Andes Grande Traverse

Ride across the open pampas, to the beautiful crystal-clear lakes of Las Rocas and Azul all the while on horse back. You'll spend between 4 and 7 hours a day in the saddle, some nights in local farms where you can relax with a nice glass of wine and others camping under the stars.

14 Days

$6,990

Andes Grande Traverse - 14 - $6,990

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Arrive Bariloche
  • Bariloche / Estancia La Costa
  • Estancia La Costa/ Alto Chubut
  • Alto Chubut/Puesto Blanco
  • El Bolson / Las Bandurrias Island
  • Bandurrias Island / Lago Azul
  • Ventisqueros / Rio Puelo
  • Rio Puelo / Llanada Grande / Puerto Varas
  • Puerto Varas / Airport

Start from Bariloche and end at Puerto Varas

Landmarks visited on Andes Grande Traverse

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive and meet the guides

On your arrival to the Bariloche International airport, a private transfer will take you to your downtown hotel. The city of Bariloche, surrounded by lakes and mountains, is located in the very heart of the Patagonian Andes mountains chain. Depending on your arrival time, you will have time to explore the city  before the ride.

Late afternoon, a meeting with your guide will allow you to get knowing the team and the following days activities, as well as receive some security instructions. Have dinner at a traditional restaurant in town which specialises in local meats. 

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Milan Hotel


Day 2: Nirihuau River

Journey: 4–5 hrs by horseback

Departure towards the Nirihuau area, located 30 kms from Bariloche, where you'll see several family ranches. Their owners are mainly dedicated to the breeding of bovines, sheep and horses, as well as to forestation.

Prepare with you horses and equipment then depart to Las Buitreras Hill. Here, you can admire the panoramic view of the area as well as the La Mina Stream.

After a picnic lunch continue towards the Nirihuau River, eventually reaching an estancia for the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Estancia


Day 3: Paso sin Nombre and Alto Chubut

Journey: 5–7 hrs by horseback

After breakfast and having passed some hours riding through gentle hills and large valleys, you start ascending on a path mainly used by local countrymen to move their cattle, ascending to the Paso sin Nombre which stands at 1,700 meters above sea level.

Leaving this area surrounded by rocks, the immense view opens towards the large valley in the middle of the mountains chain, and the Alto Chubut region appears. The journey continues for another hour, to arrive at an idyllic place surrounded by native lenga forests.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping


Day 4: Riding along the shore of the Chubut River

Journey: 5–6 hrs by horseback

Leave behind the forests and clear water streams to continue descending to the Patagonian Steppe, an area of dry vegetation where Coiron, Neneo, Calafate and some small Nires (local flora) still lives.

The route leads to the shore of the Chubut River and some old animal care establishments. You'l pass by an old abandoned gold and lead mine, to reach the camp on the shore of the Chubut River.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping


Day 5: Rio Ternero

Journey: 5–6 hrs by horseback

Today you will cross different small farms in the Alto Chubut region. These inhabitants are mostly descendants of the original people: the Mapuche, forgotten in the remote Patagonian lands. You will notice a slow change in the view while nearing the Patagonian steppe.

At first, the ride takes you down the large Chubut River valley, reaching the confluence of 'Rio Las Horquetas', to enter a valley of the same name. Enter the Rio Ternero (calf river) region after a pronounced hill ascent. The valley is large and full of different kinds of vegetation; a high Nire forest, low stocky Nire woods called 'achaparrados', and large areas of pasture land with grazing cattle.

Spend the night camping under the protection of natural forest.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping


Day 6: Rio Ternero – El Bolson

Journey: 3–4 hrs by horseback

The last day with horses on the Argentinean side of Patagonia. Follow an old road leading to the Cuesta del Ternero area. There you can appreciate a typical view of the Patagonian transition, beholding a wondrous image that you will keep with you forever.

Saying goodbye to your horses and the guides, you will have a picnic with the Argentine baqueanos. You'll then take a short half an hour private transfer towards the magical small town of El Bolson. This town, surrounded by cypresses (Austrocedrus Chilensis) and 'maitenes' (Maytenus Boaria) woods, enjoys a microclimate that favour the production of red fruits such as raspberries and cherries, as well as of hop for craft beer creation.

Stay at a local hotel and have dinner in a nearby restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Hotel


Day 7: Las Bandurrias

Journey: 30 minutes private minibus from El Bolson to Lake Puelo; 2.30 hrs turbo jet canoe

This morning, a transfer will take you toward the Puelo lake, to continue the adventure in a turbo jet canoe. You will navigate along two lakes, thereafter crossing the rapids between Argentina and Chile. 

