The Great Andes Crossing, 200 km from Argentina to Chile  14 Days

Dates

2019

4th November – 17th November

2nd December – 15th December

2020


6th January – 19th January RIDE FULL

This ride is available as a private tour for any number of guests from late October to end of March.

Highlights

  • look out for the mighty condor, eagles, foxes and deer

  • stay on a private island

  • horse ride through the magnificent Patagonian wilderness

 

A fascinating horseback riding adventure from the virgin steppes in Argentina to the Valdivian forests in Chile. This unique 14 days ride on Creole and Chilean horses takes you along estancias and fundos crossing endless pampas, green forests and clear rivers. Come and ride with our local guides to experience the style of the gauchos and the cultural diversity of a wonderful region.

 

Day 1

Depending on your arrival flight, you will have the chance to explore the area and get great views from the Cerro Otto. Meet your guide for the holiday and full briefing for the following days.

 

Day 2

After an early breakfast we depart from Bariloche to Pichileufu, where we will meet the horses. The ride starts through the summer pastures of the large Estancias, a landscape of gentle hills covered with grasslands. We continue into the Pre-cordillera between the knife-shaped mountains and the infinite steppe. After lunch in a “puesto” of one of these estancias, the afternoon takes us across open landscapes approaching the foothills. Approx 5 hrs horse riding. Approx 5 hrs horse riding.

 

Day 3 

Today we will enter the steep and high Andes Mountains riding along a path used by countrymen to move their animals to reach the "Paso Sin Nombre”, located at 1,700 meters above sea level.  It’s a good spot to watch condors, eagles, foxes and deer. Some nomad shepherds still spend time here. The ride continues though forestland overlooking a vast valley. We will set up a great camp at a wooded refuge and hope for a clear night to look at the magnificent night sky. Approx 5 hrs horse riding.

Day 4 

Today we will start the horseback ride crossing awesome valleys. Pico Quemado means “burned pic” as this is an old mining industry area. Here you can see the remains of the past, when adventurers came to find gold here. We will ride through open areas of the endless steppe. Approx 5 hrs horse riding.

 

Day 5 

The horses will take us into the Andes mountain range called Alto Chubut. We will leave behind the forests of the rocky mountain range and then we descend to an old and abandoned gold mine. Wee will meet the people who live here, the Miranda family, who share stories of the past and also about their current life. We continue two hours to our special mountain refuge "el Sapucai" where a delicious meal, a hot shower and time to rest and enjoy the comforts of our charming home for the nighta re waiting for us  Approx 6 hrs horse riding.

 

Day 6 

Today we climb to the top of a plateau. where the skills of the Criollo horses are appreciated while we, cross marshlands, lenga forests and rocky terrains. From the top, we enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Andes while having lunch at 1800 meters above sea level, against a backdrop of the mountain range with eternal snow. In the afternoon, we will descend again, passing through an ancient forest until arriving back at our refuge.

 

Day 7 

Today is our last day with the Argentinean Criollo horses. We will follow the course of the Chubut River until we reach the end of the ride. We will share the last picnic with our Argentinean baqueanos, before leaving them and traveling by minibus towards Lago Puelo. After fulfilling the Argentine customs formalities, we will take the international jet boat along two lakes, crossing the rapids that connect Argentina and Chile. After we finish with all the customs formalities, another boat will take us to Las Bandurrias Island across Las Rocas Lake. The lake boasts crystal blue waters, and is surrounded by the spectacular mountain range and green rain forest, in striking contrast to the steppe of Argintina. A warm welcome will be waiting for you at your exclusive cabin on Bandurrias Island.

Approx 2 hours horse riding

 

Day 8 

Today, We meet your your new baqueanos guides and Chilean Criollo horses and.ride to the Azul Lake with its crystal clear waters and astounding scenery. After lunch by the water, we will horse ride on steep passes across the forest along the mountains passing through typical cold jungle. before returning to Bandurrias Island for the evening. Approx 6 hrs horse riding.

