Day 1: Mendoza - Las Hornillas. The expedition commences in Mendoza to meet fellow trip members and check your equipment before embarking on the adventure. Then we will take a private vehicle towards the Uspallata Valley and the Barreal. The trip will lead us to the heart of the magnificent Andes Mountain ranges by way of the international road to Chile. During the tour we will pass through Potrerillos, the Uspallata Valley, Pampa del Leoncito and the town of Barreal. In the early afternoon a four-wheel drive bus will transport us from "Barreal" to "Las Hornillas" (Álvarez Condarco, San Juan Province). Then dinner (Argentinean Welcome Barbecue), the famous "asado".
Day 2: Las Hornillas - El Peñon. Muleteers and horses will be ready to go waiting for you near "Las Hornillas". We begin the first day on horseback headed for the highest Andes peaks. We will pitch our first camp at el Peñón, near a cold gorgeous stream with strong torrents and small waterfalls. Dinner will consist of braised barbecue "asado".
Day 3: El Peñon - Vegas del Yeso. We will walk alongside a gorge where the river Las Leñas flows. We will have lunch, then continue on horseback riding. In the meantime while riding we will pass the Cordón del Espinacito and ride along the big mountain crest until ascending up to a pass at an altitude of 4500 meters. Then, in an astonishing surprise, on the other side of the mountain emerges a vast and impressive valley displaying magnificent colors. We descend down to our next camp.
Day 4: Vegas el Yeso - Valle de los Patos. On this day, we will be able to admire the highest mountain in the American continent, the Aconcagua with a height of 6962 meters. Passing the Yeso hills, we arrive to the vast and imposing "Valle de los Patos" (Valley of the ducks) where we set up our camp on the bank of the river bearing the same name, near National Gendarmery´s refuge "Ingeniero Sardinas". This valley, magnificent for its size, its luxurious pastures and its green colors, make it one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. The tranquility, silence and mild climate of this place makes it perfect to spend a day of rest. La valle de los Patos will be our base for 3 days.
Day 5: Valle de los Patos - Internacional Border - Valle de los Patos. We go on riding westwards until the Valle del río Volcán (Valley of the volcano river) from where you will enjoy a unique view over the Aconcagua. After four days of horse riding, we approach the border to Chile (Argentinean - Chilean frontier). From here, looking behind you, you can admire a fantastic valley surrounded by snow-covered mountains, and in front of you, you can see exuberant landscapes with green pastures full of flowers with streams passing through.
Day 6: Valle de los Patos - Day of Rest. Today with the expedition leader we will do some trekking and learn about the flora and fauna of the mountains. Upstream of the river, we reach a place where you can often find trout ready to be fished with a rod or just a thread with lead or hook. We will prepare the fish for our dinner.
Day 7: Valle de los Patos - Rancho de Lata. From the valley de los Patos we undertake our return, coming back to the high Andes peaks. We spend the night at the "Rancho de Lata".
Day 8: Rancho de Lata - Manantiales (last camp). Once again we undertake the ride on the high Andes crests, reaching 4300 meters, passing the Paso Honda (Sling Pass). This place of unequalled beauty is surrounded by impressing landscapes and an infinity of colours. The horses with a firm and steady step walk down along the steep mountainside.
Day 9: Manantiales - Las Hornillas - City Of Uspallata. This will be our last riding day, after the incredible Andes crossing we will ride the last four hours of our trip until we reach the vehicle which will transfer us to "El Barreal" and later on to the Uspallata valley. We will celebrate the end of the adventure with a farewell dinner in a pleasant mountain hostel where we will spend the night (4 bedrooms).
Day 10: Uspallata - Mendoza. We will return to Mendoza in a private vehicle which will mark the end of our most thrilling Andes adventure.
Note: Daily 4 to 9 hours on horseback.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Argentina Outdoor: Land Rambler Horse Riding
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