The challenging climbing is rewarded by long downhill rides once we enter Chile. We will camp under incredibly huge skies, involved in a magical setting of jagged peaks, snow-capped mountains and desolate desert landscapes
Depart: (Friday) Guests starting with us in Buenos Aires will depart in our van on Friday afternoon. Our meeting point is in Buenos Aires (flight to, and accommodations in Buenos Aires are not included in tour price). We recommend flying to the city of Neuquen, in Neuquen Province. If you choose to fly to Neuquen, you must arrive in Chos Malal by Saturday. The nearest airport is Neuquen, which is 380 km from Chos Malal. We can arrange for your transfer from Neuquen airport to Chos Malal (Flight and transfer not included).
Day 1 (Saturday): Those travelling by land from Buenos Aires must expect twenty hours on the road until arriving in Chos Malal. The left time will be used to set the bikes up and meet the staff and your travelling colleagues. We’ll stay the night at the nicest hotel in town (Hotel included, dinner free and not included).
Day 2 (Sunday): Chos Malal - Huinganco
After breakfast, the organization staff will give a speech of the tour before starting to ride. Once on the road, we start the first stage from Chos Malal towards the northwest, looking after “Cordillera del viento”, the windy Andes range.
Just after some few miles, we’ll see the “Domuyo” Volcano (4700 meters over the sea level) the highest mountain in Patagonia, one of the most important icons for trekking and climbing expeditions in North Patagonia. The morning ride will take us through a wide open valley and over a nice paved road. In the afternoon, views will change completely: We’ll enter the Huinganco Valley and enjoy a narrow and undulating path, surrounded by dense pine forests until arriving in Huinganco summer village. Riders must expect a wide range of temperatures between the day and the night.
61.65 km (38.50 miles) - 1375 meters (4500 feet) uphill/1037 meters (3400 feet) downhill
Day 3 (Monday): Huinganco – Río Reñil Leuvú
In the second stage of the Andes cross, we leave “Huinganco” and will soon pass by “Andacollo”, the last town we’ll meet in Argentina towards the limit between both countries. Our support team will prepare lunch and dinner every day we are cycling, welcoming guests at midday with a hearty outdoors lunch, and preparing dinner at our previously organized campsite in the evening. As always, you can choose from cycling hard ahead of the pack, or at a relaxed pace, taking your time to snap pictures and marvel at the landscape. Our support vehicles will be used to move our equipment and baggage ahead as well as to give support to riders. After passing by “Andacollo” and after crossing the “Neuquen” River, we’ll continue riding over a gravel road, surrounded by a semi desert landscape that will clearly allow us to see the snowcapped mountains in the west. Before arriving to the campsite, we’ll be following different snaking rivers, first the “Nahueve”, then “Lileo”, to finish camping on “Reñil Leuvú” riverbank.
43km (26.70 miles) - 968 meters (3175 feet) uphill/1077 meters (3533 feet) downhill
Day 4 (Tuesday): Río Reñil Leuvú – Cajon del Pichachen
After breakfast, we’ll put the campsite down and listen to the daily mini-speech that will give us the accurate information about the general conditions for the day in terms of temperature, highlights, biking distance and elevation gain. Always following the “Reñil Leuvú” River, the landscape will start to vary: The soil will get the dark color of the volcanic rock and this one will be blended by different tones of emerald vegetation.
Today will be an uphill day. After doing 26km, we’ll arrive to “Gendarmeria” border control, where we’ll do the Argentinean migrations and customs paperwork. We’ll seize that period to have lunch. In the afternoon we’ll see the “Moncol” mountain, different valleys and woods of “Lengas”, a typical strong tree from Patagonian Andes.
In the end of the day, some downhills will give us a break!
37.5km (23.30 miles) - 960 meters (3150 feet) uphill /390 meters (1280 feet) downhill
Day 5 (Wednesday): Cajon del Pichachen – Sierra Velluda
The most overwhelming day is awaiting us: The challenging uphills, the fascinating downhills and the stunning scenery, composed by the perfect cone of the “Antuco” volcano and the sharp top of the “Sierra Velluda”, will take your breath away!
In the morning we start the last uphill riding definitely over a dark soil, due to an ancient volcanic activity. At this point, after facing strong winds and tough uphills, we’ll be really looking forward to arrive to the top of the mountain, where the milestone will show the exact place where both countries meet.
After riding nine hard kilometers we’ll get to the limit between both countries. There’s not much to be said at this point: the incredible views will hold us not to leave while we stare at the “Antuco” Volcano (2985meters) and the “Sierra Velluda” (3865meters). The “Antuco” Volcano was active until 1853, and its glaciers drag down different sort of sedimentations, giving different green tones to “Laguna Verde” (The green lake) and different rivers that flow into the “Laja” River. The downhill will let us go until arriving to “Carabineros de Chile” where local authorities will do the paperwork for us to enter the country. The campsite will be in a magic place, nearby both volcanoes.
37,5km (23.30 miles) - 890 meters (2920 feet) uphill/1080 meters (3543) downhill
Day 6 (Thursday): Sierra Velluda – Campamento Río Rucue
In the morning we’ll cycle between the “Antuco” Volcano and “La Laja” lagoon, we’ll find loose sand which makes riding a lot more difficult, but an exhilarating downhill is almost to begin! A fantastic gravel track down that will show us the slight transformation of the environment as far as we go forward. The mountain vegetation will leave space to Cypress, Radales, Lengas, Coihues, Ñires, and all trees of the humid Patagonian forest.
After 31km we loose more than 600 meters (1960 feet) and we find the start of the paved road.
The “Laja” River will escort us while we cycle down, until we arrive to “Antuco” the first Chilean town and first civilization contact. After some few more miles, we’ll arrive to the “Río Rucue” campsite, where we spend the rest of the afternoon and make use of the river to refresh ourselves.
60km (37.28 miles) - 635 meters (2083 feet) uphill/1590 meters (5217) downhill
Day 7 (Friday): Campamento Río Rucue – Los Ángeles
We start the last stage and start to roll over a slightly downhill paved road. Views changed completely: We left behind the mountain appearance that turned into a very green and humid farm area that receives the weather influence from the Pacific Ocean. As we slowly enter an urban area, we make emphasis in safety and steer our bikes with more self-control. The support team will wait at the hotel with lunch prepared, ready to celebrate the success of our tour with champagne! After loading our bikes, you’ll have time for a relaxing shower, with a free afternoon to enjoy the pool, followed by a group dinner at our hotel.
51km (31.70 miles) - 178 meters (580 feet) uphill/498 meters (1630 feet) downhill
Day 8 (Saturday):
We’ll leave “Los Angeles” in our minibus, heading towards “Neuquen” back in Argentina through “Paso Pino Hachado” (600km/12 hours). You can choose between being transferred to “Concepción´s” airport, where you can fly home via Santiago de Chile or extend your travels in the amazing country of Chile. From the famous wineries of the Central Valley, to the deserts of the North and the glaciers of the South, Chile offers truly magical destinations. You can also travel back to “Neuquen” the door entrance to Argentinean Patagonia, from where you can extend your travel plan, or fly back to Buenos Aires. The van will arrive to Neuquen in the evening, and we spend the night in a hotel.
Day 9 (Sunday):
Those planning to fly back to Buenos Aires can choose from daily flights. The van will early leave to Buenos Aires. The arrival is expected at 11p.m. at the same meeting point used for the start of the tour.
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