horse riding across patagonian andes

A week across the Andes

Itinerary idea for a horseback riding trip in Patagonia in 8 days.

Live a fascinating adventure with your guides and horses across the steppe and mountains of the Patagonian Andes. Share a tent, a dinner by the warm fire under the stars, a slient observation of all the flora and fauna around you, and the traditions of your guides… This week-long ride combines camping and nights in a typical refuge and lets you explore valleys, rivers and landscapes where no one else goes. Criollo horses show their skills on the trails, across endless plains, forests and clear rivers. A unique natural experience.

Length of stay: 8 days

Kind: Horse riding

Fix: Intermediate

Countries visited: Argentina

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Day 1 : Bariloche

Arrival at the international airport of Bariloche, where a private transfer for the group will take you to your downtown located hotel.

This charming city, surrounded by lakes and mountains, is located in the heart of the Patagonian Andes.

Depending on your arrival flight, there should be enough time for a city tour to and to do some shopping before the ride.

Late afternoon, your guide will meet the group at the hotel and give a briefing on the adventure of the forthcoming days.

Dinner at a traditional barbecue restaurant, well known for its meat specialties.

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Day 2 : Andes mountain range

Transfer to the Ñirihuau area, located 30 km from Bariloche, where we find several smalls family farms . These people are mainly engaged in a raising sheep, cattle and horses as well as in forestry production.

There we assign the horses and equipment and after a short meeting on safety measures and details of the ride, we get going.

We start riding along the Cerro Buitreras (Vultures Hill) and then follow the small river La Mina, where there is an old oilfields. Soon we leave the road behind and ride into the first Pre-Andean valleys.

After a picnic ( box lunch carried in our saddlebags ) we keep riding to reach the Ñirihuau River and conclude our first riding day after a total of 5 hours on horseback.

Our tents are already assembled and in front of a confortable camp fire, we enjoy the last sounds of our first riding day.

Night in a tent.

4-5h horseride.

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Day 3 : Andes mountain range

After a delicious breakfast we leave behind the wide valleys and soft hills and ride up to 1.700 meters over sea level over a almost undistinguishable old ride path used by the local farmers and their cattles – we reach the Paso sin Nombre (Nameless Passage).

The bare, stony area left behind us, we ride approximately one more hour down to an idyllic place in the middle of an old Southern beech-trees forest , where we mount our night camp.

Night in the tent at 1200m over sea level

6-7h horseride

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Day 4 : Andes mountain range

In the morning, we ride down the mountain, between the southern beech-trees forests. The Chubut River that looked like a small water stream is becoming wider to become a large mountain stream.

The landscape is wild, impressive, with almost no human presence. We assemble our tents on the Chubut river shore, to spend another night in this wonderful environment.

Night in the tent.

5-6h horseride.

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Day 5 : Chubut River

In the early morning, we start our ride down the Andean mountains – on the way, we pass by a former silver and gold mine – if time allows it, we will listen to the Miranda family telling us about their life in this remote environment, and their ancestors’ stories.

After two and a half more hours we reach our small country house “El Sapucai”, where a good dinner and warm shower await us – small, conforting pleasures amid the steppe.

Night at the refuge

5-6h horseride.

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Day 6 : Andes mountain range

During this day, we will ride up the cordillera to contemplate the scenic view of the Andes around us.

You will appreciate the skills of the Criollo horse on the diverse terrains : wetlands, forests and rocky lands. Once we reach the top, you will be charmed by a 360 view of the lagoons – enjoy lunch in front of the snowy peaks.

Ride back down the valley towards the refuge El Sapucai, through another trail between old Ñire forests (a small beech tree).

Night in the refuge.

5 -6h horseride.

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Day 7 : El Sapucai

Our last day together with our Criollo horses. We will follow the Chubut River stream up to Puesto Viejo. We will cross small cattle farms in the Alto Chubut area where people live the whole year round. Here, in this remote landscape we share our last picnic with our Argentine guides and finally say goodbye to our horses.

A short, two hours travel on a minibus that takes us back to Bariloche – a return to civilization after our immersion in the great Patagonian outdoors.

Dinner in a small restaurant and night at the hotel

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Day 8 : Bariloche

Private transfer from the hotel to the airport.

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