"Explore, learn, give, discover...wander"

Chile & Argentina Trans-Andes Bike

Trans-Andean Experiential Learning -- Chile to Argentina on Wheels

Custom Dates:  January, March, April

Sign Up for Trans-Andes Mountain Bike Trip

For Reservations / Information Call Stewart Toll Free: 1-866-701-2113

To Contact Us Via Email Fill Out Our Web Inquiry Form

Duration: 11 Days, 10 nights
Location: Pucón, Chile to Bariloche Argentina.
Price starting at: $5000 –Price may vary based on date – please call for details.
Program Type: Mountain Bike Touring, Multi-Sport; Lodge - Based, Experiential Learning
Meals: Included.

OVERVIEW

Welcome to a land of fire and water, of rainforest and rainshadow desert, of two unique cultures.   We will wind through the Araucarian and northern Patagonia regions of Chile and Argentina on two wheels exploring the backroads borderlands.  Spectacular scenery, comfortable lodgings, and great food will fuel our exploration.  National parks and rare landscapes grace each day.  Our educational itinerary will wind you through a host of finger lakes and a sequence of mountain passes at around 1000 to 5000 foot elevation.   This field study,  zigzagging from Chile to Argentina and back again, is where you will discover the greatest concentration of National Parks and Preserves in South America.  This is our Edventure classroom.

This is a cycling-oriented multi-sport edventure:  a field course on two wheels and on foot.  We will cross the Andes passing between several mostly silent volcanoes and get to study the unique vulcanism and its forest overlay, as well as the region’s thermal features.  We pass from one culture to another and experience the rural life, the tourism capitals, as well as remote and rugged landscapes in the protected borderlands.  As with all of our treks, your travels in the region will encompass the natural and scenic wonders of National Parks, preserves, and culturally significant landscapes.  You will travel by mountain bike for close to 400 miles on paved secondary backroads and hardpacked dirt roads, while your belongings are shuttled along in the support vehicle along with plenty of water, snacks, and electrolytes.  Have you heard of the Trans Andes Challenge?  We have been doing it with cyclists like yourself since 1998, and taking our time to learn along the way.

Background

Wander through the Lakes District and Patagonia with us, mountain biking the fabled backroads of the Araucarian Andes.  We will be studying the pristine Valdivian forests, home to vast lakes, stoic volcanoes, and inviting thermal features.  The Valdivian Rainforest Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage destination.  This is a bi-national trip, Chile and Argentina.

Features:  This trip will present some of Chile's most rewarding and beautiful mountain cycling routes.  Our route traverses the rolling pre-cordillera, the dense temperate Araucaria rainforests  (UNESCO World Heritage Site designated) and climbs to protected preserves at the passes between smoking and dormant volcanoes.  We will get to visit eight lakes, four  hot springs spas, five volcanoes, four national parks, three divine resort cities, two countries, and some of the most unusual and dramatic landscapes in all of South America.

 

Cycling Itinerary
Day 1 :  Arrive in Pucón before noon; hotel check-in.  4 PM program check-in. Trip orientation.  Assemble gear and-or meet your bike.  Dinner.

Day 2 :  Early to rise for ascent of the Villarrica Volcano. 19 km Downhill course.  Ride to town on dirt and paved roads.  Rest.  Dinner.
Total Climb to Crater from Ski Resort: 3000 ft
Total Distance by Bicycle: 20 km
Total Descent on bike: 5000 ft

Day 3 :  Lakes District riverside riding.  Villarrica and Caburga Lakes.  Huerquehue National Park.  Hot springs. Dinner and overnight at Spa resort.
Total Distance by Bicycle: 40 km
Altitude Gain: 2000 ft.of up and down.

Day 4 :  Pucón to Coñaripe.  Cycling in Villarrica National Park.  Hot springs tonight.
Total Bike Time: 6-8 hours
Total Distance by Bicycle: 40 km
Altitude Gain: 3000 ft.