After the customs procedure, a local guide will help you with the luggage and, after a short walk, you will take another canoe to Las Bandurrias island within Las Rocas lake. You will notice the contrast of the landscape compared to the steppe: crystal waters with its tempered forest and the surrounding cordillera.

A friendly and warm welcome will be waiting you at 'Las Bandurrias'.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Las Bandurrias Island


Day 8: Bandurrias Island

Journey: 5–6 hrs by horseback

Ride towards the Lago Azul, with its astonishing colour and abundant fishing possibilities. About three hours on horseback will be necessary to reach the lake.

After a picnic on the shore, follow the pathway on horseback towards Las Rocas lake. You will pass through an ancient Valdivian type forest, with its distinct vegetation found in very few Chilean areas. The scenery of the day will be wet ground and very ancient trees as you are surrounded by majestic mountains. A short boat trip then will then take you up to Las Bandurrias Island.

This shorter day on horseback will allow you to rest on the island.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Las Bandurrias Island


Day 9: Ventisqueros Valley

Journey: 6 hrs by horseback


After breakfast you'll embark on the ride, travelling for one hour up to the source of the Puelo River. The river is deep and wide so a local will help you to cross on his boat. The pathway takes you through the woods along the Puelo River to the west, to reach Ventisqueros Valley. Another river crossing to the valley, reaching the lodging place for the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Local guesthouse


Day 10: Ventisqueros Valley

Journey: 6–7 hrs by horseback

Start the journey on horseback, mostly committed to the Ventisqueros Valley. You will cross the river on horseback several times, in the middle of the sparsely populated wonderful landscape. Making the most of the river shore, have breakfast here and thereafter continue the route up to the end of the valley, where you will spend two nights at a local resident's place.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Homestay


Day 11: El Toro River

Journey: 4 hrs by horseback

Today, you will visit a neighbour valley which offers amazing views of a hanging ice glacier. The route is surrounded by pristine nature and leads to a stunning larch forest.

Have lunch nearby El Toro River before descending mid afternoon to reach the host. This will leave you time to take advantage of the remaining afternoon to hike, take a shower, rest or chill out with the residents.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Homestay


Day 12: Puelo River

Journey: 6–7 hrs by horseback

Travel towards the Puelo River, enjoying a journey of mountains, waterfalls, solitary landscapes, ancient woods and river crossings. Eat lunch in a scenic spot and then continue passing by different country establishments where the locals use traditional practices to cultivate the land, just as their ancestors did. At a certain point of the path, the vegetation becomes more dense. Cross the Puelo River just as the locals do: in a rustic boat while the horses swim!

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Homestay


Day 13: Puerto Varas

Journey: 4 hrs from Llanada Grande to Puerto Varas; 45 minute ferry crossing

For the last riding day, you'll depart towards the village of Llanada Grande. At around midday you will arrive at the place where the private transfer will be waiting and where you will say goodbye to the horses once again. A one hour car journey will take you to the Tagua-Tagua lake and you will then cross by ferry boat.

Admire the Llanquihue lake as well as the Calbuco and Osorno volcanos and the National Vicente Perez Park Rosales as you journey to Puerto Varas. In the evening, share a final dinner and then stay at a local hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Hotel


Day 14: Departure

Have breakfast at your hotel and then take a private transfer to the airport.

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The price per person is USD $6,990 based on double occupancy. Departures can be set up for a minimum of 4 and maximum of 8 people.

Please enquire for more details.

Start date Price (pp)
January 2020
6-Jan-2020 $6,990* Fully Booked

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $6,990

Additional Notes

Riders weighing more than 89kg must consider the rental of a reinforcement horse so as to alternate during the ride, as the Chilean Creole horses are not very tall. The cost for the whole trip is USD $290.


Requests for single supplements can only be accommodated where there is hotel availability.


The provision of extra alcoholic drinks can be organised at an additional cost if requested in advance.  

Includes

  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners
  • Accommodation: 3 nights camping, 10 nights between hotels, homestays and estancias
  • All private transfers specified, incl. motor boat and ferry boat transfers
  • Wine at dinner on riding days
  • Bilingual Guides
  • Local Guides (baqueanos)
  • VHF commmunication radio
  • Saddle Horses
  • Pack Horses

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Personal expenses and equipment (request our recommended kit list for more details)
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities/Tips
  • International and domestic/in country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?