Why do we require an application?Our application process is in response to two of the most common questions our Riders have prior to booking a trip with us:
1) Am I skilled/fit enough to participate in this Ride?
2) Will the other people on my Ride be skilled/fit enough?
Ensuring that you - and the other Riders on your Ride - are a good fit for the Ride selected is of paramount importance to us. We want to help you pick the Ride that's perfect for you, and ensure that everyone booked on a Ride is on the right Ride for them. That's why we want to know a bit more about you - your mountain biking history, where you ride, how often, etc... - before we take your money.
We review every application and if, based on your responses, we think you're a good fit, we'll approve your application and you'll receive a link to place a deposit. If we think you might not be a good fit (either too skilled or not skilled enough for the Ride you chose), then we'll give you a call to discuss your preferences in greater detail.
Please note: our application process isn't about excluding anyone, or making anyone feel like they're not 'good enough' to participate in one of our Rides. It's about ensuring that you end up on the right Ride for you, with people of similar skill, fitness and riding preferences. In the end this ends up being a much better experience for everyone.
The word Patagonia conjures up images of brave adventurers and remote landscapes in a hidden corner of the world. For centuries the world's bravest have tested themselves in these lands - often with disastrous results.
These days, Patagonia still offers up plenty of adventure, but without the heaping servings of hardship. On this trip, in Argentinian Patagonia, you too can play Magellan and unleash your inner explorer, but with a nice side dish of comfort at our spectacular backcountry ecolodge.
Had those early explorers had their own wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Andes, they may have stayed a while longer. And if they'd known about the network of beautiful rides surrounding our lodge, well they just may have given up the exploring life all together and settled down in this little corner of paradise.
To ramp up the adventure factor just a little more (and take advantage of the world-class whitewater rivers nearby), we're throwing in a few afternoons of whitewater rafting, trail building, and an overnight excursion to a beautiful riverside cabin. About the only thing we left out to make this the most adventurous adventure ever are the scurvy, and rickety boat to get you home ...
Be sure to review our Skill and Fitness Rating System for a better understanding of what to expect.
IS THIS RIDE FOR YOU?
You are an Intermediate level mountain biker with a high level of fitness. Although not a typical "Singletrack" style Ride, this Ride is not appropriate for those new to mountain biking. This Ride requires Intermediate level technical skill, with the ability to climb and descend (sometimes steep) loose, rocky double track and atv style trails.
You are an adventure seeker, and appreciate the charm of true remote wilderness. The lack of reliable wifi does not stress you out. You enjoy using two-wheeled machines as a means of exploring new lands while mixing in several other outdoor activities. You know how to swim and the thought of whitewater rafting in the valley below the Andes excites you.
WHY RIDE WITH US?
- Satisfaction Guarantee
- Guaranteed Departures
- Lifetime Deposits
- Risk-Free Booking Window
- Travel Concierge
Itinerary Disclaimer: While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, adventure travel can be unpredictable and may result in necessary or desirable alterations to the trails we ride, accommodation we stay in and destinations we visit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to visit the LOGISTICS tab, and click on the DESTINATION INFORMATION tab and review the section on VISAS AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS.
DAY 1. ARRIVE IN BARILOCHE, TRANSFER TO LODGE
Welcome to Patagonia!
Your Guides will meet you at the prearranged times at either the San Carlos de Bariloche Airport (BRC) or Las Marianas Hotel.
We’ll then start our 120 km drive to our wilderness lodge, checking out some jaw-dropping scenery in Nahuel Huapi National Park and the Rio Azul protected Wilderness Area.
Our spectacular eco-lodge is tucked away in the Patagonian Andes accessible only by 4x4 vehicle. "La Confluencia" wilderness lodge is named for its location at the confluence of two crystal clear rivers. Upon arrival at the lodge, our chef will greet you with a homemade snack to help recover from your long journey.
After settling into your room, the group will meet to build our bikes, and assign bikes to those who rented. We’ll then review the mountain bike skills required for the days ahead. Your Guides will provide some feedback and some tips for making the most out of riding in Patagonia.
Tonight, we'll feast over a delicious dinner, get to know each other, and talk about the epic adventure that lay ahead!
DAY 2. RIO TERNERO
We'll set out on a relatively challenging 30 km ride of rolling hills, semi-arid terrain and beautiful vistas, passing an old settler's cob home along the way.
We will break for lunch and, if interested, you can try a traditional 'mate' at some point along the way.
We'll head back to the lodge where we'll relax and tend to our sore muscles in the hot tubs and sauna.
DAY 3. Choose your own Adventure! CAJON DEL AZUL Bike or Hike
After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll be leaving directly from the lodge to explore the Azul River valley in the 55,000-hectare Protected Natural Area.
