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CHOOSE TO FUNDRAISE FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK AND EARN UP TO A £2500 REFUND ON YOUR ENTRY FEE. FIND OUT MORE.

AN INCREDIBLE COAST TO COAST JOURNEY ACROSS THE ENTIRE CONTINENT OF SOUTH AMERICA FROM THE PACIFIC TO THE ATLANTIC.

Our 1000 mile, fully supported, bespoke route climbs from sea level and traverses the high passes of the dramatic Andes mountain range, lifting you nearly 4km skyward before descending all the way down the other side as you speed towards Buenos Aires on this 10 day, all inclusive adventure.

$342.30

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*price per month, depending on departure day click here for more info on pricing

19 - 31 JAN / 2025 FULL
5 - 17 FEB / 2025
18 -30 JAN / 2026

EVENT DATES:

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DISTANCE: 

1060 MILES (1700 KM) ON BIKE
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SLEEP STYLE: 

HOTEL, HOSTEL, REFUGE AND B&B
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LOCATION: 

CHILE/ARGENTINA, SOUTH AMERICA
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DURATION: 

13 DAYS /
12 NIGHTS

DIFFICULTY RATING: CAN I DO THIS?

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You should be a confident cyclist with experience of back to back days in the saddle.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

ROUTE CROSSES THE ANDES MOUNTAIN RANGE, ASCENDING FROM SEA LEVEL TO 3832M METRES OVER 2 DAYS. 2 DAYS OF DOWNHILL INTO ARGENTINA, WITH STUNNING VIEWS OF ACONCAGUA, THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE AMERICAS, PLUS THE SOUTHERN AND WESTERN HEMISPHERES.

EXPERIENCE THE EXCITING ‘OVER THE TOP’ SECTION ON DIRT & GRAVEL ROAD THAT CROSSES THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER BETWEEN CHILE AND ARGENTINA.

TRAVERSE THE WINE-GROWING REGIONS OF CHILE (CENTRAL VALLEY) AND ARGENTINA (MENDOZA REGION) WITH AMAZING FOOD AND WINE – PARTICULARLY STEAK AND MALBEC, WHICH THE REGION IS FAMOUS FOR.

EXPERIENCE THE VASTNESS OF THE ARGENTINIAN PAMPAS AND PERHAPS MEET SOME OF ITS FAMOUS GAUCHOS

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

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ACCOMMODATION

12 nights accommodation (hotel, hostel, refuge, B&B)

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GUIDES AND SUPPORT

Professional road support vehicles, safety staff, medical, mechanical and welfare

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ALL MEALS

All meals included as standard, at hotels *see itinerary for further details

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TRANSFER POLICY

Flexible transfer policy up to 12 weeks before your departure date.

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TRANSFERS

Group airport transfers at specified time (see itinerary)  including bike transfers.

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EXTRAS

High quality medal, rat rag and premium t-shirt for all participants.

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SAFETY

Professional local and UK safety  staff,  medics, drivers, route safety staff and Rat Race experts on hand throughout. Audited and accredited to BS8848 expedition safety standard.

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YOUR TRIP LEADER:
Abbi

Your leader for this trip is Abbi
 she's our highly experienced Expeditions Manager with more than 10 years of exploring under her belt. Click below to find out more...

RAISE £5000 AND GET UP TO £2500 REFUNDED

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MORE INFORMATION:

Our route starts in the UNESCO world heritage-listed Valparaiso and crosses the Andes mountain range, ascending from sea level to a lung-busting 3832m metres over 2 days. Participants can expect incredible mountain passes and a 2 day downhill into Argentina from Chile, with stunning views of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, plus the southern and western hemispheres. Experience the vastness of the Argentinian steppe and perhaps meet some of its famous gauchos as you traverse one of the continents main wine growing regions. This route has been crafted to provide an extraordinary adventure for anyone that has ever dreamed of crossing a continent on their bike.

DAY FOUR: OVER THE TOP

Start Point: Rio Blanco

End Point: Los Penitenties

Distance: 72.7km
Ascent: 2502m

Descent: 1319m

Gravel / Road: 14% / 86%

Steepest Gradient: 11%

Don’t be fooled by the distance as this is a really challenging day: But it will be truly worth all the effort. The night before we’ll spend some time changing tyres as this is the day that heads off the tarmac to reach the statue of Christ the Redeemer of the Andes at 3832m: A symbol of peace between Chile and Argentina for over 100 years. It’s uphill today from the first pedal stroke, with a stunning section of classic mountain pass hairpins to negotiate before we reach the border. Once we’ve passed through the border control (which could take some time) we leave the main road and join the old gravel road up to the statue.

