Duration: 7 days.
This program offers the experience of crossing the Andes from Mendoza to Santiago de Chile, by a forgotten mountain pass at 4,380 m. We leave the urban routine behind for a week, and travel through astonishing landscapes, among condors and guanacos.
The high pass “Portillo Argentino” is the gate to an old trail used by gauchos 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 valley where an ancestral culture
of horsemen and mountain people is still alive, in harmony with the wildlife. The traditional “reales” (campsites) offer the opportunity to sleep by the fireside and to share the skills of the arrieros (muleteers). A second pass, Portezuelo de Piuquenes (4030m), marks the international border and the descent to Chile.
You can choose to ride a good mannered, sure-footed gaucho horse or to hike. In fact, as the camps and the logistics are the same, one person can choose to trek with our licensed mountain guides, and her or his traveling companion can choose to ride with the gauchos and the mules. Then everyone gets together for dinner and camping. Whether you ride or hike, we use pack mules, so you can travel light and enjoy the place. We apply “leave no traces” and animal welfare procedures.