Active + Adventure

Best Adventure Trips 2008

by Sarah Tuff

Argentina: It Takes Two (Wheels) to Tango

With all due respect to the gauchos, mountain biking beats horseback riding when it comes to thundering through the windswept Andes in Argentina's northwest. Backroads guests ride titanium, suspension mountain bikes through the crimson hills of the Cerro de los Siete Colores and roll through green fields flanked by the eastern Andes. Two wheels allow for heart-pounding climbs and dizzying descents in the Argentine jungle, exploring llama crossings in the 11,000-foot desert peaks, and whizzing by vineyards. And mountain bikers burn enough calories to really earn the steaks, empanadas, and locally cured cheeses that end each day. The trip begins and ends in Salta (a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires), and the rides vary from 12 up to 49 miles. (A sag wagon follows and will transport the weary straight to the wine. The company suggests riders be comfortable riding steep and rough roads in the high country for up to seven hours a day.) Hotels include the Estancia Colomé, a five-star resort, contemporary art museum, and winery founded in 1831. And for those who'd prefer to swap saddles, the nine-day trip caps off with a guided tour of the estate on Argentine horses.

Departures: May 12–20, May 26–June 3, September 15–23, September 29–October 7, October 16–24, October 29–November 6

Price: $4,498, including lodging, meals, and wine tastings; originates in Salta

Backroads
Tel: 800 462 2848 (toll-free)
Tel: 510 527 1555

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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