Day 5 :  Coñaripe To Netulme.  Winding deeper into the mountains.  Hike to Huilo Huilo Falls.
Total Elevation Gain: 1500 ft

Day 6 :   A special treat:  Cycling the lush forests of the Huilo Huilo Preserve.  Forgotten roads deep in the Valdivian Forest of the Cordillera.
Total Distance by mountain bike: 30 km
Total Elevation Gain: 3900 ft

Day 7 :   Crossing the Andes and arriving in Argentina. Through Liquiñe and Carirriñe.  Parque Nacional AR Lanin. San Martin de Los Andes
Total Distance by mountain bike: 45 km
Total Elevation Gain: 2900 ft

Day 7 Alternate - Crossing the Andes and arriving in Argentina. Lago Pirihueico.  Paso Hua Hum. Dirt roads to San Martin de Los Andes.
Total Distance by mountain bike: 60 km
Total Elevation Gain: 1900 ft

Day 8 :  Relaxation day.  Fly fishing.  Mountain biking singletrack and trail near Lago Hua-Hum.

Day 9 :  San Martin to Villa La Angostura.  Mountain biking resumes, south through the Argentine countryside.
Total Distance by Mountain Bike: 20 km

Day 10 :   Bariloche local riding.  Rafting in PM.  Open evening to Explore Bariloche.

Day 11 :  Departure in the Morning for Pucon by motorcoach.

Note: This itinerary is an example of what might happen on this mountain biking trip.  This itinerary typically changes due to weather and group decisions at the moment of the trip.  Please bring an open mind open to adventure!  All itineraries can be customized.  Contact us through the link on this page for a detailed itinerary.

Available: December to March; late February is best.  Contact us for custom group reservations.
Activities involved in this study: Mountain biking, hiking, rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, and swimming.

Travel:  We travel from point to point on the bikes on this trip with our luggage following in the support vehicle.  This is a lodge-based trip.  Each night we will be sharing comfortable multi-room cabins or neat little lodges.  All of the accommodations are at least three star, and some nights four star. We will be crossing the border from Chile to Argentina and then back to Chile.  Please keep track of your documents.

Meals:  All meals except three are included in the price of the trip (two dinners and a lunch on your own.  We have arrangements with fine restaurants along the route to provide us with great lunches and dinners.  Breakfasts are continental, in the style of the country.  We recognize the need for cyclists to have plenty of calories stored up before the day's ride.   Lunches will be found at waypoints along our route, Chile abounds in simple, excellent eateries wherever you might wander. We think you will like the many varieties of empanadas, a small local triangular meat and veggie pie, that you will get as trail fuel along the trail.  Snacks and plenty of electrolytes and water will available every day.  The typical foods of this region are quite familiar to you, chicken, beef, goat, eggs, beans and grains provide the proteins.  All your familiar garden vegetables and fruits are grown locally in the rich soils of the river valleys.  The Pacific provides a wealth of great fish and shellfish.

Riding Conditions:  The trip is about 75% dirt roads.  These are secondary and tertiary routes of hard-packed and grippy crushed rock and packed volcanic soil.  There is about 10% spent on trails or park interior roads and these will satisfy the avid mountain bikers and somewhat challenge the fit aficionado. The remaining 15% is on stretches of paved backroads and winding country highways. While the population is light where we travel and the traffic minimal, still we time our passage to days that have the lightest traffic and avoid any major thoroughfares and truck routes.  Expect 20 to 30 miles on average each day, with plenty of time devoted to roadside studies of flora, fauna, geology, and historical sites.  Typical daily climbing and descending profiles undulate with 50 to 200 foot ascents and descents interspersed between faster rolly terrain.  The Granny Gear will get some time for sure!  You will be provided with excellent map books of the whole route to refer to and a complete program packet with a full day-by-day description and important local contact information. These, along with our policy of Rolling Enclosure for the riders means that you won’t stray from the track.  Our trek will provide you with safety and support in a number of manners.  The guides and hosts are all expert mechanics and riders.

