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Trekking Crossing the Andes, Tunuyán, Cajón de los Arenales, refugio Real de la Cruz, Paso Portillo-Piuquenes, Santiago de Chile - Ascenso23
Trekking Crossing the Andes, Tunuyán, Cajón de los Arenales, refugio Real de la Cruz, Paso Portillo-Piuquenes, Santiago de Chile

Trekking Crossing the Andes, Tunuyán, Cajón de los Arenales, refugio Real de la Cruz, Paso Portillo-Piuquenes, Santiago de Chile

More than 200 years after the crossing of the Cordillera of the Andes by General Jose de San Martin

Start Date :
End Date:
Initial time :
alarm10 am
End Time:
alarm10 am
Meeting Point:
Mendoza bus terminal
End Point:
Santiago de Chile
1200 km from Buenos Aires
7 days + trip
battery_charging_full15 available spots
Advance Purchase Price:
890 touch_app

Special price booking until 09 de September!message

The path that marks history

Those extensive valleys of height, interrupted by some solitary mountain refuge. The imposing rock walls. The irregular peaks broken by the white mantles of the glaciers. Everything is still, as in a painting, being us the main protagonists of that painting.

The idea is to enter the heart of the mountain range, ascending through a valley and crossing the very Andes Cordillera through the same place where one of the armies of General San Martin did it more than 200 years ago, an experience that is not easily forgotten.


Expedition in cross-country mode (joining Argentina with Chile). We carry trekking backpack on the shoulders and with the support of porterage animals, we go up through one path and down through another. Overnight is on wild camps with no services and, occasionally, in mountain refuges (without the comforts of a campsite) in the middle of the Cordillera de los Andes. Physically demanding in 3 of the 7 days.

Dates Season 2023:
  • January 8 to 14th
  • January 22 to 28th
  • February 5 to 11th
  • February 19 to 25th



NOTE: Due to the decision not to open non-traditional border crossings such as Piuquenes in the summer of 2021 and 2022, we are going to wait until they authorize the official opening of the crossing, which would allow us to return to the original day-to-day plan that appears in this programming.

Day 1: Meeting 10 am; transfer from the bus station in Mendoza city. It is a private transfer that we include in the program for those who are not already in Tunuyan. Preparation of the backpacks, presentation of guides + general technical talk and transfer to the Portinari Shelter of the National Gendarmerie. Registration in the immigration books (bring ID or Passport, otherwise there is no possible crossing). Lunch. We begin the first section on foot: We head to the Scaravelli refuge, the first camp.

  • Camp: Scaravelli (3100 masl)
  • Estimated walking time: 4-5 hours.
  • Distance: 10km
  • Slopes: 600 meters in ascent.
  • Starting height: 2500 meters above sea level.
  • Camp height: 3100 meters above sea level.

Day 2: Breakfast and quiet morning. Walk of only 2 hours and little unevenness, to continue with the acclimatization, to the Yaretas camp. Camp set up. Lunch and free afternoon to enjoy the place and continue acclimatizing. The night finds us preparing a delicious meal, which we will savor under a curtain of stars.

  • Camp: Yaretas (3400 masl)
  • Estimated walking time: 2 hours.
  • Distance: 6km
  • Slopes: 300 meters in ascent.
  • Starting height: 3100 meters above sea level.
  • Camp height: 3400 meters above sea level.

Day 3: We have an early breakfast to take advantage of the intense day: ascent to 4,300 meters, we pass through the Portillo pass, from where the view is incredible: Hills and glaciers at more than 6,000 meters to go down to another valley, still within Argentina. In the afternoon we descend in a very long section, through a valley, until we finally reach a camp next to a stream with drinking water.

  • Camp: La Hoyada stream (3300 masl)
  • Estimated walking time: 11 hours.
  • Distance: 18 km
  • Slopes: 900 meters uphill / 1000 meters downhill
  • Starting height: 3400 meters above sea level.
  • Height of the Pass (highest point): 4300 meters above sea level.
  • Camp height: 3300 meters above sea level.

Day 4: This day we will continue descending through the valley, we will cross the river (first wade) and we will reach the valley of the Tupungato River; at the confluence of this with the Tupungato, we will ford this last river (with the help of horses) and then we will continue ascending through the valley to the next camp, El Real del Alambre.

  • Camp: Real del Alambre (3200 masl)
  • Estimated walking time: 5 hours.
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Slopes: 300 meters downhill and 100 meters uphill.
  • Starting height: 3300 meters above sea level.
  • Camp height: 3200 meters above sea level.

Day 5: Last day of camping on the Argentina side. We cross the Rio Palomares, then the Paso Hondo. Finally we will ascend on the way to the border milestone, to make the last camp, in Real de las Ovejas, at the foot of giants of more than 6000 meters such as Cerro Marmolejo.

  • Camp: Real de las Ovejas (3400 masl)
  • Estimated walking time: 7 hours.
  • Distance: 15km
  • Slopes: 200 meters in ascent.
  • Starting height: 3200 meters above sea level.
  • Camp height: 3400 meters above sea level.

Day 6: Day we cross into Chile. We set up camp and, together with the pack and accompanying animals, we headed to the Hito and Paso Piuquenes; once there, photos of achievement and celebration. We say goodbye to the muleteers and pack animals and begin the descent towards Chile. For 3 hours we will go down by hauling to the Rio Plomo, in the Termas del Yeso, the last hurdle before meeting the transfer that will take us to Santiago de Chile. Entry paperwork and transfer to the hostel.

  • Camp: Hostel in Santiago de Chile, final
  • Estimated walking time: 7 hours.
  • Distance: 10km
  • Slopes: 450 meters in ascent.
  • Starting height: 3400 meters above sea level.
  • Height of the pass: 3950 meters above sea level.
  • Final height: 2800 masl

Day 7: End of our services. Free after breakfast.


Note 1: The porterage of equipment and personal equipment is carried out until the Piuquenes Pass (section on the Chilean side, 3 hours downhill, all the equipment is loaded in the backpacks)

Note 2: Active program with a high degree of demand. It is a requirement to have walked at least once previously with a cross-country trekking backpack on a MOUNTAIN outing, even if it is for 1 day (8 hours). Have ever slept in a tent with a sleeping bag. Suitable for people over 13 and under 65 (cases outside these age ranges will be evaluated).

Note 3: All participants must present a physical fit, where the same family doctor enables them to carry out the activity.

Note 4: People with physical ailments or leg injuries (classic case of knees or other joints) cannot participate. Carrying out this activity with an injury can lead to having to evacuate the person in complex situations and significantly harm the group with important delays.

Note 5: Program subject to climatic, geographic or political conditions. Modifications to it may occur on the fly depending on circumstances and various factors. The decisions will be made exclusively by the guides, baqueanos and coordinators of the company.

speaker_notesIncluded Services:

  • Transfer from Mendoza city, bus station, or from Tunuyan to the Portinari Shelter of the National Gendarmerie.
  • Professional mountain guides and baqueanos.
  • Full board in the mountains (breakfast, energy drinks, lunch, snacks, dinner). From lunch on Day 1 to lunch-snack on Day 8.
  • General kitchen equipment (pots, heaters).
  • Equipment and main first aid kit.
  • Communication equipment for emergencies: VHF, Satellite Telephone or Spot Monitoring.
  • Tents for 2, 3 or 4 people, depending on availability. Individual tent option.
  • Porterage with animals for the general team throughout the journey to Paso Piuquenes.
  • Personal accident insurance.
  • Guides, coordination and permanent advice, before and during the journey.
  • Transfer out from Termas de Yeso to Santiago de Chile
  • Hostel in Santiago de Chile, room to share

speaker_notes_offServices NOT included:

  • Transportation or trip of each person to Mendoza or Tunuyan.
  • Return from Santiago de Chile.
  • Personal camping equipment (sleeping bag, insulators, poles and backpack; possible to rent).
  • Expenses caused by abandoning the program.
  • Tips.