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4 Day Andean Wilderness Horseback Riding in Ovalle, Coquimbo Region

Hacienda Los Andes, Casilla 98, Ovalle, Limarí Province, Coquimbo Region, Chile

Horse Riding Holiday in Chile

Hacienda Los Andes invites you to join this horse riding holiday in Chile. This four days holiday includes two days of horse riding and also the option to spend the night camping under the open sky in the oasis of the Andes called Maiten or to sleep comfortably in the hotel - it is up to you. The Hacienda team is committed to turning your holidays into an unforgettable and individual experience. There will be lots of things you could experience in this holiday, so don't waste this opportunity!

Key Information

  • Rider Weigh Limit: 220 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Horse Heigh: 13 to 14 hands
  • Horse Breed: Chilean Criollos

Meet the instructors

Rene
Read more

Highlights

  • 2-day horse riding
  • Explore wild plateaus and canyons
  • Ride the endless sierra with the guide
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Transfer from / to Ovalle
  • 3 nights' lodging

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


2 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
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Accommodation

You will have two overnight stays in standard rooms or suites at Hacienda Los Andes and an overnight stay under the open sky, optional in tents (depending on weather conditions).

Hacienda Los Andes

Hacienda Los Andes offers seven comfortable rooms, a restaurant, two miles of private access to the river Río Hurtado, and a palm garden. The estates, with its more than 1,200 acres, invites to relax and rest, hike in the pure wilderness, and more. In the Hacienda's private observatory, they cater to the demanding astrophotographer and offer the guests exciting visual night sky tours.

Suite

The suite is a beautiful and spacious room with living area. Integrated panorama window permits view over the Andes and sunrise in the morning. The room is available as a single or double room with king size bed, writing desk with chair, wardrobe, and couch with table. It has a private bathroom with shower and its own terrace. Room size is about 30 square meters while the bathroom is eight square meters.

Standard

The standard rooms are available as a single, double, or triple room. The rooms have single or double beds, wardrobe, table, and chairs. They all have private bathrooms with shower and access to the patio. Room size is more than 20 square meters.

Program

Day 1

You transfer from Ovalle. Transfer from La Serena / Vicuña at an additional cost is possible. The trip through the rough mountains takes you about two hours. At the Hacienda, you can enjoy romantic places next to the river. You can pick and eat the fruits or relax in a hammock. In the kitchen, Hacienda Los Andes only uses natural and fresh food. After dinner, you sit on the terrace, watching the stars while drinking a glass of Chilean wine and finishing the first day.

Day 2

At about 09:30, you prepare everything for the exploration. The guides acquaint you with the riding horses, the riding style, and any safety precautions. You set off at 11:00 after having packed all you need for the trip into the wilderness. You pass through wild plateaus and canyons, ride the endless sierra, and enjoy a picnic lunch and an original siesta.

In the afternoon, you pass over heights of 2,000 meters. Crystal-clear air allows magical views down the valleys of the Andes. You camp under the open sky in the oasis of the Andes called Maiten. In front of a campfire, Hacienda Los Andes will serve dinner. (Alternatively, you are welcome to change this two-day ride for two one-day rides starting at the Hacienda. Your overnight stay would be at the Hacienda in cozy beds.)

Day 3

You continue your trip after breakfast. You ride the Maiten Sierra and discover the extreme contrasts of nature. The minerals let the sierra shine in many different colors. You will be fascinated by the green Algarrobo trees, cacti as high as yourself and the calm loneliness. When riding back to the Hacienda, herdsmen with their goats might cross your way. You arrive at the civilization of the Hacienda at 15:00. Now, it is time for having a bath and a rest. Dinner is served in the garden.

Day 4

There is a lot of time today to continue your exploration of this little paradise. You may go swimming, sunbathing, hiking, or just relaxing. Who wants to join another adventure can book a 4x4 tour with the pickup or another horseback riding tour (costs are not included in the program). You will transfer to Ovalle. Transfer to Vicuña / La Serena is available at additional costs.

