Expedition

Crossing the Andes on horseback through Patos Sur Valley

Calingasta - San Juan - Argentina

Embark on the legendary trail of General José de San Martín, the hero who led the battle of Chacabuco and paved the way for the recovery of Chile 's independence. Follow in the footsteps of the liberator and discover the historic path that shaped a nation’s destiny.

"… we are already in chapel, my friend, for our expedition. To estimate how my sad and stupid head works, I tell you that I need thirteen thousand mules to move myself…"

*Note: This is a humorous and exaggerated expression used by San Martín to convey the complexity and difficulty of their undertaking. Mulases were used as pack animals in the Andes, so San Martín is implying that he needs an absurdly large number of them to accomplish their goal.

What makes this experience so memorable?

MEETING POINT IN BARREAL:

Welcome to Barreal, the starting point of our adventure! Meet your fellow expedition members in this charming town nestled at 1700 meters above sea level. Check in at the mountain hostel and get ready for the journey ahead. We will take care of equipment preparation and logistics, and then gather for a warm welcome dinner to kick off our exciting expedition!

 

Day 1

 

Start your adventure with breakfast and checking out of the mountain hostel. Board 4x4 trucks for a thrilling ride to Los Manantiales (3200 masl). Meet the expert muleteers and their trusty sillero and carguero cattle. Then, saddle up for a scenic horseback ride to Peñón Colorado (2900 masl), where you will set up camp and enjoy dinner under the stars. Horseback riding for 5 hours.

 

• Day 2:
Rise and shine for a hearty breakfast, then saddle up for an epic ride! Climb to the highest point of our expedition, the summit of El Espinacito (4500 masl). Take in the beautiful views and feel a sense of accomplishment. Afterward, ride to Ciénaga de Gallardo (3000 masl) and set up camp for the night. Enjoy dinner and rest your legs- you have earned after 6 hours in the saddle today! Horseback riding for 5 hours.

 

El Espinacito summit holds a special significance, as it is where the Liberator Army led by General San Martín crossed the Andes in 1817. Commemorative plaques honor the Vanguard Division (Brigadier Soler), Thick Division (Brigadier O’Higgins), and Rearguard (General San Martín) as they bravely traversed this challenging terrain.

 

• Day 3:
Enjoy breakfast before embarking on a photogenic horseback ride to Los Patos Sur Valley (3100 masl). This stunning valley, formed by ancient glaciers, treats you to spectacular landscapes, diverse native flora, and fauna. Set up camp, indulge in dinner, and rest your legs after a leisurely 4-hour ride. Horseback riding for 4 hours.

 

Los Patos Sur Valley was a strategic haven for the Andes Army’s reorganization before crossing the Western Cordon of the Andes, now the border with Chile. History echoes through this valley’s majestic landscapes.

 

• Day 4:
Wake up and get ready for an exceptional horseback ride to the Argentine-Chilean border at Valle Hermoso Pass (3850 masl). Marvel at the majestic North Face of Mount Aconcagua (6962 masl) and the stunning Gussfeldt Glacier. Return to Los Patos Sur Valley camp for dinner and rest after an 8-hour ride filled with gorgeous view. Horseback riding for 5 hours.

 

General José de San Martín led the charge through Valle Hermoso Pass with Major Arcos and 200 Grenadiers to unite with Brigadier O’Higgins and Soler, and Colonel Las Heras divisions in Chile. Their mission? To triumph in the Battle of Chacabuco and secure a victory for Chile.

 

 

• Day 5:

Resting day. Relax and take it easy in El Valle de Los Patos Sur.

 

 

• Day 6:

Fuel up with breakfast, then saddle up for a scenic horseback ride! Ride to Rancho de Lata, nestled at the foot of towering Cerro La Honda (4300 meters above sea level). Set up camp and enjoy dinner under the stars. Tonight, rest your weary head after a thrilling 5-hour ride. Horseback riding for 5 hours.

 

• Day 6:
Enjoy breakfast, then climb to Cuesta de La Honda (4300 meters above sea level) for stunning views! Descend along the Las Leñas River, feeling the rush of the water. Arrive at Los Hornitos del Medio (3000 meters above sea level) and relax in camp. Refuel over dinner after an unforgettable 6-hour horseback ride! .

 

• Day 8:
Ride to Las Hornillas for lunch after breakfast. Then, transfer to Barreal and check in at the mountain hostel. Celebrate the journey with a farewell dinner! Today, you'll ride for 5 hours in total. Horseback riding for 5 hours.

 

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Season dates 2024/2025

Dates of the 2024/2025 season: To be determined in December 2024, January, and February 2025.

 

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• Types: Horseback riding.
• Number of days in the mountain: 8 días y 7 noches.
• Group size: 4 people.
• Recommended Age Range 13-65 (activities adapted to individual needs).
• Difficulty level: Medium, with passages of controlled difficulty.

 

Price per person: Contact us for details.

MAIN SERVICES AND FACILITIES

• Expert Guide (trained in first aid)
Guide (trained in first aid)
Muleteers
Cook
• Transportation and Equipment :
Horse and muleback riding
Cargo mules

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• Accommodation : 2 nights mountain hostel in Barreal and 5 nights camping in Andes Mountains (tents, sleeping bags, insulating mats)
• Dining and Dietary Options: Creole Menu (vegetarian, vegan, and celiac options available upon request) Tableware
• Safety and Communication:
Satellite communication; Support truck
• First Aid Kit

Services Not Included:

• Transfers from the place of origin to Barreal
• Personal equipment
• Air Evacuation Insurance
• Travel Assistance Insurance / Personal Accident Insurance
• Program abandonment costs.
• Tips

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