Day 1: Transfer Punta Arenas to Estancia Lazo. Collection from airport or hotel in Punta Arenas. Private drive from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales for a short lunch stop and a chance to explore this quaint waterside town. Continue in private transfer vehicle to Torres del Paine and the fabulous Estancia Lazo for one night in this beautiful converted estancia with enviable views across the lake to the Paine Massif. Located just over the fence from Torres del Paine National Park on its own land that sustains a large sheep and cattle ranch, this hotel and working estancia occupies an incredible position beside the tranquil green waters of Laguna Verde.
The hosteria offers splendid views, great food and comfortable en suite accommodation. The lake shore is a great place to stroll spotting the wild geese and ducks that inhabit these waters. Dinner will be in the restaurant offering an excellent variety of local foods and wine. Includes: (D) (wine/drinks available at extra cost).
Day 2: Ride to Sierra del Toro and back. After breakfast we will be using the horses belonging to the estancia for a spectacular but fairly gentle ride up high onto the Sierra del Toro with magnificent views of the entire Park. After packing our saddle bags with cameras, waterproofs and our picnic lunch we will set off around the shores of the pretty Laguna Verde through ancient southern beech forests that line the hill behind the estancia for our climb up and over the Sierra del Toro.
After a steep ascent through these forests we will arrive on top of the mountain. The last section of the ride will often be through snow as we stop to marvel at the views of the entire Park below us. We will then wind down to a pretty authentic puesto (gaucho post) manned by one of the cattle ranchers from Estancia Lazo to take our lunch. After lunch, we will be riding back to our comfortable accommodation at Estancia Lazo. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (wine/drinks available at extra cost).
Day 3: Descend Sierra to pampas below. After breakfast, we will once again be setting off around the shores of the Laguna Verde but this time heading west through grassy valleys and past a myriad of multi-coloured lakes as we ride towards the mountains of Torres del Paine. After a couple of hours riding, we will make a steep descent of the Sierra del Toro to the pampas below.
Lunch will be taken in the valley and we will have a chance to visit the Park Headquarters to look at their relief map of the park. Now used to the style of riding, we will pick up the pace a little and enjoy some faster riding across the pampas to the Serrano River. Our destination is the Hotel Rio Serrano, situated close to the emerald green waters of the Serrano River.
This hotel is fairly new offering comfortable accommodation, a large living/dining area with log fires and a comfortable bar and good restaurant. The nearby river is an excellent place for fishing and there are good walks in the vicinity of the hotel. For early risers amongst you, this area offers some of the most spectacular sunrises in all of Patagonia. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (wine/drinks available at extra cost).
Day 4: Ride to Lago Grey. Boat trip to face of Glacier. Today we saddle up for the fast ride to Grey Glacier and Grey Lake. A lovely, flat ride across the soft grassy pampas we can enjoy nice long canters as we ride directly towards Los Cuernos (the Horns) of Paine. With our views dominated by these huge granite peaks we eventually arrive at the Grey Beach trailhead where we will tether our horses. Crossing the small footbridge for a short walk through a pretty forest, we will descend to the wide grey sands that make up Grey Beach.
Usually home to a number of bright white/turquoise icebergs, the grey waters of the lake are a dramatic site and a highlight for most visitors. The immense glacier in the background is Grey Lake, the largest in the Park. After plenty of time to rest, take photos and enjoy a picnic lunch we will be boarding the Grey II launch that takes us out across the ice-choked waters of the lake to the towering Glacier Grey in the distance.
Late afternoon return to the lovely Hosteria Lago Grey located directly above the beach with incredible, far reaching views of the lake and glacier. With comfortable en suite rooms, a fireside bar and restaurant serving a variety of local and international dishes we can relax and enjoy pre-dinner drinks before meeting for dinner in the hotel restaurant. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (wine/drinks available at extra cost).
Day 5: Ride up and over. Transfer to Hotel near park. After enjoying breakfast in the lovely bright dining room, we will be hopping in our comfortable transfer vehicle for the short drive to the Park Administration centre where we will be reunited with our horses for the beautiful up and over ride across the heart of the Park. Today's trail cuts through some incredibly diverse scenery from verdant green valleys and beech forests to azure lakes and wide open plains. We will see magnificent condors hovering high above mountain peaks while down on the plains herds of guanaco scatter as we approach.
We will be surprised at every turn of our path as we cross over 30 kilometres of this amazing Patagonia riding country dominated by the Paine Horns and Towers after which the park is named. Finally, after a truly memorable ride we will meet our driver and vehicle for the two hour drive back to Puerto Natales where we will be enjoying a night in the comfortable eco-lodge the Hotel Altiplanico.
With views over Last Hope Sound, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, contemporary decor based on maximizing the natural surroundings, a hot tub to soothe any aching limbs and a good restaurant. Dinner will be enjoyed in Puerto Natales at one of the town's many fine restaurants.
Day 6: Transfer to Punta Arenas. Private transfer to Punta Arenas. Includes: (B).
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