Horseback Riding crossing the Andes - Paso de Los Patos - San Juan

Horseback Riding the mythical path: the Andes

  • Start Date : 2025-Jan-18
    End Date: 2025-Jan-25
  • Hora Inicio: 3 pm
    Hora Fin: 1 pm
  • Meeting Point:Bus Station, San Juan city
    End: Bus Station, San Juan city
  • Duration:8 days
    Availability: Full!
Crossing the Andes by horse - Paso de Los Patos - San Juan



Expedition full of unparalleled emotions, due to the magnitude of the landscapes, the harshness of the climate and the work of the mules, guides and baqueanos. In addition to this, the historical seal that is printed at all times in each camp, where in a certain way we relive the epic of that great patriot Don José de San Martín and his liberating troops, who chose these ravines and valleys to start our freedom as a country and as a continent.

Mandatory Requirements to participate:

  • Previous Experience on riding a horse, how to get on and off alone and handle the reins porperly with one hand.
  • Previous Experience in Camping, at least having slept 2 night in a tent on a sleeping bag.
  • To have all the equipment required in the program
  • Have good general health state and fitness. A medical approval note is required regarding your general health and your capacity to carry out this activity.


  • To train physically during the year (aerobic, gym, etc.)
  • To have some extra experience on horseback during the current year
Season 2023:
  • January: 7th to 14th
  • January: 21st to 28th
  • February: 4th to 11th
  • February: 18th to 25th

Day 1. Reception in San Juan at the Bus Terminal. 6 pm Departure to Barreal, town of Calingasta, southwest of San Juan. Check In at the hostal. Acclimatization, team review, logistics talk. Introduction to the history of the crossing. Cartography delivery. Free time. Dinner and overnight in Barreal (1700 masl).

Day 2. Breakfast. Transfers in 4x4 Vehicles to the first Mountain Range Post. Allocation and preparation of the mules. Lunch. Departure through the Cordillerano valley delimited by the Cerros La Ramada and Alma Negra. Watching of native fauna. Arrival at the first camp, dinner and overnight at Peñón Colorado (Base Camp BC1 2900 masl). Depending on where we start the ride we can advance to another base camp (BC2) at 3600 masl or in between.

Day 3. Breakfast on the Rock. Departure to the Espinacito pass, where we will reach a maximum height of 4500 meters above sea level, perhaps the most adrenaline and exciting moment of the expedition. Arrival at base camp. Dinner and overnight in Las Vegas de Gallardo (BC3 2990 masl)

Day 4: Breakfast in Las Vegas de Gallardo. We ride to Valle de Los Patos to then arrive at Valle Hermoso, where General San Martín with the Army made his last camp on the Argentine side. Dinner and overnight by the river of Valle Hermoso. (BC4-5 2990 masl)

Day 5: Breakfast. Horseback riding to the border milestone of the Argentine-Chilean limit. Rest of the day Free. (BC4-5 2990 masl)

Day 6: Breakfast. Horseback ride back between Cordillera streams until we reach Rancho de Lata where we will spend the night and have dinner. (BC6 3550 masl)

Day 7: Breakfast at Rancho de Lata. Departure uphill to Paso La Honda (4300 masl) where you can see the limit line of Altas Cumbres and Cerro Aconcagua. Arrival at Springs. Possible extension to Las Hornillas due to road conditions. Transfers to Barreal. Night in cabins or hostal.

Day 8. Breakfast. Transfers to San Juan to the Bus Terminal. End of services.


Note 1: All horses are properly trained and prepared to ride in mountainous areas and our local guides have the best conditions and knowledge of the place. It is necessary to have previous horseback riding experience.

Note 2Active program with medium-high demand and suitable apt for over 13, and under 60 years (cases outside these age ranges will be evaluated). Suitable for people up to 100-110 kg, given the load resistance of a common horse. There are steep ascents and descents, but not places with a risk of significant falls.

Note 3: All participants must present a medical certificate, where the attending physician authorizes him/her to do the activity.

Note 4: Program subject to climatic, geographical or political conditions. Changes can occur in function of circumstances and diverse factors. The decisions will be in charge exclusively of the guides, baqueanos and coordinators.


Personal Accidents Insurance:

From the place of the accident, we cover primary medical assistance, passenger stabilization, evacuation costs and transfer to the nearest Medical Assistance Center (to be defined according to the program). Once the passenger is admitted to the health system, the coverage of the Social Work/Medical Insurance informed in the personal record to be uploaded online begins to run.

Included Services
  • Transfer in/out San Juan - Barreal.
  • Transfer from Barreal to the beginning of the ride
  • Transfer from the end of the ride to Barreal.
  • Reception the day of arrival (Empanadas).
  • Full board during the expedition (breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea, dinner).
  • 2 nights of accommodation at a hostal in Barreal. Rooms for 3 or 4 people to share. Double or Single Rooms at request
  • 5 nights of accommodation in a camp, in the middle of the mountain range.
  • Guides, coordinators and baqueanos.
  • Horses equipped and properly prepared for this type of expedition in the mountains.
  • Tents.
  • General mountain safety equipment.
  • Satelital phone.
  • General camping items (pots, heaters, safety items, orientation, etc.)
  • Personal accident coverage.
  • Satellite monitoring throughout the expedition.
  • Prior advice with photos, maps and necessary material.
  • Permanent assistance.