Bikes and other Transport Logistics:  Most participants choose to bring their own mountain touring bike or cross-bike, however we also have bikes available for rental at an additional fee of about $18usd per day.   We have easy guidelines on how to pack your bike and your gear for the airlines.  We’ll provide you with an equipment list to help dial in your packing.  Our sag vehicle takes all personal gear between hotels and cabins and shadows us with lunch and beverages at just the right time. It is possible to mountain bike as much or as little as you like.  The support vehicle can carry those who choose to ride less or not at all on any particular day.

Cycling:  We will travel a combination of smooth dirt roads, paved backroads, and gentle two-track. Elevation gain and loss on this trip follows a profile where 5% - 15% grades ease us into the cordillera of the Andes gaining elevation from 1500 feet to 6000 feet in Chile and then down to 3000 foot elevations on the Argentine side. We will traverse as many as three passes like this.  The roads are not heavily traveled and we plan to be at certain locations at certain days of the week to avoid vehicles and crowds, for the most part.  We always provide you with 'rolling-enclosure' so that we have a vanguard rider and a rearguard vehicle notifying oncoming traffic of the cyclists.

Difficulty -- Medium/High --  This route is frequently challenging both in the demands of the riding and in the potential climatic conditions we might face (which depend on time of year and climate effects like El Niño).  Expect to have 5 to 7 hours of activity each day.  This is a trip for strong novices and experienced riders, not for beginners.

Riding Conditions to Prepare For:  While we cannot predict the weather conditions that our treks will experience, we do choose our travel schedules to correspond with the best available conditions.  Some rain might accompany us, but more sun is the norm.  You will be biking on a combination of deep-in the-mountains dirt roads and paved tertiary highways between 1500 and 6300 feet.  Who says the Andean passes are all over 10,000 feet?  On our Summit to Sea treks it's more like 15,000 feet to 0.  The surfaces of the dirt roads are mostly hard-packed and relatively smooth, but we can assure you of some rubble along the way.  We have the routes designed so that 40 or 50 k of enjoyable and scenic, and challenging, countryside will roll underneath you each day.  You will see 15% grades, but also 15% downgrades and lots of rolling terrain.  If you climb 2000 feet in a day it will be part of a 4000 foot downhill, and vise versa.

 

The Education: Crossing the Andes from Chile to Argentina - The Trans Andes Trail

Your trip takes you from the Lakes District in the Middle South of Chile across the Andes through low passes between towering volcanoes to Argentina's Lakes Region and the picturesque towns of San Martin and Bariloche.  This is route rife with history and significance and also passes through UNESCO World Heritage Site -- the Valdivian Rainforest Complex and all of it's botanical and ecological uniqueness.  Your guides are also specialized geography educators with lots to share about the region.

CURRICULUM — Rainforest to Rainshadow :: Chile and Southern Cone Geography;  basics of Chilean Castillian Spanish;  Chilean History – Settlement Patterns; Teutonic Influences on Chilean Settlement Patterns   Southern Chile – Contemporary Cultures and Issues;   Andean Geology and Lakes District Formation and Glacial History;  Valdivian Rainforest Complex and UNESCO World Heritage Designation;  Biodiversity of the Valdivian Forest Region;  Tourism Industry of the Lakes District and Patagonia;  Mapuche and Pehuenche Cultures – Pre-History, History, and Contemporary Issues;  Chilean Toponymy – Mapudungun Meets Manuel Montt;  And So Much More!!!

 

PROGRAM INCLUDES
•    Professional, bi-lingual guide-educator
•    Lodging each night
•    Private transportation
•    4x4 support vehicle

•    Full board (meals designed for active itinerary)
•    Bike Rental - Trek 4000 Series or similar
•    All activities in the itinerary except those noted as 'Optional Asides'

NOT INCLUDED
•    International and local flights
•    Bicycle repair parts (some parts available for sale)
•    Tips, beverages (other than water) & cocktails
•    Chilean Airport Reciprocity Tax

Want More?  Custom Itineraries:  We offer six to twelve day lodge-based excursions that take in between 200 and 600 kilometers of rugged and beautiful terrain that is easily accessed by our bikes and vehicles.

Copyright© All Text and Images -- Stewart W. Lasseter 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

 

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