Crossing the Andes by horseback

When Hugh MacDermott decided to cross the Andes on horseback from Argentina, almost every gaucho the Anglo-Irish horseman met warned that he and his steed Pancho Panza — a horse from the pancake-flat pampas that had never seen a hill in its life — wouldn’t make it. He proved them wrong.


Now, nine years later, Hugh regularly crosses the range with adventurous guests on MacDermott’s Argentina horseback expeditions. He shared his memories of that fateful first trip with Condé Nast Traveler.

“My first Andes crossing took place in January 2006, the best month in the year to undertake it. The eight-day adventure started off in Valle de Uco, Argentina’s prime wine country, which is dotted with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc vineyards around 60 miles south of the city of Mendoza. This wine-making region sits at an altitude of 3,940 feet above sea level—but I was set to ride to 14,370 feet.”

For the rest of this piece, please visit Condé Nast Traveler.

Ph: Hugh MacDermott

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