The statue of Christ the Redeemer of the Andes is a monument erected to celebrate the peaceful resolution of a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. It is located at the La Cumbre pass, which is the highest point on the road between Santiago de Chile and Mendoza in Argentina. La Cumbre pass is also called Iglesia Pass on the Chilean side while in Argentina it is referred to as Bermejo Pass.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Argentina and Chile were close to war with each other over the location of the border. As a reminder to both nations of Christ’s message of peace, the bishop of Cuyo promised to erect a statue of Christ the Redeemer at the disputed area. The sculptor Mateo Alonso was commissioned to build the seven-meter high bronze statue. It was unveiled to the public on the 13th of March in the year 1904. In 2004, the statue’s centenary was celebrated by the reaffirmation of the friendship between Argentina and Chile, with Argentina declaring the statue as a National Historic Monument.
The best time to visit the statue is during the summer as winter temperatures can drop to as low as thirty degrees below zero. Ít’s much safer since the sinuous road is not safe when there is snow.
Visitors can stay in the town of Uspallata when planning a trip to the statue. This little town is popular as a base for skiers in Los Penitentes. Horseback riding, fishing expeditions in the countryside, and treks in the surrounding mountains are other popular activities offered by this town. Check with the town’s tourist office for maps and detailed information on the sights and activities.