An unforgetable trip through the Andes
, crossing from Mendoza to Santiago de Chile.
The trip from Mendoza to Santiago, is a breath-taking journey across the Andes. For a traveller, nothing is better than travelling and visiting at the same time! The tour will begin early in the morning so that we can fully enjoy the variety of colors illuminating the mountains as the sun rises up onto the contrasting rock formations.
We will depart from your Hotel in Mendoza in a private car with a driver and a bilingual guide, and head south through the legendary and famous Route 40 which goes from the north of Argentina in the Jujuy region down to the south of Argentina, nearly reaching Ushuaia. The total length is 4.700 km
(2.920 miles) and in some parts the road goes up to 5.000 m
(16.404 ft). We will drive through vineyards and fruit plantations and eventually follow the national route 7, which is part of the famous Pan-American Highway extending from Alaska down to the Chilean Patagonia. This road leads us to the “Heart of the Andes.”
On the way we pass the 12 km long Potrerillos lake (7.5 miles) which is a reservoir built in 2001. Shortly after we will drive through the oasis town of Uspallata, where the movie “Seven years in Tibet” with Brad Pitt was filmed. We will continue driving along the Mendoza River Canyon, and on the way pass in front of Penitentes which is a ski resort on the Argentinean side. Next we will stop at the "Inca Bridge," a marvel of Mother Earth: this yellow reddish stone bridge has been created by nature! Our next stop will be at the Aconcagua Provincial Park to admire the highest mountain of America and the southern hemisphere: 6.962 mts high (22.841 ft) and to have a 30 minutes walk inside the Park. Then we will continue our drive to the border which is located at 3.200 mt (10.500 ft).
It is now time to go through customs! For this you will need to show your passport at the Argentinean authorities to exit the country and then to the Chilean authorities to enter Chile (important note: visa might be required). Remember it can be cool in the mountain, so don´t forget to take a jacket with you! Please note you are not allowed to cross the border with fruits and vegetables, severe fines apply.
After customs we will drive through the 3 km long ( 1.9 miles) tunnel which links Argentina to Chile. Then we will drive on the Highway 60! On this route we will drive down the caracoles which are a series of sharp bends in the shape of a snake. During this descent you will have a splendid view of the world famous El Portillo Hotel which is surrounded by Mountains and by the Inca Lagoon. We will drive through agricultural lands until we reach the busy town of Santiago de Chile where your driver and guide will drop you off at your hotel!
· Lunch is not included – we can stop at a restaurant on the way or have some sandwiches in the Aconcagua Park, in front of the Horcones Lagoon with view over the Aconcagua! As this is your trip, you are the one deciding!
· Private transfer with professional driver and bilingual guide.
· Pick up from your Hotel in Mendoza
· Drop off in at your Hotel in Santiago de Chile
Includes touristic stops on the way
Feedback - Trip Advisor March 2013
This was a beautiful drive with wonderful memories not to be missed. While the driver was a bit hurried early in the drive, it was understandable given the potential for long delays due to road construction and the customs and immigration procedures. The guide - Mario - was very informative and very outgoing. We are glad to have taken the trip.