Lake District riding holiday in Chile - Far and Ride
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Lake District, Chile





Horses



Type of horses:

Criollo

Nature of horses:

Sure-footed, balanced, forward-going, tough but kind.

Height of horses:

14 - 15hh

Weight limit:

89kg / 196lbs. Heavier riders may be accepted on payment of a supplement.

Tack type:

Local Chilean or Argentine saddles, which consist of a basic frame over which sheepskins are layered for comfort. Bridles are rawhide leather, usually with snaffle bits but sometimes with shanks requiring light hands.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

These spectacular trail rides journey through the beautifully remote valleys of the Chilean Lake District, where densely forested mountains meet crystal clear glacial rivers and flower filled meadows.

The Andes Grand Traverse trail starts in Argentina before crossing the Andes at Lago Puelo and continuing through Chile. This fantastic trail is supported by pack horses and includes nights camping in remote sites next to rivers as well as nights in comfortable but rustic farmhouses, staying with local residents. This is a ride for adventurous souls who relish the opportunity to get away from civilisation and modern technology.

The other trail rides stay within the Chilean Lake District, ascending steep paths to dramatic lookouts, fording glacial rivers and discovering the majestic Valdivian forests. These remote valleys have only a few inhabitants and the experience is akin to stepping back in time - you may meet local farmers using oxen to work the land or simply taking their produce to markets on horseback. There are very few roads and no mobile phone signals!

The Puelo Ride and Andean Crossing Ride follow similar routes, but the Puelo Ride is two days longer so allows more time to explore the wild and unspoilt beauty of this region. In November-January, both rides finish with a boat trip across Lago Puelo and a road transfer to Bariloche in Argentina, so you can continue your holiday in Argentina rather than returning to Chile, however, this boat trip isn't possible in Feb/Mar and so both trips return to Puerto Varas during those months.

The Huaso Trail follows a similar route to the Andean Crossing ride, but you return to Puerto Varas rather than crossing into Argentina, so that you can continue your holiday in Chile.

Your host in Chile is Cathy Berard - of French origin but born in Buenos Aires, Cathy has lived in Chile since 1997. Cathy owns the horses you ride in Chile and the exclusive private island Las Bandurrias, where you stay on all of these rides for two night, is owned by her family. She is ably assisted by her chief huaso Tito who was born in the Puelo Valley and is a knowledgable, friendly and experienced guide.

If you join the Andes Grand Traverse then you will also ride horses belonging to our Argentine partners - Tammy Robaina and her husband, Dominic.

Cathy from Far and Ride has been lucky enough to ride here and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Whilst out on the trails you are either camping in tents or staying in local farmhouses. For the first/last nights you may be in hotels where single rooms are available at a supplement, but for the rest of the time you should be prepared to share.

Tents are comfortable and large enough to stand up in. Cot beds with inflatable mattresses and supplied but you should bring your own sleeping bag. If you don't have one then you can hire a sleeping bag and blanket for USD 45 payable locally. There are no bathroom facilities as the camping sites are remote, but always situated near rivers.

The local farmhouses are clean and comfortable with twin or double beds and shared bathrooms. The owners are local people who love to welcome visitors to their homes.

The food is locally grown and produced so very fresh and delicious. Some meals will be prepared over an open fire. It is likely that you will sample a traditional "asado" barbecue, usually lamb, which is cooked on a wooden stick over the fire. Vegetarians can be catered for but must be happy seeing meat prepared and eaten; vegetarian meals must be requested at the time of booking.
Lunches are usually carried in your saddle bags to eat out on the trail.
Wine is provided, but as you are supported by pack horses there is only a limited supply - c. half a bottle per person per day. If you would like more than this, then it can be ordered in advance for extra cost.

 

Activities

There may be opportunities to go hiking on arrival at each destination, or swimming in the rivers (the water is cold!). Non-riders cannot be accommodated as the remote areas can only be accessed on horseback.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Spanish, French

Health requirements: No specific vaccinations are required but you must be fit and healthy and should declare any medical conditions to us before booking, as you will be in remote areas and a long way from medical help.

Age limit: No age restrictions, but children must be confident on horses of 14hh or higher and accustomed to long hours in the saddle. Older riders may be asked to complete a medical questionnaire.