Services NOT included
  • Trip to San Juan (flight or bus tickets)
  • Drinks at the hostal
  • Tips

Photo and Video Gallery

Where do you sleep

  • Night 1 and 7 we spend the night at a hostal in Barreal
  • From Night 2, to night 6, we spend the night in high mountain TENTS. With a sleeping bag -10 degrees comfort, and insulated sleeping pad (as requested in the list of equipment)

Campamento en el Criuce de los Andes



Do we ride a lot every day?

The average is 8 hours per day but there are 2 longer days of up to 10 hours.

Do I have to know how to ride a horse and / or have previous experience in the activity?

Yes, it is necessary to have a minimum experience. It is requested to have at least a 4-hour ride experience in the last year. The horses are prepared to receive people with little experience and the adaptation process is significantly fast. The modality is "on the way", one horse behind the other.

Do I have to wear a helmet mandatory?

Yes, in the same way that when we get on a bicycle we use it, or when we climb, or when we do high-altitude mountaineering, it is a mandatory safety requirement for the activity that they are going to carry out (the helmet is a riding/polo type and will be provided by the company).

What are the indispensable requirements that are requested?
  • Have good physical condition. To be trained.
  • Previous experience in horseback riding: to know how to get on and off alone and handle the reins well with one hand.
  • Previous experience in Camping (having slept at least 2 nights in a tent with a sleeping bag).
  • To have all the required equipment published in the program.
  • Do not weigh more than 110 kg, since the limit that animals can support is 100 kg.
  • Minors who are not traveling with their parents must travel with an adult in charge and present written parental authorization certified by a notary public. In case of traveling alone with one of the parents, they must present the authorization of the other.
How many people are in the groups?

A maximum of 15 people + the staff of guides and baqueanos

What if I have previous experience riding horses?

Those who have experience will also have the possibility of riding suitable horses according to her/his experience to be able to gallop and trot at the moments that baqueanos consider appropiate, depending on the type of terrain.

Where do we spend the night?

As it is a route that crosses virgin nature and where no vehicular road reaches, the overnights are in high-mountain igloo-type tents, comfortable and for 2, 3 or 4 people. It is important to know that the nights are cool, at altitude, so the sleeping bag must be of quality and warm for high mountains (it is possible to rent one with us).

What happens if someone needs to be evacuated for any reason?

We have a satellite phone on the expedition and a vehicle at the base where the ride starts. If we have to evacuate someone, we must return to the base and transfer the person.

Is there signal for my cellphone?

No. Cell phones in this area are only used to take pictures. Only in the town of Barreal, at the beginning and at the end of the journey, there is signal.

Do we cross to Chile?

No. We reach the border with Chile an then we return to Argentina.

What kind of luggage should I take to the expedition?

Each one must carry their personal belongings in a bag or backpack to Barreal. There, you will receive a large bag where you must place your things (according to the required list) which will be transported by the mules. You can take a small backpack to ride, although we recommend doing it without anything, to be more comfortable. There will also be saddlebags where you can place what is needed for each day (water, extra clothes, camera, etc.)

What is the menu?

Our mountain menus are varied. From pastas with tasty sauces to stews or grilled meats (chivito argentino). Antipastos, salads and fast digestion meals are common at noon. It is necessary to complete the personal / medical file to clarify if someone does not eat some type of food.

Is there a bathroom?

No. There are no bathrooms or chemical toilets. Everything is in the nature, delimiting sectors. And you have to maintain the hygiene of the place, taking the papers back with you.

Can I take my drone to the expedition?

The use of Drones during the ride is prohibited due to safety issues. In case of carrying one of small size, its use in the camp is allowed  with the exclusive permission of the guides

Difficulty graduation

Caballo: Duración de la Jornada.

Exigencia Física

Técnico: Dificultad en el Terreno / Equipo.

Fortaleza Psicológica

Exposición a la Altura

Horse Riding (C)

This point has to do with the weight that we must carry in our backpacks. Trekkings or crossings where we have pack animals allow us to bear less weight on our backs. And the multi-day journeys in Patagonia (without the option of having pack mules) generally make us carry more weight, especially in the early days.

20% of a day, without unevenness or requirement. Example: Pampas horseback riding, initiation workshop

40% horseback riding in the sierras, one or more days: Córdoba, San Luis.

60% Horseback riding in the mountains for 3 or 4 days or in the north of Argentina for several days.

80% Andean Crossing Horseback riding up to 3000 meters (double crossing x Las Loicas).

