Arrival to Mendoza (760m / 2,493 ft).
Our driver will pick you up from the airport and drive you to the hotel. Team meeting, gear check.
Mendoza -Real de las Yaretas camp (3.600 m/ 11,810 ft)
Transfer to the trailhead (2,30 hs). After riding the van through vineyards and viewpoints and visiting a small museum, we reach the Border Patrol Station. This is the trailhead. Here we meet the gauchos and horses, complete the customs paperwork and have lunch. Then we take a 3-hour acclimatization ride or hike to our first campsite, Real de las Yaretas. Gaucho style barbecue, night in tents.
Real de las Yaretas – Portillo Argentino col (4.380 m / 14,370 ft) – Real de la Cruz
An intense day. Horseback ride or hike to Portillo Argentino. Astonishing view of the Andes and the border with Chile. Then the trail goes down to the valley of the Tunuyan River. It is an 8 or 9 hours day. We have lunch in the trail and spend the night in a big refuge, property of the Army, where we enjoy a strong dinner. The evening may offer some songs and stories, since the refuge is a meeting point for arrieros and travellers.
After lunch we can explore the surroundings, visit a small lagoon to spot wild geese, or just hanging out at the refuge.
Real de la Cruz – Paso Hondo Camp (3.400 m / 11,155 ft).
Crossing of Río Tunuyán (we use the horses) and ride/trek to Contreras Camp, in the scenic Palomares Valley. It is a perfect spot in the heart of the Andes, where we spend our last night in the mountains. It is a good opportunity to sleep by the fireside and under the stars. 5-hour day.
Paso Hondo – Argentinean-Chilean Border (4.030 m / 13,220 ft) – Trailhead – San Gabriel.
After an uphill walk/ride to the International Border (3 hs), we have lunch by the landmark at 4.030 meters. Horses exchange (for sanitary regulations, the animals can’t cross from one country to another) and steep descent to Yeso River, in Chilean territory (3 hs). River crossing. Here we meet the vehicle, and head towards San Gabriel. After riding the van for two more hours, we reach the Chilean town San Gabriel. Here we complete the customs paperwork, at the local Police office. Then we ride to a nice and quiet lodge, with hot showers and big beds!.
Transfer San Gabriel – Mendoza.
Breakfast, transfer to Santiago de Chile, lunch and transfer to Mendoza (ending the trip in Santiago is an option). End of our services.