Tuition: No

Included: Meals; drinks on the trails (not in hotels at start/end); accommodation; riding; airport transfers (at set times)

Not included: Flights; travel insurance; tips; single supplement for hotel nights; sleeping bag

 

Travel Information

For the Andes Grand Traverse you will arrive into Argentina and depart from Chile. All flights into Argentina will first arrive in Buenos Aires - usually into the International airport - Ezeiza. You will normally have to transfer across the city to the domestic airport in order to connect onto a flight to Bariloche, from where you will be collected. This internal flight is c. 3 hours. You may be able to complete the whole journey in one day, but it is worth stopping for a night in Buenos Aires to explore this vibrant city. After the ride you will be transferred to Puerto Montt airport from where you can take an internal flight to Chile's main Santiago airport (c. 3 hours) and then an onward flight back to Europe. It is usually possible to do the entire journey straight through but you may prefer to visit the city before continuing your journey.
For the Grand Traverse, the following group transfer times apply:
Arrival: transfer vehicle departs Bariloche airport at 13:00 and 16:00.
Departure: transfer vehicle departs hotel at 09:00 and 12:00 (midday) to Puerto Montt airport.
If your flight does not fit these timings then you'll have to pay for a private transfer/taxi.

For the rides purely within Chile, you will either arrive and depart from Puerto Montt airport; or arrive into Puerto Montt airport and depart from Bariloche airport in Argentina. Please see individual ride details for more information, or ask us for help. Airport transfers are not included in the ride prices but we can book them for you on request.

Airport: Puerto Montt

Alternative Airport: Bariloche

 

Programmes


Andes Grand Traverse



This amazing trail ride sets out from Bariloche across the endless pampas and mountains of Argentine Patagonia, camping in remote valleys next to rivers. After crossing the Andes by boat at Lago Puelo you then ride through the beauty of the Chilean Lake District, traversing glacial rivers and discovering ancient forests. Meet local people and stay with them in their homes, learning about the history and traditions of this region. Accompanied throughout by your guides, you will also have local gauchos with you in Argentina and local huasos in Chile - these fascinating characters will take care of the horses and introduce you to local specialties, such as the mate tea.

You are supported by pack horses on some sections of this trail ride and so will be asked to re-pack your belongings into suitable bags which can be strapped to the horses. This is an adventure for those who are happy to travel light and leave their worries at home - there is no mobile phone signal for many days!

Day One: Arrival in Bariloche

On arrival at Bariloche airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the centre of the town. This small town is situated in the heart of the Andes mountains and is a mecca for skiers in the winter season. Depending on your time of arrival you may be able to explore the city a little before meeting the rest of the group for a ride briefing at c. 6pm. You will be given your bags to pack for the first half of your journey - the rest of your luggage will meet you again when you cross into Chile. Dinner will be taken in a local restaurant as a group before heading back to your hotel for the night.

Day Two: Bariloche - Cerro David

This morning you are transferred c. 45mins to Pichileufu where you will meet your gauchos who will introduce you to your horses and the style of riding.

Set off riding through the summer pastures of the large estancias - a landscape of gentle hills covered with grasslands. Your ride leads you into the heart of the pre-cordillera between steep mountain ranges and the infinite steppes. After lunch at one of the estancias 'puestos' you continue riding through wide landscapes towards the foothills where you set up camp for the night.

5-6 hours riding

Day Three: Cerro David - Foyel Arriba

After breakfast, ride through gentle hills and large valleys until reaching an old cattle path upon which you ascend to Paso sin Nombre at a height of 1,700m. The view opens up and you will marvel at the immensity of the area, where a large valley is situated amid a mountain chain called Alto Chubut. Continue riding before reaching a charming refuge situated in an idyllic spot amongst an ancient Nothofagus forest.

6-8 hours riding

Day Four: Foyel Arriba - Veranada Miranda

Descend towards the Alto Chubut valley, following the tributaries of the Chubut river that build from mere streams into a substantial river. The landscape is wild, sometimes almost violent, but always impressively magnificent. Camp is set up on the banks of the river and you spend a night in this natural, pure environment.

5-6 hours riding

Day Five: Veranada Miranda - El Sapucai

Leave behind the forests of the rocky mountain range and continue descending out of the Alto Chubut. Pass through an old, abandoned gold mine and meet the Miranda family who still inhabit this place and will tell stories of its past life. From here it's c. 2 hours of riding to a special mountain refuge where a delicious meal and hot shower await you.

5-6 hours riding

Day Six: El Sapucai - Las Lagunas - El Sapucai

Today you will ascend to the top of the plateau to truly appreciate the skill of your Criollo horse. Cross marshlands, lenga forests and rocky terrains to be treated to a breathtaking panoramic view of the Andes from the top. Have lunch with this backdrop of mountain ranges topped with eternal snow before descending again through ancient forest back to your refuge.

5-6 hours riding

Day Seven: El Sapucai - Isla Las Bandurrias

Today is your last day riding your Argentine horse. Follow the Chubut River across small cattle farms  until reaching an abandoned school where you leave your horses. Share a final picnic with your Argentine gauchos before transferring c. two hours to Lago Puelo. After immigration formalities you cross on a small turbo jet boat over the small rapids which form the border between Argentina and Chile. After more passport formalities to enter Chile, you take another boat across Las Rocas lake to Las Bandurrias island. You will be surrounded by an outstanding location of crystal clear waters and forested slopes. The afternoon is free to walk around the island, take a swim in the lake or to simply relax. Your luggage will meet you here so you can re-pack before embarking on your Chilean adventure.

2 hours riding

Day Eight: Las Bandurrias Island - Azul Lake - Las Bandurrias Island

After a short boat trip to shore you are introduced to your Chilean horse. Today you ride a circuit to Azul lake and back to Las Rocas lake by a different route. Riding through ancient Valdivian forest, which is only found in small areas of Chile, you will climb up and down the mountainsides on narrow tracks, admiring the bright blue waters of the lakes against the green backdrop of the mountains. Lunch is taken on the shore of Azul lake, and dinner is back at Las Bandurrias Island.

5-6 hours riding

Day Nine: Las Bandurrias Island - Las Rosas

After breakfast and the short boat transfer, re-join your horses and ride c. 1 hour to the source of the Puelo River, which is wide and deep. You will cross on a small boat whilst the horses swim across. This is a highlight for many, with the beautiful milky blue melt-water from the glaciers and the power and strength of your horses. Re-mount and ride to the remote mountain settlement of Segundo Corral. After ascending another mountain range you'll have lunch in front of the incredibly blue Las Mellizas lagoons (meaning "the twins") which are surrounded by mountains. In the afternoon you descend to the Ventisqueros river which you will ford on horseback. Eventually you arrive at Las Rosas, the home of a settler family, where you spend the night.

c. 5-6 hours riding

Day Ten: Las Rosas - Ventisqueros

Set off riding deeper into the Ventisqueros valley, crossing the river several times on horseback. This area is sparsely populated and residents are almost entirely self sufficient - with few roads, even the locals travel on horseback. After lunch on the shore of the river, continue riding to the end of the valley where you find a restful farm where you spend two nights with your host Bernadita.

6-7 hours riding

Day Eleven: Ventisqueros

Today's ride is a shorter one as you visit a neighbouring valley, from where you can view a hanging glacier. The route leads through dense larch forest and you are unlikely to see another soul in this pristine natural environment. After lunch by the Raquelita river you return to your lodgings. The rest of the afternoon is free to walk, rest or just chat with your fellow riders.

c. 5-6 hours riding

Day Twelve: Ventisqueros - Las Rosas

In the morning, depart back towards the Puelo river, crossing rivers, open meadows and ancient woodland. After lunch on the edge of the Ventisqueros River, you continue riding through a landscape which becomes more cultivated. Local peasants still cultivate the land as their ancestors did and you may see oxen at work in the fields. In places the vegetation is quite dense before you arrive at your local home to overnight.

6-7 hours riding

Day Thirteen: Las Rosas - Puerto Varas

Today is your last riding day as you leave behind the farms and head to Puerto Urrutia. Your horses will once again swim across the river with you crossing by boat. A final lunch in the valley with your baqueanos.

After lunch you are transferred c. 1 hour to the Tagua-Tagua lake. Cross the lake by ferry, then continue by vehicle along a road which traverses the Reloncavi fjord. You will pass Llanquihue Lake and should see Calbuco and Osorno volcanos before arriving into Puerto Varas in time for a final dinner. Overnight in a hotel in Puerto Varas.

1 hour riding

Day Fourteen: Puerto Varas - Puerto Montt airport

You will be transferred to Puerto Montt airport for your flight to Santiago and onto Europe. It is usual to depart after breakfast, but there are two or three flights each morning.



