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Horseriding across Patagonia

offered by supplier M09984 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Chile  
Specialty Categories: Horse Riding  
Season: November - April
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2765 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3345 US Dollar (USD)

This fabulous itinerary is suited to lovers of riding and the outdoors and those who like to get ‘off the beaten track’. In the company of our guide and Chilean horsemen, we ride into remote areas where the only access is on foot or horse. Packhorses carry our luggage and often we see no other humans.

Whilst camping in these areas we can observe the plentiful wildlife, sit and enjoy some traditional ‘mate’ with the baqueanos, enjoy wine by the campfire or find a peaceful spot and just sit and read. The campsites on this trip have been chosen with much care and they are all very different, very special and very beautiful. Some of them are wilderness sites with no ‘facilities’ at all.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Morning collection from client’s hotel in Punta Arenas. Drive to penguin colony to see and photograph the Magellanic penguins. Continue in comfortable transfer vehicle across the Patagonian Steppe where you will have your first opportunity to see some of the unusual plant and animal life that exists in this area. After a short lunch stop in Puerto Natales we will continue on to our campsite situated close to a working estancia on the edges of the beautiful Laguna Verde. Chance to stroll down to the lakeside and enjoy the variety of birdlife and spectacular views of the horns whilst dinner is prepared. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 2: Today we will meet our horses and the characterful baqueanos who care for them. After assigning horses to riders, we will have a safety check and short familiarization with western riding before packing our saddle bags with cameras, waterproofs, and our picnic lunch and setting off around the shores of this pretty lake through ancient southern beech forests towards the Sierra del Toro. We will take our time as we adjust to the different style of riding and our horses whilst the route takes us past a number of pretty lakes. After a few hours riding we will ride up to the Mirador del Toro to enjoy the spectacular views of the peaks of Paine and the lakes and waterways that flow through the pampas below.

After stopping to take some photographs and enjoy the marvelous view we will start our steep descent of the Sierra del Toro. Lunch will be taken in the valley before setting off across the Pampas to our campsite at the Serrano River. On this wide open pampas there will be a chance to enjoy our first long canter before arriving at our pretty riverside camp. Chance to relax and enjoy some river chilled wine and snacks whilst the evening meal is prepared. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 3: After breakfast we will pack up camp and make an early start across the pampas towards the Pingo Trail Head. Whilst the pack horses are being loaded up we will have an opportunity to walk down to the shores of Grey Lake. Grey Glacier is the largest glacier in the park and icebergs that have calved off the Glacier will be seen floating in the lake. The contrasting colors of ‘blue ice’ against the grey waters of the lake are memorable and there will be plenty of time to photograph this scenic wonder.

After a short walk along the lake beach we will return to our horses to start our winding mountain route towards the Pingo Valley. The path crosses rivers and soft grassy valleys before following a trail through ancient southern beech forest to our camping destination. Night spent camping in this pretty wooded valley. Wild camping ‘riverside’. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 4: Today we ride out to see Lake and Glacier Pingo. This is a wild and beautiful spot where we take the horses right onto the beach of this iceberg-filled lake. As we are usually the only visitors here, we will take the opportunity to sit and enjoy the view of the lake, glacier and surrounding mountains before making our way up to the fabulous Mirador Zapata where we will have dramatic views from above of Zapata, Pingo and Tyndall Glaciers. Second night camping in the Pingo Valley. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 5: After breakfast, we will set off along the Rio Pingo for our journey back through ancient forests before stopping at the Pingo falls. We will then continue along this pretty trail before stopping for lunch in a clover field. Afternoon ride across the wide open pampas where we will have a chance to enjoy long canters in the shadow of the Paine Mountains. Tonight we will be camping once again beside the emerald green waters of the Serrano River. Enjoy river-chilled wine whilst dinner is prepared at this lovely campsite. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 6: Today we will be enjoying one of the longest rides of the trip across the heart of the park. This is a beautiful trail which crosses a variety of changing landscapes. We will ride through verdant green valleys and southern beech forests passing turquoise lakes and crossing wide open plains.

We will see magnificent condors hovering high above mountain peaks whilst 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 km of this amazing riding country dominated by the Paine Horns and Towers after which the park is named. Finally, after a truly memorable ride we take a short vehicle transfer to our beautiful campsite beside Laguna Azul. Hot showers. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 7: After packing up camp and loading up the pack horses we will set off on our exciting ride around the shores of this dazzlingly blue lake towards Lago Paine. There will be many excellent photo opportunities on this route as we pass through flower filled woods and beautiful valleys with the horizon being constantly dominated by the northerly slopes of the Paine chain. We will stop for lunch at Lago Paine before continuing on to the Dickson valley. After a long canter through woods we will arrive at our destination beside the Rio de Los Perros. If we are lucky we will see icebergs floating in the adjoining lake as we board our little boat to cross to our campsite the other side of the river. Tonight we will be camping in this beautiful valley whose only access is by foot or horseback.

During our stay here we will be eating in the refugio and will no doubt enjoy the company of some hikers who have also made this pretty place home for a short while. As an extra bonus, it is extremely likely that we will see the horses swim the glacial waters of the Rio de los Perros (dependent on weather/current). With the lead horse being led from a dinghy used to cross passengers, the other horses follow along behind snorting in chorus as they swim across this fast flowing river. Night spent camping in this beautiful valley. Showers available. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 8: Today we will ride north past the beautiful Lago Quemado to our lunch spot overlooking Glacier Dickson. Perched high above this beautiful iceberg filled lake and glacier which seems to go on forever, we will sit and admire the miracles of nature. This is a high point of everybody’s trip and a place which rarely receives visitors owing to its inaccessibility. We will enjoy a leisurely lunch on our solitary perch before heading back to our camp at Dickson for a second night. Showers available. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 9: After crossing the Rio de los Perros for the last time, we will today set off early for our ride to Laguna Azul. Once again we will pass the northerly peaks of the Paine chain. One of the peaks is topped by a black, craggy rock in the shape of a Tuhuelche Indian Face where the ‘headband’ is decorated with snowdrifts even in summer.

From here we will see Laguna Azul coming into view as we pass through flower filled meadows and southern beech forests. On arrival at the campsite we will put the wine in the lake to chill and serve canapes before our dinner is served. During the evening we can enjoy our final view of the Towers across the lake whilst swapping tales of the adventure of the previous days. Hot showers.
Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 10: Pack up camp for our transfer back to Punta Arenas to arrive late afternoon. We will once again make a lunch stop in Puerto Natales and this will give clients an opportunity to purchase any souvenirs/books/postcards etc. Clients will be dropped off at their hotel in Punta Arenas normally around 6:00 p.m. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

2 clients: $3,345.00
3-6 clients: $2,895.00
7-12 clients: $2,765.00

Price includes:
- 9 nights camping
- 2 hotel nights
- 8 full days riding
- Transfers to and from Punta Arenas and while in Park
- Camping (based on twin share)
- Meals while camping (including wine with dinner)
- All equipment (except sleeping bags and mats which can be rented locally on request)
- English-speaking and local guides
- Baqueanos who care for the horses
- Pack horses for luggage
- Waterproof stuff-sacks for trip
- Use of saddle bags
- Entrance fees to park and penguin colony.

Price Excludes:
- Flights; airport taxes; airport transfers and meals in Punta Arenas;
- Lunch in Natales on Day 2 and Day 11
- Local gratuities ($60 recommended).

About This Supplier
Location: Chile
Joined InfoHub: Sep 2003

M09984 is a tour operator based in southern Patagonia's quaint waterside town of Puerto Natales. Run by the original founders, it is a small Anglo-Chilean company which has been organizing wilderness adventure travel in and around Southern Patagonia for nearly 20 years. We offer three services depending on the...

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