Day 1, Friday: Guests starting with us in Buenos Aires will depart in our van on Friday afternoon. Our meeting point is in Buenos Aires. We recommend flying to the city of San Rafael, in Mendoza Province. If you choose to fly to Mendoza, you must arrive in Malargüe by Friday or Saturday. The nearest airport is San Rafael, which is 180 km from Malargüe. We can arrange for your transfer from San Rafael airport to Malargüe for a cost of $67.
Day 2, Saturday: We’ll arrive in Malargüe in the afternoon, giving you free time to stroll the town, visit a museum or rest. Tonight we’ll be lodged at a local hotel. Dinner is on your own. Malargüe is famous for chivito, the local name for goat. Of course, you will also find the famous Argentine grilled meat here.
Day 3, Sunday: Malargüe - Bardas Blancas. After our detailed welcome and safety introduction to the tour, we begin biking from the town’s central square. The first stage involves leaving Malargüe heading south, over the famous Route 40, which stretches the length of Argentina along the spine of the Andes from the border with Bolivia in the North, to the edge of the continent in Ushuaia, in the South. We’ll have the Andes Range in sight on our right, cycling over a paved road to the Chihuido Slope, climbing 550 ms (1804 ft) in the first 42 km (26 miles), and stopping for lunch after accomplishing this first stage. 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.
Today’s ride ends by the Rio Grande at Bardas Blancas, a small border settlement where we will spend our last night near civilization. This also marks the end of the pavement – we’ll be on a dirt road from here on. During this first stage, the temperature will be around 30º Celsius during the day time, and about 0ºC at night. Total distance: 67,5 km (42 miles).
Day 4, Monday: Bardas Blancas - Las Loicas. We’ll begin cycling at our campsite, our goal being to reach Las Loicas, the last border control in Argentina. The road is still wide and will be paved for the next sixteen kilometers, with a river always snaking alongside it within site. Our support vehicles will be used to move our equipment and baggage ahead as well as to give support to riders. Tonight we’ll
set camp at a local puesto, basically a hamlet where locals will treat us with the famous chivito of Mendoza. Total distance: 37 km (23 miles).
Day 5, Tuesday: Las Loicas- Puesto de Doña Angela. After leaving Las Loicas, we’ll cross the Chico River and start biking along it’s left margin, entering the Valle Grande. The scenery is amazing, with vast views of our desert landscape, strange rock formations and high snow-covered peaks all around us. The river is fed by snow-melt, and becomes clearer as we ascend. We will also cross large fields of sand, bike over long straight paths, and hopefully get a glimpse of the majestic Andean Condor, flying high above us near their nesting sites. Tonight we’ll camp near the Río Montañés, in this arid, almost surreal mountain setting. We’ll savor today’s success at our campsite, with a hearty, replenishing group dinner. Temperatures will be near 0ºC at night. Total distance: 49 km (31 miles).
Day 6, Wednesday: Puesto de Doña Angela – Termas del Azufre. Today’s challenging stage will see us begin early, getting us ever closer to our ultimate goal. Our objective will be the wonderful sulfuric hot baths under the Peteroa Volcano. We’ll see this amazing smoking massif high above us. The ride involves plenty of climbing, getting us into the very heart of the mountains. We’ll also see fields of volcanic stone and ash as we reach our campsite, which will be set up under a nearby glacier, with the hot baths at our reach. Total distance: 48 km (31 miles).
Day 7, Thursday: Termas del Azufre – Río Teno. Emotion and excitement will abound us, as we finish our climbing and we leave Argentina across the border into Chile. After 14 km we’ll reach the border control, as well as the tour’s maximum elevation of 2,465 ms above sea level (8,070 ft). The zigzag downhill path will get your adrenaline flowing; but be sure to stop for the amazing views. We’ll arrive at our campsite near the famous Teno River, where Olympic kayak teams train. One more night to replenish ourselves with a nourishing meal, enjoying the company of our group, which will by now be a unified team! Total distance: 39.5 km (25 miles).
Day 8, Friday: Río Teno - Curicó. More downhill riding on this last stage of our High Andes Crossing. Still, there are plenty of challenges, as we must carefully steer our bikes over the winding dirt road. The temperatures will rise today as we near sea level, so we’ll begin early to enjoy the swimming pool at the hotel this afternoon. The landscape will differ drastically, as we experience a change in vegetation in the more humid Chilean region. After crossing the town of Los Queñes, we’ll once again cycle over a paved road, with 26 km to go before reaching Curicó. The support team will await 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. Total distance: 68 km (42,5 miles).
Day 9, Saturday: We’ll leave Curicó in our minibus, heading towards Santiago, where you can fly home 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. The van will continue from Santiago back to Mendoza, Argentina, traveling 600 km over a paved road, under the Aconcagua massif (the highest mountain in the Americas) and eventually back into the valleys of Mendoza Capital. We’ll arrive in the evening, spending the night in cabins.
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