Accommodation: In Argentina you either stay in refuges (mountain cabins) or camp in comfortable tents with camp beds and inflatable mattresses. You should take your own sleeping bag, with a comfort rating down to at least zero or minus 5 if you feel the cold. These can be hired for extra cost if required but must be booked in advance.
In Chile you spend two nights on Las Bandurrias island - this small, private island has two houses on it and you may be in one or both. The rooms are dormitory style and have shared bathrooms. Remaining nights are in local farmhouses with local families. Rooms are double/twin or dormitory style with shared bathrooms.
Single rooms are only possible for the two hotel nights; the first night in Bariloche and final night in Puerto Varas.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: You need be a fit, well-balanced and confident rider. A lot of the riding is at a walk due to the terrain and pack horses. You should be able to mount/dismount from both sides and fit enough to lead your horse on some trickier sections.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 14 days / 13 nights. 11 days riding.
Departure dates: 4-17 November 2019 (one space remaining); 2-15 December 2019; 6-19 January 2020 (FULL)
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

£5385 per person sharing

Single supplement (only available for 2 nights): £108
Supplement for additional horse (riders over 90kg): £162

Price does not include flights or travel insurance.

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.



Andean Crossing ride



Ride through the pristine wilderness of the Puelo Valley, with pack horses for support. Cross crystal clear mountain streams and glacial rivers and climb through forested mountains on horseback, offering spectacular views of the Andes mountains. Discover the local cultures and way of life in this remote, rural community.

Please note services start from collection from your hotel at 9 am on day one. You will need to arrive in Puerto Varas a day before your trip start date and arrange a hotel so that you can attend the ride briefing at 6pm and collect your saddle bags. You will also need to spend a night in Puerto Varas or Bariloche on the last day of your trail (dependent on flight times). Please ask the office for advice as we can book these for you if you wish.

Day One: Puerto Varas - Llanada Grande - Las Rosas

You will depart Puerto Varas at c. 9am by minibus and should be able to view Llanquihue Lake as well as the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as you leave town. Your journey traverses the Reloncavi estuary, which is the first fjord in southern Chile. Take a short break to appreciate the local gastronomy in the Cochamo village which is renowned for its agricultural and fishing industries. On arrival at Tagua-Tagua lake you stop for lunch in a local restaurant before boarding a ferry across the lake which takes c. 30mins. Continue by road for another c. 40mins until reaching your horses and baqueano in Puerto Urrutia. You cross the Puelo river as the locals do - in a boat with the horses swimming! Load up the packhorses, mount and set off riding along the edge of the Puelo river, passing through farmed fields and woodland. Overnight in a local farm.

c. 2 hours riding

Day Two: Las Rosas - Ventisqueros

Set off riding towards the remote Ventisqueros valley. The morning ride takes you through local farmland where you may meet farmers tending the land with oxen. Stop for lunch and then cross the mighty Ventisqueros river on horseback. Continue through ancient forests, with the landscape getting more and more unspoilt before reaching your farmhouse where you will spend two nights.

6-7 hours riding

Day Three: Ventisqueros

Today you ride deeper into the valley, crossing the Ventisqueros river again. The valley is wild and uninhabited - eventually you reach a clearing from where you can view a hanging glacier high in the mountains. Stop for a picnic lunch beside the El Toro river amidst the Alerce forests before re-tracing your steps back to your farmhouse. There may be time to relax or take a hike around the farm on your return, before dinner with your hosts.

4 hours riding

Day Four: Ventisqueros - Las Bandurrias

Today you ride out of the Ventisqueros valley, crossing rivers and streams along the route. Eventually you reach La Pasarela del Rio Puelo - a hanging bridge over the Puelo river which is vital for local inhabitants. After crossing the bridge, stop for lunch and admire the waterfalls and rapids below. Continue riding through ancient forests until reaching Las Rosas lake. Here you leave the horses and board a small boat for a ten minute transfer across the lake to Las Bandurrias island, where you spend two nights.This remote island is surrounded by the cordillera and is a haven of peace.

7 hours riding

Day Five: Las Bandurrias - Lago Azul - Las Bandurrias

After a short boat trip, re-join your horses on the shore and set off riding through dramatic mountains to the crystal clear Lago Azul. Stop for lunch on the shores whilst admiring the majestic landscape. In the afternoon, ride around the lake to the southern shore, passing through Valdivian rainforests containing Alerce trees as well as giant Coihue and Arrayanes trees. Say goodbye to your horses and journey back across the lake to your island retreat for dinner and overnight.

