Horse Andes Crossing

The Forgotten Trail Of The Arrieros


Day 1 > Mendoza
Pick up at the airport if needed (optional). Your guide will check your gear and assist you with the park’s trekking permit procedures. The program does not include hotel and meals in Mendoza.

Day 2 > Mendoza – Real de las Yaretas Camp (3.600 m / 11,810 ft)
Transfer to the trailhead (2:30 h). After driving through vineyards’ past scenic 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 horse ride or hike to our first campsite, Real de las Yaretas. Gaucho style barbecue, night in tents.

Day 3 > Real de las Yaretas – Portillo Argentino pass (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 hour day. We have lunch on the trail and spend the night in a big mountain lodge, property of the Army, where we enjoy a hearty dinner. The evening may offer some songs and stories, since the lodge is a meeting point for arrieros and travellers.

Day 4 > Restday
After lunch we can explore the surroundings, visit a small lagoon to spot wild geese, or just hanging out at the lodge.

Day 5 > 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.

Day 6 > Paso Hondo – Argentinean-Chilean Border (4.030 m / 13,220 ft) – Trailhead – San Gabriel.
After a 3 hour ascent to the second mountain pass (4.030 m) on the trip, we have lunch at the historical landmark representing the border between Argentina and Chile. Here we exchange Argentine horses for Chilean ones (due to sanitary regulations, the animals are not allowed to cross from one country to another). We then continue along a steep descent, now in Chile,  to the Yeso River Valley for 3 more hours. We rendezvous our van and drive to San Gabriel, where we complete the Chilean customs procedures before arriving at our peaceful accomodation with hot showers and big beds!.

Day 7 > 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 service.

Included in the cost:

  • In and out transfers in Mendoza and Chile.
  • Hotel in Mendoza City (one night, with breakfast).
  • Hotel in Cajón del Maipo, Chile (one night, with breakfast). Full board during the expedition (in the field).
  • Licensed mountain guide/s (English speaking).
  • Dining tent (table, chairs and dinnerware service).
  • Mountain tents.
  • Riding horses and saddles (for the horseback riding program). Expert local gauchos.
  • Pack horse support during the expedition.
  • Sat phone.
  • First Aid kit.

Not included in the cost:

  • Personal gear, sleeping bags and sleeping pads.
  • Meals in Mendoza and Chile.
  • Any extra costs derived from leaving the program early, such as mules, transfers, guides, etc.
  • Medical insurance, evacuation costs.

Requisites services:

  • Good general physical condition.
  • Previous experience at high altitude is not required but good aerobic performance is suggested.
  • Horseback riding experience is suggested.

Do you wish to get started ?


Follow Us

Our Partners