Ride Overview - Canyons and Waterfalls Ride
An awe-inspiring horseback riding vacation in Brazil! Trails lead across the unique beauty of the Campos de Cima da Serra Highlands. You will ride to the impressive Cachoeirão and the beautiful Gruta waterfalls. Dismount to visit a cave hidden behind the sparkling cascade. Rolling paths open to impressive rocky cliffs dotted with colorful lichens, herbs and small bushes. The Atlantic rain forest is found in the lower part of the canyons. You will see fields stretching across the plateau and rich slopes that sprout ferns, lilies and bromeliads. The entire area was formed by intense volcanic activity that happened millions of years ago. Constant lava flows created the Planalto Sulbrasileiro covered by araucarias and crystalline rivers. Canyons are found at the bottom of enormous rocky cliffs. The sharp vertical hillsides of basalt are brilliant with lichens, herbs and tiny bushes peeking from the rocks. Along this horseback riding vacation, you will enjoy the hospitality and culture of the gauchos (cowboys). Your lodging are comfortable lodges. RIDING IN BRAZIL
Ride Itinerary - Canyons and Waterfalls Ride
You will be transferred from the Porto Alegre Airport (4 to 5 hours drive) to the Ranch in Sao Jose dos Ausentes. On your arrival at a traditional Fazenda (ranch), you will enjoy the hospitality and good food of the gauchos. After a taste of a local drink made with cachaca and fruits, you will be introduced to your guide. After a delicious dinner, you will gather with your fellow riders at the bar of the Fazenda to receiver your riding instructions for the next day. Your lodging will be at the Pousada Fazenda Monte Negro.
After breakfast, you will mount your Criollos to start your journey along the escarpments of the Aparados da Serra. This is an area of beauty found only in the Campos de Cima da Serra Highlands. Your trails will take you through the great Atlantic rain forest found in the lower part of canyons. You will see fields stretching across the plateau, and ferns, lilies and bromeliads that sprout in rich slopes. The entire area was formed by intense volcanic activity that happened millions of years ago. Successive lava hemorrhages created the Planalto Sulbrasileiro covered by fields, araucarias and crystalline rivers. There are many canyons throughout the region. Some of them are impressive with enormous rocky cliffs outlining the undulating landscape of the sloping foothills. You will feel both surprise and fascination when approaching their edge. The sharp vertical hillsides of basalt present a coloration of resultants tones of the lichens, herbs and tiny bushes peeking from the rocks. In the late afternoon, you may see the mysterious fog (called viracão by the locals) drift in. A picnic lunch is planned on the field. Your lodging will be at the Pousada Fazenda Monte Negro.
After a good breakfast, your trail will lead towards the peak of Monte Negro, altitude 4,600 feet/1,403 meters. This will be the highest point of your ride with a horizon of majestic landscapes. You will have a unique sensation of freedom. Afterward, your group will return to the ranch for lunch. After a short siesta, you will again mount up to see more canyons, and cliffs (as the locals call “the peirais of the Aparados.”) At the end of the day, if there is time, your group may go by car (10 kms) to visit the Lopes family Ranch known for their famous Serrano cheese. This Gaucho family has worked and lived the same way for more than 100 years ago. Gauchos, cattle and horses – all together – an integration difficult to imagine today. Your lodigng will be at Pousada Fazenda Monte Negro.
Today, you will ride towards Fazenda Potreirinho. During this day, your trails will traverse up and down many rolling hills. You will also have opportunities for good canters. Along the way, you will see some beautiful waterfalls and enjoy a picnic lunch on the river bank. Next, you will pass by Silveiras, a picturesque village where your group may stop at an old fashion bar for a beer. Outside of the village, you will pass Leonardo’s ranch. He is the breeder of Criolo horses and Brazilian Long Horn cattle. Your destination will then be Fazenda Potreirinho, a traditional gaucho ranch. Lodging will be at Fazenda Potreirinho.
Your trail will lead towards towards Estancia das Flores. Cachoeirão, the biggest waterfall of this area, will come into view. Next, you will continue along hilly paths which stop for fantastic panoramic views of the landscape. Your pace will quicken to a trot and canter. Now you will feel the sense of freedom of the great outdoors. The lunch stop is planned under a tree canopy. You will then mount up to ride to Gruta’s beautiful waterfall with an awe-inspiring cascade. You will then have the opportunity to walk inside a cave hidden behind the waterfall. Your evening is planned at Estancia da Serra, unexpected country hotel with comfort in the middle of a large farm. Your lodging is at Estancia das Flores.
After breakfast, you will ride across the Estancia’s land. Next, your trail will become an old soldiers’ trail surrounded by stone walls. Your group will continue along the mountain to a beautiful waterfall with an awe-inspiring cascade. After a photo stop and perhaps a dip in the pool of the cascade, you will enjoy a picnic lunch. The end of your short siesta will have you riding through forests of rare beauty and important biodiversity. Some slopes will invite you to canter with your Criollo horse. Overnight at Estancia das Flores.
After breakfast, you will be transferred (4 hour drive) to the Porto Alegre Airport.
Note – The itinerary can be changed due to weather conditions and availability on the ranches.
Ride Details - Canyons and Waterfalls Ride
Dates: March 14th – 20th, May 22nd -28th, September 25th – October 1st, November 27th – December 3rd
Best Months to Ride: Brazil’s summer months are December – March. There is less rain from August – February. Best times to visit are September and October.
Airport: Porto Alegre
Riding Days: 5
Daily Riding Hours: 5 – 6
Group Size: 1 – 8
Riding Ability: INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots and canters along mountain trails. Comfortable crossing rivers.
Saddles: Australian and English
Horses: Mamalarga/ Arab crosses
Hotel/s: countryside B & B
2 – 4 riders: $2,050.00 per person, double occupancy
5 – 6 riders: $1,880.00 per person, double occupancy
7 – 8 riders: $1.800.00 double occupancy
Single supplement: $265.00
*Prices will fluctuate with the USD/BRL exchange rate and be fixed at final payment.
Included: lodging, horse, tack guide, meals
Not Included: airfare, transfer to and from the Porto Alegre Airport
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Canyons and Waterfalls Ride: Gallery
Canyons and Waterfalls Ride