Chile - Lake District

Experience Level
  • Open Jan-Mar
  • Set arrivals
  • 6 nights / 4 to 6 days of riding | 4 to 7 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Puerto Varas
  • Weight limit: 14st 1lbs (90 kg) (197 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 10

The Puelo Valley is a remote Andean area in Chile’s Lake District. The Puelo River runs through the heart of the valley and you will cross it many times – sometimes on horseback and sometimes by boat with the horses swimming alongside. Follow narrow tracks through the rainforest to areas where the locals still travel by horseback and there are few roads.

Your belongings are carried by pack horses and you stay in basic lodgings and also on the private island retreat of Las Bandurrias.

There are three itineraries which all take place in a similar area, so your choice is likely to depend on whether you wish to remain in Chile or to continue your travels in Argentina.

The Huaso Ride (5 days riding) starts and finishes in Puerto Varas in Chile.

The Puelo Ride (6 days riding) and the Andean Crossing (4 days riding) both start in Puerto Varas and finish in Bariloche in Argentina, although all the riding is in the Chilean Lake District. The Andean Crossing is basically a shortened version of the Puelo Ride omitting the first two days riding.  On both of these itineraries at the end of the riding you cross Lago Puelo by boat and transfer by vehicle to Bariloche to continue your travels in Argentina.

You should be a competent rider, confident enough to try a different riding style and fit enough for some long days in the saddle.

The horses are Criollos, sure-footed, strong and well-suited to the terrain.

There are lots of river crossings as well as some steep climbs and descents – all of which can be more demanding if the weather is unkind.

There are occasional opportunities to canter on open ground, particularly on the Argentinian side or to trot through the shady forests. But the terrain and the fact you have pack-horses with you dictates that much of the ride is at a walk.


Accommodation during the trail is mostly in the homes of local people. where you are invited to experience their way of life. These rustic houses offer basic accommodation in twin, triple or dorm rooms (made up beds on mattresses) with shared bathrooms and shower facilities.

You also spend two nights on the private island of Las Bandurrias, where there is a main house and a wooden cabaña for guests. The house is surrounded by a beautiful flower garden and from the sundeck there a stunning views of Lake Las Rocas and the surrounding peaks.

We can arrange your hotel accommodation in Puerto Varas and Bariloche if you wish. At the hotels single accommodation is possible, but during the ride itself you need to be prepared to share.

Accommodation Gallery

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Upcoming Dates

The scheduled dates are set out below. Additional dates may be possible for private groups, so please enquire.

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
Huaso Trail
23 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019 6 nights 6 ngts £2,280.63 View (.pdf) Book


INCLUDES Accommodation; meals; drinks; wine with dinner during the ride; horses; guides; transfers; ferry crossing.

SMALL GROUP SUPPLEMENTS apply which depend on the total number of people booked:

Andean Crossing
2 riders in group: £890.75
3 riders in group: £602.79
4 riders in group: £268.76
5-8 riders in group: £145.90

Huaso Trail
2 riders in group: £637.35
3 riders in group: £506.81
4 riders in group: £161.26
5-8 riders in group: £84.47

Puelo Ride
2 riders in group: £913.79
3 riders in group: £621.99
4 riders in group: £184.29
5-8 riders in group: £107.50

There is a supplement of £161.26 for riders over 90kg so you can be provided with a second horse.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT It is not possible to guarantee single accommodation so you should be prepared to share.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Accommodation, meals & drinks in Bariloche and Puerto Varas; tips.

NEAREST AIRPORT For the Puelo Ride and Andean Crossing Puerto Montt is the arrival airport; San Carlos de Bariloche is the departure airport. For the Huaso Trail you would fly into and out of Puerto Montt.

TRANSFERS Included from Puerto Montt and to San Carlos de Bariloche at set times.


In The Saddle Gallery


Mid-way between the Chilean capital Santiago and the southerly port of Punta Arenas.

Weather & Climate

The weather is changeable in the mountains and it can rain at any time. Warm clothing and good rain gear is essential.

Temperatures on a clear day could reach the high 20's or low 30’s °C. Evening temperatures may fall to close to freezing. It can also be very windy at times.

from £2,226.88 for 6 nights Book Now

Guest Review

Horses very sure footed, well mannered, biddable and easy to handle.

Louise ,Rutland

Lake District Riding Specialist

Abigail says

This area is so remote that the locals use pack horses and ox carts to travel about. There are no hotels, so you really do stay with local people and experience their lives.

My Top Tip

Staying at the private Bandurrias Island is a real treat - don't forget your swimming costume so you can cool off in the lake!


Abigail Wood
from £2,226.88 for 6 nights Book Now