2011 Trips of the Year: Bomb Patagonia

Over Argentina's Rio Manso     Photo: Photo by Mark Jordan

La Confluencia Lodge, a 16-year-old operation in Argentinian Patagonia, sits at the isolated confluence of the glacial Río Azul and Río Encanto Blanco. In the surrounding river valley, the lodge owner's son—a former Argentinian downhill mountain-bike champion—has carved a five-mile maze of singletrack. So it was only natural that when British Columbia–based outfitter Sacred Rides began scouting its first mountain-bike trip in Patagonia, they looked here. Result: a nine-day lodge-based trip during which guests cruise through alpine meadows and forests, do morning yoga by the river, kayak Class II–IV rapids in the bright blue water (beginner lessons are available), and unwind in the lodge's outdoor hot tubs. Highlight: an overnight trip featuring a 12-mile ride, a kayak trip to an isolated riverside cabin, a steak dinner, and a bonfire party. $2,250 plus $400 to rent a full-suspension Cannondale bike; November–March; sacredrides.com.

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