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Patagonia Horseback Riding Tour Argentina

This demanding tour leads into the huge, almost civilization-free catchment area of ​​the Río Turbio, which is nourished by four glaciers. You can expect nature and riding experiences that are second to none: river crossings, waterfalls, glaciers and explorations of the Selva Valdiviana, the primeval forest of the Andes with bamboo reed forests, and the mythical ancient Alerce trees.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 198 pounds / 90 kilograms
  • Horse Breed: Mestizos ,Criollos ,Quarter
  • Horse Height Range 14 to 16
  • Tack Type: Argentine trail riding saddle (cangalla)

Meet the instructors

Tamisietta & Attila
Read more

Highlights

  • 10 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 6 to 9 hours
  • Authentic experience with Gauchos
  • Outdoor in the outstanding Wilderness Patagonian Andes
  • Tour with expedition spirit and cultural-frame program
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


10 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, Spanish
Group size: 2-6 participants
Airport transfer included: San Carlos de Bariloche Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
13:00

During this tour, you will spend five nights in double or triple rooms and nine nights of camping in double tents. Accommodations during the tour are tents, mountain huts, yurts, and group-room bungalows. If you want a single room or single tent, Tamisietta Obleitner can arrange this for an extra cost. The comfort in this regard is typical of camping. But you can rely on high-quality equipment. The expedition tents are spacious and absolutely airtight and mats ensure sleeping comfort. On nice nights, you can also sleep next to the fire on the saddle skins. For possible rainy days, Tamisietta Obleitner carries tarpaulins and an additional group tent on all tours.

During the off-peak days in Rincón de Lobos (arrival, departure, or between tours), overnight accommodation is provided in group accommodation in the immediate vicinity of your camp, Since 2015, they have also been offering guests their beautiful new yurt upon request. The standard of the selected accommodations is rustic - romantic; basic but very neat and clean.

Shower or bath and lounges with cooking facilities are available for shared use. If you want more comfort, there is the possibility of accommodation in spacious cabins such as two- to four-room bungalows with their own kitchen and bathroom, some with televisions and Wi-Fi. A stay in a guest room of the hostel or a cabin is also possible as an extension option to the tours. On request, they will make you a corresponding offer for these options.

Program

The requirement of riding-skill is Intermediate and Advanced, according to the expeditional caracter of this tour.

Daily itinerary

Sunday

Arrival in San Carlos de Bariloche. There, Tamisietta Obleitner will pick up the guests in the early afternoon. Transfer to Rincón de Lobos by car (one and a half hours approximately). Reception in Rincon de Lobos, accommodation in guestrooms, and welcome-asado (barbecue) on open fire. Presentation of the team: Bernabé Mayorga (horse guide), Tamisietta Obleitner, and Attila Missura (both guides and camp management). Depending on the size of the group also further guides.

Monday

Bernabé comes in the morning to you. After enjoying the traditional mate tea, you get the horses of the paddock. It follows the assignment of horses, the introduction to dealing with the local equestrian equipment, the instruction of knots to tie up, and the loading of the packhorses. In the early afternoon, you ride to Lago Epuyen (3), a total of approximately three hours.

Tuesday

In the morning, you drive to the nearby small town of El Bolsón. After the joint purchase of provisions and utensils, you explore this lively town, which is an attraction for hikers in the summer. The rest day belongs to the preparations for your trip, the definitive choices of horses and equipment, material check, etc.

Wednesday

Bernabé and Tamisietta bring the horses to the basecamp. There you face the challenge of loading your equipment on the pack horses. Afterward, you ride to the Rio Epuyén, cross it at a favorable place, and follow its course to Desemboque, its mouth to the Lake Lago Puelo. After the Estancia El Trebol, you pass through a natural reserve where you get to know beautiful Patagonian Myrtles. Along the left bank of Lake Puelo, you follow a narrow, rocky path on the flank of Cordón del Derrumbe.

The relatively steep ascent is rewarded by a wonderful view of the Lago Puelo to the right. After a three-hour ride, you enjoy the lunch break in a clearing. A nearby rock offers you the view of your destination: the opposite lake shore with the mouth of the mighty Rio Turbio. Until then, there are still three hours of ride, mostly through the mostly unexplored forest. Usually, the Rio Turbio is fanned into several arms, embedded in a wide area from White River pebbles.

In spring, the river due to the four glacier melt water grows on him to a stream of up to 500 meters wide. Stone pyramids mark the shallows where the Rio Turbio is passable. Under the leadership of Bernabé, you are crossing and after another 15 minutes, you reach your camp on the lakeshore and near the Arroyo Aguja Torrent. After setting up camp, you make the evening at your whim by swimming in the sea or just relaxing. Then cooking on fire is in the plan.

Thursday

To reach the turquoise lake Lago Esperanza, you have to cross several Andean foothills. You ride along a mountain flank, following the Arroyo Aguja torrent, to the Aguja massif. This mountain chain, which is strongly jagged, forms the border with Chile. After a few hours, the path turns left into a small valley, where you meet the Laguna de la Yegua. After a further ascent, you reach the pass. Here, you have the chance to observe condors. After a short rest, you ride down to the next wooded valley.

Meanwhile, you are on the road for three hours without traces of civilization and now look down on the valley of Lago Esperanza. It takes still three hours before you arrive at the southern end of the turquoise lake. The only people you meet here are Gauchos, who live here in a simple wooden hut as “Puesteros” (housekeepers and cattle drivers of secluded properties). Your camp is in the forest, directly on the shore of the lake.

Friday

Time to take a break. Even if you do not enjoy fishing, here is the right place where you might taste it. At the latest when a 40-centimeter rainbow or salmon trout has bitten. Not with the fishing rod, but the local utensil: the fishing line is wrapped around a tin can, equipped with a hook and weights at the end, and ejected like a lasso. Success is guaranteed. Smaller exploration trail rides are offered also.

Saturday

Expedition to Salto Juana near Cañadon Norte, the glaciated origin of the Arroyo Esperanza. The idyllic landscape around the lake is soon behind you and you ride into an ever tighter Valley in the mountains. You pass through zones of the so-called Selva Valdiviana, the jungle of the Andean Mountains. With his giant rhubarb (mammoth sheet, Nalca, Chilean rhubarb), the forests of local bamboo, as well as the ancient Alerce trees, he resembles a subtropical rainforest.

You reach the remarkable waterfall Salto Juana after two to three hours where you make a stop. Depending on the timetable, you can either travel to the glacier of the Cañadon Norte or to the giant Alerce tree, estimated at 3500 years. The whole journey takes six to seven hours in the saddle.

Sunday

Return to Lago Puelo, possibly via an alternative route along the Rio Bravo. This fierce mountain river connects the Lago Esperanza with the Rio Turbio. You ride long passages through the Patagonian forest, cross the Rio Bravo, and set up your camp at Lago Puelo.

Monday and Tuesday

Ride to Cerro Plataforma. Through a relatively gentle terrain, you follow the course of the Rio Turbio upstream. Every now and then, you discover small farms of settlers. It is a unique experience being in a zone where people live miles apart each from other. The impression of total human emptiness is unexpectedly broken when you suddenly a horseman appear on the path or you discover a house between the green.

Your eye, which is accustomed to civilization, is not trained to interpret the signs in such a wide dimension. After repeated crossing of branches of the Rio Turbio and the passing of several larger forests, you reach after a five- to six-hour ride the Puesto Moro, on the coast of a small mountain stream. Here you stay. On the next day, a four- to five-hour ride awaits you, with two steep ascents, where you have to overcome about 900 meters of altitude before reaching the camp at the foot of Cerro Plataforma.

Wednesday

You climb the about 1700 meters high Cerro Plataforma, an exceptional geological phenomenon: a huge truncated cone, forming a seven-kilometer-wide plain. This is surrounded by the mighty, even in summer snow-covered, mountains of the region: the Cerro Tres Picos, the Cerro Piramide, and the Cerro Anexo.

After about two hours of riding and a 20-minute climb over boulders, you reach the plane of the Plataforma, which resembles a strange planet. Small mountain lakes and cascades contrast with the landscape of a stone desert, which is made up of countless fossils. With some luck, you see condors and even flamingos.

Thursday

Return to the camp on the shores of the Lago Puelo to enjoy food that Tamisietta Obleitner has stored in the Station of the Rangers of the national park. As an option for overnight accommodation, you can visit the one of the original settlers, who offers shared guestrooms on their farm.

There you have the opportunity to learn about the life of a typical family of settlers, who moved from Chile three to four generations ago. As pioneers, they are the only "legitimated" inhabitants of the national park. They live from cattle breeding, but in a completely different dimension than you know it: the cattle live freely on an area of several thousand hectares which goes up into the mountains.

Friday

Return to Rincón de Lobos. Depending on the mood and the weather, you ride off in the afternoon and arrive after nightfall to the civilization.

