We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!
from £3,570 or €3,970
Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our Terms & Conditions for full details.
Included – All riding, accommodation, meals, drinks including wine with dinner, route transfers on ferries and by road, bilingual guides and local baqueanos.
Excluded – Flights, airport transfers Puerto Varas & Bariloche, tips, any drinks outside of riding trail.
4 -11 January. 2021
4 – 11 February, 2021
4 – 11 March, 2021
4 – 11 October, 2021
4 – 11 November, 2021
4 – 11 December 2021
Puelo River Crossing & Valley Trails: Getting There
The arrival airport is Puerto Varas in Chile.
The departure airport is Bariloche in Argentina.
It is worth adding in an extra night in both towns as they are full of bars, restaurants and great places to explore for a day.
All the internal road and ferry transfers are included. You can take taxi’s from and to the airports which are near to the arrival and departure towns of Puerto Varas and Bariloche.
The Puelo River Crossing & Valley Trail is a fascinating adventure led by owner, the charming Cathy Berard, through a remote, little travelled and simply stunning area of Chile finishing at the border of Argentina. You will ride the typical, Chilean horse from one family steading to another, crossing the clearest, glacier (and very cold only the brave will actually swim) rivers you have ever imagined and working your way up the most verdant forests, to stand in awe at the top, to admire the length of the valley and river below, truly breath taking images that will stay in your memories forever.
During your riding adventure you’ll stay in authentic, honest homesteads with local families who are warm, very happy to see you and this experience will give you a true, cultural insight into their lives in this area of Chile.
Puelo River Crossing & Valley Trail: Horses – Very forward going, sure footed Chilean horses.
Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to advanced riders. The pace of the riding is slow, on account of the environment, but the terrain is technical so riders need to have good balance and an independent seat.
Tack – Western style.
Weight Restriction – 90kgs / 14 stone 2 lbs / 198lbs.
If you are over this weight, please let us know, we can provide another horse. The supplement is $210 (an additional horse is supplied)
Puelo River Crossing & Valley Trail: Group Size – Maximum 10.
Completely authentic stays in real life homes of local families, offering comfortable bedrooms with shared bathrooms and lots of outdoor space to relax and breath in your surroundings
One of the highlights has to be the last 2 nights at Cathy’s own retreat on the small private Island Las Bandurrias. The only way in and out is by boat, you are surrounded by water and mountains of Lago Las Rocas, it is a beautiful place where you can relax and stay in one of the two unique hand built lodges. Before setting down to a gorgeous dinner overlooking the water, you can take a dip in the lake waters and swim around the island.
The food is all organic and locally grown, expect warm homemade bread and rolls in the mornings, with freshly made cheese, honey and jams. Lunches are freshly made each morning and packed away in your saddlebag for lunchtime, sandwiches, fruit, trail bars and chocolatey treats. Dinners are asado style with local lamb, goat or fish, with home grown potatoes and salads. This is straight from source to table dining, all tastes delicious and it’s clean eating.
Please Ask About
In the Lakes Region, there are remote valleys that cross the Andes. This expedition will take you in one of the little-known areas of the Río Puelo valley. Preserved, as the first settlers have known it, we will ride on narrow trails, through pristine forests and meet few farmers along the way. The daily life in this area will make you experience various aspects, curious smiles and magical wonders of this region while getting deeper into the mountains.
FROM CHILE TO ARGENTINA
Our meeting point will be at 6pm, the day before the ride, in your hotel with your guide that will allow you to get to know the team and the following days’ itinerary.
We recommend that you arrive quite early to enjoy the city of Puerto Varas, or even the day before, a remnant of the German colonialism. It is situated at the edge of the Llanquihue Lake, one of the largest lakes in South America, a place that offers an impressive view over four volcanoes.
Day 1: Puerto Varas / El Manso / El Traidor
We will leave Puerto Varas at 9AM in a minibus towards the Andes. We will be able to admire the Llanquihue Lake, as well as the Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes that are part of the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. Once arrived at the edge of the Reloncaví estuary, first fjord in the south of Chile, we will have a short break to appreciate the local gastronomy in the Cochamó village, well-known for its agricultural crop and fishing industry. On the way, we will pass through the Río Puelo valley near its river mouth in the sea before arriving to Tagua Tagua” Lake. Before crossing this lake by ferry, we will have a break for lunch at a local restaurant.
Once on the other side, we will be completely disconnected from the telephone network and from the Internet. After a 20-minute drive, our transfer will drop us off at the Río Manso.
