. Follow the Huechahue stream through its basalt canyons, riding as fast as you want across the water-meadows sending the plovers and ibis screeching, before returning over the top of Chenque Hill, where the Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you.

Day 3 to Day 6:
Set out from Huechahue for Chile. The next 8 days will be spent crossing from the wide open spaces of Argentine Patagonia over the Andes to the thickly forested steep slopes of Chilean Patagonia.  From  Huechahue you will ride for 4 days up into the Andes through the Andean  Steppes. You will ford rivers, pass through Indian reservations, ride over ridges with stunning scenery, and through magnificent rocky gorges. You can gallop across water meadows and race along sandy tracks. Nights will be spent camping by streams and rivers under the spectacular stars of the Southern hemisphere.

Day 7:
At lunchtime, at the base of Lanin Volcano in a forest of Monkey puzzle trees, you will reach the Argentine / Chilean border. Our Chilean partners will be waiting for you on the other side of customs. After passing through immigration and customs, you will wave goodbye to Argentina and the horse that has carried you to here and you will start down the western slopes of the Andes on your Chilean mount.

Day 8:
Continue riding down through the magnificent Southern beech forests, with spectacular views of lakes and volcanoes. The western slopes of the Andes are much steeper, the terrain very different. We reach the final campsite at picturesque Puente Barras by late afternoon.

Day 9:
Transfer back to Huechahue by road (about 3 hours).  After a late lunch there will be a ride on the estancia. You can spend the afternoon exploring the area, or decide as a group to visit one of the nearby site you have heard about. 

Day 10:
A farewell ride on Huechahue before transferring to the airport.

The above sample itinerary is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.


Rates and Dates for Andean Crossing from Argentina into Chile

Rates include:

All accommodation, food and beverages, 9 days of guided riding.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    201910 day trip, AP$5525
Minimum Deposit: ~$50.00 per person

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Single supplement- 50% $2,765
2019 Transfer from Chapelco airport included $0

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Travel or medical insurance and gratuities (7-10%).

Other Info
Meeting: Junín de los Andes
Airport: San Martin de los Andes (Chapelco Airport)
Transfer: Aviador Carlos Campos Airport (aka Chapelco) in San Martín de los Andes or from Teniente Luis Candelaria Airport, in San Carlos de Bariloche

Climate:


San Carlos de Bariloche area

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

75

75

70

60

52

47

46

49

54

61

66

71

Average Low Temperature (°F)

46

45

41

36

34

32

30

31

33

36

40

44

Average High Temperature (°C)

24

24

21

16

11

8

8

9

12

16

19

22

Average Low Temperature (°C)

8

7

5

2

1

0

-1

-1

0

2

4

7

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

3

2

4

6

10

11

12

11

6

6

5

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons

Summer
In summer, days are warm and sunny and nights are cool. During the day temperature may vary from 9ºC to 27ºC, which means you can fully enjoy outdoor activities, including beach activities on the shores of the lakes. Scarce winds mainly from the SW and few rainy days. Due to its latitude, daylight extends up to 10 p.m.

Fall
During fall, days are mild-cool and nights are cold. During the day, temperatures may vary between 4ºC and 13ºC. This is the rainiest season and in general, with gentle rains during the night.

Winter
Winter sees cold days with snowfalls in the surrounding mountains, which do not affect traffic in the town. During the day, temperatures range between 1ºC and 10ºC.
 
Spring
Days are still cool and nights cold in springtime. Days become longer and longer and temperatures rise gradually during the day, reaching marks between 7ºC and 20ºC by the end of the season.

The rainy season is from March to December and the dry season is during the summer. It rains around 1500 mm per year. The rains fall mainly on the cordillera. Precipitation may be rain in fall and spring and snow in winter, depending on the altitude.

As we are at 700m and higher, it always cools down at night. It rarely rains - however it is necessary to be prepared with adequate rain gear. It is possible to experience all four season in one single day, so the best way to always dress is in layers. We suggest guests come prepared for all eventualities and as a word of warning, the sun is very strong here and we recommend wearing factor 50 sun cream and having a hat. Dress is always casual.

Please be aware that on the treks we climb to an even higher altitude, so the temperatures will continue to drop, especially at night!

What To Bring:
In Argentina the weather is generally hot and dry during the day with a maximum temperature between 22 and 35 deg. C. As we are at 700m and higher, it always cools down at night, generally to between 5 and 10 deg. C, it can be colder. It rarely rains - however it is necessary to be prepared with adequate raingear. In Chile we ride through beautiful rainforest consequently you must be prepared for rain.

The best way to dress is in layers - a T-shirt, shirt, pullover (or fleece which is light and dries quickly), and a jacket to give protection against wind and rain.
Riding helmets are not a legal requirement in Argentina, but this is no reason for not wearing one. We have a few to lend but recommend, for a safer, better fit, that you bring your own. If you do not intend wearing a hard hat which is also fine, it is useful to have a hat with a wide brim (also good if it happens to rain).
Dress is always casual. There is a laundry service at Huechahue (extra cost).

While on the pack trip across the Andes we provide sleeping bags, thermo rests (in Chile inflatable mattresses) and tents.
There is one night when you will not be met by vehicle at the camp site. For this night all camping gear including sleeping bags, tents and food are carried on  pack horses. There will be no thermo rests this night but you will use your saddle and sheepskin as the gauchos do. Each guest is provided with a set of saddle bags for their personal possessions - change of clothes, toiletries, camera etc. Jackets and pullovers can be tied to the back of the saddle.
On all the other nights there will be a vehicle, however space in the vehicle is limited to one hand luggage size bag per person which we provide.

In this bag you will need:
A change of clothes
A light pair of shoes, e.g. plimsolls - for when you want to take your boots off
A set of thermal underwear - a light way of carrying extra warmth, hopefully unnecessary
Rain gear – jacket and trousers. Please note that whilst the Argentine side is semi-desert, the Chilean side is rain-forest.
Swimwear.
Wash bag.
Towel
A small torch.

The rest of your luggage will be transferred to Puente Basas to await your arrival, you will meet up with this on the border and have a chance to rearrange things.
If you are returning to Huechahue you may leave luggage at Huechahue.
Fishing Gear Four, five weight rods with floating line. Chest waders. A selection of flies suitable for fishing in Montana works well - woolly worm, woolly bugger, pancora, matuka, Adams, hare's ear, prince nymphs etc. On pack trips it is best to take a smuggler type rod - it is very difficult to transport long rods through dense forests without damaging them. There are some rods available for borrowing.

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Trousers should be comfortable for riding - jodhpurs, jeans
Footwear that is safe for riding
Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)
Half Chaps (optional)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Rain wear

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket for protection against wind and rain
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pajama
Light summer jacket
Warm jacket
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Swimsuit
For Camping trips:
Sleeping Bag minimum 3 season – 4 season better (provided)
Tent (provided)
Towel and small bar of soap
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for the emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Laundry (wash) bag (optional)
Camera and enough extra films
Small flashlight
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm