Cruce Andino was born with the intention of uniting two neighboring countries (Chile and Argentina) with a journey across South America’s mountainous spine. Over the years the trip has transformed into a ecological quest and outdoor adventure that shouldn’t be missed.

Route Of The Andean Lakes

At the end of the 1800s, a Chilean-Argentine business founded by Carlos Wiederhold pioneered a lake route through the Andes from Puerto Varas in Chile to San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. With boat crossings of lakes Llanquihue, Todos los Santos, Frías and Nahuel Huapi, the route was originally used to transport sheep’s wool from ranches in Argentina’s Patagonia region to Puerto Montt on the Chilean coast, where it started the long maritime journey to Europe via the Strait of Magellan.

With the construction of the Panama Canal and the collapse of wool prices during World War One, the company went bankrupt. It was eventually purchased by Swiss visionary Ricardo Roth, who transformed the core business from transport to tourism.

Ricardo Roth And Perito Moreno

Arriving in Peulla, Ricardo Roth met Perito Moreno (Francisco Moreno), a legendary Argentine environmentalist whose lifelong quest was protecting the incredible flora, fauna and landscapes of Patagonia. Both of them began working for the Argentina-Chile Boundary Commission, a role that Roth filled so well that he earned the nickname “Fox” owing to his cunning capabilities.

As a symbol of gratitude for his work at the Boundary Commission, Roth received a donation of land from the Argentine government. Moreno encouraged Roth to donate his lands back to the state, convincing him that it was the only sure way of protecting the area for future generations.

After that, Roth began to investigate the possibility of doing something similar on the Chilean side of the border by lobbying for protected areas and launching a tourism business called Cruce Andino that would take people through the amazing landscapes.

It was largely through his efforts that Chile’s first national park — Vicente Pérez Rosales — was declared in 1926 to protect the pristine forests, valleys and mountains around Lake Todos los Santos.

International Adventure

And so it was that Cruce Andino was born as a means to unite people on both sides of the border and bring visitors from around the world to experience the wonder of the Chile-Argentina lake district and the majestic Andes in between.

Roth’s entrepreneurial eagerness, together with his love for nature, transformed a rugged pioneer crossing into one of the world’s most fabulous travel experiences. Cruce Andino has attracted more than 500,000 passengers — from more than 25 countries — over the last decade.

The international Cruce Andino journey offers passengers the chance to marvel at the natural beauty of two awesome national parks — Vicente Pérez Rosales in Chile and Nahuel Huapi in Argentina. and it gives travelers an opportunity to discover magical wilderness communities like Peulla, Puerto Blest and Petrohué, places where the pristine landscapes take your breath away.

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