Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- The entire first day is spent on horse, discovering the vastness of the Austral Andes steppe as you climb mountains, descend into valleys, and pass through woodland
- Draw closer to the hidden Frías Glacier, a privileged sight that few have experienced
- Gallop along sheep tracks previously used by the gauchos, with a local guide who can impart more about the gauchos' working of these wild lands
- Reach the outpost and enter rural serenity, surrounded by the stunning landscape and sharing dinner in front of the roaring fireplace in the evening
- Transfer back to El Calafate, convenient for onward travel, in the afternoon of day two – but not before a traditional lamb BBQ!
Day 1: Ride to Puesto La Rosada and the end of Argentina
Set off on the ride first thing in the morning, to start climbing up the mountain range Cordon de los Cristales, which lies behind the main house. The higher you go, the more the lakes stand out – the Brazo Rico and Sur, Lago Roca and Cerro Frías. Upon reaching the clearing, the track plunges into the Patagonian Andean woods. Pass by lenga trees and guindos (Magellan beeches), riding along old tracks previously used for the great sheep drives.
Making your way out of the dense woodland, the path opens up into the Valley of the Rio Cachorro. Amidst the unusually tall Notros (Chilean firebush) and calafate bushes, descend towards the lower land until reaching the riverbed where you'll be presented with surprise views of the Frías Glacier and the granite needle called "el Dedo del Cesar". Riding between rocks and pasturelands, you'll reach the corrals of the Rio Cachorro outpost where the rangers may be spotted out with the livestock.
After a picnic lunch, you'll see the flamingos, upland geese, steamer ducks and black-necked swans at Laguna 3 de Abril. Your outpost for the night is located nearby, so you can spend the late afternoon enjoying the surroundings and the cosiness of the refuge.
The outpost has four bunk beds and an additional two benches in the dining room that convert into beds. You'll share dinner sat around the wood-fired stove, reflecting on the experiences of the day.
Meal: Lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Puesto Laguna 3 de Abril outpost
Day 2: Return to the estancia for a Patagonian BBQ
The return journey begins riding along the shore of the lake until you reach the main buildings of the estancia, about 18 km from the refuge. Arrive just in time for lunch – celebrating the trip with a traditional Patagonian lamb roasted over charcoal embers.
You'll be transferred to El Calafate in the afternoon, arriving at around 15:30.
Meal: Breakfast, BBQ lunch
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
This is a private ride which can be booked on a date of your choice from 1 November 2019 – 31 March 2020, subject to availability. Please get in touch to discuss.
The price of USD $500 per person is based on two riders booking together. Rates are lower for larger groups, with a maximum of six riders per trip.
- Meals: 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
- Accommodation: 1 night at Puesto de la Laguna Tres de Abril outpost
- 2 days horse-riding
- Bilingual guide (English & Spanish)
- Regular transfer to and from El Calafate
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- Alcoholic drinks
- Sleeping bag
- Any extra/optional excursions
- Travel insurance
- Personal Equipment (request our recommended kit list for more details)
- International and domestic/in country flights