Our most requested and remarkable trip is back! We’re going back to the Argentina and Chile in February 18 – 28, 2017. For the new traveler to Argentina and Chile this trip will provide you with an outstanding first experience. For the returning visitor we will provide the best of what we have discovered since first coming here in 2005. We will be crossing the Andes by boat (alpine lakes) and bike with absolutely stunning vistas and rides. Our hotels will all be first-class and you will have never eaten so well. This is a mountain bike trip for road cyclists, 40% hard packed gravel and 60% paved roads. Once again we are partnering with BikeTrips Argentina. Non-cycling option available (contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trip Itinerary - Crossing of the Andes, February 18 – 28, 2017
Day 1: Pick up at Ministro Pistarini (EZE) International Airport in Buenos Aires and transfer to Dazzler Hotel in the Recoleta District of Buenos Aires. A day to explore with Steve Lehman the Feria de Recoleta (The most popular of the Buenos Aires Saturday markets) and the National Art Museum. We could also visit the shopping district around Galerias Pacifico. Lunch and Dinner are on your own today.
Day 2: Breakfast at the hotel. Another day of exploration with Steve Lehman. Today we could visit the famous Recoleta Cemetery and several parks in this fashionable area of the city. This evening we will have dinner and experience the passion and beauty of the Homero Manzi Tango Show.
Day 3: Depart Buenos Aires late morning and arrive San Carlos de Bariloche, the “South American Switzerland,” early afternoon. Transfer from airport to Hotel Edelweiss. Welcome Cocktail. Set up and shakedown ride on bicycles. Dinner at El Mundo de la Pizza to carbo-load for the Andes Crossing.
Day 4: Crossing of the Andes. Transfer from hotel to Puerto Pañuelo. Ride and sail across and between three spectacular Andean lakes, Lake Nahuel Huapi, Lake Frias and Lake Todos los Santos. This ride starting in the alpine mountains of Argentina and ending in the lush rain forests of Chile is beyond description. While riding through the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park you will be treated to many beautiful vistas, including the view of majestic Mount Tronador and its glacier. Our destination today will be the beautiful, Victorian, Petrohué Lodge in the shadow of Osorno Volcano. Dinner at the Lodge.
Day 5: Depart Petrohué Lodge at 9:30. Our morning ride to our next destination will take us through Saltos Petrohue National Park and the spectacular torrent of gushing waterfalls through volcanic rock. By noon we will arrive at the Hamilton’s Place B&B near Ensenada. Here we will have lunch and then depart for our most challenging adventure, riding up Osorno Volcano. Osorno is an 8500’, conically shaped volcano rising majestically above Lake Llanquihue. Our goal is to see how close to the top we can get. No pressure. You ride as far as you’d like. The higher, the better the view. The road is 12 km long and takes you to about 4,000’ and the last 400 meters is too steep for any of our previous guests to climb. Maybe you’d be the first. On our way back to the hotel we will stop by the Laguna Verde with its green waters and if we’re lucky catch a sighting of the Huillin, or Southern River Otter.
Day 6: Today our destination will be Puerto Montt on the Pacific coast. Along this 42 km ride we will give the option to stop for lunch at La Olla Restaurant in Puerto Varas. We should arrive in Puerto Montt by mid-afternoon at the Holiday Inn Express, a very nice hotel overlooking the Reloncaví Sound. Afternoon and evening is free to do what you would like. Don’t miss the Puerto Angelmo Market and great dining options afforded by Puerto Montt. Free night.
Day 7: In the morning we will head to Frutillar. This town with its German-style wooden buildings reflects its colonial past. Situated on the western edge of Llanquihue Lake with black sand beaches, it affords a stunning view of Osorno Volcano rising in the east. Lunch will be on your own, but we suggest the German Club or a picnic on the lakeshore. Those who want to keep pedaling can return, completing 64 km back to the Holiday Inn Express. Dinner this evening will be provided at the Restaurant Club de Yates, a guest favorite that makes the best Pisco Sour, with its beautiful view of the Puerto Montt skyline.
Day 6: Departure Puerto Montt at 10:00 AM by vehicle to Puyehue. We will stretch our legs a bit and have an espresso in Puerto Varas, while bidding farewell to this lovely area of Chile. Today we will spend two to three hours in our vehicle on our to the spa in the mountains, as we start to cross the Andes on our way back to Argentina. Dinner and room at the Termas Puyehue Wellness & Spa Resort.
Day 8: Today we will cross the border into Argentina, but not until we have ridden one of the most thrilling descents you would wish to ride. After customs we will proceed to Villa la Angostura, reputed to be Walt Disney’s favorite vacation destination and the inspiration for his animated forest scenes. This is a wonderful location for lunch and maybe a bit of sightseeing. Dinner this evening will be in Bariloche at El Boliche Viejo, reputedly a favorite of Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, but an outstanding steakhouse, nonetheless. Spend the night at the Hotel Edelweiss.
Day 9: 9:30 we will depart Hotel Edelweiss for the Valle Encantado (Enchanted Valley) along the Limay River and on the edge of the magnificent Steppe Region of Argentina. This landscape will be nothing like that that you have experienced, thus far, absolutely breathtaking. Then, back to Bariloche and our Farewell Dinner at either the Swiss Cottage or the Edelweiss Hotel
Day 10: Say it isn’t so! It’s time to check out. We will grudgingly provide transfers to the airport for your return home and wish you a safe trip.
This extraordinary trip will include the following:
- Two nights’ accommodations in Buenos Aires
- Tango/Dinner Show in Buenos Aires
- Eight nights in Patagonian Argentina & Chile
- Transfers between airport and hotels in Buenos Aires (incoming) and Bariloche
- Breakfast daily and eight included dinners
- Seven days of organized and legendary rides with local ride leaders
- Mountain Bike rental
- Helmets, shoes , pedals
Cost $4,950/person (double occupancy or add $850 single supp.)
Please allow me to establish that I am not a cyclist and do not ever ride a bike. I do, however, thoroughly enjoy our “cycling” vacations and am willing to make the “sacrifice” for our trips. I am often asked, “Whatever do you do in [some exotic corner of the world] while Steve and the cycling clients are riding their bikes?” Well, first I have to bite my lip to keep from giving a sarcastic answer. We really do travel to some of the most gorgeous destinations in the world. “Non-cycling” activities available in and around our host hotels to fill the time while Steve is gone are almost unlimited.
Typically, after a lovely breakfast, we go our separate ways. I will usually walk. That walk can be along the promenade on the beach of the Adriatic Sea in Riccione, Italy, or a beautiful harbor in Palma de Majorca, Spain, or one of the magnificent, pink, sand beaches of Bermuda, or maybe along a pine-scented mountain stream in the ski mountains of Patagonia, Argentina. This could be followed by a massage, yoga class or just relaxing with a good book by the pool or on the beach. We also provide non-cycling excursions to some of the very sights and areas the cyclists on our trips explore. Although, we have a bit more time for shopping (I love to shop) and sightseeing.
At any rate, if I need Steve to complete my day, he’ll usually be back and ready to go by about 2:00pm. The rest of the day is spent enjoying a nice lunch, maybe some more shopping (Steve hates shopping), exploring/ sightseeing or just relaxing. Dinner is always a special time of the day on our trips. We love to eat and feel food is one of the best ways to experience a different culture. It also gives all guests an opportunity to share stories of their day. So, if you are a non- cycling partner and are looking for a fabulous vacation, trust me, Steve Lehman Tours is not only about the bike.
I look forward to sharing the next exotic location with you!