January 19th
Departure day
Argentina
Destination
Expert
Difficulty level

This fantastic MTB Tour is truly done in the heart of the Andes. Without crossing the border to Chile but riding very near to it, we use almost forgotten paths and gravel roads that are hardly kept “alive” and we get to know one of the most beautiful places in Argentina. This ride will take us along the “Barrancas” river in the first three days, going up to 9.000ft to then take us to Varvarco Andean and pristine lagoon; will make us ride by Domuyo mtn. the highest in Patagonia (15.000ft) and enjoy the thermal waters coming from underneath and will let us enjoy the only geysers in Argentina. It’s a demanding ride as we gather more tan 12.000ft elevation gain in the first three days, but landscapes and views will pay by far the effort giving back a great experience.

DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL Chos Malal/ Chos Malal
DEPARTING TIME 8 p.m. depart from Buenos Aires
SERVICES INCLUDED
18 seater van equipped with TV and video
three to five support 4×4 equipped with two-way communication radio (everyday, with on-board service, including granola bars, fruits when possible, and other snacks and drinks)
Mountain bike transportation during the extent of the tour
Bilingual Tour Leaders, equipped with two-way radios, and local guides. Mechanical assistance and spare bike
All meals, at campsites, hotels or restaurants (except meals while on transit, dinner on Day 1 and Day 8)
Support staff in charge of setting up camp and preparing meals every day of the tour
All accommodations: While camping, our comfortable 2-person tents (individual tents are available – please inquire), with dining structural tent, latrine tents, and comfortable camping equipment including tables, chairs and dining ware.
Two hotel nights in Chos Malal, Neuquen (Arg), with double or triple occupancy (single supplement is available – please inquire)
 Medical Insurance
Daily Trip Information Notes, with maps, routes and detail on the region
Pre-trip information package with details on how to prepare, what to bring, and more detailed information
NOT INCLUDED
Meals not detailed in the program, drinks, alcohol drinks, air tickets, transfers not detailed in the tour program, bike parts, phone calls, laundry expenses and personal expenses
MTB Rental

Additional information

LocationChos Malal, Neuquen
Duration9 days
MonthFebruary, March

The tour starts in Barrancas and ends in Huinganco, in Neuquen Province, North Patagonia, Argentina .

The van leaves on Friday night from Buenos Aires city. If you wish to arrive in Chos Malal, you should do it on Saturday to meet the rest of the group. The nearest airport is Neuquen’s Airport (230 miles) and we can arrange your transfer to Chos Malal (Flight and transfer not included in the tour price).

1

Day 1

Meet & greet in Chos Malal, left time to prepare the Bikes, walk in town and rest. Hotel Included and dinner not included in the tour price.
2

Day 2: Chos Malal - Barrancas - Río Barrancas

Our adventure starts! Early in the morning we do a 78 miles/2 hours transfer from Chos Malal to Barrancas. After setting the bikes and receiving a briefing of the tour we start cycling northwest. We’ll ride two kilometers on paved roads until getting into gravel roads and jeep tracks until the end of the journey. The start is quite challenging, as we start at 3.600ft over the sea level and in few miles we’ll get to “Batra lauquen” lagoon. After twelve miles we’ll be already at 5.000ft and the volcanic views will be amazing. Very little afterwards we’ll downhill to “Huaraco” stream to then uphill for three miles and then downhill to “Chadileu” stream where we’ll have lunch. Some few kilometers will be left for the rest of the afternoon until getting into the first campsite of the tour.
30 miles- 3600 feet elevation gain
3

Day 3: Río Barrancas - Cajón de los Nevados

After the first camping night and a delicious breakfast our second Andean tour stage starts. During the whole journey there will be several support vehicles: One of them will go in the rear, bringing the group personal luggage, mechanical gear, a spare bike and water, fruits and snacks. The other support vehicles will move always forward to attend bikers with the campsites already set up and specially to welcome them with delicious homemade brownies and snacks. Today we venture deeper in the Andes Mountains. We’ll find very far away little ranches where local settlers raise sheep and goats. The elevation gain graphic is a little bit fanciful: In the first 27 miles we’ll only climb 1.600ft, and in the last 8 miles we’ll climb another 1.600ft. Following the mountain road we’ll pass by “Cari Lauquen” Lagoon, a beautiful blue mirror, home of lots of different water birds. The valley gets narrow, and then gets wide again. The last miles keep a surprise for the bikers: A steep spiral path goes up for more than two miles and up there we get fantastic views of the area. We’ll camp near “Barrancas” River.
37 miles – 3.300 ft elevation gain 
4

