Enter your email address

A Trekking Adventure With AndoAndes

by Meg · 24 comments

Prior to arriving in Santiago, I did some basic research on the city and thought it was incredibly cool that the city is flanked by the Andes mountain range.  I looked at the stunning pictures of Santiago online and my mind was racing with all of the great photo ops I would have available to me once arriving in Chile.

What I didn’t realize was that the objects (in the photos) are closer than they appear…

Once we realized that the Andes were a mere 1.5 hours by car from Santiago, Tony and I immediately hopped on the opportunity to visit the mountain range.  Through our research, we found AndoAndes, which is a sustainable tourism company focusing on the natural preservation and awareness of the national parks, reserves, glaciers, waterfalls, and volcanoes in Chile.

Once we saw that they had excellent reviews on TripAdvisor… we were in!

We made a reservation with AndoAndes for their full-day trek of the El Morado Natural Monument and the San Francisco Glacier.  This tour includes transportation, entrance tickets to the park, a bilingual tour guide, water, snacks, and an organic picnic lunch.  After researching this environmentally responsible company online, we had high expectations going into the day.

Nevertheless, AndoAndes far exceeded our expectations.

We had a scheduled pickup for 7:15AM at our hostel and the van chauffeuring us around for the day showed up promptly at 7:10… no Latin time for these guys!

Out of the van popped our two perky travel guides, Liliana (the co-owner of AndoAndes) and Jocelyn.  Right off the bat, they were warm, friendly, and enthusiastic about the day ahead.

After picking up the other three hikers at their respective hotels (small tour groups is the way to go!), we headed for the El Morado Natural Monument.  The drive was approximately two hours but it flew by, as one hour was spent driving on a picturesque dirt road through the Andes.

View from the backseat.

During this time, Liliana and Jocelyn also gave us a full background of the Andean history, culture, and environment.

We arrived in the Baños Morales mountain village (in the El Cajón del Maipo mountains), which would be the start of our journey.

 Here, our guides prepared an organic breakfast to fuel our bodies before the hike.

It was a tasty, healthy meal of assorted meats, cheese, bread, fruits, vegetables, and pressed coffee.  What I loved the most about the meal though was their fresh raspberry juice… I am not typically a juice fan, but WOW so good!  Being the responsible eco-travelers that we are, we took the leftovers from breakfast and each made sandwiches and packed lunches for the hike ahead.


From the beginning of our hike, I knew it was going to be a great day.  Our ultimate end point of the hike was the San Francisco Glacier but from the start, the entire trek to the glacier was sandwiched between beautiful mountains and volcanoes.

We even got to experience a volcano tremor and it was really cool (although kind of scary) to feel the ground shake and see truck-sized boulders tumble down the volcano… Definitely a first for us!

Dust from the boulders rolling down the mountain

It took roughly three hours to hike up to the glacier, but the often difficult uphill hike seemed to breeze by as Liliana and Jocelyn educated the five of us on the rich fauna and diverse flora of the Andes.

It was truly amazing to see how passionate the two guides were about the Chilean wilderness and the preservation of the Andean ecosystems.  It was impossible not to be inspired.

Unlike the United States, there is no real emphasis on “going green” in Chile.  There are no recycling programs, the government doesn’t support the national parks, and there is no real knowledge of environmental sustainability amongst the locals.  Liliana and Jocelyn are two people trying to make a change and create a positive movement towards ecological awareness in Chile and South America.

We finally arrived at the Glacier and to reward us for our hard work, Liliana and Jocelyn whipped out beer from their daypacks for the group to enjoy.  Frist off, both of these girls are pint sized, so I am not quite sure how they handled carrying a pack of beer on their backs up a mountain, but they handled it like champs…

And we were all grateful!

A Toast to the Andes!

After giving thanks and toasting to good-ole Mother Nature, we enjoyed our beers with spectacular views… It was the best bar I have ever been to!

I'm a happy lady!

The rest of the day was spent eating our picnic lunch at the Morales Glacier Pond and hiking back down the mountain.

Once we arrived back to our van, we were exhausted… Luckily, Liliana came equipped with revitalizing trail mix and rich dark chocolate bars – Of course I was ecstatic!

Tony and I arrived back to our hostel at 8PM that night covered in dirt, worn out, and dazed… But it was the best day of our RTW trip yet.

Trekking with AndoAndes was an incredibly enriching adventure and the service and dedication of Liliana and Jocelyn was amazing.  I appreciate  everything they did to make our hike of the El Morado Natural Monument and the San Francisco Glacier a memorable one and I would recommend AndoAndes to anyone looking to learn (and see) a little more about what the Chilean wilderness has to offer!

For more pictures of our trekking adventure with AndoAndes, please visit our LandingStanding Facebook album!

Disclosure: Tony and I were guests of AndoAndes for this adventure and thus did not pay for our tour. As always, our opinions are our own and unbiased. If we hate it… you will know.

