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Argentina: The heart of Patagonia, with Francis Mallman

$20,000

Argentina is something of a hidden gem when it comes to cycling and we will be riding roads that few foreigners have yet to discover, so to take full advantage of the landscape and our local experts, we’ll be equipped with a fleet of tricked-out Pinarello Grevil+. In other words, we’ll be ready for all that Patagonia has to offer.

And to make this adventure even more special, we’re going to visit Francis Mallmann, the legendary chef and author who has made Argentinian cuisine famous around the world. He has appeared on the Netflix original series Chef’s Table, as well as countless other programmes globally, sharing his deep love of Patagonia and its characteristically rustic cooking techniques with millions of viewers. He’s also known for his unique philosophy, a love of poetry, and for eschewing the digital trappings of modern life, character traits that lead to Esquire magazine calling him “The most interesting chef in the world.

On this incredibly special journey, we’ll begin by exploring Argentina by bike before transferring to Mallman’s private island in the heart of Patagonia, surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Andes. It promises to be an unforgettable week of off-the-grid excitement, unadulterated natural beauty, and plenty of cooking on an open fire.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Grevil+ Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • One custom Castelli × inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included

**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start location:

San Martin de los Andes

Finish location:

Comodoro Rivadavia

Days riding:

6

Days at La Isla with Francis Mallman:

6

Group size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:

363km

Total Elevation:

7,389m

Longest Day:

Day 3, San Martin – Villa Traful, 101km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 2, Laguna Rosales Loop, 1,836m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Lago Lacar

Our adventure begins in San Martín de los Andes, a small city in the Chapelco valley that sits on the edge of the Lanín National Park and the foothills of South America’s most iconic mountain range. This short ride is designed to get us acclimatized, but with more than 800m climbing it should also be more than enough to stretch the legs after your journey. We’ll take a winding back road that skirts the edge of the Lácar lake, offering some panoramic views and plenty of gravel to test your new Pinarello Grevil+.
2

Laguna Rosales Loop

This loop explores the countryside to the north of San Martín de los Andes, with more gravel and some singletrack for good measure. The day’s climbing begins early, with the most difficult portion coming after the picturesque Laguna Rosales, when some sections will max out at 20%. Our highest point comes at Cerro Colorado, a popular spot for climbers and mountain bikers that offers some stunning views of the nearby lakes. From there, we’ll descend right to the banks of Lácar lake, before heading for home.
3

San Martin – Villa Traful

After a short transfer south from San Martín de los Andes, we’ll begin riding in the Neuquen province and head into the heart of Patagonia. After skirting the edges of the stunning Lago Meliquina on quiet gravel roads and following the Rio Caleufú to the south, we’ll encounter the day’s main ascent around kilometer 34. The Paso del Córdoba climbs just under 500 meters and lasts 12.5km. It has an average gradient of 4.1%, but don’t let that fool you because some sections hit as high as 13% before it tops out at just over 1,300m above sea level. Expect some gorgeous views and a thrilling descent, but with more than half the ride still to come, be sure to keep some gas in the tank. The latter part of the day is on undulating terrain, heading east after the Rio Negro towards our new base beside Traful Lake.
4

Traful – Villa Angostura

This point-to-point is up and down all day, and while there are no big climbs to contend with, the challenging terrain should make for some tired legs at lunch. We’ll head east to explore some of the wonderful lakes that form part of Nahuel Huapi National Park, an area that is known to be one of the most beautiful in South America, and is often referred to as the Garden of Patagonia. The ride will finish in Villa La Angostura, not far from the border with Chile.
5

Traful – San Martin

Day five brings us back north, with more undulating terrain throughout. There are no huge climbs on this ride, but there are a handful of sustained ascents, with the longest lasting around 5km at an average of just under 5%. There will of course be plenty more spectacular scenery to look forward to, and a very satisfying descent towards San Martín de los Andes that lasts 15km at a gentle gradient of around 3.5%.
6

Chapelco Loop

This loop is dominated by one big climb up to Chapelco. It’s 18km long, averaging 6.6% and gaining a total of 1,134 meters with a short plateau after the first couple of kilometers, and at the top we’ll be 1,720 meters above sea level. This is a popular spot for skiers in the colder months, has an abundance of great views of the surrounding countryside, and because what goes up must come down, you’ll have a fun descent of almost 25km to look forward to once you’ve conquered the climbing.
7

La Isla with Francis Mallman

Francis Mallmann will open the doors to his enchanting island home in the untouched wilds of Patagonia – just for us. This is a truly unique experience, living off the grid as nature intended with one of the world's most influential chefs. This is a rare opportunity to disconnect from the trappings of modern life and get back to basics, surrounded by good people and some great food and wine. We'll delve into the art of fire cooking under Mallman's careful instruction, and learn just what it takes for a chef to reconnect with simple, truthful ingredients and the raw, elemental magic of wood, stone, smoke, and fire.

YOUR Guides

João Correia

The Boss

João Correia is Portuguese. He spent his formative years in New York. And he lives in California. He is not defined by any of this, but this diversity informs all he does. He loves his refurbished ‘69 VW camper. He lives to make a deal. And his favorite lunch is a giant pot filled with chicken cooked in its own blood. The one defining factor in João’s life is the importance of family. He’s fiercely loyal and you can take his word straight to the bank. It’s his bond. Which explains why you will see very little turnover within the staff at inGamba. We’re family, and like a family we look to the head of our table for inspiration, encouragement and direction. He carries this burden as the don with passion and pride.

Manuel Cardoso

The Quiet Crusher

Manuel Cardoso is no longer sitting on the front of the pack, pulling everyone along at what some would describe as a “brisk” pace and what others are unable to describe at all, because they're too busy gasping for breath and holding onto the wheel in front of them for dear life. Manuel is now sitting just slightly off the back of the pack. As I look back, I realize he has that look on his face. The look which struck fear in the hearts of the Pro Peleton for many years. The look which is part grin, part mischievous child and all business. He is about to start some shenanigans. Sure enough, just a few kilometers later and Manuel has picked one lucky contestant out of the pack and they are sitting-in, waiting, like predators, for the perfect moment. For Manuel, just like when he raced pro, this is when the road turns slightly up, a spot in the road where it gets tough for everyone. And he accelerates with his breakaway “partner” in tow. It is something to see. He ramps it up to a speed with which no one can latch onto the back and with such precision you have to question whether or not you actually want to try and close the gap he has created. And you can’t see it, but you just know, he is grinning from ear-to-ear.

BIKE OPTION

PINARELLO GREVIL+

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Grevil+

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap AXS

PEDALS:

Speedplay (or your own)

SADDLE:

Selle Italia

WHEELSET:

Zipp

TIRES:

Vittoria

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite

BIDON:

Elite

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 820