Argentina and Chile - Lake District

  • Open Jan-Mar, Oct-Nov
  • Set arrivals
  • 5 to 7 nights / 4 to 6 days of riding | 4 to 7 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Puerto Varas
  • Weight limit: 14st (89 kg) (196 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 your preferred dates and whether you wish to remain in Chile or to continue to Argentina.

The Huaso Ride (5 days riding), Puelo Ride (6 days riding) and the Andean Crossing (4 days riding) all start in Puerto Varas in Chile. The end point is either Puerto Varas or Bariloche in Argentina, depending on the route. The Andean Crossing is basically a shortened version of the Puelo Ride omitting the first two days riding. On a couple of the itineraries, at the end of the riding you cross Lago Puelo by boat and transfer by vehicle to Bariloche.

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 for steady trots or canters, but the terrain and the fact you have pack-horses with you dictates that most 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

( GBP | EUR | USD )

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 24 Jan 2020 - 30 Jan 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $3,600.00 View (.pdf) Book
Puelo Ride (ending Puerto Varas) 4 Feb 2020 - 11 Feb 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $4,290.00 View (.pdf) Book
Andean Crossing (ending Puerto Varas) 18 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $3,500.00 View (.pdf) Book
Huaso Trail 29 Feb 2020 - 6 Mar 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $3,600.00 View (.pdf) Book
Andean Crossing (ending Puerto Varas) 13 Mar 2020 - 18 Mar 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $3,500.00 View (.pdf) Book
Andean Crossing (ending Puerto Varas) 26 Mar 2020 - 31 Mar 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $3,500.00 View (.pdf) Book

Prices

INCLUDES Accommodation; meals; drinks; wine with dinner during the ride (one bottle per 2 people); horses; guides; transfers; ferry crossing (where applicable).

There is a supplement of $290.00 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 The arrival airport is Puerto Montt. The departure airport is Puerto Montt or San Carlos de Bariloche, depending on the itinerary.

TRANSFERS Included from Puerto Varas to the start of the ride and from the end of the ride to Puerto Varas or San Carlos de Bariloche.

 


Getting There

For Puelo Ride (ending Puerto Varas)

This ride starts and finishes in Puerto Varas in Chile. On Day 1 of the ride you are collected from your hotel in Puerto Varas and driven to the starting point for the ride. At the end of the ride you are transferred back to Puerto Varas. The nearest airport is Puerto Montt.

You will need to overnight in Puerto Varas the night before the ride begins, because the ride briefing is scheduled for 18:00 the day before the start of the ride.

In case of delays it is generally advised to plan to overnight in Puerto Varas rather than to have an onward flight booked.

We can arrange your accommodation in Puerto Varas as well as book your airport transfers if you wish.

For Andean Crossing (ending Puerto Varas)

The Andean Crossing begins and ends in Puerto Varas in Chile.

On Day 1 you are collected from your hotel in Puerto Varas and driven to the starting point for the ride. On Day 6 you arrive in Puerto Varas in the early evening.

You will need to overnight in Puerto Varas the night before the ride begins, because the ride briefing is scheduled for 18:00 the day before the start of the ride.

At the end of the ride you are transferred to Puerto Varas, arriving around 18:00. In case of delays you are advised to plan to overnight in Puerto Varas rather than to have an onward flight booked.

We can arrange your accommodation in Puerto Varas as well as book your airport transfers if you wish.

For Puelo Ride

For this ride you need to fly into Puerto Montt in Chile and fly home from San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina.

The meeting point for the ride is Puerto Varas and you will need to arrive here a day before the ride begins. The ride briefing takes place at 18:00 on the evening before the ride starts.

On the last day you will be transferred from the end of the ride to Bariloche. Arrival in Bariloche is expected to be around 18:00. We would recommend planning to spend the night in Bariloche and then continuing your travel plans or fly home the next day.

We are happy to assist you with booking hotels and airport transfers for you before and after the ride.

For Huaso Trail

The Huaso Trail starts and finishes in Puerto Varas in Chile. On Day 1 of the ride you are collected from your hotel in Puerto Varas and driven to the starting point for the ride. At the end of the ride you are transferred back to Puerto Varas. The nearest airport is Puerto Montt.

You will need to overnight in Puerto Varas the night before the ride begins, because the ride briefing is scheduled for 18:00 the day before the start of the ride.

In case of delays it is generally advised to plan to overnight in Puerto Varas rather than to have an onward flight booked.

We can arrange your accommodation in Puerto Varas as well as book your airport transfers if you wish.

For Andean Crossing

The Andean Crossing begins and ends in Puerto Varas in Chile, except for the 28 October-2 November ride which begins in Puerto Varas and ends at Bariloche in Argentina.

On Day 1 you are collected from your hotel in Puerto Varas and driven to the starting point for the ride. On Day 6 you arrive in Bariloche (Puerto Varas on the 28 October-2 November date) in the early evening.

You will need to overnight in Puerto Varas the night before the ride begins, because the ride briefing is scheduled for 18:00 the day before the start of the ride.

At the end of the ride you are transferred to San Carlos de Bariloche/Puerto Varas, arriving around 18:00. In case of delays you are advised to plan to overnight in Bariloche/Puerto Varas rather than to have an onward flight booked.

We can arrange your accommodation in Puerto Varas and Bariloche as well as book your airport transfers if you wish.

In The Saddle Gallery

Location

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.

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from $3,500.00 for 5 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!

Email: abigail@inthesaddle.com

Abigail Wood
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