Trans-Andes Backroads Cycling - Pucòn to Bariloche

Mountain Biking In the Andes of Chile and Argentina

The Lakes District and Patagonia

Next Dates:  2/20 - 3/1, 2012

Duration:  11 Days, 10 Nights

Minimum # of Clients: 6

Price per Person: $4000.00 USD

Price Includes: All

Location: Pucón, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina

(Combine this tour with the Patagonia Multisport trip the previous week and make it a Chile-Argentina bike touring extravaganza!)

Welcome to a land of fire and water.  Zigzag between majestic volcanoes of the Ring Of Fire!  On mountain bikes we will be crisscrossing a region of wide blue lakes and towering snow-capped volcanoes chuffing silently above.  We will wind through the Araucarian and northern Patagonia regions exploring the backroads borderlands of Chile and Argentina on two wheels.  Spectacular scenery, comfortable lodgings, and great food will fuel our exploration.  National parks and rare landscapes grace each day, and many nights hot springs spas will soak away the kilometers, miles away from anything common. Your travels will wind through a sequence of passes at around 5000 foot elevation zigzagging from Chile to Argentina and back again where you will discover the greatest concentration of National Parks and Preserves in South America.

Soak in the profound beauty and soak away the miles with this cycling-oriented multi-sport trip that features the regions thermal spas along with its remote and rugged landscape.  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 a unique backroads and dirt roads tour, while your belongings are shuttled along in the support vehicle along with plenty of water, snacks, and electrolytes. 

The route begins in the astonishing beauty of the Lakes District of Southern Chile and winds through ancient forests, riparian habitats, and isolated villages into the heart of Argentine Patagonia. Climb a smoking volcano, bike through a pristine Araucaria forest, overnights at several remote and inviting hot springs spas, fly-fish clear mountain streams, and enjoy both Chilean and Argentine culture and cuisine.  Even better, we stay in hotels or comfortable cabins every night. There are massages available in Pucón and San Martin.

Our trek will provide you with safety and support in a number of manners.  The guides and hosts are all expert mechanics and riders.  Rolling enclosure with our drivers and guides means that you won’t stray from the track. Our tour vehicle takes all personal gear between hotels and cabins. 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. Transportation, guides, and all meals (except for lunch and dinner on day 10 and one dinner during the trip) are included in trip price. View equipment list to see what we recommend bringing.

Basic Adventure Itinerary (please contact us for the full 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.

Day 3 
Lakes District riverside riding. 
Villarrica and Caburga Lakes.  Huerquehue National Park.  Hot springs. Dinner and overnight at Spa resort.

Day 4 
Pucón to Coñaripe.  Cycling in Villarrica National Park.  Hot springs tonight.

Day 5 
Coñaripe To Netulme.  Winding deeper into the mountains.  Hike to Huilo Huilo Falls.

Day 6 
A special treat:  Cycling the lush forests of the Huilo Huilo Preserve.  Forgotten roads deep in the Valdivian Forest of the Cordillera.

Day 7 
Crossing the Andes and arriving in Argentina. Through Liquiñe and Carirriñe.  Parque Nacional AR Lanin. San Martin de Los Andes

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.  

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

 Day 11 
Departure in the Morning for Pucon by motorcoach.



  • Professional, bi-lingual guide-educator
  • Indoor Lodging each night
  • Private transportation
  • Support and Gear vehicles
  • Full board (meals designed for active itinerary)
  • Entrance fees (Except Chilean airport tax)
  • All activities in the itinerary except those noted as 'Optional Asides'

•    International and local flights
•    Bicycle repair parts (some parts available for sale)
•    Tips, beverages (other than water) & cocktails
•    Bike rental available upon request

Medium/High --  This route is frequently challenging both in the demands of the riding and in the potential climatic conditions we might face.  Expect to have 5 to 7 hours of activity each day.  This is a trip for strong novices and experienced riders, not for beginners.

Available from: January to March, see specific dates or contact us for custom group reservations.

Activities featured in this itinerary: Mountain biking, hiking, rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, and hot springs.

Notes: 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. We call the first day Day 0 because some riders join us who are already in the region.

More Information:  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.

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.  At two points along the route you will be able to select from several local restaurants in the small towns that we visit to eat at your own pleasure and leisure.  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. 

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.

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.  These are not easy trips, but then that's what the support vehicle is for!

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 volcanoes.  We will get to visit eight lakes, six 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.

Want More? 

Combine!  This trip follows on the heels of our Colchagua Bike and Wine, Summit to Shore Bierfest Bike Trek and Patagonia Multisport!  Make it an extravaganza!  That's right, 35 + days on terrific backroads in Chile and Argentina.  With weekends in terrific destinations in between each!!

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.

Let's Go Ride!

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




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