Horse riding trips to join in 2017

Places to go Horse Riding in Patagonia

For glaciers and granite peaks Torres del Paine national park in Southern Patagonia is unrivalled. For lush forests, vast lakes and beautiful river crossings visit the Lake District. For the authentic gaucho experience one of the Argentine Estancias will give you the richest experience. Or visit Patagonia's hidden gem, Aysen, for remote and wild landscapes.

Estancias: Live and Ride at a Ranch

Swoop Says

Horse-Riding in Patagonia: Your Questions Answered

  • When to go?

    If you decide to go to one of the popular destinations like Torres del Paine then you might want to avoid the busiest months of December and January. Particularly for riding the beginning and end of the season can be a good time to visit.

  • How many days should I ride for?

    If you're thinking of just a half day or a day of riding then there are several estancias in places like Torres del Paine and near El Chalten and Bariloche which you could visit for a day or two as part of a longer trip. There are also a few luxury lodges which offer horse riding as part of their overall offer.

    If you're looking for a longer trip, anything from 3 days to 12 days of riding, then you can either base yourself out of an estancia (a traditional Patagonian cattle ranch) or head out on an expedition from A to B, potentially crossing through the Andes between Chile and Argentina.

    Some of our customers have enjoyed rides of 3-5 days in two different parts of Patagonia.

    If you are a novice then three to four hours in the saddle each day is probably enough. However many people have learned to ride out here and over a week or two you could learn to canter and gallop.

  • Do I need experience/training?

    There are plenty of trips that are suited to novices and hotels/estancias that welcome those are wanting to learn to ride. However, many of the trips listed here are aimed at strong intermediate to experienced riders who regularly horse ride at home. If you are planning to join a longer trip of three or more days then you should definitely be comfortable with 2-7 hours in the saddle.

  • What sort of accommodation do I need?

    What are you going to enjoy most? Camping out on the under the stars, sharing the campfire with the local gauchos? Riding by day and then returning to a traditional estancia each evening for good meal and comfy bed? Or perhaps a luxury lodge with great food, fine wine and a spa to rest those weary limbs?

    Whichever region of Patagonia you visit there will be plenty of options for you to choose from.

  • What type of horse, and tack?

    The horses used locally are Criollo-mix and vary in size with the majority being between 14 - 15 hands. They are strong, fit, willing and sure-footed. We are able to provide good horses to both experienced riders and riders who are a bit more ‘rusty’. The pace of the ride will be adjusted by the guide to suit the majority of the riders but as we always travel with more than one staff member i.e guide and horseman, there is some flexibility and riders soon find their own pace during the trip. Riders are not responsible for grooming or tack. Horses are constantly checked for injury and / or lameness and tiredness. At some stages during certain itineraries (and in any case where it becomes necessary for whatever reason) horses will be changed.

    The tack is Chilean and comprises (usually) of metal or wood-framed saddles onto which layered felt, sheepskin and leather are placed. Rope, rawhide and leather form the bridles, girths, straps etc. The saddles provide adequate comfort for the long days riding and the stirrups consist of a cup through which the foot cannot pass. Most of the horses are ridden in simple snaffles. Halters are worn throughout the ride with rope tied around the horses neck to tie up at lunch stops & rest stops etc.

  • Shall I combine the riding with something else?

    Some people will come to Patagonia for 2 to 3 weeks just to go horse riding ... and for those people there are countless possibilities.  However for others the riding is just a part of the overall adventure.

    For example in Torres del Paine you could combine a few days of hiking with a few days of riding. Up in the lake district you might combine some riding with fly fishing, rafting or kayaking.

What our customers think

Swoop's Top 3 riding trips in Patagonia

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Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure, we can help.