January 17, 2017
On my last day in Chile, I decided to leave Santiago and drive as high into the nearby Andes Mountains as I could, to the border with Argentina.
Passing through the town of Los Andes, Chile, on the way to … the Andes.
The road kept going higher and higher into the Andes, but at least so far it was all paved.
Chilean customs check point high in the Andes, at the border crossing to Argentina. You are now leaving Chile … well, sort of.
Sane people take the Cristo Redentor Tunnel (3080m, 10,015 ft), opened in 1980, to cross from Chile into Argentina.
I, on the other hand, took the dirt road that climbs over the original LaCumbre pass (at 3832m, 12,752 feet).
It is impossible to show just how terrifying this “road” was.
The “road” over the Andes from Chile to Argentina, over the LaCumbre Pass.
At the very top of the pass is a statue of Christ, placed in 1904 at the exact border between Chile and Argentina.
View of the Argentinian side, from La Cumbre Pass in the Andes.
The tour buses you see come from the Argentinian side, which I’m told is a far less suicidal climb.
My momentary step into Argentina, at the top of the Andes.
At this point, I am really not looking forward to going back down the same way I came up.
he way back down (La Cumbre Pass, Chilean side).
People are asking if I trusted the driver. I was the driver. So no.
Yes, that is a cliff. But what a view, eh? (I tried not to look).
n 1817, San Martin lost 1/3 of his men and 1/2 of his horses crossing this and another pass at same time of year.
After crossing the Andes from Argentina, San Martin’s army defeated the Spanish at Chacabuco, Chile: