April 24th
Departure day
La Rioja
Destination
Advanced
Difficulty level

The ride takes place in one of the most renamed region of enormous archaeological and paleontological value in Latin America. This bike tour will drive us through a palette of colours, from the ocher orange, purple, brown to gold. By bike we have the opportunity to access incredible parks such as the well-known “Ischigualasto” and “Talampaya” as well as places like the “Cañon del Ocre” where the landscapes and the tones will take your breath away. Come experience the magical Northwest with us!

DEPARTURE/ARRIVALEl Chiflon/ Chilecito, La Rioja
DEPARTING TIMEFriday night in Buenos Aires
SERVICES INCLUDED
18 Seater exclusive van equipped with TV and video
Mountain bike transportation during the extent of the tour
4×4 support vehicle equipped with two-way communication radios (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
Mechanical assistance and spare bike available (in case yours break down)
Half board: breakfasts and lunches included, dinners and meals while on transit not included
Seven nights at hotels and inns in double and triple base
 Medical insurance
Entrance fee to “Ischigualasto” park and “Talampaya National Park”
 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

Location
Duration8 days
DatesApril, May, September, October

Fantastic mountain bike tour in La Rioja in north Argentina, from Ischigualasto and Talampaya to “Miranda Slope” and “Cañon del Ocre”.

1

Day 1: Arrival in El Chiflon

Guests starting with us in Buenos Aires will depart in our van on Friday afternoon in route to La Rioja (flight to, and accommodations in Buenos Aires are not included in tour price). The shuttle from Buenos Aires to La Rioja takes 15 hours, arriving on Saturday. If you choose to fly to La Rioja, we will meet you Hotel El Chiflon (You need a transfer of 170km from the Airport to the hotel). Time for a nice meal, while we receive a briefing for the next days program.
2

Day 2: Ischigualasto Provincial Park

 This first day of activities begins with a short transfer to the Provincial Park “Ischigualasto” also known as “Moon Valley” which is located in the province of San Juan.
Once accredited inside the park and with the bikes ready to ride, our 40km adventure begins. The undulating route takes us through a desert landscape “planet” aspect that, as a result of its paleontological and geological wealth, was declared a provincial park and a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Along the way we will stop to see several of its geoforms such as “The mushroom”, “Painted wall” or “Balls field” as well as being able to visit the “William Sill” museum, where you can see fossils and the way paleontologists work with them.
At the end of the tour we will have the opportunity to access the Park’s Hall Center and museum. After lunch, we continue our route along Route 150 in the direction of Huaco. This recently paved route is the link between the Sanjuan’s Valleys and the Andes Mountains and is known as “the scenic route”. On the 37km stretch chosen to pedal, not only the broken landscape stands out with countless shades and colors, we will also cross twelve bridges and six tunnels. The first kilometers will be wavy, up to kilometer sixteen, then twenty kilometers of unique landscapes and much descent. We load the bikes and return to the hotel “El Chiflón”. 76km and 566 mts elevation gain
3

Day 3: Talampaya National Park

In the morning and after breakfast we leave in the minibus to the National Park “Talampaya”. This park was created in 1997 with the aim of preserving this region of great interest, an internationally renowned paleontological site and a geological basin of Triassic origin. Once in the park we will make a short internal transfer to the starting point of the bicycle tour. Pedaling inside the “Talampaya Canyon” is a unique experience. The route takes place inside the dry river, which only carries water during the rainy season, on a ground that forces us to constantly choose the best possible path. The main attraction undoubtedly is given by the environment: The cliffs of one hundred and twenty meters that surround us and the most varied geoforms that generated centuries of erosion. The acoustic experiment that does not fail is the echo: A once group attempt will drive to listen to several repetitions of our own sound. During the tour we will see petroglyphs created by original civilizations more than a thousand years ago. After lunch we will do a trekking of approximately two hours in the “Quebrada Don Eduardo”. This hike also takes us to a dry river, but much narrower than the one used to pedal in the morning. The route allows us to access gorges between cliffs, stone arches and paths along goat trails until we reach the viewpoint from which to contemplate the lesser known part of the walls of Talampaya. Return to the “Accreditation Center” and transfer to Villa Union. 12km and 112mts elevation gain
4