Horses

Hacienda Los Andes's horses are descendants of the Chilean Criollos. They are calm and sweet-natured. Growing up in rocky and difficult areas has made them sure-footed and reliable animals. Those characteristics make them ideal horses for tourists. They are easy to ride and even a skilled rider will enjoy riding them.

The horses are specifically trained for tourist purposes. Hacienda Los Andes uses neither spurs nor whips. They use the same paths as the men called Huasos in Chile and Gauchos in Argentina. That's how the horses gain strength and endurance. Hacienda Los Andes finds the right horse for every customer. Their herd ranges from calm, easy-going horses for beginners, to the bit more lively ones for experienced riders.

Sirius

Sirius obtained his name from the brightest star in the night sky. He has a calm and well-balanced character. His diligent walk on the mountain trails shows that he enjoys the excursions. On Sirius' back, you can always leave the reins long and relax.

Chacay

Chacay is a horse of a tall and delicate figure. He loves to join the riding tours and always curiously looks around. Sometimes, he has to be encouraged to follow the other horses, while on other days, he is full of energy and would prefer not to take any break. Nevertheless, he is a loyal companion, especially for the experienced guests. Above all, he does score points with his cheeky but loving character. He is very eager to learn and always enjoys his work.

Coral

Coral is the tallest and probably strongest horse. He also brings the taller guests up to the top of the steepest mountain. Especially skilled riders can have a lot of fun with him.

Rancherita

Rancherita is a pretty mare, with which especially the experienced riders can have a lot of fun. She is the boss in the herd and sometimes wants to be the same with the rider. However, as soon as you have made friends with her, she is a great companion who accompanies you through the mountains comfortably and safely.

Curicana

Curicana is one of the newest horses at the Hacienda. For Chilean standards, she is very tall, but no worries, she is absolutely kind, a bit timid even, and reacts sensitively to her rider's indications. She carries the guests with her fast and comfortable walk safely on all the tours.

Equipment for riding explorations

  • "Wintec" with sheep-fur padding
  • Comfortable Gaucho saddle or trekking saddle
  • First aid kit
  • Ice-box
  • One of the well trained and calm Chilean mountain horses
  • Personal pannier (cup, etc.)
  • Riding gaiters
  • Saddle bags
  • Safety helmet (by request)
  • Sleeping bag and clean inlet
  • Sombrero
  • Thermal mat
  • Thermo bottle

Instructors

Rene

Location

Hacienda Los Andes is located in Chile's IV region, the Norte Chico, in the valley of the Hurtado River, away from the tourist routes and surrounded by pure wilderness and the beautiful Andes.

The Norte Chico, the small north, is situated only 500 kilometers north of Santiago, Chile. Flights from Santiago arrive three times per day in La Serena, a beach resort on the Pacific Coast. Visitors from distant countries hardly know this region. Nevertheless, well known is the term "Pisco", which is a colorless and natural brandy extracted from the grapes of the local sunny vineyards.

When autumn and winter starts in the northern hemisphere, the holiday season, which is from October to April, begins in this mild and dry climate. The blue Pacific with its hidden bays and the little villages in the wild Andes are part of this region, as well as lonely valleys, endless mountain trails, and the peace and silence of the Andes over which condors rule.

A well-known holiday resort is Pisco Elqui, in the valley with the same name. The Río Hurtado valley is situated nearby, only 15 kilometers as the crow flies to the west and that's where the Hacienda is located. One of northern Chile's best preserved Indian ceremony places is located in this green valley, only a two-hour horseback ride away from the Hacienda Los Andes.

Distances

  • Río Hurtado valley, 15 kilometers - 2-hour horseback ride

Food

At the Hacienda, you will be served breakfast and dinner but not the drinks. While you are camping, you will be served all meals and drinks (including wine).

