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Argentina Expedition: Trek Mendoza & the Valley of Tears


Argentina Expedition: Trek Mendoza & the Valley of Tears

Start: Mendoza
End: Mendoza

Trek through the rugged Andes and see the bittersweet beauty the survivors were faced with

Duration8 days
Start / EndMendoza / Mendoza
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel


Argentina Expedition: Trek Mendoza & the Valley of Tears

8 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Mendoza
End: Mendoza


On 13 October 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the remote Andes with 45 people on board. Stranded at 3600 metres with minimal supplies and nothing around but rock, ice and twisted metal, the survivors spent 72 days on the mountain before 16 of them were eventually rescued. The accident, which was immortalised in the 1993 film ‘Alive’, received significant global media attention w...

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Day 1Mendoza
Welcome to Mendoza, the heart of Argentinean wine country and perhaps the most beautiful setting for a city anywhere. Having grown up under the watchful gaze of the Andes, Mendoza is a popular stop for adventure enthusiasts thanks to the nearby mountains and, of course, a seemingly endless supply of delicious malbec wine. Meet your group at 2 pm and take an orientation walk around the town including the central market and Plaza Independencia, then why not organise a group dinner and share a bottle of malbec.
Day 2Mendoza
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Mendoza, drink wine. This morning you’ll meet a wine expert who’ll take the group to the heart of the winemaking region. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about Mendoza’s traditional and industrial wineries. Visit three wineries and learn about the local soil, regional production and the different varietals and most importantly, you’ll be tasting some straight-up Andes juice from its heavenly source. Return to Mendoza in the afternoon to explore the city or, if you’ve indulged in the lion’s share of malbec, maybe take an afternoon nap.
Day 3San Rafael - Base camp
Depart Mendoza after breakfast and travel by local bus to San Rafael, three hours south. Continue west by private vehicle until we reach our camp for the night, with dinner prepared at the campsite.
Day 4Trek day 1
After packing lunch and having breakfast we’ll start hiking up the Andes. We’ll cross three rivers along the way and hike for approximately 5-6 hours before reaching our first campsite at 2550 metres. It goes without saying that hiking in the Andes is an incredibly special experience, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a view that doesn’t take your altitude-affected breath away. On arrival at camp, please keep in mind that while our gear is carried by mules, this is participatory camping and the group is expected to help set up camp for the evening.
Day 5Trek day 2
Take breakfast overlooking the peaks and valleys of the Andes and pack your lunch before starting today’s trek. We’ll be heading towards the Valle de las Lagrimas (the Valley of Tears), eventually reaching the Glacier de las Lagrimas (Glacier of Tears) early in the afternoon, located at 3600m on the border between Argentina and Chile. From here, we’ll climb up to a commemorative cross to pay our respects to the victims of this tragic accident. It’s easy to imagine the desperation the survivors would’ve felt upon seeing their location. We’ll then return to last night’s campsite.
Day 6Trek day 3 - San Rafael
Today we’ll hike back down to our base camp before continuing to San Rafael for the night. The evening is free for you to explore the town centre and perhaps get dinner with the group.
Day 7Mendoza
Return to Mendoza for a final afternoon and evening in this mountainous setting. Rest those sore muscles or, if you're up for it, continue exploring the atmospheric streets of Mendoza and maybe pull up a seat and watch the world go by with a glass of wine. Be sure to organise a farewell dinner with your group this evening.
Day 8Mendoza
Your trip will end after breakfast and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time.

More info

Trip title

Argentina Expedition: Trek Mendoza & the Valley of Tears

Trip code



Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2019


On 13 October 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the remote Andes with 45 people on board. Stranded at 3600 metres with minimal supplies and nothing around but rock, ice and twisted metal, the survivors spent 72 days on the mountain before 16 of them were eventually rescued. The accident, which was immortalised in the 1993 film ‘Alive’, received significant global media attention when... Read more




Expedition,Walking & Trekking



Physical Rating


Physical preparation

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

Joining point

Argentino Hotel

Joining point description

Argentino hotel is a small comfortable hotel located across the road from Independencia square - the heart of Mendoza city - making it a great base from where to explore the city. Its 46 rooms are equipped with safe box and WIFI.

Finish point

Argentino Hotel

Important information

NEW TRIP Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more


Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more


It is recommended that you download WhatsApp prior to departure; please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. WhatsApp is usually the preferred method for your leader to be in contact with you and the rest of the group while on tour. It is also good for sharing information and photos with th... Read more


PASSPORT: Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months' validity remaining. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or frie... Read more

Why we love it

Explore the heart of the Argentinean wine country then trek to the site of one of the most famous plane crashes in history.

Is this trip right for you

This expedition involves trekking at altitude and a reasonable level of fitness is recommended. Up to 5kg of personal belongings are carried by horse (including sleeping bag) Participants are expected to help set up camp and with camp chores.


All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While camping, all meals are included. Meals are prepared daily by the expedition's cook. Meals will include pastas, rice, fresh meat, eggs, dried fruits, etc. If requested in advanced, more restrictive diet requirements can be catered for (vegans, celiac, vegetarian, etc.) but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own su... Read more

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in ... Read more

What to take

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need ... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more


After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more


Hotel (3 nights),Camping [with basic facilities] (5 nights)
€1,900per person
Select dates
Feb 9
Feb 16
Seats left: 12
Mar 15
Mar 22
Seats left: 12