Day 4: El Cardon to Aicuña

We start from Villa Union with the bikes loaded in the trailer. After 46km we start our ride to “El Cardón”. The road is winding and undulating, the area is full of the cardones (Cactus) that give the name to the town and as we move forward, the uphill gets stronger. Once there we leave the bicycles and begin our hike of approximately two hours to reach Aicuña. This town lay on the “Sierras de Famatina” has a particularity: Four centuries of some isolation and marriage between relatives, generated the highest rate of albinism in Argentina. Aicuña is built in adobe and its people are warm and hospitable. Criollo bread, goat cheese and homemade sweets are always on the table. After lunch we embark on the 9km descent from Aicuña to route 40. Charge the bikes and transfer to Villa Union. 23 km and 310 mts elevation gain + 2 hours hike
5

Day 5: Canyon of Anchumbil

We ride from Villa Union, on a slight uphill in the first eight kilometers. Once we arrive at the “Anchumbil Canyon”, the most technical route of this journey begins, pure ‘Mountain bike” on an irregular terrain following the course of a canyon formed by centuries of erosion. At times we can ride the bike and at times it will be necessary to push and walk. The erosion of rain and wind has left caves and holes in its high colored walls. Once out of the canyon we will pedal on trails until we reach once again a gravel track that takes us to Villa Unión again. After lunch at Villa Union we make another ride with less difficulty that takes us to “Banda Florida” and allows us to continue enjoying landscapes in all shades of ocher until returning to Villa Union. 45 km and 340mts elevation gain
6

Day 6: Miranda Slope

This morning we leave in our vehicles towards the majestic “Cuesta de Miranda”. After thirty-three kilometers, we take our bikes and start the asphalted ascent of one of the most scenic mountain roads in Argentina. In 28km and 575 meters of elevation gained we reach the “Bordo atravesado” the highest point of the slope with 2040m.s.n.m. There begins a fabulous descent of 30km and a loss of height of more than a thousand meters. “La Cuesta de Miranda” was originally a centennial path through which cattle were taken from the “Sierra de Sañogasta” to the “Sierra de Famatina”. Between 1918 and 1928 the Italian Vicente Bolloli built the road on which the asphalted road passes today. The landscapes, the immensity and the colour of nature are remarkable. We load the bikes and drive to Chilecito. Toast for a spectacular day of cycling. 56km and 800mts elevation gain
7

Day 7: The ocher Canyon

We leave Chilecito and after 56km we arrive at “Carrizal”, where we start our ride towards one of the most impressive places of the tour: “The ocher canyon”. The winding road allows us to approach to “Famatina mountain” an impressive peak of 6020m.s.n.m. In its slope grew a mining enterprise dedicated to the extraction of gold, which was called “La Mejicana”. The river “El Dorado”, “Amarillo” or “Ocre” owe the color exactly to the ocher mineral that comes from glaciers, snow and ice from “Famatina”. The uphill is constant and demanding, as we start at 1800m.s.m. and we reach the “Ocher canyon” at 2700m.s.m and 24km. In the course of the ascent we will pass through formations that present incredible amounts of colors like “The Cribs”. After lunch, we undo the road and descend 24km to “Carrizal”. Load of the bikes in the trailer and transfer to Chilecito. 48km and 1330mts of elevation gain
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Día 8: Adios La Rioja!

Departure to Buenos Aires after breakfast. Arrival in the Federal Capital at 11pm. Those who to travel to La Rioja to then fly to Buenos Aires, will take a transfer in Patquia to the airport (Transfer not included in the tour price).

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