Day 4: Río Cajón de los Nevados - Laguna Varvarco Tapia

Today we start the ride with a gentle and soft uphill, but that doesn’t last for long! We leave “Barrancas” River valley and we enter “Los Nevados” stream valley and we’ll climb until getting to the headwaters! This uphill will be the most demanding of the tour which will take us to the roof of the tour in almost 11 miles. The uphill through this narrow valley will make us crossing tiny water streams and will take us to a breathtaking mountain scenery. And there will be the king of the Andes: the Andean Condor, and if lucky it won’t be about seeing one or two, we’ll have lots of them on sight. The climb will be over at 9.000ft, we’ll go up and down for few miles and then the desired downhill starts.
Probably this is one of the highlights of the tour as the landscape is stunning; the narrow valley, green meadows, mountain snowcapped needles until getting into our privileged campsite near “Varvarco Tapia” Lagoon, probably the best place for sunset pics spotting as we’ll be camping in front of the north face of “Domuyo” mtn.
32 miles – 4.600 ft elevation gain
5

Day 5: Laguna Varvarco Tapia - Aguas Calientes

Today we’ll live a unique day in our journey: We’ll string along with the west face of “Domuyo” mtn, through a fantastic path that is doesn’t enable vehicles transit as successive snow and snow meltings have spoiled it and now only offers the chance to walk, ride or horseback.
During nearly 16 miles we’ll ride with no vehicle support and we’ll carry our gear until meeting our support vehicles again. When this path meets the “Varvarco” river we’ll have assistance to cross the river with our bikes. Once on the other side, we’ll pass by “Ailinco” Chapel until getting to “Puesto Valdez” where we’ll camp. Today our effort will be very well payed: “Aguas Calientes” is not far away and we’ll have the chance to enjoy a hot thermal mountain sparkling bath. “Domuyo” mtn has volcanic activity underneath and waters come at 95° to 120° Fahrenheit.
26 miles – 1.300 ft elevation gain 
6

Day 6: Aguas Calientes - Los Tachos - Varvarco

After breakfast we leave towards “Varvarco” and only 4 miles afterwards we take a detour to the right and we´ll start uphilling on the west side of “Domuyo” mtn. We’ll leave bikes and do a short twenty minutes hike to see the sole geysers in Argentina, named “Los Tachos”. After shooting our best pics we get back to the main road and keep heading south. It’s mainly down although there will be a couple of short but steep uphills at “Covunco” and “Atreuco” stream dales.
Just before entering “Varvarco” town we’ll find an astonishing situation: The clear “Neuquen” river and the milky “Varvarco” river join together and get along several hundred yards without blending, giving the river a peculiar aspect.
31 miles – 2.500 ft elevation gain 
7

Day 7: Varvarco - Huinganco

In our last day of our journey, we leave “Varvarco” and keep riding south through a very likeable narrow road that goes along the “Neuquen” river and it’s surrounded by pine forests. Today we’ll ride between 3.600 and 4.200ft but as we’ll go constantly up and down we’ll gather more than 3.600ft elevation gain.
After 12 miles we’ll cross “Butalón Norte” and in the mile 18 we’ll enjoy our lunch.
In the afternoon we’ll arrive in Huinganco, where we’ll load the bikes in the trailer and we’ll be transferred to Chos Malal. We’ll spend the night at a very pleasant hotel and will enjoy a very nice evening meal.
33,5m – 3.600 ft elevation gain
8

Day 8: Depart towards Buenos Aires

Depart to Buenos Aires from Chos Malal. On the way to Buenos Aires we’ll pass through Neuquen city (The nearest airport). Arrival to Buenos Aires early in the morning of Sunday Day 9.

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