Day 1: Arrive in Puerto Natales. Drive to remote refugio. Clients joining this trip can either arrive from el Calafate in southern Argentina or Punta Arenas in southern Chile. Bus tickets are included and we can make the reservations on your behalf. On arrival into Puerto Natales you will be met off the bus by a member of our team before being taken to our office. After some tea and a chance to meet your guide and the rest of the group, we will be hopping in the van for the drive towards Torres del Paine and our first night's accommodation at a remote puesto on the land belonging to a nearby estancia.
After our pretty drive where we will have our first proper sightings of the fabulous peaks of this national park, we will arrive at the small refugio that will be our base for the night. Nestled in a small valley with beautiful views of the Towers and a very remote and charming Patagonian feel the refugio offers basic accommodation in bunk beds with hot showers and bathrooms available. Meals are taken in the small wooden hut.
After a chance to unpack and relax a little after the drive we will have our safety briefing and introduction to western riding. Time permitting we will take a short ride in the vicinity of the estancia to get accustomed to the style of riding and the tack.
Dinner included (with wine at dinner).
Day 2: Ride to Lago Paine. Wild camp. After packing up and loading up the pack horses we will set off on our exciting ride towards the Towers and Lago Paine. After skirting the lake, we will be heading north towards Laguna Stokes where a large natural vega or pasture exists and which attracts wild criollos from the surrounding hills to graze in the summer. With luck we may get to see these horses (please note the viewing is not guaranteed).
There will be many excellent photo opportunities on this route as we pass through forests, pastures and the lake where Lady Florence Dixie first camped having sighted the Towers. Eventually we arrive at our remote campsite with beautiful mountain views. We will be camping riverside at Lago Paine. Facilities: none. Hours in the saddle: 4-5 - 5. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 3: Ride to Dickson Glacier lookout. Camp Laguna Azul. After breakfast, we will be riding out to Lake and Glacier Dickson. Dickson is one of the more remote and rarely visited glaciers in the Park due to its inaccessibility - in our opinion it is also one of the prettiest. Our rides takes us past the northerly peaks of the Paine chain where one of the peaks is topped by a black, craggy rock in the shape of a Tuhuelche Indian Face with a 'headband' that is decorated with snowdrifts even in summer. The trail then heads north passing ancient southern beech forests and scattered lakes before reaching our solitary perch and viewpoint above this beautiful lake and glacier.
This will be our picnic spot for lunch - a truly memorable destination. In the afternoon we will ride back via a different route to the startlingly azure waters of Laguna Azul. This is one of the prettiest campsites in the park with camping lakeside on the sandy beach or among the beech trees on the soft grassy ground. Fire pits and indoor dining in case of inclement weather. Hot showers, bathrooms, small shop. Hours in the saddle approx 7-8. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).
Day 4: Ride to Grey Glacier lookout. Return to Puerto Natales. After our final camp breakfast, we will be packing up the van and heading west with a beautiful drive across the heart of the Park. The scenery is quite spectacular and includes monstrous granite peaks, crystal clear turquoise lakes, beautiful valleys and waterfalls to say nothing of the exotic wildlife in the area.
After a couple of hours driving we will arrive at the beautiful Serrano River.
With the dominating mountain peaks a seemingly perfect backdrop to the golden pampas the views from here are simply stunning. We will be driving to a nearby coral to meet our fresh horses for the day. After assigning horses to riders, we will saddle up for the fast ride to Mirador de los Hielos (iceberg lookout). Our ride takes alongside the Grey River towards the largest Glacier in the park, Glacier Grey. We will eventually arrive at a lookout with dramatic views of the iceberg choked waters of Grey Lake with the immense Grey Glacier in the distance (the largest glacier in the Park).
After plenty of time to rest, take photos and enjoy our incredible lunch perch we will rejoin our rested horses and head back to the Serrano River. Our driver will be waiting for us there as we bid goodbye to our new equine friends and transfer back to Puerto Natales on the new road. Driving time about 1 hour. Hours in the saddle approx. 5-6. Includes: (B), (L).
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