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Argentina and Chile - Across the Andes
An expedition crossing one of the world’s largest mountain chains which divides two countries that speak the same language but differ greatly.
Set out from Estancia Huechahue and ride over the plains of Argentine Patagonia, up into the Andes and out across the Andean steppe. Ford rivers, negotiate steep ridges, gallop across water meadows and wind through gorges.
Cross the border into Chile and begin your journey down the western slopes of the Andes. Here you will encounter rain forests thick with bamboo, followed by mountainous scenery reminiscent of Switzerland.
This is a challenging ride, with some long hours in the saddle and so to undertake this ride you must be physically fit, able to canter over uneven ground and ride for long hours.
You begin the journey riding horses from Estancia Huechahue. The horses are Criollo crosses, standing on average about 15.2 - 16hh. They are bred on the estancia, are sure-footed, well behaved and lovely to ride. They respond to neck-reining and the riding is similar to Western style. The saddles used are “montura de monte” which are similar to the old English army saddles with a sheepskin on top. The result is a much wider saddle, which may feel a little odd at first but it should not take you long to adapt.
You change horses at the border. On the Chilean side, your local guide is Loth Kutler and his wife Pamela. Their horses are Chilean Criollos and are approx 14hh. They are all fit and forward going. You ride with a gentle contact on the horse’s mouth, but the horses also respond to neck-reining, as in Argentina.
In both Argentina and Chile, all tacking-up and un-tacking is done for you.
There is more opportunity and requirement to ride fast at the beginning of the ride in Argentina. In Chile, the riding is across mountainous terrain, which makes for much slower riding. You will ride up to approximately 2,200 metres during the trip.
The weight limit is 80 kg.
The first two nights are spent at Estancia Huechahue. Then follows six nights of camping (in tents; simple cabins are used for the two nights on the Chilean side). Your final night is back at Huechahue.
At Estancia Huechahue there are ten rooms with private bathrooms; the rooms can be made up as twins or doubles. Six rooms are chalets a short walk across the garden and four rooms are in the main house. There is a hot tub and a cold water pool for jumping in on hot days.
When camping you stay in two person tents. There is a supplement to be guaranteed a single tent; otherwise you must be prepared to share. Tents are put up for you by the support crew, so that as you ride into camp, all you need to do is collect your bag from the back-up vehicle and put it in your tent. In the morning, if you have some time to kill, then help around the camp is always appreciated in the form of dismantling tents etc.
The support vehicle carries the camping equipment and personal belongings and goes ahead each day to set up camp. Camps are generally by riversides, providing water for washing. On the Argentine side of the ride, a simple loo tent is erected at each campsite; on the Chilean side, there are permanent loos available at both campsites.
Thermarest-type mats are provided for you, or you may prefer to bed down as the gauchos do and take your whole saddle into your tent, using your saddle blankets as your bed and the frame of your saddle plus your sheepskin as a pillow.
There is one night on the Argentine side where the support vehicle cannot reach camp and on this night you take minimal belongings. The camping equipment and sleeping bags will be taken on pack horses, but sleeping mats will not be taken and you will have to use your saddle blankets for your bed.
Breakfast on the trail is usually eggs, bacon, toast and cereal. Lunch can be a saddlebag picnic or an 'asado' (BBQ). Evening meals are cooked on the camp fire and as Huechahue are are very proud of their beef, the diet will be predominantly meat-based. Fruit and vegetables are also on offer, so vegetarians who are happy to just avoid the meat are welcome, but separate vegetarian dishes cannot be provided.
We have one ride scheduled in January 2019. Additional dates may be possible between December and February for private groups (minimum 12 riders). Please enquire.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Across The Andes||
||15 Jan 2019 - 24 Jan 2019||9 nights 9 ngts||£4,401.09||Full|
A 50% non-refundable deposit is required.
INCLUDES Accommodation; full board; drinks; riding; transfers from San Martin de los Andes (Chapelco).
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT £2,200.55 otherwise you must be prepared to share.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Tips; laundry.
NEAREST AIRPORT San Martin de los Andes (Chapelco)
TRANSFERS Included from San Martin de los Andes (Chapelco) (40 minutes by road) on the arrival and departure day (shared).
In northern Argentine Patagonia in the foothills of the Andes.
December through to February is summer time, when day time temperatures in Argentina can usually climb to the mid-20's°C. It will be cooler at night, generally between 5-10°C, but sometimes colder. In Chile you ride through areas of rain forest and so you must be prepared for rain.
I was really pleased with all to do with the horses and equipment. My horse was well behaved and responsive, would go first, last or in the middle and up for a good gallop if asked...he was just so good and improved my confidence completely, i wanted to bring him home!
Diego our guide was such a great chap, he put his heart and soul into everything - he kept us safe as well as making it fun.
An amazing adventure taking you from Argentine Patagonia, across the vast Andes mountains to Currarehue in Chile. Days are filled with exciting riding, changing scenery and open wilderness. By night, camp alongside rivers and stretch out to sleep under the stars of the Southern Hemisphere.
If you have some extra time before or after the ride, extend your trip with a few days spent in Buenos Aires or a visit to Iguazú Falls.