Day 1: MENDOZA
Arrival in Mendoza. Check into Mendoza City hotel (doble room) and overnight (no meals included).
Altitude above sea level: Mendoza 746 m. (2,500 ft).
Day 2: MENDOZA - LAS HORNILLAS
In the morning the expedition begins with a meeting during which you will get to know the members of the trip and we will check your equipment before leaving. Then we will drive in a private vehicle towards the Uspallata valley and the Barreal. The trip will lead us to the heart of the fabulous Andes mountain ranges though the international road to Chile.
During the trip we will pass through Potrerillos, the Uspallata valley, Pampa del Leoncito and the town of Barreal. During the early afternoon a four-wheel drive bus, will transfer us from Barreal to Las Hornillas (Álvarez Condarco, San Juan Province). Overnight in tents.
Dinner: Argentinean Welcome Barbecue (The famous asado).
Distance: Mendoza to las Hornillas: 350 km. to the North.
Duration of the trip in vehicle: approximately 6 hours.
Altitude above sea level: Las Hornillas 1920 m. (6,300 ft).
Day 3: LAS HORNILLAS - MANANTIALES (Day 1 by horse)
Pack mules and horses will be waiting for you near "Las Hornillas", ready to go. We prepare the loads and all the equipment necessary for the expedition that will be carried on mules and then we will start the first day on horseback towards the highest Andes peaks.
We will settle our first camp at Manantiales.
Dinner: Braised barbecue "asado".
Riding time: approximately 5 hours.
Altitude above sea level: Manantiales 2600 m. (8,500 ft).
Day 4: MANANTIALES - VEGAS DEL YESO (Day 2 by horse)
Along with the rising sun we will start the most intensive day of the expedition. We will walk along a gorge where the river Las Leñas flows.
After lunch the path gets rockier, we will cross several times the same river. The horses walk on the slippery rocks with an incredible assurance.
Passing the Cordón del Espinacito, we ride along the big mountain crest until reaching a pass at an altitude of 4500 meters. Then, suddenly, on the other side of the mountain appears a vast and imposing valley with magnificent colors. We ride down towards our next camp sourrounded by good pastures for our horses. The night falls and the flames of the fire warm us up, while the guide prepares a delicious and comforting meal typical in the Andes.
Riding time: approximately 9 hours.
Altitude above sea level: Vegas del Yeso 3350 m. (11,000 ft).
Day 5: VEGAS EL YESO - VALLE DE LOS PATOS (Day 3 by horse)
Today we will be able to admire the highest mountain in the American continent, the Aconcagua with a height of 6962
meters. Then passing the Yeso hills, we arrive to the vast and imposing "Valle de los Patos" where we set up our camp on the bank of the river bearing the same name, near National
Gendarmerie's refuge "Engineer Sardinas".
This large valley with luxurious pastures and lush green colors, make it one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. The tranquility, silence and mild climate of this place make it the perfect place to rest. La
valley de los Patos will be our base for 3 days.
Riding time: approximately 5 hours.
Altitude above sea level: Valle de los Patos 2650 m. (8,700
Day 6: VALLE DE LOS PATOS: DAY OF REST (Day 4 by horse)
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, try your luck fishing with a fishing rod or just a thread with lead or hook. Trout caught today will be dinner to night.
Day 7: VALLE DE LOS PATOS - INTERNACIONAL BORDER - LA LAGUNITA (Day 5 by horse)
We go on marching westwards until the Valley Río Volcán (Valley of the volcano river) from where you will enjoy a unique view on the Aconcagua. After four days riding, we approach the Chilean border (Argentinean - Chilean frontier). From there, 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 covered by flowers and streams passing through.
We go down to the Chilean "Carabinieros", following the Rocím river where we will pass the customs and migratory inspections. At dusk we set up our camp and the Chilean cook prepares us a typical welcoming dinner.
Riding time: approximately 8 hours.
Altitude above sea level: Argentinean / Chilean border "Paso Valle Hermoso" 3500 m.
Day 8: LA LAGUNITA - LAS TEJAS (Day 6 by horse)
The horses go down along the Rocim river, down the steep slopes of the precipitous Chilean mountains. Soon we will reach one of the most difficult passes of the expedition: "El Aletón", a narrow path between the rocks where you can admire a spectacular abyss which goes down to the Rocim river. We arrive at Las Tejas where we will set up the camp and spend our last night in tents. Campfire and dinner.
Day 9: LAS TEJAS - RESGUARDO DE LOS PATOS - SAN FELIPE (Day 7 by horse)
This will be our last day on horseback. Before reaching the vehicle which will take the group to the customs control named "Resguardo de los Patos", we pass through "Junta de los Ríos" and "Arboleda de Quillalli".
Then we arrive at a nice mountain hotel in the picturesque city of San Felipe where we will celebrate the end of this marvelous expedition with our farewell dinner.
Day 10: SAN FELIPE - MENDOZA
We return back to the city of Mendoza by bus. The most exciting adventure the Andes come to an end.
Accommodation in a Mendoza City hotel (double room), dinner not included.
Duration of the trip by bus: Santiago / Mendoza: 7 hours approx.
Day 11: DEPARTURE
Map Route by horse "Andean Crossing Adventure"
View Cruce de Los Andes por el "Valle de Los Patos" on a bigger map.