Puelo Ride, from Chile to Argentina
experience the epic Patagonian wilderness
stay on a private island
numerous opportunities to horse ride through rivers and lakes
Horse ride across pioneer trails in the rural Puelo Valley. In the middle of the Andes Mountains, we offer you an exclusive horse riding tour into the ‘huaso’ culture (local horsemen). Enjoy this fantastic adventure, relaxing amidst the magic of this isolated area; getting to know local people’s fascinating traditional way of life, all in pristine Patagonian wilderness.
The trip begins at your hotel in Puerto Varas, from where you will be driven through the Valdivian forests along the Reloncaví Fjord and arrive at “Tagua Tagua” Lake. We will meet the baqueanos and the Creole horses. Enjoy the outstanding landscapes and cross the Puelo river just as the locals do: by public boat while the horses swim. Approx 2 hrs horse riding.
After a good breakfast and organizing packhorses, we will start our day riding out along the Puelo River. We ride through untouched ancient forests on narrow passes - a ‘wild’ trail to experience how the first pioneers travelled in the area. Lunch box. Afternoon arrival at our accommodation with a lovely view of the valley. Approx 5hrs horse riding.
Today will be a longer day horse riding through this isolated and unique corner of Patagonia. In the afternoon we will arrive at Puerto Urrutia and say good bye to the first team of baqueanos and horses. From here on a we have different horses and “baquianos”. Enjoy these fantastic landscapes and wonder at how the horses and riders cross the river just as the locals do: riders on a public boat while the horses swim alongside. Approx 6 hrs horse riding.
Today, after breakfast and preparing our luggage for the pack horses we will begin our day’s horse ride to the head of Ventisqueros Valley, stopping for lunch and relaxing along the way. In the afternoon, the route will take us to a little house in the remote valley where the delightful owners are lodging us for 2 nights. Approx 7 hrs horse riding.
After breakfast, we embark on a gentle day horse ride, crossing the river once more and approaching the glacier. This little valley turns wild and remote as we ride up it, with incredible flora and devoid of human habitation. We will stop close to the Alerce forests on this occasion. Approx 4 hrs horse riding.
A full-day's horse 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 we reach Lago Las Rocas. The horses stay at the shore and guests take a 10 minutes boat trip to Las Bandurrias Island. Accommodation, tea and a great dinner at this enchanting and remote cottage, on it’s own island. Approx 7hrs horse riding.
This morning we will enjoy 2 hrs of horse riding visiting the Blue Lake "Lago Azul" with its crystal clear waters and abundant fish life. After lunch our ride takes us deep into the forest along narrow paths, passing through the typical ‘cold jungle’, Valdivian-type rainforest with its ancient Alerce trees. Approx 6 hrs horse riding.
Once in our saddles, the horseback ride takes us through the Andes forest down to the Puelo River source with great views of the lake and the Puelo River. The trails guide us to the Chilean border police station, where we will reach 'Reten de Carabineros Paso el Bolson.' Here we will leave our horses an take an international private transfer boat to sail across the lake. After going through the Argentine border formalities a private van will be waiting to take us to El Bolson for lunch and onwards to Bariloche. Approx 1.5 hrs horse riding.
Route from/to: Puerto Montt in Chile on the shore of the Pacific Ocean across the Andes, ending in Bariloche Argentina.
What’s included: All In/out private transfers, transportation by minibus & motor jet boats, ferry crossing, full board meals (including ½ bottle of wine per person per dinner), saddle horses, pack horses, 7 nights accommodation including 2 nights at a fabulous retreat on Bandurrias island, local guides, “Huasos” and tour leader (French & English), VHF radio communication equipment.
Riding Difficulty: The trip is an exciting but not demanding one, although some days will be longer than others when we have to cover a particular distance. Some days, lot of river crossings which are great fun and allow riders to experience the local way of travelling. Some steep uphills and undulating terrain could turn just a bit more demanding if the weather is not good. This adventure ride is an excellent way of riding lots of different terrain and being able to ride one of the strongest horse breeds in the world. Clients may canter on open ground (but limited open ground suitable for canters), trot in the forest, and we generally enjoy the riding along the narrower trails at a relaxing pace.
Guides: We believe that tour leader/guide and host/hostess are the key for a successful and memorable trip; we use only experienced guides with great knowledge of the area. They are all friendly, great fun and highly passionate about the Puelo Valley. Guides are trained to stay a step ahead and offer all the help and assistance to ensure the trip runs smoothly. They all have a WFR certification. Local “Huaso” guides or “baqueanos" will always be there to help and look after you – saddling and unsaddling the horses for guests. They are a great support for the whole group and well attuned to the regional climate. They have an uncanny sense of predicting weather!