100% Andean Crossing Horseback Riding up to more than 4000 meters. (Sanmartiniana Los Patos).

Fitness (F)

We consider physical demands to the wear that we can suffer both aerobic (climbs = possible shortness of breath) and muscle (resistance = many hours walking) and of legs and joints (descents = knees / ankles).

20% half a day or less with little unevenness.

40% more sustained unevenness and longer working days

60% Long ascents and descents with a longer duration.

80% Demanding effort of legs in resistance. Very long days.

100% Maximum demand. Aerobic and constant force leg work

Technical (T)

The technical difficulty is mainly based on the handling of the horse and the actions to be performed.

20% prairie / pampa.

40% trails with moderate ups and downs.

60% Steeper slopes and trails.

80% Steep descents and ascents.

100% Very steep descents and ascents.

Psycho (P)

We maintain that this point, the psychological factor, represents a relevant factor. Each one needs a factor of conviction, confidence, self-control and will power to achieve a goal. And depending on the attitude with which we face distances, slopes, terrain and many other objective factors, we can achieve performance with very different results.

20% We will not be much affected.

40% This is a normal level of attention.

60% We require more motivation, enthusiasm and concentration.

80% The activity will require us to be very connected and convinced.

100% Maximum control and emotional-psychological performance.

Adventures (A)

It is the factor that, the height above sea level, influences us depending on the activity we carry out. Managing and overcoming symptoms caused by altitude is the key to this point

0% + sea level.

20% Up to 2000 masl.

40% + 2000 masl.

60% + 4000 masl.

80% + 5000 masl.

100% + 6000 masl.

Gradual Adventure Activity Difficulty System designed by Leandro Scheurle.
Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

Required equipment

MANDATORY REQUIRED EQUIPMENT *** (If you don´t have this equipment , guides reserve the right to define your participation)
  • Warm sleeping bag***
  • Insulated sleeping pad (10-15 mm)***
  • Parka jacket / Gore-tex Jacket (windbreaker and waterproof)***
  • Sun Glasses (recommended with UV protection, with protective strips). ***
  • Warm Gloves. (ski or mountain type) ***
  • National ID or Passport (as applicable) ***
  • Authorization in case of Minors *** (permission before notary  or before the authorities that correspond, according to the place of birth)
  • Medical Fitness Certificate

NOTE: The following is the list of required equipment according to layers, in reference to the mandatory technical equipment ***.

  • 2 pairs of long socks
  • 2 long sleeves thermal shirts 
  • 1 pair of thermal leggings (it can be lycra material).
  • 2 short sleeve t-shirts
  • 1 buff / multifunctional headwear
  • 2 long pair of trousers, if possible, for quick dry (trekking trousers without zippers and long thermal trousers or trousers - NO JEAN, NO CORDEROY)
  • 2 sweaters or sweatshirts (recommended 1 fine polar + 1 thick polar) ***
  • 1 polar or wool cap ***
  • 1 pair of polar gloves
  • Parka jacket / Gore-tex Jacket ***
  • Warm Gloves (ski or mountain type) ***
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 pair of footwear to rest your feet. (crocks, flip flops, alapargatas)
  • 1 pair of high-top trekking shoes or riding boots, in case you do not have boots get leather spats / chaps***
  • Head flashlight or small flashlight w / spare batteries ***
  • Sun Glasses (recommended with UV protection, with strap) ***
  • Bottle or container for water up to 1 liter, to drink.
  • Personal Tableware: Deep plate, knife, fork and spoon, Pitcher to be used for breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon and dinner.
Hygiene elements and personal care
  • Sunscreen (factor 40 or higher) ***
  • 1 small towel
  • Wet wipes for sanitizing.
  • Personal medication
  • Moisturizing cream
  • Lip balm
  • Brush and toothpaste set.
  • A small soap / shampoo
  • Toilet paper.
  • National ID / Passport  ***
  •  Medical travel insurance***
  • Full personal file online ***
  •  Feather coat jacket.
  •  SILVER TAPE, for repairs.
  •  Steel thermos
  •  Monocle. Photographic or video equipment
  •  Book, notebook, travel diary, pencil, pen

Rental Equipment

Trekking sleeping bag

Booking in Advance

US$ 16 + options

Pair of Trekking Poles

Booking in Advance

US$ 10 + options

Rental mittens

Booking in Advance

US$ 8 + options

Pair of Crampons

Booking in Advance

US$ 15 + options

Rental : helmet, crampons and ice ax

Booking in Advance

US$ 36 + options

Combo Top: helmet, crampons, ice ax and full harness

Booking in Advance

US$ 50 + options

Category 3 sunglasses - Shepra Julbo Spectrom

Booking in Advance

US$ 5 + options

Backpack for trekking and mountaineering - Woman

Booking in Advance

US$ 10 + options

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Contact and Enquiries

RECOMENDACION: Pueden comunicarse de formar directa al 54 9 1173648678
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Copyright ©2009. All rights reserved.