Here, we will meet the baqueanos team and the Creole horses. As we will cross by motor boat, the horses will swim alongside, guided by a boatman. While the baqueanos pack the pack horses on the other site, you will get to know your horse for the whole ride. Once ready, our expedition starts passing by beaches of the Puelo River that go through farmed fields. Late in the afternoon, we will get to Nancy and Chindo’s house, one of our baqueanos, a place just in front of the Puelo River. (B, L, T, D)
Time: 4 hrs. of transfer ; 2 hrs. on horseback
Day 2: El Traidor / Santo Domingo
Today will be the occasion to get to know the horses’ skills and character on the Traidor’s trails. Then we will go back to the Puelo River to follow the watercourse from above as the pioneers used to do. A pristine cordillera, narrow trails and majestic forests will be part of the scenery. We will have a break for lunch at the edge of the Puelo River. And we will finally get in late afternoon to our hosts house, Juana and Zolio who is also one of our baqueanos. A couple that loves sharing its life experiences and their settlement in the region. Dinner and lodging. (B, LB, T, D)
Time: 5 hrs. of horseback riding
Day 3: Santo Domingo / Las Rosas
Today will be a long day riding where you will be able to experience various terrains. The trail will lead us through plains and forests, sometimes getting down to white sandy and pebbly beaches. We will cross several tributaries of the Puelo River in almost inhabited areas. In the afternoon, we will get to a site at the edge of the river where we will leave the horses and the baqueanos team that guided us hitherto, to now meet a new one for the last part of our journey. The horses will cross the river swimming to meet us. Then, we will pursue our ride crossing typical lands of the region that surround the Puelo River until we reach Olivia and Tito’s house where we will be hosted for tonight.
(B, LB, T, D)
Time: 6 hrs. of horseback riding
Day 4: Las Rosas / Ventisqueros
Today, we will continue our ride in the Río Ventisqueros valley, crossing the river many times. Ancient woods, open spaces and rivers, a long and great day in the middle of the mountains awaits us. We will be crossing amazing forests and self-sufficient little farms in remote areas. Just as the locals do, we will cross riding the large Ventisqueros River and its fast-flowing water. We will enjoy a nice lunch on one of the Ventisqueros beach and then we will keep going on our path to the end of the valley in front of a glacier. Here, we will be hosted for two nights by Bernardita who lives in one of the most remote areas in the region. (B, LB, T, D)
Time: 6 hrs. of horseback riding
Day 5: Ventisqueros / El Toro / Ventisqueros
Today, we will visit a neighbouring valley, where we will enjoy the view of a hanging ice glacier. The route is technical. The narrow valley and the dense vegetation will lead us to an “alerce” (larch) forest, a native and protected tree that is one of the world’s most ancient. It is a remote area with few inhabitants, in the middle of a pristine nature. We will have lunch nearby El Toro River, before descending mid-afternoon to reach our host’s home. This will allow us time to enjoy the remaining afternoon to hike, swim or rest. (B, LB, T, D)
Time: 4 hrs. of horseback riding
Day 6: Ventisquero / Las Bandurrias Island
This morning we will set off on a full-day ride with forests, river crossings, mountains and waterfalls towards the Puelo River. We will have a relaxing time for lunch near the Ventisquero River. After leaving the valley in the afternoon, we will cross the Puelo River by an important local hanging bridge. This place is particularly spectacular due to its huge waterfalls and rapids. Then we will take trails alongside the mountains until reaching the lake Las Rocas. At the end of the longest day of this expedition, a well-deserved rest will await us at our private island Las Bandurrias. A remote place surrounded by the cordillera where you will be able to contemplate the landscape and enjoy the lake. A haven of peace in the heart of the cordillera.
(B, LB, T, D)
Time: 7 hrs. of horseback riding
Day 7: Las Bandurrias Island / Azul Lake / Las Bandurrias Island
Today we will leave the island to meet the horses and the baqueanos down by the lake. A quick stop at the farm La Colina, a first glimpse of the Chilean countryside in the heart of the cordillera. The journey continues to the Azul (blue) Lake through the cordillera where you will enjoy various views. We will stop to have lunch on a beach. After the picnic, we will follow our pathway on horseback towards Las Rocas Lake. We will pass through an ancient Valdivian type forest, with its very diverse vegetation, which is found in very few Chilean regions. Wet and steep grounds, very ancient trees as well as majestic mountains will be part of the scenery. Short boat trip to Las Bandurrias Island. Accommodation on the island in the guest house. (B, LB, T, D)
Time: 5 / 6 hrs. of horseback riding
Day 8: Las Bandurrias Island / Bariloche
For our last riding day, we will leave the Bandurrias Island and head up to the frontier. This short trip will take us to the Inferior Lake, the Río Puelo’s source before arriving at the Chilean customs and immigration post Reten Paso El Bolsón where we must complete the customs procedure. A short ride to descent to the Inferior Lake, official harbour of the frontier which is a step marking the end of our ride. It is time to say farewell to our fellow travelers.
Once in the motor boat, we will navigate for 45 minutes along two lakes and cross the rapids between Argentina and Chile. After the customs procedure on the Argentinian side, we will meet our transfer that will take us to Bariloche passing by El Bolsón where we will have a short break for lunch. The city of Bariloche, surrounded by lakes and mountains, is located in the very heart of the Patagonian Andes mountain range. (B, L,)
Time: 2 hrs of horseback riding / Navigation on the lake Las Rocas : 15min ; 45min between the two lakes (Inferior and Puelo) / A private minibus transfer from the Puelo Lake to El Bolsón and then to Bariloche : 3hrs
All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.
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