Ride Overview - Across the Andes Guesthouse Ride
An equestrian vacation from Chile to Argentina with no camping! You will be guests in the homes of local pioneers and be afforded a unique opportunity to experience their way of life. The extremely charming but often rustic houses offer basic accommodation mostly in twin, triple or dorm rooms with shared bathroom and hot shower. Sometimes, great room with mattresses. Food is organically grown and sourced from local gardens. Your menu includes a mix of a special blend of flavors and ingredients consisting of an ethnic variety but mostly Creole-Chilean cuisine. A traditional wood stove, as well as the Chilean asado (BBQ), gives a special taste to the dishes. Depending on the season, it will be possible to taste a delicious rainbow trout or fontinalis. Vegetables and fruits are superb and the variety of the region’s berries is impressive. Drinking water is crystal clear, safe to drink and tastes delicious. This epic Patagonian wilderness ride will provide not only numerous opportunities to ride through rivers and past stunning waterfalls but also stay on a private Las Bandurrias Island! Pioneer trails winding through the pristine Puelo Valley nestled in the middle of the Andes Mountains will offer an exciting but not demanding experience. It will provide an excellent way of riding different terrains and being able to ride one of the strongest horse breeds in the world, the Chilean Criollo. You will have the opportunity to canter on open ground (but limited open ground suitable for canters), trot in the forest, and riding along the narrower trails at a relaxing pace. Some steep uphills and undulating terrain could turn just a bit more demanding if the weather is not good. You will also mingle with the ‘huaso’ culture (local horsemen). This will be a memorable adventure as you relax amidst the magic of this isolated area, all in pristine Patagonian wilderness.
“Thanks for this tour. It was both the most adventurous ride I have done, most hidden environment and where people were living most by themselves. And what views with snow on mountains, dark green valleys, white riversides and turquoise water! Incredible. Everything was working perfect with organisation, good horses and interesting people.” Torsten
Ride Itinerary - Across the Andes Guesthouse Ride
Shorter and longer rides are available.
The trip begins at your hotel in Puerto Varas from where you will be driven for three hours through the Valdivian forests along the Reloncaví Fjord to the Tagua Tagua Lake. After lunch, you will be transported by public boat across the Puelo River. After you meet the boaqueanos (cowboy guides) and your Creole horse, you will mount up for a ride along the banks of the river. Then you will be transported by boat as the horses swim alongside. Approx. 2 hours riding.
After a good breakfast and organizing the packhorses, your group will start your day riding out along the Puelo River. Your narrow pas trail traverses through untouched ancient forests. This will give you an idea of how the first pioneers traveled. After a lunch box break, you will ride to your accommodation which has a lovely view of the valley. Approx. 5 hours riding.
Today will be a long day as you ride across some difficult terrain deep into the isolated corner of Patagonia. In the afternoon, you will arrive at Puerto Urrutia and say goodbye to your first team of baqueanos and horses. From there, you will meet your new team and horse. Again you will travel by boat across the river as the horses swim alongside. Approx. 6 hours riding.
After breakfast and preparing your luggage for the pack horses, you will begin your day’s ride to the head of Ventisqueros Valley. Along the way, you will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, the trail will take you to a little house in the remote valley where the delightful owners will provide lodging for 2 nights. Approx. 7 hours riding.
Your group will embark on a gentle ride, crossing the river once more and approaching the glacier. As your path ascends, this little valley turns wild with incredible flora and devoid of human habitation. Your group for a view of the breathtaking landscape. Approx. 4 hours riding.
Expect a full day’s ride towards “la Pasarela del Rio Puelo,” an important local suspension bridge crucial for the communication between the local inhabitants and the nearest towns. This area is particularly spectacular due to its huge waterfalls and rapids. Crossing the ancient forest, you will reach Lago Las Rocas. The horses stay at the shore and your group will take a 10-minute boat trip to Las Bandurrias Island. Your evening’s accommodation, tea, and a great dinner will be at this enchanting and remote private island cottage. Approx. 7 hours riding.
This morning, you will enjoy a 2-hour ride to the Blue Lake (Lago Azul) with its crystal clear waters and abundant fish. After lunch, narrow paths take you deep into the forest to a typical cold jungle, a Valdivian-type rainforest with ancient Alerce trees. Approx. 6 hours riding.
Once in your saddles, you will ride through the Andes forest down to the Puelo River. Along the way, you will have great views of the lake and the Puelo River. Your trail ends at the Chilean border police station where your group will reach Reten de Carabineros Paso el Bolson. Here you will leave your horse and take an international private transfer boat across the lake. After going through the Argentine border formalities, a private van will be waiting to take you to El Bolson for lunch and onwards to Bariloche. Approx. 1.5 hours riding.
Ride Details - Across the Andes Guesthouse Ride
Dates: July 6th – 13th
Arriving Airport: Santiago International Airport to Puerto Montt (Chile)
Departing Airport: Bariloche to Buenos Aires
Riding Days: 7
Daily Riding Hours: 1/12 – 7
Riding Ability: STRONG INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country and on narrow ascending and descending trails. Capable of crossing rivers.
Visa: A valid passport document with a visa for both Argentina and Chile is required.
Medical: Bees and wasps are prevalent. If you are allergic, come prepared with an epipen.
Group Size: 2 – 10
Weight Restrictions: 187 lbs. (extra charge over 187 lbs. for extra horse)
Horses: Chilean Creole
Accommodations: charming but rustic guesthouses with shared bathrooms. Sometimes, great room with mattresses.
4+ riders: February: $2,800 per person
March: $3,550 per person
Small group fees and single supplements may apply.
*Shorter and longer rides are available. Please ask us.
Included: 7 nights accommodation including 2 nights at a fabulous retreat on Bandurrias island, transfer to and from the airport, transportation by minibus and motor jet boats, ferry crossing, full board meals (including ½ bottle of wine per person per dinner), saddle horses, pack horses, local guides, “Huasos” and tour leader (French & English), VHF radio communication equipment
Not Included: airfare
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Across the Andes Guesthouse Ride: Gallery
Across the Andes Guesthouse Ride