Chile ~ Patagonia, Torres del Paine

6 night rides run from late October to late March, using estancia and hosteria accommodation in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Chile

Where In the far south of Chile, exploring Torres del Paine National Park which is home to some of the most dramatic landscapes and scenery in the whole of South America

What is it like Open grassland and wild valleys lined with forest of southern beech and overlooked by the huge granite towers of the Paine Massif.  Grey blue glaciers flow down from the southern ice cap, cutting their way through the mountains before crumbling into lakes which are a vivid turquoise-blue. Waterfalls tumble from the granite cliffs and Condors soar on thermals above the snow capped peaks. Herds of guanaco graze on the open plains, their hauting cries echoing off the craggy mountains. Its wild, windy and altogether wonderful!

Who does it suit Its one of those bucket list 'one day I will go to..' destinations and ideal for horses. The grassy plains make a superb setting for long canters and the backdrop is extraordinary. The riding style is South American so its 'get on and go' but go you can, covering many miles a day, so you need to be fit. You also need to be resilient (or at least a careful packer) to cope with constantly changing and sometimes challenging weather. Nights are in estancias, some private but most now operating as local hotels. They are warm and dry, some are in spectacular settings and whilst not 'boutique' offer a reasonably comfortable hikers' rest at the end of the day. 

Why we love it  Location, location, location, exhilaration, exhilaration, exhilaration - there's not much that compares. The National Park regulations and the remoteness of the location can make logistics seem clunky but every traveller should see this 'Uttermost Part of the Earth'. Its like riding through National Geographic

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SUMMARY

Riding: 5-9 hours a day

Horses: locally bred Criollo and Chilean cross

Pace: moderate and varied, with good open going for long canters

Riding ability: suitable for intermediate to experienced riders

Weight limit: 90kg (198 lbs)

Accommodation: simple estancias and lodges

Group size: maximum 6

Season: October to March

Price: 6 night ride from USD 5985 (approx £5440) per person

HORSES & RIDING

Horses: The horses are medium build cross breeds, generally Chilean Horse crosses or Criollo mix. Some have Percheron blood. They are bred locally on the surrounding estancias for working cattle and sheep and most range from about 14.2hh to 16hh. They are good natured and a sensible, responsive and enjoyable ride. You will ride differerent horses during the ride, changing as you visit different estancias. Saddles are Chilean style with a comfortable sheepskin on top. The horses are trained western style and are used to neck reining and a relaxed contact with the mouth. Groups are normally limited to a maximum of 6 guests with a local guide and horsemen.

Hours: There is generally 5 to 9 hours riding a day, riding out from your estancia or from estancia to estancia, with breaks for rests and lunch.

Pace and Riding experience; To take part you should have a reasonable amount of previous riding experience and a good level of general fitness. You should be comfortable and in control on a well schooled horse at a walk, trot and canter and used to riding in open country at a fairly fast pace. Experienced riders will have fun, energetic riding over good terrain. The horses include sensible, steady ranch-bred schoolmasters so less experienced riders can also particpate but you must be fit as hours and distances are long. The pace is varied with plenty of opportunities for good long canters; you must be able to stay the distance.

ACCOMMODATION

The first 2 nights of the set date itinerary are spent at Baguales glamping, in amazing domes set it remote coutryside, each with bathroom, woodburning stove and twin or double bed. 2 other nights are at family run estancias (farms) in and around the National Park, either working estancias in comfortable guest rooms, or at estancias that have been converted to small hotels (hosterias). Last 2 nights are at Hotel Rio Serrano in the center of the National Park. Rooms are generally twin bedded with private bathroom although on occasional nights bathrooms may be shared. Breakfast and dinner are served at your estancia or hotel and lunches are picnics en-route, either carried in saddle bags or where access allows, brought to meet you by vehicle.

RATES & DATES

Rates 2022-2023

Valid until April 2023 

Baguales to Rio Serrano Ride (6 nights) - USD 5985 per person
(based on 4-6 riders)
Single supplement (if available) USD 990

Rates include - all riding, guiding and equipment, twin/shared accommodation, meals, wine with dinner, Park fees, vehicle transfers at set times with the group from / to Puerto Natales .

Rates exclude - flights to Chile / travel to Puerto Nataless, extra drinks, personal medical insurance (compulsory), any visa fees and personal items such as tips etc.

Prices are quoted in US dollars. Payments to us can of course be made in pounds sterling if you wish and we can give you a sterling rate at the time of booking.

Dates 2022-2023

Baguales to Rio Serrano Ride
12th to 18th December
6th to 12th January 2023

Other dates on request for groups of 4 or more

 

 Average temperature guide

ITINERARY

Itinerary in brief - 6 night Baguales to Rio Serrano Ride. 

Day 1 Arrive Purto Natales before 12 noon. Meet you guide and transfer by private vehicle, about two hours, to Estancia Cerro Guido, a large ranch bordering the National Park. Stop here to join an "estancia experince", witness life on one of hte pioneering ranches, perhaps sheep shearing or penning. Continue another hour into the Baguales mountains, close to the border with Argentina. Overnight in luxury domes at Baguales Glamping.
Day 2 A full day riding in the Sierra Baguales, a chance ot get used to your horses and explore this breathtaking untamed landscape. Lunch at an old Puesto (Patagonian cowboy post), then return to Glamping Baguales for dinner and night.
Day 3 Breakfast and a long ride, 7 to 8 hours, heading south. Stop for a picnic lunch carried in your saddle bags and in the late afternoon arrive at the comfortable Estancia Cerro Guido. Dinner in their restaurant with tremdous views out towards the Paine towers.
Day 4 Today's ride takes you west, crossing open country where there are many guanacos (the wild relation to the llama), condors and also puma (though they are difficult to spot). Reach the waterfall, Salto Las Chinas, then stop for lunch which is cooked for you by a local family in their homestead. Continue riding to the shores of Lake Azul, then back to Estancia Tercera Barranca where a typical "Asado al palo" a whole lamb barbecued gaucho style, will be waiting. Night Estancia Tercera Barranca.
Day 5 Ride across the heart of the National Park, with great views of the granite peaks of the Paine mountain range. The are some good opportunities for long canters. A spectacular day! Arrive at Hotel Rio Serrano for dinner and night.
Day 6 The ride today heads north west, following the Rio Grey along a broad valley with plenty of chances to move on. The impressive Paine Massif dominates the landscape. Stop for a picnic lunch, then mount up again, continuing to Lake Grey where you leave the horses and hike about 45 minutes along the shore. At the jetty you board a boat that takes you to the face of the impressive Grey Glacier (about a 3 hour cruise). After the cruise you will be driven bak to Hotel Rio Serrano for dinner and the night.
Day 7 Breakfast and transfer by car to Puerto Natales airport (or town). Own arrangements for onward travel.
  Contact us at info@rideworldwide.com or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.
TRAVEL

The meeting point for the rides is Puerto Natales, gateway to Torres del Paine National Park, and you usually need to be there by 12 noon on the first day. In most case you will need to fly to Santiago, Chile's capital, then take an internal flight to Punta Arenas at the southern tip of Chilean Patagonia and from here transfer by bus or private transfer to Puerto Natales. From London there are flights to Santiago, generally departing in the evening and arriving Santiago the next day (e.g. British Airways, Iberia and LATAM fly via Madrid). There are 3 or 4 flights a day between Santiago and Punta Arenas. For flights from London budget around £1200 economy return (varies with the airline, season and availability).

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