Bike Over the Andes Mountains on the Vergara Pass – Chile & Argentina
Journey by mountain bike through the high desert landscapes of the Vergara Pass surrounded by the mighty Andean Condor and rolling desert winds. Take in the amazing scenery as you push your body and soul to their utmost limits.
During this trip you will venture up the into the High Andes of Argentina and down the other side into Chile. Tent camp under the starry night sky that stretches from horizon to horizon. There is no light pollution this far away from any civilization. You and your fellow riders, will have a once in a lifetime adventure through one of the most remote and naturally beautiful landscapes on Earth.
The Vergara Pass
This dirt pass begins on the borders of the northern most limits of Patagonia and crosses over the towering Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina.
Day 1 –This 5-day journey starts in the small city of Malargüe which is located in the Mendoza Province of Argentina and sits on the foothills of the Andes Mountain Range. During your stay in town, be sure to try their famous chivito or grilled goat and fill yourself with rich nutrients for the following days bike journey.
Day 2 – After a safety briefing, you will leave on your bikes from the town center and start heading towards the Portezuelo del Carqueque. The first part of the morning will encompass a relaxing ride below the towering Cerro Torrecillas Mountains 3,770 meters (12,370 feet) and pass by the unique rock formations of the Castillos de Pincheira (Castles of Pincheira0). After lunch you will begin the gradual climb into the mountains. As the sun sets, you will set up your first camp and sleep in the valley below the mountains that reach high into the stars of the night’s sky.
Distance Traveled: 27 miles Elevation Gain: 1,005 m (3,300 ft) Temperature: Day – 30º C (86º F) Night – 0ºC at night (32ºF)
Day 3 – Wake up this morning surrounded by the rolling mountain scenery. After closing up camp, you will begin the climb to the highest point of the trip. Once you reach the 2,800 meter (9,100 feet) mark you will be at awe as you lay eyes on the amazing high Andes terrain and snow capped mountains that stretch as far as the eye can see. From this point on you have the choice of an adrenaline pumping quick ride down the mountain to the next lunch camp or to take your time exploring. After lunch you will continue up the second slope of the journey, until you reach an overlook where you can enjoy the breathtaking Mt. Campanario, “Río Grande”, glacier of Peteroa Vulcano and Mt. Planchón. At the night camp, be sure to make friends with the locals who may treat you to a delicious asado or Argentinian Barbecue.
Distance Traveled: 30 miles Elevation Gain: 1,005 m (3,300 ft)
Day 4 – Begin one of the more difficult legs of the journey as you make your way through the heart of the Andes. Travel through the plateaus that sit below the smoking Peteroa Volcano and surrounding ash fields. Tonight you will set up camp next to a nearby glacier.
Distance Traveled: 32.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,100 m (3,600 ft)
Day 5 – Today you will cross the border from Argentina into Chile. The remaining downhill ride will include zig-zagging dirt roads and more beautiful scenery. Camp will be set up next to the Río Teno (Teno River) where the Olympic kayaking team trains.
Distance Traveled: 26 miles Elevation Gain: 420 m (1,400 ft)
Day 6 – As you continue down and out of the Andes towards sea level, the climate will become more humid and the vegetation more green. After passing through the town of Los Queñes you will begin traveling on paved roads until reaching your hotel in Curicó. Tonight you can celebrate with your fellow riders for your accomplishment of successfully passing through the High Andes Mountain Range.
Distance Traveled: 43 miles Elevation Gain: 420 m (1,400 ft)
Day 7 – Today you will have the option to be transported back to Malargüe, Argentina or choose to stay and continue exploring Chile.
Day 8 – Transport to Buenos Aires and return home.