Cycling across the Andes

We wanted to try something different. Therefore, we resolved to face the crossing of the Andes by bike. We cycled from San Carlos de Bariloche to Puerto Montt.

This is how we scheduled our adventure: we would leave from San Carlos de Bariloche, in Argentina, and cross the Andes by bike towards Puerto Montt, in Chile. During the journey, we would border Lakes Nahuel Huapi, Frías, Todos los Santos and Llanquihue. We also set ourselves the aim of climbing up the Osorno Volcano, though we would have to cover some stretches on foot, until we reached 2,562 meters above sea level.

As soon as we reached Bariloche, we went to a bike shop to make sure our bicycles were in perfect condition for the journey. When everything had been checked, and lubricated, we had a good dinner, rich in carbohydrates and went to bed focusing on what we would face the following day. Lakes, mountains, volcanoes and 250 kilometers by bike stood between us and our destination.

Very early the next morning, we set out towards Puerto Pañuelo, where we got on a ferry that led us through Lake Nahuel Huapi. We were carrying our bikes, eager to get deep into the mountain range. As we got off the ferry, our feet on the pedals pushed the wheels in the direction of Laguna Frías (Frías Pond), where we had to get on board another ferry.

  • We wanted to try something different

    We wanted to try something different

  • The sky, the earth, the achievement

    The sky, the earth, the achievement

  • We were immersed in incredible sceneries

    We were immersed in incredible sceneries

  • The crossing of the Andes

    The crossing of the Andes

As we landed for the second time, we were about to cross the border. Riding our bikes, we climbed up to the Argentinian Customs Office first, and a little farther ahead, up to its Chilean equivalent. We produced all the necessary documents and continued our ride. We were in Chilean territory. This stretch would span up to Pehulla.

At this spot, we got on a new ferry to cross Lake Todos los Santos and got off at Petrohué. We rode our bikes again for the last stretch of the day and got to Ensenada, where we spent the night.

As the new day broke, we left towards the Osorno Volcano. It was a hard but steady climb up to Teski Club Shelter, but eventually, we made it. We recovered our strength and left the bicycles aside to continue climbing on foot. We wanted to keep going up to a height of 2,562 meters above sea level.

Though that part of the tour could not be covered by bike, we got to the summit on foot. It is hard to put it into words: the sky, the earth, the achievement. Fascinated and exhausted, we went back to the shelter. After tasting delicious salmon from the Pacific for dinner, we went to bed.

The hard climb from the previous day was real fun on our way down. We felt pure adrenaline. A 13-kilometer stretch teeming with vertigo and blood racing through our veins. As the descent was over, we surrounded Lake Llanquihue towards Frutillar.

We were immersed in incredible sceneries. We went through small settlements with wooden houses and churches. It would have been difficult to choose the most beautiful sight: from the top or level with the ground. We reached Puerto Octay, where we had lunch, and then continued towards Frutillar.

Once at Frutillar, the last day of our tour began. There were not so many slopes now. We went sightseeing around the city and soon set out towards Puerto Montt. We were eager to reach our destination.

There are plenty of things to do at Puerto Montt. We went around the city by bike. We had decided to close our adventure with a great dinner. After checking-in at a hotel, we went out in search for a seafood restaurant. We ordered a good wine and drank a toast to our success.

Autor Pablo Etchevers Fotografo Marcelo Sola

Tour typeTour type: Mountain Bike


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