The road is maintained but still not suitable for slick road tyres, so a touring or gravel-treaded tyre is required for puncture protection and grip on this section. It’s a 10km descent from the statue back to the tarmac before an easy 20km downhill to the hotel with views to Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas. Whilst the gravel does add the extra step of the tyre change, it adds a totally unique flavour to this adventure and will be well worth the views from the summit of incredibly high mountain pass.

DAY FIVE: A VERY, VERY, VERY LONG DOWNHILL

Start Point: Los Penitenties

End Point: Mendoza

Distance: 171.3 km
Ascent: 940m

Descent: 2761m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

Back on to the road tyres, Day 3 is all about the reward…! The efforts of the previous days are met with 164km of total downhill, heading eventually for the lively city of Mendoza. This vibrant city is famed for great wine and great restaurants and is the hub of the main Argentinian Malbec-producing region.

Today's style of riding ensures an early finish, giving you time to explore the city and pick a restaurant and wine bar at your convenience. In previous events, #ratracers have loved finding their own great spots for wine and steak so tonight's meal is on you,  chose well and enjoy!

DAY SIX-TO-ELEVEN: ACROSS THE PAMPAS

Having left the mountains behind, we now cross the vast Argentine Pampas famed for its agriculture and notably for its beef cattle – great news for the steak lovers amongst you as the steaks in these parts are sensational – and huge. An ever-changing field-scape that accompanies the (generally) downhill journey may also bring you face to face with the gauchos of the region; and plenty of hearty food and drink to re-energise in the evenings and at our well-stocked pit stops as we fuel you across the continent. The challenge of the distance remains, with some big days in the saddle. But the ‘supportive’ nature of the route profile allows you to get those kilometres done, as you make your way gradually eastwards, towards the bright lights of Buenos Aires.

DAY SIX

Start Point: Mendoza

End Point: Balde

Distance: 249.6km

Ascent: 640m

Descent: 967m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

DAY SEVEN

Start Point: Balde

End Point: Achiras

Distance: 184.9km

Ascent: 1591m

Descent: 1224m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

DAY EIGHT

Start Point: Achiras

End Point: La Carlota

Distance: 176.5km

Ascent: 459m

Descent: 1124m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

DAY NINE

Start Point: La Carlota

End Point: Villa Canas

Distance: 182.1km

Ascent: 525m

Descent: 568m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

DAY TEN

Start Point: Villa Canas

End Point: Chivilcoy

Distance: 215.9km

Ascent: 717m

Descent: 761m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

DAY ELEVEN

Start Point: Chivilcoy

End Point: San Miguel del Monte

Distance: 167.4km

Ascent:  459m

Descent: 488m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

DAY TWELVE: JOURNEY’S END, BUENOS AIRES

Start Point: San Miguel del Monte

End Point: La Balandra

Distance: 129.6km

Ascent:  355m

Descent: 353m

Gravel / Road: 100% Road

The final day. The culmination of 10 day's worth of riding brings us to one of South America’s most cherished cities – The finish line on the coast is 1 hour South of Buenos Aires at La Balandra Beach.

 

A bustling, multi-cultural colossus of 15 million people. Our route keeps us to the south and west of the main hubbub of the city as we aim for the obligatory dip of a wheel in the Atlantic Ocean; and a welcome beer. That’s it! You’ve crossed a continent using the power of your legs. Chapeau indeed. Time now for a slap-up BBQ once we finish and a toast with a chilled beer, a soft drink or perhaps a hearty glass of Malbec. 

 

We will be finishing at the beach where we will have our celebration BBQ and drinks. Later on in the evening, you will be invited to the hotel bar to celebrate further. 

DAY THIRTEEN: DEPARTURE

After our final breakfast together, we will whisk you and your kit/ bike from the hotel to Buenos Aires International airport for onward journeys. Or choose to stay around in this exciting city and see more of the sights. The group airport transfer will depart the hotel at 10am. 

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL


The meeting point for this epic adventure is Santiago International airport arrivals outside La Pica cafe. From here we transfer by road to the coastal town of Con Con, around 90 mins away. You should aim to be at the airport by midday allowing you to process through passport control and collect your luggage in time for our meet time at 1300.  Alternatively, you may choose to arrive earlier in which case you are welcome to meet us at the airport for our 1300 transfer or you can head straight to the hotel in Con Con for check in at 1500. 

