February 23rd, February 9th
Departure day
Argentina, Chile
Destination
Advanced
Difficulty level

This fantastic journey will take you over and through the Andes Range, over a little-used mountain pass (the Vergara Pass, at 2460 meters above sea level – 8070 feet). You will share the road with the desert wind, condors soaring high above, and your fellow cyclists. The tour begins in Malargüe, a small city in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, bordering with the Northern edge of Patagonia. After 5 days of exhilarating cycling, we’ll arrive in Curico, Chile. The challenging climbing is rewarded by long downhill rides once we enter Chile. We will camp under incredibly huge skies, involved in a magical setting of jagged peaks, snow-capped mountains and desolate desert landscapes.

Our experienced team of tour leaders, support staff and cooks work as an efficient team, always a step ahead of our guests´ needs. You will always have a team member nearby; if you prefer cycling alone, whether it be cycling strong at the front, or at your own relaxed pace in the rear, you will have this freedom. Our team members will greet you around the next curve with an encouraging word and a friendly smile, supporting you every step of the way. We have been successfully running this tour for years, so you can be assured that every detail has been thought of, letting you concentrate on fully enjoying your journey across the Andes, and to deeply experience our country and culture. Live this once-in-a-lifetime experience with us!

DERTURE/ARRIVAL Malargüe (Argentina) & Curico (Chile)
DEPARTING TIME 8 p.m. in Buenos Aires
SERVICIOS INCLUIDOS
18 Seater exclusive van equipped with TV and video
Mountain bike transportation during the extent of the tour
Support vehicles equipped with two-way communication radio (everyday, with on-board service, including granola bars, fruits when possible, and other snacks and drinks)
Bilingual Tour Leaders, equipped with two-way radios, and local guides
All meals, at campsites, hotels or restaurants (except meals while on transit, dinner on Day 1 and lunch on 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.
One night at a 4-star hotel in Curico (Chile), with double or triple occupancy.
Two nights at a 4 star hotel Malargüe (Arg), with double or triple occupancy (single supplement is available – please inquire)
Mechanical assistance and spare bike available (in case yours break down)
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
NO INCLUIDOS
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

LocationCurico, Malargüe
Duration9 days
DatesJanuary, February, March

Andes cross through “Paso Vergara” & “Portezuelo de Carqueque”, starting in “Malargüe”Argentina until “Curico” in Chile.

Guests starting with us in Buenos Aires will depart in our van on Friday afternoon. Our meeting point is in Buenos Aires (flight to, and accommodations in Buenos Aires are not included in tour price). 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.

1

Day 1

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 very nice hotel. Dinner is on your own, so you can visit the town and choose from the varied regional options. Malargüe is famous for chivito, the local name for goat. Of course, you will also find the famous Argentine grilled meat here.
2

Day 2: Malargüe-Portezuelo de Carqueque

After our detailed welcome and safety talk, we begin biking from the town’s central square. The first stage involves leaving Malargüe heading west towards the “Portezuelo del Carqueque”
In the beginning the uphill is quite relax and easy and we always have the “Cerro Torrecillas” 3.770 meters (12.370 feet) on our right. After doing 22km we pass by the “Castillos de Pincheira” some strange geological formations that received the name “Castles of Pincheira”. Our delicious first picnic is ready and we’ll be delighted with our cooks! 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. After lunch real uphill starts, it’s the time to focus on the bike and take our pace. While we ride the views will change to real mountains scenery with Plaster Mountains and water streams.
During this first stage, the temperature will be around 30º Celsius (86º Fahrenheit) at day, and as low as 0ºC at night (32ºF). 27 miles – 3300ft elevation gain
3

Day 3: Portezuelo de Carqueque- Puesto de Don Beno Forquera

In the first morning in the Andes we wake up surrounded by a dreamlike mountain landscape. After having breakfast and putting the tents down, we start the stage where we’ll arrive to the top of the trip at 2800 meters (9100 feet above the sea level). In the kilometer 13 we are finally there in the high Andes! As always, you can choose from cycling hard ahead of the pack, or at a relaxed pace, taking your time to snap pictures and marvel at the landscape. Our support vehicles will be used to move our equipment and baggage ahead as well as to give support to riders. Twelve kilometers down we’ll enjoy our lunch together. In the afternoon we’ll have the second uphill of the day, not as hard as the first one but still challenging, until arriving to one of the most beautiful parts of the trip: a viewpoint from where to see Mt. Campanario, the “Río Grande”, the glacier of Peteroa Vulcano and the Mt. Planchón. From now it’s all the way down and we loose more than 600 meters (1900 feet) until crossing the “Río Grande” through a yellow big bridge. We set camp at a local puesto, basically a hamlet where locals will treat us with the famous asado (Barbecue) of Argentina.
30 miles – 3300ft elevation gain. 
4

Day 4: Puesto de Don Beno Forquera - Glaciar 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 plateaus under the Peteroa Volcano, which last blew ashes in the 90´s. 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. No better way to celebrate today’s accomplishments!
32,5 miles – 3600ft elevation gain
5

Day 5: Glaciar del Azufre - Río Teno

Emotion and excitement will abound us, as we finish our climbing and we leave Argentina across the border into Chile. This is the start of some amazing downhill riding! After 9 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 to lunch stop just by the Chilean border control. More downhills by the “Río Teno” to arrive at our campsite near by 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!
26 miles – 1400ft elevation gain
6

Day 6: 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 (well worth it!). 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 wait 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.
43 miles – 1400ft elevation gain
7

Day 7: Adios Curicó

We’ll leave Curicó in our minibus, heading towards back to Malargüe, Argentina. You can decide to return to Argentina or to stay in Chile. If willing to go to Santiago de Chile, we will arrange the shuttle to drive you there, where you can fly home or extend your trip 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.
8

Día 8: Departure towards Buenos Aires

After an early start in Malargüe, we expect to arrive in Buenos Aires around 10pm, travelling over paved roads throughout the day.

Tour Reviews

5 based on 10 reviews
April 28, 2016

Hi Mariano,
Once again thank you for a wonderful time over Christmas and New Year. I enjoyed every minute of my stay in Argentina and Chile. I can’t wait to return to South America!

April 28, 2016

Dear Mariano,
After months of emails going back and forth it was finally a pleasure to meet you in person. You turned out to be just as accomplished and accommodating as your emails were.
Thank you very much for organizing such a wonderful trip. I am sitting in my office looking at the pictures and wondering if I was really there. You and your staff did an excellent job providing the riders with exceptional support. I know how much work goes into setting these trips up and running them. Thanks again for organizing and hope to see you in another trip in the near future.
Regards to your family….

April 28, 2016

MTB Tours, with whom we booked a tour, deserves a very high rating in all categories. The tour operator, Mariano, is extremely knowledgable about the route and all aspects of this exciting bicycle tour. He and his competent staff attended to every customer request no matter how small or seemingly trivial. Every detail in this complex operation was well thought out and expertly executed. The tour, crossing the Andes on mountain bicycles, was rigerous and demanding, but at the same time a memorable and worthwhile adventure. It was, in short, the experience of a lifetime and we wholeheartedly praise the operator for such a reasonably priced and expertly executed a tour.

April 28, 2016

Hi Andes bikers,
Thank you again to all of you for the good comradeship that we shared during the trip. I am very pleased to meet
you and maybe we get-together on further tour with Mariano.
Best regards
Klaus

April 28, 2016

Thank you for the best part of my holiday so far! I had so much fun and I can{t believe that I am back in civilisation y without a bike. It is very sad. Thank you once again, I hope we see each other soon!

April 28, 2016

I think that I told you most of these in the car on the way back to Santiago but I thought I would just write you an email. I had a really excellent time on your trip, it is the hilight of my holiday so far which is very big as I have done some stuff I have thought is amazing. Crossing the border by bike though and making my way from Argentina to Chile is such a great experience. I have been thinking hard and speaking with Jenni, Claudino and Luciana in Santiago about the trip over the last couple of days and we can´t really find any way to fault your service, the food was much more than I expected and my clothes are definitely tighter than when I left. I slept outside and loved that but everyone was happy with the tents and was really happy to be camping and riding, the route was excellent with some incredible scenery and all of us felt like we could ask anything (well maybe not anything) of your boys and it would be done in happiness and without any complaining. I think the service you guys have provided is excellent and I really hope that I am able to make another trip with you in the future.

April 28, 2016

I just wanted to say again, thank you for everything you did to make this trip so special. Riding together that last day, was something I will remember for a long time.
As we discussed, I really did have a magical time in the Andes. The memories I have from that trip, will truly last me a lifetime. I liked the way you summarized it after the last dinner we shared together. “You leave part of your heart in the Andes” How very true! I was talking with Wagner afterwards, and we both felt the same way. We agreed that having to ride into the wind for four days, and climb every metre along the way, somehow “earns” you the privilege to appreciate the whole experience.
As for my expectations, I really think you delivered a lot more than I truly expected. I really would not change a single thing about the trip. I think you have found that perfect balance…
– The days are tough, but certainly not too tough
– The accommodations are first class (given the areas we are travelling in)
– The food was exceptional (again, considering where we are, and the resources you have at your disposal)
– You support team are fantastic and never appeared to stop working (when do they sleep? 🙂
– The price you charge is VERY reasonable, given what you deliver.

April 28, 2016

Many, Many Thanks,
Sorry its taken so long to email, returning to England the weather has been a dramatic change snow, dark skies, cold winter temperatures, very different to the perfect blue skies and high summer temperatures of the Andes, I am back to work and missing the rides,the camaraderie and not forgetting the stunning scenery.
This MTB tour of Los Andes was superb ( not a picnic in the park) but tough, but so well organized,the perfect mountain bike challenge, a brilliant and exciting adventure and a memory to cherish. Thanks to you Mariano the perfect tour host, guide, chef — man of all guises, thanks to the support team, thanks to my fellow riders unknown at the start but friends at the finish.
This was a holiday beyond all holidays
Hope your well and enjoying a well earned rest, if i can ever be of any assistance for work or personally or if you ever find yourself in England please do not hesitate to contact me .

April 28, 2016

Dear Mariano,
This is Sid (…”El camion”…) from Santiago and I would like to thank you and your team again for the fantastic and perfect organisation of the Desafío Andes in February! This has been one of my greatest bike tours, and it was good to meet so nice people from South America. I’m sure that I will find an opportunity to travel with your agency again. Again, thank you and take care!

April 28, 2016

Dear Mariano,
the tour with You was really a special and a ever lasting experience. I have to complement You on the professional way You guided us. My experience in Europe was that they can learn a lot from You. I definitely want to join again an Andes experience. I have spoken as well to Paulinho. I would like very much to ride around the Patagonian Andes close to the world famous, beautiful mountaind Fiz Roy etc.

Leave a Review

Rating