5-6 hours riding

Day Six: Las Bandurrias - Lago Puelo - Bariloche/Puerto Varas

Oct-Jan: After breakfast transfer across the lake to meet your horses for the short ride to the Inferior Lake - the source of the Rio Puelo. There is a short walk to Chilean immigration for passport formalities, before saying farewell to your horses and boarding a boat on Lake Inferior. After a short boat trip which crosses the rapids which form the border between Chile and Argentina, you enter Lago Puelo national park. Complete Argentine immigration on the lake shore and then transfer by road to El Bolson. Have lunch in a restaurant in this small town, and if time allows, wander through the handicraft market. In the afternoon, transfer by road (c. 3 hours) to Bariloche and your hotel (hotel to own account). A farewell dinner is taken in a local restaurant.

Feb-Mar: After breakfast transfer across the lake to meet your horses for the short ride to meet the transfer vehicle. You return to Puerto Varas by the same route as you arrived. Farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

c. 2 hours riding



Accommodation: Two nights are spent on the beautiful private island of Las Bandurrias, in dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms. There may be the possibility of a double room for couples, depending on group dynamics.
Three nights you stay with local families in their farmhouses, in double/twin or dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be fit and well balanced in the saddle. Most of the riding is at a walk, so you do not need to be an expert rider, but the ability to mount/dismount unaided and from both sides would be useful. You may need to walk your horse over particularly tricky sections.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days / 5 nights. 4 full days of riding plus one short day.
Departure dates: 2019: (ending in Bariloche)
28 October-2 November (confirmed)

2020: (ending in Puerto Varas)
18-23 February, 13-18 March, 26-31 March
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

£2696 per person sharing

Option to add hotels on first and last night, plus airport transfers to/from Puerto Montt/Bariloche
c. £308 per person sharing (subject to room availability)
c. £416 per person (single room - subject to availability)

Supplement for additional horse (riders over 89kg): £223

Price does not include flights or travel insurance.

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.



Puelo Ride



Immerse yourself in the beauty of the remote Puelo valley in Chile's Lake District, and enjoy the hospitality of local families, most of whom are self sufficient. Ride across farmland where oxen still plough and horses are still used as a mode of transport and venture further afield into deserted valleys. Cross rivers on horseback and climb through ancient forests to spectacular lookouts and relax on a private island retreat.

Please note services start from collection from your hotel at 9 am on day one. You will need to arrive in Puerto Varas a day before your trip start date and arrange a hotel so that you can attend the ride briefing at 6pm and collect your saddle bags. You will also need to spend a night in Puerto Varas or Bariloche on the last day of your trail (dependent on flight times). Please ask the office for advice as we can book these for you if you wish.

Day One: Puerto Varas - Las Rosas

Depart your hotel at c.9am by minibus and marvel at the beauty of Llanquihue Lake as well as Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as you journey c. 3hours alongside the Reloncavi fjord to Tagua-Tagua lake. Along the journey you will stop to discover the gastronomy of Cochamo village. On arrival at the lake you have lunch in a local restaurant before crossing the lake by ferry (c. 30 mins) and then it's a short transfer of c. 20mins to meet the horses at Rio Manso. Load the packhorses, mount and set off riding towards the Puelo River. Here you will cross the river by boat whilst the horses swim alongside! Re-mount and continue to your first farmhouse where you have dinner and spend the night.

c. 2 hours riding

Day Two: El Traidor - Santo Domingo

Today you will discover the skill of your Criollo horse as you traverse Traidor's trails. Head back to the Puelo river and follow the watercourse as the original pioneers did, along narrow trails through majestic forests. Stop for lunch on the banks of the Puelo river before continuing to your next home-stay belonging to a local couple who love to share their life experiences in the region.

5 hours riding

Day Three: Santo Domingo - Las Rosas

Today is a long day of riding across varied terrain, through plains and forests and onto sandy or pebbly beaches. Cross several tributaries of the Puelo river in almost uninhabited areas. In the afternoon you reach a site where the horses again have to swim the river - you leave your baqueanos here and meet new ones on the new shore. Continue riding through typical landscapes of the region until reach your accommodation on the banks of the river.