DAY TWO: REGISTRATION, BRIEFINGS AND DOWNTIME


After the admin of registration, kit checks, bike building and checks plus a few briefings, you will have the rest of the day to relax or explore the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage City of Valparaiso if you wish, this is approx 30km from the hotel for those who want to grab a taxi, or to go on a practice ride to shake out those legs and ensure the bike still has 2 wheels and a saddle. Then we will come together again in the evening and enjoy a dinner together prior to tomorrow’s adventure!

DAY THREE: TRANS ANDEAN BEGINS!

Start Point: Con Con (North of  Valparaiso City)

End Point: Rio Blanco 

Distance: 158.8km
Ascent: 1954m

Descent: 562m 

Gravel / Road: 6% / 94%

*All distances in this itinerary are approximate pending hotel confirmation as you will cycle to the hotel each day. 

We take a moment as the sun rises to look over the Pacific Ocean, here we will dip our back wheels into the water, this will be the last time we will look over the sea until we have cycled across a continent and reached the Atlantic. The ride today winds its way through small hamlets and avocado farms before the ascent profile gets steeper in the later part of the days ride. Here we cycle to Rio Blanco,  the first of two mountain villages on our route. 

ACCOMMODATION

 

Our accommodation is split between a selection of HOTELS, mountain HOSTEL and REFUGES and some simple roadside HOTELS in regional towns and villages as we make our way coast to coast. 

 

We will always chose daily finish locations and accommodation that allows the group to finish by cycling rather than getting vehicle transfers.

Where we use hotels, refuges, mountain hostels and similar accommodation, all accommodation is always offered on a double or twin room basis; or sometimes there can be multiple people sharing a small dorm-style room with single beds. If you are taking part on your own, you will be paired with another participant/s of the same sex in a twin room or dorm in the refuges. If you have preferences for who you share with, you are able to specify that prior to departure.

All of our accommodation is of a good standard for South America– sometimes well-appointed  hotels and sometimes of a more basic specification – depending on where we are along the route and reflecting the mountain or rustic nature of some of the stages. It will always be practical for the journey-at-hand and will provide a really good place to rest-up at day’s end. The accommodation has all been tried and tested by us on our previous trips.

MEALS

BREAKFAST

Brekky will vary with our location day-to-day. When we are stating early (which comes part and parcel of such an epic journey!) Breakfast will be very simple as per South American standards.   But we will also have some hearty sit-down affairs. Sometimes there will be cooked breakfast options and there will never be a shortage of good, hot coffee! We advise you to augment your breakfast, suggestions will be included in the kitlist. 

DINNER

We will typically eat at the accommodation in which we are staying. Rat Race will always provide a hearty set menu with plenty of choice; you will pay for your own drinks.

PIT STOPS

During the challenge you will have access to our famously well-stocked Pit Stops multiple times throughout the journey: A minimum of 3 times per day when you are on the route. On all stages, these will typically be set-up from our mobile support team at set spots on the route.

Pit stops will typically have a minimum of the following available:

Water – Ensure you leave with water bottles and bladders filled so you have enough to get you to the next Pit Stop.
Cereal Bars – oat-type bars for maximum energy.
Salty snacks – such as chips and peanuts.
Savoury treats – We will feature some fresh local foods and other goodies at selected pit stops, around lunchtime.
A fruit option – such as oranges, bananas, melon and watermelon.
Sweets – including local speciality sweet treats.

Our Pit Stops are there to help supplement any personal sports nutrition plan you may have – if you use gels and other such products – you should plan to bring these with you. If you have any special dietary requirements, then please also plan for this and pack your kit accordingly. Rat Race aim to offer Pit Stop snacks that are tasty and functional, catering to as broad a mix of needs and diets as possible. We have options available that are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets and availability of this will depend on demand. If peanuts are served these will be in individual portioned bags to reduce the chance of contamination but Rat Race cannot guarantee that the food does not contain contamination from allergens such as nuts or gluten in its preparation or serving

The nature of an adventure is that sometimes, the uncertain becomes certain! That is all part of the adventure. Whilst we will always strive to pull off ‘Plan A,’ it may well be that for any one of a number of reasons, we cannot do so and we ned to wheel put Plan B, C or D. We do line up contingencies for many eventualities of course. But it is worth knowing that the course may change if we deem it prudent for your safety or for other operational or weather-based reasons and we must always reserve the right to do so. Ultimately our skill and judgement in organising such events is part of why you are entering, so we must be able to exercise this on your behalf where we deem it necessary. If we do have to make a route change, we will strive to inform you in good time (if that is possible). Usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavour of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end!