A challenging day, we’ll be faced with long climbs and some steep, loose gravel downhills. Our reward will be our final destination: The Cajon del Azul (The Azul River Gorge).
This geologic marvel, carved by the Azul River over eons, is a smooth-walled granite canyon some 30m deep, yet narrow enough at the top to allow one to stand with a foot on each side and the river roaring through below!
After lots of pictures, everyone can order their own homestyle lunch along with a mountain-brewed beer at the nearby mountain refuge. (Lunch not included in the price). We’ll enjoy a little R&R riverside, before hiking back to the lodge.
Another gourmet dinner at the lodge will await, followed by a soak in the hot tub, wine glass in hand.
Day 4. Cabeza del Indio “Pedal” to Rio Azul “Paddle”
After a hearty breakfast at the lodge, we’ll head out to one of our newest trail systems, "Cabeza del Indio" (Indian Head).
Cabeza del Indio trail boasts a mix of fireroad and singletrack through meandering forest with a high elevation view looking down into the canyon of the Raquel and Azul rivers. We’ll ride down into the valley to the river’s edge of the Rio Azul.
Here, we’ll have a picnic lunch and dip our feet in the refreshing aqua waters.
After lunch, we’ll swap our bikes for whitewater rafts and head down the gorgeous Rio Azul (class II) before heading back to the lodge for dinner and drinks.
PLEASE NOTE: If water levels do not permit whitewater rafting, we will switch the activity to horseback riding.
DAY 5. COMMUNITY OUTREACH BY MOUNTAIN BIKE
After breakfast, we’ll hop on our bikes and ride some backcountry roads to an in-need rural school and hand deliver some basic school supplies to the local children.
Small donations go a very long way in Patagonia and are tremendously appreciated. If possible, we ask Riders to bring a small donation such as various school supplies. 1 month prior to your trip departure, we’ll send you an email with an overview of what school we’ll be visiting and what specific school supplies are in need.
This afternoon, we'll enjoy a picnic lunch in the mountains followed by an afternoon of more local-culture experienced by mountain bike.
PLEASE NOTE: The Ride Data for Day 5 changes each trip, as we rotate between local area schools. Expect the Ride Data to be similar to that of the other Ride days.
DAY 6. MOUNT PERITO MORENO AND FERIA ARTESANAL
Today, we drive 30 minutes to arrive at Mount Perito Moreno.
Our ride begins at the base of the local ski hill where we connect with a singletrack that meanders through the forest on rolling hills with the occasional steep downhill.
The ride takes us directly back to the lodge in time for lunch.
After a quick shower it's time for some local sightseeing in town where you have the option to visit the famous “Feria Artesanal” or local artisan craft and food fair. Tourists from all over the country flock to El Bolsón to enjoy the market with over 300 stalls to explore! Artists sell everything from sculpted wooden cutting boards, and handmade mate gourds to jewelry, instruments and pottery.
DAY 7. MANSO VALLEY OVERNIGHT
After breakfast, we’ll pack up the shuttle for our overnight trip to the stunning Rio Manso valley.
We’ll start by a long drive to the Lago Steffen trailhead, where we'll take the time to relish the spectacular 3-lake view.
We’ll hop on our bikes and enjoy a short, fun 8 km forest road ride to Lago Steffen.
We'll stop for a gourmet lunch before hopping into whitewater rafts for a beautiful paddle that leads us directly to our cabin on the river, where we'll spend the night.
Tonight, your guides also become your chefs! They’ll treat you to a typical Argentinean meal - "Pollo al disco" - loosely translated as chicken cooked in the disc over the fire. Sounds a little boring in English but you won't be disappointed.
After dinner, if you aren't too tired, you can sit fireside and sample another tradition - "Fernet & Coca" - a hugely popular drink in Argentina that might take some getting used to!
Rest up tonight, because tomorrow is a big day and often the highlight of the trip!
DAY 8. MANSO VALLEY OVERNIGHT CONT'D...
We'll start the morning with a gourmet breakfast, then leave the cabin by bike for a rolling 20 km ride through the national park. This is a true adventure ride - you'll feel like Indiana Jones with all the stream crossings and suspension bridges!
The ride ends at a picturesque riverside restaurant where we stop for lunch (lunch not included in the price).
After lunch, we start our whitewater rafting trip down the famous "Frontera" section of the Manso river. The word "manso", means calm in Spanish, but these rapids are anything but!
No experience is required for this spectacular ride through class III-IV rapids down a turquoise river with our experienced and professional river guides.
The raft trip ends at the Chilean border where the vehicles will meet us for a 90 minute drive back to the lodge in time for dinner.
We’ll get back to the lodge in time for a well deserved hot tub.