6 hours riding

Day Four: Las Rosas - Ventisqueros

Today you ride into the remote and beautiful Ventisqueros valley, crossing crystal clear streams and glacial rivers. Climb through ancient forests and leave behind the farmland and evidence of civilisation. After crossing the mighty Ventisqueros river you stop for another picnic lunch on the beach before following a path which leads to a farm buried deep in the valley where you will spend two nights.

6 hours riding

Day Five: Ventisqueros

Today is a more gentle ride as you head deeper into the Ventisqueros valley. The valley is wild and uninhabited with incredible plant life. At the head of the valley you can see a hanging glacier high in the mountains. Have a picnic lunch beside the El Toro river amongst the Alerce forests before re-tracing your path back to the farm. Later there may be time to walk around the farm, or simply relax before dinner with your hosts.

4 hours riding

Day Six: Ventisqueros - Las Bandurrias

After breakfast, ride back out of the valley and towards La Pasarela del Rio Puelo - a hanging bridge over the Puelo river which provides a vital link between the remote valley and local farms. The views here are stunning, with the rapids and waterfalls and bright blue water. Stop for lunch near the bridge and then continue riding through ancient forest until reaching the banks of Lago Las Rocas. Leave the horses behind and take a short boat transfer across the lake to Las Bandurrias - your private island for two nights.

6-7 hours riding

Day Seven: Las Bandurrias - Lago Azul - Las Bandurrias

After a short boat transfer back to your horses, you ride in the direction of Lago Azul with it's crystal clear waters and abundant fish life. Picnic on the shore of the lake so you can sit back and appreciate the magnificent landscapes. After lunch ride deep into the forest - these ancient Valdivian rainforests contain cold-jungle trees such as Alerce, Coihue and Arrayanes. Upon reaching the southern shores of the lake, leave your horses and transfer back across the waters to Las Bandurrias island.

6 hours riding

Day Eight: Las Bandurrias - Lago Puelo - Bariloche/Puerto Varas

Oct-Jan: After breakfast, pack up and head across the Lake Las Rocas to the eastern shore. It's a short ride to the Chilean immigration post before completing formalities and boarding a motorboat for the exciting crossing of Lake Inferior - the rapids between Lake Inferior and Lago Puelo form the border between Argentina and Chile. On the lake shore, complete Argentina passport formalities and then you are transferred to El Bolson for lunch. If time allows you can explore this small town and traditional handicraft market before being transferred by road (c. 3 hours) to Bariloche and your hotel (to own account). Farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Feb-Mar: After breakfast, pack up and head across the Lake Las Rocas to the eastern shore. It's a short ride to the transfer vehicle which returns you to Puerto Varas along the same route by which you arrived. Again this hotel is not included but can be booked for you on request. Farewell dinner in a local restaurant (payable locally). 

c. 2 hours of riding



Accommodation: Five nights are in local farmhouses staying with families in double/twin or dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms. The farmhouses are clean and comfortable, but not luxurious.
Two nights are on the private island of Las Bandurrias which has two houses - rooms are double/twin or dormitory with shared bathrooms.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You do not need to be an expert rider as much of the ride is at a walk, but you do need to be fit and well balanced. It would be useful if you could mount/dismount unaided and from both sides. You will have to lead your horse on occasional rough terrain too.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights. 6 full days riding plus one shorter day.
Departure dates: 21-28 November 2019 (ending Bariloche) confirmed
4-11 February 2020 (ending Puerto Varas)
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

£3305 per person sharing

Option to add hotels on first and last night, plus airport transfers to/from Puerto Montt/Bariloche
c. £308 per person sharing (subject to room availability)
c. £416 per person (single room - subject to availability)

Supplement for additional horse (riders over 89kg): £223

Price does not include flights or travel insurance.

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.



Huaso Trail



A trail ride through the glorious Puelo valley, which both starts and ends at Puerto Varas and does not cross into Argentina. Stay with local families and discover remote valleys with only pack horses for support.

Please note services start from collection from your hotel at 9 am on day one. You will need to arrive in Puerto Varas a day before your trip start date and arrange a hotel so that you can attend the ride briefing at 6pm and collect your saddle bags. You will also need to spend a night in Puerto Varas on the last day of your trail (dependent on flight times). Please ask the office for advice as we can book these for you if you wish.

