Paso Los Libertadores translates to “Liberators’ Path” and is named as such because Jose San Martin, the father of South American Independence, took this route when crossing the Andes with his army in January 1817. He managed to fool the Spanish forces into believing that he was further south than he was, thereby entering Chile unopposed just a month later.
Paso Los Libertadores is now the main transport route connecting the city of Mendoza to the Chilean capital, Santiago. From the top, you can see out over Aconcagua, aka ‘High Mountain’, and the perfectly formed winding roads below. Although it is no doubt a demanding ride, particularly with the wind and high altitudes, travelling this far up is well worth the effort for these spectacular views. There is also a refugio at the top, where you can relax and enjoy a hot chocolate.
At the summit, which is located at 3,840 metres, you will find the famous Christ the Redeemer of the Andes statue and it is for this reason that the route is often referred to as ‘Paso Cristo Redentor’ as well. From here, if you’ve come over from the Chilean side, you face a 1,000m descent before reaching the Argentine immigration post at Las Cuevas. From the Argentine side, the slope becomes a lot more noticeable as you descend into Chile, but the numerous curves make this easier and less daunting.
The basic facts
Names: Paso Los Libertadores/Cristo Redentor
Location: Between Santiago de Chile and Mendoza, Argentina
GPS co-ordinates: 32.8253 S, 70.0712 W
Year of establishment: 1980
Note that the route may be closed in parts during winter due to snow or landslides.
You can book the Mendoza High Mountain Tour which takes you via Paso Los Libertadores up to Cerro Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas! Check out more Mendoza tours and activities on our website.
By: Milly Day – English Content Manager