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Mendoza to Santiago de Chile; is it worth the effort?

Michael FalkMichael Falk Posts: 169
edited January 2008 in Tour & expedition
Has someone ridden this ride? Any advice? Scenic?

My main concerns are:
the tunnel at the top, is it easy to find someone to take the bike through it?
easy to find places to stay or camp?
is it necessary to camp wild & if so how often? (a typical touring day for me is 90-120km)

I'm visiting someone in Santiago, is there another possible pass/route to return into Argentina (without having to tour extensively in Chile)?

thanks, Michael


  • BrainsBrains Posts: 1,732
    Well you could cross via the sal de uni wotsit, totally flat and it is crossible on a bike (i've seen it done), roads are bad on the short distance through Bolivia
  • jibijibi Posts: 2,463
    There is a tunnel, and a road thta goes about 1200 mtrs above it, get someone to follow you through the tunnel.

    YES its worth it, just to see the Caracoles at Portillo ski station


  • BarbesBarbes Posts: 72
    You could cross the salar de Uni wotsit but bear that not only is it in Bolivia and nowhere near Mendoza it's also 100s of miles of dried out salt lake so your trusty steed won't thank you!
  • We did Mendoza - Santiago about ten years ago. The climb up on the Argentinian side was pretty good. When we got to the tunnel a border guard just waved down a bus and got the driver to take us through. (NB. There are a couple of smaller tunnels on the way up)
    It was slightly disappointing because on the climb up the road was in really good nick and we were fully expecting to have a great whizz down the far side. However, on the Chillean side the rode was censored and we had to hang on our brakes all the way down the switch backs. The road has probably been upgraded by now.
    No problem wild camping, but there are also Ski lodges that you can stay in.
    You have to go a fair way North, to the Agua Negro pass (level with La Serena) or South to the Vergara Pass (level with Curico) to find an alternative crossing.
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