 

Day 9 

Our journey continues, riding through the forests until we reach the source of the Puelo River. We cross the Puelo River by boat, with the horses swimming alongside. Reaching the other side, we ascend up a mountain range, stopping for lunch in front of the incredibly blue Las Mellizas lagoons. In the afternoon, we descend to the valley of the Ventisqueros River which we will ford on horseback. before reaching Las Rosas, the house of a family of settlers. A warm welcome, good company, and a hot meal make it a charming place to stay the night.

Day 10 

Today we will continue with our horses on a long journey up the Ventisqueros River Valley. There will be many river crossings on horseback, fabulous green landscapes, and lunch on the bank of the river. In the afternoon we continue almost to the  end of the valley, where we will be welcomed by Bernardita, the owner of the house, who will be our host  for the following 2 nights

Approx 7 hrs horse riding.

 

Day 11

Today we take a gentle horseback ride on a trail that crosses huge forests and runs alongside the river. with beautiful views of the glacier that gives the valley its name. We will have lunch near the Raquelita River and return to Bernadita’s house in the middle of the afternoon. Later there is a chance to go for a walk around the area or simply relax with a glass of wine. Approx 4 hrs horse riding.

 

Day 12 

This morning the trail takes us across beautiful ancient forest. After a riverside lunch, we leave the valley and will see farmers working on their land, looking after the cattle and making a living through family agriculture. Approx 7 hrs horse riding. We will return to Las Rosas for our last night in the wilderness.

Day 13 

For the last ride,  our horses will take us through the forest and along the Puelo River to Puerto Urrutia, which we will cross by boat while the horses swim alongside. Time to say goodbye to our baqueanos and we will have a last lunch in the valley. We then drive to the ferry that will take us across Tagua Lake. The trip to our destination of Puerto Varas follows the Reloncaví Fjord past scenic villages and soaring volcanoes before reaching the lakeside city.  Approx 3 hrs horse riding.

 

Day 14 

Breakfast and transfer to the local airport.

 

 

 

If you require, we can assist you in both your arriving at Bariloche and your leaving Puerto Varas at the end of the tour. Flights in and out, or a bus back along a very scenic route can be arranged.

**We can also help organise tango shows, polo lessons, hotels, city tours, Iguazu Falls, airport pick ups in Buenos Aires and much more. **

 

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Route from/to: From Bariloche, Argentina ending in Puerto Varas in Chile on the shore of the Pacific Ocean across the Andes.

Included: All full board meals (including 1 bottle of wine every 3 participants at dinner while riding), dinner at restaurants on 1, 6 and 13 nights (wine not included), local guides, baquianos or “Huasos” and tour leader (French & English), VHF radio communication equipment, saddle horses, packhorses, all In/out private group transfers, transportation by minibus & motor jet boats, ferry crossing.

Riding Difficulty: The trip is an exciting but not demanding one, though some days the terrain will be more demanding and difficult. Also some days will be longer than others, especially when we have to cover a particular distance. Lots of river crossings, which are great fun and allow riders to experience the local way of traveling. Some steep up hills and undulating terrain could turn just a bit more demanding if the weather is not good. This adventurous ride is an excellent way of managing lots of different terrain and being able to ride one of the toughest horse breeds in the world. Clients may canter on open ground, trot in the forest, or simply enjoy the ride at their own relaxing pace.

Guides: We believe that tour leaders are the key for a successful and memorable trip; we use only experienced guides with a great knowledge of the area. They are all friendly, great fun and highly passionate about the Puelo Valley. She or he would be able to be a step ahead to give you all the help and assistance in any unpredictable situation, ensuring the trip runs smoothly. Local Huasos or "Baquianos" will be there at any time to help with saddles, horses and to look after you; they are a great support for the whole group and they even have an amazing ability to predict the weather!