Andean Crossing, from Chile to Argentina
- stay on a private island
- numerous beautiful river and lake crossings
- riding through varied terrain, from woodland to rain-forests and desert
Ride across pioneer trails in the rural Puelo Valley. In the middle of the Andes Mountains, an exclusive journey into the “huaso” culture. Enjoy this fantastic adventure: relax in the depths of the pristine Patagonian wilderness, being introduced to the local people’s traditional way of life.
This horse riding tour 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.
Our direction today, is into the Ventisqueros valley. We will be crossing amazing, ancient forests and self-sufficient little small holdings during the morning. In the afternoon, we will ride cross the wide Ventisqueros River, to a remote farm, where the owner will lodge us for 2 nights. Approx 7 hrs horse riding.
We will embark in a gentle ride up the valley, crossing the river once more to approach a glacier. The Valley turns wild and remote, with an incredible flora and devoid of all settlement. We will ride to the Alerce forests on this occasion and later there is a chance to walk around the area or simply relax. Another unforgettable day. Approx 4 hrs horse riding.
This morning we will set off on a full-day horse ride towards "La Pasarela del Rio Puelo", an important local hanging (suspension) bridge crucial for communication between the local inhabitants and the outside world. This area is particularly spectacular due to its huge waterfalls and rapids. In the afternoon, guests will cross a wild, old primary forest before arriving at our enchanting cosy cottage. Approx 7 hrs horse riding.
We will enjoy a 2 hrs ride and visit the Blue Lake "Lago Azul" with its crystal clear water and abundant fish life. Majestic peaks and stunning landscapes will not escape your attention! After lunch our horse ride takes us deep into the forest along the mountain slopes. We will reach the southern part of this lake passing through the typical ‘cold jungle’, Valdivian-type rainforest with its ancient Alerce trees. Approx 6 hrs horse riding.
Once in our saddles, the horse 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.
Group size: Min 2 / Max 8 People.
How many days: The expedition lasts 6 days and 5 nights. Horse back riding on all 6 days.
Route from/to: From Puerto Varas, close 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 at dinner), saddle horses, pack horses, 5 night accommodation including 2 nights at a fabulous retreat on the private Bandurrias island, local horsemen (guides & helpers) and tour leader (Spanish, French & English spoken), 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 traveling. Some steep up hills and undulating terrain could turn just a bit more demanding if the weather is not good. This adventure 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 - but there are few opportunities, we trot in the forest, the ride is generally a relaxing, steady pace.
Guides: We believe that tour leaders and host/hostess are the key for a successful and memorable trip; we use only experienced guides with great knowledge of the area. They hold a certificate in WFR (wilderness first responder) and highly passionate about the Puelo Valley. Guides are trained to offer all the help and assistance to ensure the trip runs smoothly. Local horsemen (“Huaso” guides or “baqueanos") will always be there to help and look after you and your horses. They are a great support for the whole group and well attuned to the regional climate. They have an uncanny sense of predicting weather!