Day One: Puerto Varas - Llanada Grande - Las Rosas

You will depart Puerto Varas at c. 9am and should be able to view Llanquihue Lake as well as Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as you head out. Your journey traverses Reloncavi fjord, until reaching Tagua-Tagua lake. You'll stop along the journey to appreciate the local gastronomy of Cochamo village which is well known for its agriculture and fishing industries. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant before boarding a ferry across the lake which takes c.30mins. Continue by road for another hour until reaching your horses and baqueano at Puerto Urrutia on the banks of the Puelo river. You cross the river as the locals do - in a boat with the horses swimming! Load up the packhorses, mount and set off riding alongside the Puelo river and through farmed fields. Overnight in a local farm.

c. 2 hours riding

Day Two: Las Rosas - Ventisqueros

Set off riding towards the remote Ventisqueros valley. The morning ride takes you through local farmland where you may meet farmers tending the land with oxen. Stop for lunch and then cross the mighty Ventisqueros river on horseback. Continue through ancient forests, with the landscape getting more and more unspoilt before reaching your farmhouse where you will spend two nights.

6 hours riding

Day Three: Ventisqueros

After a relaxed breakfast, ride deeper into the valley, crossing the Ventisqueros river again. The valley is wild and uninhabited - eventually you reach a clearing from where you can view a hanging glacier high in the mountains. Stop for a picnic lunch near the El Toro river before re-tracing your steps back to your farmhouse. There may be time to relax or take a hike around the farm on your return, before dinner with your hosts.

4 hours riding

Day Four: Ventisqueros - Las Bandurrias

Today you ride out of the Ventisqueros valley, crossing rivers and streams along the route. Eventually you reach La Pasarela del Rio Puelo - a hanging bridge over the Puelo river which is vital for local inhabitants. After crossing the bridge, stop for lunch and admire the waterfalls and rapids below. Continue riding through ancient forests until reaching Las Rosas lake. Here you leave the horses and board a small boat for a ten minute transfer across the lake to Las Bandurrias island, where you spend two nights. A peaceful haven in the heart of the Andes.

7 hours riding

Day Five: Las Bandurrias - Lago Azul - Las Bandurrias

After a short boat trip, re-join your horses on the shore and set off riding through dramatic mountains to the crystal clear Lago Azul. Stop for lunch on the shores whilst admiring the majestic landscape. In the afternoon, ride around the lake to the southern shore, passing through Valdivian rainforests containing Alerce trees as well as giant Coihue and Arrayanes trees. Leave the horses in a safe place and journey back across the lake to your island retreat for dinner and overnight.

5-6 hours riding

Day Six: Las Bandurrias - Las Rosas

After breakfast you are taken across the lake to re-join your horses. Cross the river with your horses swimming alongside and reach Segundo Corral - the last settlement before Argentina. Stop for lunch facing Las Mellizas lagoons before continuing your ride. Eventually you cross the Ventisquero river on horse back to reach the local farmhouse where you stop for another cosy night and dinner.

7-8 hours riding

Day Seven: Las Rosas - Puerto Varas

Today is your last riding day as you follow the Puelo river again until reaching Puerto Urrutia and the main road. Here your horses swim once again over the river. Remount and follow paths through the forest with spectacular views back towards the Puelo river until reaching Llanada Grande. Say goodbye to your horses and baqueanos before transferring c. 1 hour to the Tagua-Tagua lake. Have lunch in the first restaurant established in the area and then cross the lake by ferry, before continuing by vehicle along a road which traverses the fjord and returns you to Puerto Varas.

Farewell dinner and overnight in Puerto Varas (to own account).

c. 2 hours riding



Accommodation: Four nights in local farms (two nights at Tito's farm and two nights at Bernadita's farm). There are double, trip and dormitory style rooms and shared bathrooms.

Two nights on Las Bandurrias Island, with a main house and a cottage, each with a mixture of double, twin and dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need be a fit, well-balanced and confident rider. A lot of the riding is at a walk due to the terrain and pack horses. You should be able to mount/dismount from both sides and fit enough to lead your horse on some trickier sections.
Type of ride: Mobile trail ride
Total riding time: 7 days / 6 nights (6 days of riding)
Departure dates: 24-30 January 2020
29 February-6 March 2020
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

£2773 per person sharing

Option to add hotels on first and last night, plus airport transfers to/from Puerto Montt
c. £308 per person sharing (subject to room availability)
c. £416 per person (single room - subject to availability)

Supplement for additional horse (riders over 89kg): £223


Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.