This was my experience on wheels in Patagonia.
I was lucky enough to travel for work to El Calafate. It was the first time that I had been to this city so I decided to stay a few more days to have the chance to tour the glaciers. Fortunately, both me and my co-workers were free on Friday and decided to do an activity together. We decided to do some type of recreational activity or adventure tourism.
People at the hotel suggested we should do an excursion on quads to Cerro Huyliche, and we accepted immediately. They picked us up from the hotel the next morning to take us to the mountain. Once they left us at the base of the mountain, we were introduced to our very experienced guides (who were very kind to us all the time) and got on the pick-up trucks, with which we began the ascent until reaching 950 meters above sea level and enjoying the spectacular landscape. Once we reached the top of the hill, we got off the vehicles and other guides were already waiting for us with powerful quads. After a technical explanation on the use of these vehicles and the safety of themselves, and after double-checking we had the necessary equipment, we began the descent, which has a distance of 8 kilometers.
I had already used such this type of vehicles as just as my friends from work, but I had never had the pleasure of doing it in such a wonderful place, like Patagonia, where I could glimpse an endless horizon, with mountains over large lakes, which show us their snow-drenched peaks, and also allow us to observe native animals of the area.
After doing this activity, we decided to stop at Parador Huyliche for lunch and recharge our energies, but everybody’s feeling was that we wanted to continue doing more things. So we took advantage of the fact that we were already at Calafate Mountain Park, and started a new adventure, this time at the Bike Park. We decided to do the Cross Fire circuit, but we found there are different mountain bike circuits to choose from.
To start the tour, we had to first take an included van to ascend to 1050 meters above sea level, where the point of departure of the tour was. From up there, we were able to see a 360 degree postcard of El Calafate. This activity has a distance of 13 kilometers long, which is the longest in the park, and offers an exciting slope, with continuous declines that we can experience while enjoying the geography of El Calafate, observing the Andes, the Lago Argentino, the Laguna Escondida and Laberinto de Piedras, as well as the Patagonian steppe and its corresponding fauna. It is highly recommended for those who want to combine a wonderful view and the practice of adventure sports that will fill you with adrenaline.
Once we descended, we went to the Huyliche shelter again to taste home-cooked meals that are also original from the Patagonia. There, we were finally able to relax, share photos, videos and anecdotes. It was a day full of adventure, adrenaline and great memories that I, and my co-workers will carry forever.