Tonight, we’ll celebrate our incredible week of adventure with an authentic Argentinean BBQ and party. Cheers!
DAY 9. RETURN TO BARILOCHE AND GOODBYES!
After our final breakfast, we’ll say our goodbyes. The vehicles will depart for San Carlos de Bariloche Airport (BRC), or Las Marianas hotel arriving by noon at the latest.
- 8 nights accommodation in our remote wilderness eco-lodge
- Organic, farm-to-table meals (8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 8 dinners)
- Whitewater rafting on the Manso and Azul rivers
- 6 days of incredible mountain biking in the Andes
- 2 experienced local guides
- Transportation during the tour, and airport pickup/dropoff in Bariloche
Below you will find a comprehensive list of information about this Ride and destination, including Frequently Asked Questions by site visitors and our Riders at the bottom. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for below, click the ‘Ask a Question’ button below.
We’ve Got You Covered +
GETTING THERE AND BACK +
Getting The Most Out of Your Trip +
BIKE AND GEAR INFO AND PACKING LIST +
Destination information +
Important Stuff +
Other Stuff +
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS+
|Name||Bio||My 'Sacred Ride'|
|I was born in Patagonia in the Welsh settlement town of Trevelin, surrounded by Andes mountains and rivers. Ever since I was a child, my parents gave me a sense of adventure by taking me on different expeditions from climbing mountains to multi-...||Coming soon!|
|“Eze” was born and raised in the outskirts of El Bolsón where his family ran a campground on the banks of the Azul River. As an adult, he has been spending his summers guiding rafts on the river, and guiding mountain bikers through the forests...[more]||Coming soon!|
|Growing up in Argentine Patagonia Julian always had a love for rivers and mountains. Riding bikes was the number one pastime of his childhood and this eventually progressed into competitive downhill and cross-country bike competitions. His short...||Coming soon!|
Please note that the following data represents a typical itinerary, and unfortunately there is no such thing as a typical itinerary. Weather issues, road closures, changes to the itinerary to accommodate requests, and other issues may affect the itinerary, so the data below represents an 'average' itinerary, and may differ when you actually show up to ride your bike! Our guides make every effort to stick to the itinerary as posted, though :)
|Day||Hours of Riding||Distance ridden||Elevation gained||Elevation lost||Highest elevation|
|1||<1 hours||<10 km||<100 m||<100 m||n/a m|
|2||5 hours||30 km||229 m||736 m||990 m|
|3||4 hours||16 km||200 m||200 m||657 m|
|4||2 hours||21 km||20 m||290 m||605 m|
|5||2.5 hours||22 km||175 m||175 m||600 m|
|6||2.5 hours||8 km||20 m||540 m||995 m|
|7||<1 hours||8 km||0 m||426 m||975 m|
|8||5 hours||30 km||72 m||108 m||563 m|
|9||0 hours||0 km||0 m||0 m||n/a m|
|Totals||21 hours||135 km||716 m||2475 m||n/a m|
|Front-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental||$480.00 USD|
|1-hour post-ride massage||$65.00 USD|
|Non-scheduled airport pickup||$155.00 USD|
|2-hour Guided Horseback Ride||$75.00 USD|
|Non-scheduled airport drop-off||$155.00 USD|
|Donation to Bikes Without Borders||$20.00 USD|
|Start Date||Pickup Location & Time||End Date||Dropoff Location & Time||Price||Deposit||Currency||Booking||Private?||Availability|
|Friday, January 13, 2017||Bariloche airport, 4 pm||Saturday, January 21, 2017||Bariloche airport, 12 pm||3,495.00||699.00||USD||Book Now!|
|Friday, March 3, 2017||Bariloche airport, 4 pm||Saturday, March 11, 2017||Bariloche airport, 12 pm||3,495.00||699.00||USD||Book Now!|
|Friday, November 10, 2017||Bariloche airport, 4 pm||Saturday, November 18, 2017||Bariloche airport, 12 pm||3,495.00||699.00||USD||Book Now!|
|Start Date||Pickup Location & Time||End Date||Dropoff Location & Time||Price||Deposit||Currency||Booking||Private?||Availability|
|Friday, January 26, 2018||Bariloche airport, 4 pm||Saturday, February 3, 2018||Bariloche airport, 12 pm||3,495.00||699.00||USD||Book Now!|
|Friday, March 9, 2018||Bariloche airport, 4 pm||Saturday, March 17, 2018||Bariloche airport, 12 pm||3,495.00||699.00||USD||Book Now!|
|Friday, November 9, 2018||Bariloche airport, 4 pm||Saturday, November 17, 2018||Bariloche airport, 12 pm||3,495.00||699.00||USD||Book Now!|
National Geographic Adventure
-OUTSIDE MAGAZINE 2014