Time to relax for a picnic lunch

About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

Kathleen (step grandmother) January 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Wow! How fun for the two of you. My granddaughter spent time in Chile two summers ago but it was winter then. You go kids!!!!

Stay Safe,

Meg January 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Thanks Kacki! We had a great time and would love to hear about your granddaughter’s experience in Chile. Keep in touch!


Meg and Tony

Magz January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I can only imagine Meg’s excitement over the dark chocolate bars at the end of the hike… best surprise ever!! If I’m ever in Chile this tour has my name ALL over it!!

I would also like to note Tony’s Indiana Jone’s style hiking hat… is this a new purchase?!?

Meg January 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm

He bought it shortly after I buzzed his head… It looks badass!

patti carleton sanders January 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Im so proud of you and Tony for going on this great adventure, dreams so many of us have but never get the opportunity to do to it!!!! What a beautiful site. luv ya little cousin

Meg January 19, 2012 at 8:01 am

Thanks for the support big cuz! Glad you enjoy our site and our adventures

Sandy January 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Meg and Tony,
This looks amazing! Keep the updates coming on all of your awesome adventures!

Meg January 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

Thanks Sandy! We will certainly keep you posted as wek make you way through South America (and the world!).

Barb January 19, 2012 at 12:01 am

I love reading your posts. The experience you had with AndoAndes and the beautiful scenery are very well portrayed on your travel blog. May the rest of your journey be as special as this adventure.

Meg January 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

Thanks Barb! It was a great experience and hopefully we can go on more amazing adventures to come!

Emily in Chile January 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Sounds like a great day! I’ve been there but only in winter, so we played in the snow just outside of Baños Morales rather than being able to actually hike anywhere. Cajón del Maipo is gorgeous in all seasons, but spring and summer are obviously the best for enjoying yourself outside.

I wouldn’t say Chile has no recycling programs though. There are a bunch of recycling domes all around the city, two big recycling points in Vitacura and Las Condes, and part of Vitacura even offers recycling pick-up. There’s plenty of room for improvement and expansion, but things are at least headed in the right direction.

Meg January 22, 2012 at 12:01 am

I bet the snow in Baños Morales made for some amazing photos! But it was amazing hiking in the summer around the area – such stunning scenery!

As far as the recycling initiatives around the area, we are glad to hear that Santiago has some solid programs in place, because our AndoAndes tour guides felt that there was a lot of room for improvement. Santiago/Chile is so beautiful and it deserves to be preserved!

Clint January 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Sweet pics in your facebook album. I bet that beer tasted great. What kind is it? How was it? Tasting new beers is one of the best parts of traveling to new places.

Meg January 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

Glad you liked them Clint. It was Austral beer, which I think is a pretty standard beer down here but it tasted AMAZING at the end of an all day hike! And your right, trying foreign beers may just be one of the best parts of world travel – Tony and I will keep you posted on our favorites around the globe!

Paul Griffin January 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Wow! This looks amazing!! I have always wanted to go to South America, Becky and I will have to check this out when we make it! Have a blast you guys!

Meg January 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

Great to hear from you Paul and thanks for following along! South America is definitely worth the visit and hopefully the four of us can coordinate a trip sometime – You two would be awesome travel companions! :-) I still want to pick your brain about Asia – We plan to go there in the summer/fall this year.

Kipp January 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm

The breakfast would probably be my favorite part, but that dust shot from the boulders is pretty amazing. Fill us in on some of these people you are meeting on your travels. What’s their deal? I want ranks for the most interesting person met along the way.

Meg January 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Both the breakfast and dust shot were EPIC! We have meet some amazing people in the past few weeks, but I’m pretty sure the most interesting person would be a Visi in Europe!!! I hear Tony sent you some airline prices for Italy today… You won’t book it. You won’t.

Landscaping Englewood CO April 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Hi there colleagues, its wonderful paragraph regarding educationand entirely defined, keep it up all the time.

mac pro July 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Make sure every piece of equipment you buy over the Internet comes with a
warranty if you don’t want to end up with a piece of junk that you cannot return. It is always very difficult to present the features of a well known laptop in an article of 400
words. You can use it for anything from general web browsing to 3D rendering.

mac pro July 12, 2014 at 6:31 am

In today’s fast moving world, we want to complete our tasks as fast as possible.
Upgrading your computer will sure be hustle free thanks to the easily removable side
panel. You have some processor options to configure your Dell PE T710; you can use quad-core or six-core Intel Xeon processor 5500 and 5600 series.

Genevieve July 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Well, nothing could be wrong with the videos, in fact they may well be absolutely
astounding. The most obvious example would be You – Tube, but come
on put some more thought into it and get creative. I know you heard
this name many times before reading my story.

playstation July 25, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Remove the disk from your computer when indicated and you will have your
backup copy. Be ready for the new experience in gaming sensation. I have found the
hit and miss of previous bowling games a bit annoying
because the on screen result doesn’t always match your action with
the controller.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Older post:

Newer post: