Horseback riding in this portion of the world is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Imagine yourself traversing the Andes in a pristine, rugged landscape of breathtaking beauty. On these rides you will experience: temperate rainforests, hanging glaciers, scenic extinct volcanoes, fjord like lakes, swift rivers, swinging bridge crossings, charming ranches, and the warm and friendly culture of Patagonia, Chile. Horseback riding Chile does not get better than this!
More than an equestrian vacation, This is full on cultural immersion. Horseback riding in the Futaleufu Valley is a way of life. When riding with us you are immersed in the equestrian culture and beauty of Patagonia Chile. Most of our horseback rides in Patagonia follow the ‘huaso senderos’ – the cowboy trails. This is an extensive network of trails, roads and swinging bridges used by locals on horseback, oxcart and by foot. These trails move through the spectacular isolated river valley of the high tributaries of the Futaleufu These trails lead us back in time, to a simpler way of life, through nearby villages and quaint rural homes.
Our expedition horseback riding vacations are at two levels. The Pioneer Culture: “Trail of the Lakes” is meant for horseback riders with some casual riding experience or agile beginners. To consider our most advanced trip, “The Andes to the Ocean”, you should be a strong intermediate rider who rides occasionally at home and loves riding. The “The Andes to the Ocean” trip is a true expedition style trip with limited opportunity to turn back once we start. Riders should be prepared to face the elements on these trips. While the weather is usually good in the late Patagonia Summer, significant storms are possible off of the Southern Pacific Ocean. On average we will ride four to six hours a day over incredibly varied and challenging terrain.
About our Horses
The horses we ride from the lodge are native Chilean Corralero horses: a breed that is unique only to Chile. The Corralero came about because of the need of the Chilean equestrian culture for a superior horse breed in this region of Patagonia. The Corralero is known for its even temperament, sure footedness, speed, and endurance. An all around great horse! Read More: Chilean Corralero Horse
About our Tack
The tack we use on all of our Patagonia horseback riding trips is also native Chilean. Our saddles are leather sheepskin covered "Huaso-saddles" designed specifically for the type of trail riding you will do in this region of Patagonia, Chile. At the beginning of your Chile horseback riding vacation our guides will spend a significant amount of time introducing you to the Chilean style of riding. Typically you will spend four to six hours a day in the saddle, riding at a moderate pace. There will be ample opportunity to gallop the horses in the open fields and on trails if you so desire. Read More: Chilean Saddles & Tack
"These Activities are conducted by local companies"
Is the Chilean Cowboy a Gaucho or Huaso? Gaucho or Huaso
Pioneer Culture: Trail of the Lakes
This Patagonia route of the cowboys along the “Trail of the Lakes” is a 4 day trail trip back in time that few people will ever have a chance to experience. It could be a life altering experience, a full on cultural journey. Experience is not needed but some previous riding is helpful. We will visit small remote working ranches, outposts, and settlements sprinkled across a landscape free of roads and any other traces of modern society in Patagonia, Chile. We will be staying each night at different ranches or cabins, all equipped with bed and linens and home-cooked meals. No wilderness camping on this trip. Our horses will carry your lunch and personal gear, but you can pack light. The accommodations are rustic country but, clean, ordered, and cozy. Our Chilean hosts are selected by Expediciones Chile because we have loved staying with them for over ten years. Our hosts will not speak English. Your guide will be Chilean, with some English knowledge. This ambiance allows for the rich cultural and language immersion that our trips are famous for. Our hosts look forward to the few visitors they receive at the remote homesites. This is a horseback riding vacation like no other. For a young family this is a true education for your kids to see another way of life!
Journey Across the Andes: “The Andes to the Ocean”
Just one week out of every summer we offer our guests the chance to join our 7-day journey across the Andes. This trail was once the only link between the coastal port of Chaiten and Futaleufú; used by locals and police officials up until 1975, when the Carretera Austral finally opened. This ride is a very unique experience we want to share with those who love long horseback trips into remote wilderness with a unique cultural experiences.
(8 Days in Patagonia, Chile / 7 overnights / 6 Active Days)
Chile Horseback Riding Season
Our trail riding season is November to April - summer in Patagonia - equestrian vacation weeks usually go Saturday to Saturday or Saturday to Thursday. Our Across the Andes Wilderness Trip is only available during one week in our season Chile horseback riding season. Unless you have a private Group. Best climate is Jan 15 to Feb 30.
Traveling in Chile
Traveling in Chile is a very safe experience, especially for women traveling on their own. The Chilean economy is the best in South America and the Chilean people are welcoming and friendly. For the past thirty years Expediciones Chile has been running safe vacations in this region of the world. We have hosted thousands of guests, of all ages and abilities, from around the world - and many arrive solo. See our Horseback Riding Patagonia FAQs for more information.
Other Horseback Riding Vacation options include: Horseback Andes to the Ocean expedition, Pioneer Culture: Trail of the Lakes 4 day ride.