Refugio Plantal ride up to 3000 metres, base camp for Volcan San Jose
Some of our visitors have voted this the best ride of all.
THe Refugio Plantal ride starts from the Valle Engorda and goes up steeply through what is known as the funnel, or funnelled, (embudado) – a narrow steep gorge. The ride emerges at a plateau with a ‘vega’ or meadow with cattle and goats and often baby animals of various kinds. Once we actually saw a kid being born.
Then more climbing to a second vega with mares and foals and amazing views of all the high cordillera roundabout with Volcan San Jose and distant glaciers. Sometimes you can see a ‘plumarola’ or smoke plume coming out of the volcano.
The refugio itself is also fascinating. It is a stage for the climbers attempting Volcan San Jose. It was built by a family called Plantal and is always open, because once a climber was descending in a snowstorm, could not get into the refugio and died of exposure.
The custom is always to leave a little food or something on the Refugio Plantal ride, for future users.