Saturday

Today is a relaxing day in Rincon de Lobos. If desired, you can drive to El Bolsón and visit for example the craft market, a nice cafe, or a Gelateria. Often also there is opportunity to visit horseracing, a typical event of the local folklore, which you cannot miss.

Sunday

Transfer to Bariloche to the departure flight.

About the tour

The approximately 1000-square-kilometer large region is sealed off from the rest of the world and can only be reached by boat or via mule tracks, on which the gauchos have been driving their cattle for generations. The 10-day riding route is divided into two target stages. On the one hand, it leads over different pass heights to the turquoise-blue Lago Esperanza, which lies on the border with Chile within the private nature reserve of the same name.

On the other hand, to Cerro Plataforma, a geological exception, where 50 to 30 million years ago volcanic processes raised the sea floor to form a huge high plateau covered with fossils (approximately 1700 meters above sea level). Climbing the monumental formation gives the impression of landing on an alien planet.

Requirements

Riding experience in terrain and good general condition are prerequisites. Team spirit, self-responsibility, and participation in all camp activities are further conditions for participation. Test rides in the first two days will be used for the correct assignation of horses and the introduction to the local riding habits. The tour has the character of an expedition: you are advancing into deserted regions, riding in the mountains, maybe up to the glacier zones. Tamisietta Obleitner exposes you to nature and its forces. In addition to the physical demands, also the mental capacity of the participants will be challenged.

The instability of weather conditions typical of mountain regions is a risk factor that can force you to make short-term decisions and respect limits against your desires. After two shorter rides, which serve to allocate and introduce the horses, you are on the road for 10 days in an almost deserted region on mule tracks. You should be fairly stable in the saddle, ie should be able to walk, trot, and canter. In addition, a good physical and mental condition and willingness to help with everyday camp life (cooking, washing up, setting up tents, etc.) are expected.

Included excursions

The supporting program for this offer is limited to one or two visits to the small town of El Bolsón, during which the available attractions (e.g. arts and crafts market, museum, horse races) can be visited.

Instructors

Tamisietta Obleitner

Attila Missura

Location

The horseback and trekking tour takes place in Argentine North Patagonia, Argentina. Starting point is Rincón de Lobos, a small valley of the Andean mountains. To be reached via route 40, which connects Bariloche with the next major city Esquél, Rincon de Lobos is a fertile valley with a microclimate and lively agriculture. Lakes, mountains, rivers, and the Patagonian forest characterize the landscape.

The exploration zone covers an area of approximately 1,000 square meters and includes the valley of the mighty Rio

Turbio, multiple mountain ranges of the Andes, and a system of lakes and lagoons. This zone combines the 240-square-kilometer-large National Park "Lago Puelo" with the adjacent nature reserves "Rio Turbio" (Chubut Province) and "Lago Esperanza" (private Property).

Food

You will enjoy daily meals and beverages with your involvement in cooking included in the price. Medical diets such as gluten-free are possible with a little charge. Tamisietta Obleitner values the best food, and they want to have a good time when they are out and about. Fresh vegetables, sausages, raw ham, Bircher muesli (homemade), and dried fruit. Wholemeal bread, milk, honey, wine, chocolate, lentils, spaghetti, polenta, couscous, rice, morels, porcini mushrooms, and roast lamb come to mind and will certainly not be missing.

Food is generously planned in the budget and before the longer tours, they go shopping together with all participants. Since they count on your participation in the cooking and determine the menu together, your culinary wishes will also be taken into account as far as possible. As far as possible, they source products from the immediate vicinity of organic production.

There is no problem if you prefer vegetarian cuisine or need a special diet (e.g. gluten intolerance). Please let them know before the tour starts. Mostly, they cook themselves and during the excursions on an open fire. Meals in selected restaurants are planned for excursions to sights or events or detours into the city (El Bolson).

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

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

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • 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)

  • Accommodation in Buenos Aires, on request
  • Hiking tours, on request

What's included

  • 10 days of horse riding with guides and pack horses
  • Introduction day, cultural frame program
  • Trips to destinations not accessible on horseback
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • All meals and beverages with your involvement in cooking
  • All transfers between Bariloche and Rincón de Lobos
  • English, German, Portugues, or French-speaking guide during the entire stay
  • All entries in nature reserves, national parks, and other fees
  • Use of the infrastructure at the base camp

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Single room or tent supplement fee
  • Tips

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at San Carlos de Bariloche Airport (BRC). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Tamisietta Obleitner will pick you up from the airport (or your Hotel) between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to drive together to Rincon de Lobos.

Airport: San Carlos de Bariloche Airport Airport transfer included: San Carlos de Bariloche Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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