Across the Andes - Horsebackriding;
Across the Andes through the route taken by San Martín in 1817
- Argentina / Chile –
The legendary crossing of the Andes through the route taken by San Martín
- Paso de Los Patos -
“...what does not allow me to sleep well is, not the strength of our enemy army, but crossing these immense mountains”. Written by Don José de San Martín to José María Guido, 14 June, 1816.
While the roar of freedom was still heard in France and U.S., its echo rolled into South America……. patriotic voices with gigantic dreams coordinated their actions to put an end to 350 years of monarchic domination and open an era of individual free will.
I want to invite you to share with us the privilege of reediting one of the most amazing achievements in the history of mankind. Crossing the Andes on horseback through the exact same spot San Martín and his “Army of the Andes” did in 1817 to free the people of Chile from its European monarchs. Thought for a small group of enthusiasts of nature and history. We will have the chance to feel the titanic efforts that our Fathers of Independence had to overcome. A mythical journey that draws like a magnet. Probably, the trip of a lifetime…..
This wilderness is flanked by the highest mountains in America, the Aconcagua (20 900ft.) and the Mercedario (20 700 ft.). 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 unique places like this you can enjoy the privilege of watching them in plenitude. As the sun sets, the spectacular stars of the southern hemisphere will cover the sky. Relax at the camp with its peaceful atmosphere. 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. 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 Martin’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”. Signed by José de San Martín, 22 Februrary, 1817, Santiago de Chile.
Whilst we always endeavor to avoid changes before and during the program and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances, including acts of man or nature which so require
12 Days Program
Day 1 – Arrive Los Andes, Chile. Night in hotel.
Day 2 – Horseback riding. Transfer to Los Patos. Start of ride to Las Tejas. Night in camp.
Day 3 – Horseback riding (cont.). From Las Tejas to El Ciénego.
Day 4 – Horseback riding (cont.). Border crossing. Horses switching. Camp in Argentina in Valle Hermoso. Aconcagua Mt. view
Day 5 – Horseback riding (cont.). Valle Hermoso, along the Volcán river to Rancho de Lata.
Day 6 – Horseback riding (cont.). From Rancho de Lata to Peñón Colorado. We cross at 13500 ft. the famous Espinacito Slope.
Day 7 – Horseback riding (cont.). Final day of riding. Arrive to Manantiales. To Barreal or Uspallata in 4x4 vehicles. Night in hotel. Farewell dinner.
Day 8 – End of program.
Day 1 – Arrive Los Andes, Chile: Check in hotel. Rest of day at leisure.
Day 2 – Start of horseback ride: Transfer from Santiago 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 Februrary 1817, the Chacabuco battle took place. On 14 Februrary, San Martín and O’Higgins entered Santiago de Chile to declare the independence. At Los Patos, where the road ends, the horses will be awaiting 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 in El Ciénego camp.
Day 4 – Horseback riding (cont.): We leave early in the morning to reach the international border at 12000 ft. Changing horses is mandatory so we say farewell to our Chilean horses and guides and continue our ride with an Argentine team. We will have a very close view of the Aconcagua Mt. (6962 mts.), the highest peak in America and Western Hemisphere. Night in Valle Hermoso.
Day 5 – 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 6 – Horseback riding (cont.): Today we cross the Espinacito Slope at 4500 mts. 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 in Peñón Colorado.
Day 7 – Horseback riding (end): After breakfast we ride to Manantiales. The challenge is almost over and we now fully grasp the real meaning of the crossing. We leave behind the adventure. From there, in 4x4 vehicles, we go to Barreal or Uspallata town to spend the night in hotel. Farewell dinner.
Day 8 –End of program.
Days: 8 days. 6 full riding days.
Horses: mules and criollo horses.
Tack: South American Recado saddles.
Pace: Slow. 6-9 hrs /day.
Level: Suitable for novice to experienced riders who are looking for a real riding expedition. We travel light and keep camping gear to a minimum. Some long days.
Weather: Summer Hi 30°C (86ºF) - Lo -5°C (25ºF). The program is subject to the natural weather contingencies involved in any environment like this.
Accommodations (5 nights camping, 1 night hotel in Los Andes, Chile, 1 night hostel in Uspallata – shared). Transfer Los Andes – Los Patos, Las Hornillas – Uspallata. All meals and beverages during ride and others indicated in town. Luggage: 10 kilos per person. Not included: International and domestic flights, travel and medical insurance, gratuities and all others not indicated.
Departure dates (Arrive Los Andes, Chile): 17 January, 2 February 2007 and 13 December and upon request during season (1 Dec. – late March).
Group size: 10-12 guests.
Immigration and Customs: For Argentine citizen’s cédula de identidad, DNI o L.E / L.C. Other nationalities tourists require valid passport and, in some cases, tourist visa. Those under 21 years of age require legal parent authorization. You must fulfill customs regulations.
Meeting place: Los Andes, Chile.
Rate: Ask for rates.