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • A 4x4 tour
  • Hiking in the pure wilderness

What's included

  • 2 days horse riding
  • Use of horses
  • Service of English, German, and Spanish-speaking guides
  • Equipment for riding explorations
  • Use of any facilities of the Hacienda such as nature trail and river access
  • Transfer from / to Ovalle
  • Breakfast and dinner without drinks at the Hacienda
  • Meals and drinks (including wine) during the camp
  • 3 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • Transfer from and to La Serena / Vicuña

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Santiago

  • If you are coming from Santiago, you drive on the Pan-American Highway (Ruta 5) to La Serena.
  • Vicuña can be reached from La Serena by following the Elqui valley directions.
  • The turn off to Hurtado is marked on the bypass of Vicuña (do not drive into town).
  • A beautiful scenery welcomes you along this winding, unpaved road, and it will take over an hour to drive these 48 kilometers from Vicuña to the Hacienda.
  • Even you have to drive carefully, it’s not a problem to come along with a small car.
  • In Hurtado, turn right, and after another five kilometers down the valley, the Hacienda is clearly marked on the left-hand side in Vado Morrillos.

Driving directions from Pan-American

  • Leave the Pan-American and drive into the town Ovalle.
  • In Ovalle, follow directions to La Serena.
  • Leave Ovalle behind and after about three kilometers, take the bifurcation labeled "Samo Alto" / "Hurtado".
  • The road leads through the Río Hurtado valley.
  • It will take about 90 minutes to get to the Hacienda in Vado Morrillos, which is five kilometers behind the locality Serón.
  • The winding road is mostly paved and in very good condition.
  • Only the last 15 kilometers are the good gravel road.

Arrival by bus

Journey by coach from Santiago to Ovalle

You can have a journey by coach from Santiago to Ovalle. Every hour, interstate coaches are leaving from Santiago de Chile to Ovalle. The journey takes approximately five to six hours. All coaches to Ovalle depart from one of three terminals at Alameda (Avenida Bernardo O'Higgins). These are the following:

  • Terminal de Buses Alameda: Avenida O'Higgins 3750, right at the southern exit of the Metro / underground station "Universidad de Santiago"
  • Terminal Los Heroes: Calle Jiménez, north of Avenida O'Higgins, nearby the Metro / underground station "Los Heroes".
  • Terminal San Borja: Avenida O'Higgins 3250, at the Metro station "Estación Central".

Journey by coach from Ovalle to the Hacienda

During the week from Monday to Saturday, buses from Ovalle to Hurtado depart from Feria Modelo. Only the buses leaving at 19.00 o'clock during the week and the buses on Sunday leave from the corner of Calle Alameda / Calle Gabriela Mistral.

The journey will take approximately 2.5 hours to get from Ovalle to the Hacienda in Vado Morrillos, which lies five kilometers before Hurtado.

Here are the bus departure times:

  • Monday / Wednesday / Friday: 10:30 / 12:30 / 15:00 / 16:30 / 19:00
  • Tuesday / Thursday: 14:00 / 16:30 / 19:00
  • Saturday: 10:30 / 14:00 / 19:00
  • Sunday: 18:00 / 20:30

Just tell the bus driver “Hacienda Los Andes” and he will stop right in front of the Hacienda entrance gate.

Journey by coach from La Serena to the Hacienda

There are two possibilities to get to the Hacienda Los Andes from La Serena by coach / transfer. First via Ovalle and second to Vicuna and continue with Hacienda Los Andes's transfer.

If you go via Ovalle, every 10 minutes, coaches depart from the “Terminal de Buses” in La Serena to Ovalle. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours. You will get to the bus terminal in Ovalle. From here, you need to go to the Feria Modelo (approximately 30 minutes to walk / taxi costs 2,000 CLP).

If you go to Vicuna and continue with Hacienda Los Andes's transfer, from the “Terminal de Buses” in La Serena, the bus ride to Vicuna takes about 1.5 hours. The journey into the remote area cannot be continued from Vicuña by bus, but Hacienda Los Andes can pick you up at the Plaza (city square) or your hotel with the private transfer vehicle. The route to the Hacienda is 43 kilometers long and leads through beautiful, remote Andean scenery.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
4 days / 3 nights
from --
Pricing information

The prices below are posted in USD. Please note that prices may fluctuate, depending on the current exchange rates.

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