We are mindful that people will inevitably have varying distances to travel to get to South America. Our plan is to meet at Santiago International Airport at 1300 local time. This will allow folk time to fly in earlier that day, or you may choose to arrive the day before and stay locally, allowing you plenty of time in the morning to make the RV later on that day back at the airport.

This adventure is a big challenge and the distances and training required should not be underestimated, however, in true Rat Race style we have designed this challenge so that you may travel at your own pace.See below for our notes on route-finding and guidance. There will also be some cut-offs, butthese will be generous and we will always look to help you to achieve your goals in finishing this challenge, vs having to pull out. Of course, we will give you early starts everyday to allow the very best possible window for route completion, particularly on the longer days (and the hilly ones!). But, if you need us and if you need to abandon the route for whatever reason, we are there for you and can pick you up with our support vehicles. The absolute key is that you enjoy this amazing journey across South America; at your own pace and within your own limits.

We want you to concentrate on the views and the hard work of putting one wheel in front of the other. So we don’t want you to be staring at maps or navigational aids any more than you have to. There is no formal waymarking (i.e. signs) used on this event and for a large part in the mountains and out in the Pampas, there are not really many junctions either! The road will be well defined and is paved throughout, except that exciting part right at the roof of the Andes. Instead of waymarking, we will be providing and then be asking you to download a route file that you will be able to download onto your smartphone or GPS device. You will follow this ‘line’ when on the bikes and can use this as a back-up at all times. You may use your own device or rent one from us. The route will show the stage start and finish locations of course, so you know exactly how far you are from support along the course.

We will then augment this with some marshalled junctions or key turning points on some of the stages, to ensure there is no doubt on route choice in any locations that we think it could be tricky.

At all times, the GPS device can be used to back yourself up on route-finding as and where required, as it will have the full route loaded onto it. If you choose to rent a GPS device from us, we will provide high-tech Garmin Edge navaids, designed specifically for cycling and mounted to the handlebars with a special cradle, for optimum visibility when you are on the move.

 

Don’t worry – you won’t get lost. But if you do – support is never far away.

We will use a mixture of safety staff in vehicles and we will also concentrate support services at our pit stops. If it does get too much, if you get injured, get too cold, need sustenance, motivational support or otherwise, we will be able to assist and out team will never be far away out on the route. You are in good hands.

It is always good practice to be self-contained when out on long rides, so when you leave pit stops, we will expect you to leave with some snacks on board, a full water bottle and tools and spares on board just in case….just like any other regular ride.

You will be transferred from Santiago airport to Con Con, which is a stunning seaside town with bags of cultural heritage and is the hub from which our adventure unfolds. It’s a 90 minute drive from Santiago airport. All transfers throughout the challenge are fully inclusive within the format and we will transport you, your gear and your bike if you bring one with you. At the end of the challenge, we will return you and your gear + bike to Buenos Aires International airport, aiming to arrive back at the airport at around midday on this final day, after a hearty breakfast. You should therefore look to book onward travel in the afternoon of this day and not in the morning, if you can do so. Alternatively stay around and see more of the city.

Click ‘Buy your event voucher now’ and go through the sign-up process, you’ll then be issued with an event voucher which will automatically reserve you a place in the event you have chosen.

The short answer is no. The price for this event is for everything outlined on the website and it is very difficult for us to split this out. Our accommodation is based on group rates and is on a shared basis. All of our event logistics, support and organisation has been designed to have all the participants in the same locations to allow transfers, briefings etc to run smoothly and to let you bond with your fellow #ratracers! You are welcome to arrange your own accommodation if you wish but this will not result in a reduction in the event fee from us, you will also then be responsible for ensuring you are at our meeting points at the arranged time and we will not be able to transport you to and from your own accommodation, you will need to be able to do this independently.

January is mid summer in the Southern Hemisphere so temperatures can range from 12 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius, it can be hot hot hot! However, at 3800m over the Andes it is very likely to be much colder. So in addition to the usual bib shorts and jerseys you need to throw in some cold weather gear too – arm, knee, leg, toe warmers, a gilet, maybe a full jacket and certainly a wind and rain jacket. A full kit list will be provided below.

Rat Race require you to be over 18 on the day of Registration for this adventure. If you wish to participate as a family group or with a responsible adult and you are 16+, we will consider applications on an individual basis. Please contact us if this is the case.