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ESTANCIAS and GLACIERS (8D-7N)
RATES PER PERSON
  • 2 riders USD$ 3.795
  • 3-8 riders USD$ 3.395
  • Single supplement USD$ 295
DEPARTURE DATES
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TRIP LEVEL
Moderate
TRIP LENGTH
8 Days/7 Nights
START / FINISH
Punta Arenas (PUQ), Chile 
ACTIVITIES
CUSTOMIZE THIS TRIP
EXTENSIONS
WHALE WATCHING (3D-2N) (WW)

Fast Track W (3D/2N)

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Day 1 We recommend you take the early flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas (4 hours), flying over the Andes and observing incredible views of the Patagonian Ice Fields. Upon your arrival in Punta Arenas, the most southern city on the continent, a private transfer will be waiting to take you to the border of Torres del Paine National park, the Estancia Tercera Barranca. As we leave the airport we can see the Straits of Magellan and the mystical Tierra del Fuego. During our five-hour drive, we cross open pampas passing huge ranches (estancias) and with luck we will be able to see one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (a rare South American ostrich). We pass by Puerto Natales, located on the Sound of Last Hope, a small fishing town surrounded by mountains. From there we will follow an unpaved road to Estancia Tercera Barranca, a typical example of an estancia in the region, with an amazing view of the famous Towers del Paine granite peaks.
(5 hours by private transfer) (D) (Night at Estancia Tercera Barranca)

Day 2 Today we will ride to the east of Torres del Paine National park. The first couple of hours will be across the Patagonian steppe, which is found on flatlands and plateaus with semi-arid, cold climates and an annual precipitation of up to 400 mm. After 3 hours riding will reach a waterfall “Salto Las Chinas”, where we have lunch before we start our ride back to our cozy ranch house. In the evening we will gather in front of the fireplace, with a Pisco sour in hand (Chilean brandy made from Muscatel grapes) to enjoy a Lamb barbecue Patagonian style.
(6-7 hours slow riding, trotting and cantering) (B-BL-D) (Night at Estancia Tercera Barranca).

Day 3 We will start early in the morning, going down through a trail all the way to the border of Torres del Paine National park. We get to a look at point of the famous Torres, at the Sarmiento Lake, which is located at the limit of Torres del Paine National park. We will have lunch on the shores of Lake Sarmiento whilst observing its strange calcium formations and then continue on through forests and small lakes with wonderful views of the Paine Massif, to arrive at the shore of the Serrano River where we will camp for the next days at the shore of the Serrano River, with amazing views of “Los Cuernos”.
(6-7 hours slow riding, trotting and cantering, 30 minutes by private transfer) (B-BL-D) (Night at Camping Serrano).

Day 4After a good breakfast at the campsite we will start our day by riding to Grey Lake look at point. We cross a huge pampas that give us the opportunity to canter as much as we want! Once we reach the Grey River, we follow a narrow path with incredible views of the mountains; until we arrive to a splendid view of the lake Pehoe with its particular turquoise colored waters. From here we follow a rugged trail leading to a look-out point of Lake Grey, often full of icebergs, which have broken off from the Grey Glacier, part of the southern ice field which is the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world. Our lunch will be in front of this magnificent view. We come back to our camp on the same trail, enjoying the opportunity for more cantering through the pampas.
(7 hours walking, trotting and cantering) (B-BL-D) (Night at Camping Serrano).

Day 5 This day we pack up camp and head south, crossing the Serrano River to arrive at Aniceto Astorga’s farmhouse. At Anicento’s we’ll choose our new horses to begin a ride to an unexplored valley at the border of Torres Del Paine National Park. We cross several rivers and go through a landscape filled with lakes and wetlands, constantly being surprised by the changing views of the Paine massif and the last glaciers of the Southern Ice Field. We’ll spend the night here after setting up camp on the shores of Lake Brush, and enjoy a well deserve lamb barbecue Patagonian style.
(10 minutes transfer, 4 hours walking and trotting) (B-BL-BBQ) (Night at Lake Brush Campsite) (No showers available).

Day 6 After a good breakfast we continue to Bernardo O´Higgins national park. This trail takes us through humid forests, similar to those of the austral canals, following the Serrano River until it empties into the Sound of Last Hope, where we spend the night in the Hostería Balmaceda with an amazing view of the Serrano glacier.
(5 hours, walking) (B-BL-D) (Night at Hostería Balmaceda).

Day 7We’ll begin the day by crossing the river into the Seno de Ultima Esperanza, facing the imposing Serrano glacier at the foot of the Balmaceda Mountain (2148m). Here we make a short easy walk up to the glacier. We’ll then take a boat, “the cutter, 21 de Mayo” navigating via glaciers and canals on our way down to Puerto Natales, on the way we stop for a Patagonian barbecue in a ranch. (10 minutes by zodiac, 45 min walk, 3 hours by boat) (B-BBQ) (Night at Amerindia Hostel or similar).

Day 8 We will take a private transfer to Punta Arenas. (Clients should take the flight at 01:45 PM, from LAN airline, flight LA#287 (Flight numbers and times subject to change), arriving to Santiago at 06:10 PM), if you decide to stay the night in Punta Arenas; we will drop you at your hotel.
(2 ½ hours by transfer) (B)

REGARDING THE SCHEDULE
The schedules indicated above are subject to change due to weather conditions or unexpected circumstances beyond our control, but we will try our best to keep them unaltered.

 
Estancia Tercera Barranca

A family run 6,500 hectare working estancia just outside the Torres del Paine National Park. It has a remote setting and excellent views of the Towers to the west and a warm, friendly, cozy atmosphere.

Accommodation is in the rustic but comfortable guest house with a small garden adjacent to the main house. There is a lovely fireplace in the gallery/living area which has comfy seating and huge windows allowing fantastic views. Good, home cooked food, homemade bread and jams, tasty Chilean specialities and excellent BBQs and Pisco sours!


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Camping Chile Nativo

Our clients sleep in 4-season tents, North Face VE 25 (3 person capacity) or similar, based on twin-share occupancy. We use a Mountain Hardwear domo-dining tent when the group is over 6 passengers and only in certain areas.


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Gaucho's hut (Puesto)

A “puesto” is a hut that the Gauchos use during the summer time, when they have to take care of the cattle herds away from the main Estancia house.
These simple huts are warm shelters to escape the occasional inclement weather in Patagonia. It’s a great place for cooking and enjoying a mate (local tea) around a fire.

Usually located in a strategic location, close to a water source and protected from the strong winds. We will be able to sleep in one of these characteristic Patagonian huts, or camp beside it.


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Hostería Balmaceda

The perfect place for resting, adventure and observation. There are 16 rooms with private bath and a dining room with grill. This is all surrounded by a beautiful landscape and a magnificent view of the Serrano glacier and the Balmaceda Mountain.


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Amerindia Hostel

This friendly hostel in operation since 2006, offers comfortable double, twin, single and triple rooms with private or shared bathroom, heating, and breakfast. Additional services include computers with Internet access and wireless connection throughout the hostel.
The location is one block from the waterfront, in a quiet area, close to restaurants, tour operators and Craft Stores


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INCLUDED
-All the private transportation indicated in the schedule
-All the horses, saddles and pack horses during the excursion
-Helmets, leather chaps, leather gloves, saddle bags, dry bags
-All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner , BBQ: barbecue)
-Two nights at Estancia Tercera Barranca (Twin/double with private bathroom)
-Entrance fee to Torres de Paine National Park
-Three nights at Chile Nativo Camp (Base on twin share tents) (North Face VE 25)
-One night at Hosteria Balmaceda (Twin standard room)
-Navigation between Monte Balmaceda to Puerto Natales
-Entrance fee to Bernardo O’Higgins National Park
-One night at Weskar Lodge or similar in Puerto Natales (Twin Standard room)
-Guide (English-Spanish languages), plus a baqueano (local cowboy)
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NOT INCLUDED
-Flight to Santiago, Chile
-Internal Flight Santiago - Punta Arenas
-Any additional nights
-Medical expenses
-Insurance of any kind
-Personal expenses
-Sleeping bags and mattress
-Lunch on Day 1 & 8
-Dinner on day 7
-Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.
-Gratuities for Guide, Baqueano & driver.
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WEATHER
Chilean Patagonia is famous for its unpredictable weather. Because of the possibility of experiencing all four seasons in one day, it is important to be prepared for anything.  The wind is the main factor prevailing during spring and summer, sometimes reaching over 100 kms/hour.  Summer temperatures (December-March) fluctuate between 4°C (39°F) and 15°C (59°F), dropping to  temperatures below 0°C during the night, and sometimes reaching up to 25°C (77°F). During the months of October and April, the temperatures can be cooler. There is also a higher probability of stable weather during these months and less wind.
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Exelentes profissionais
 
Quero em nome do nosso grupo agradecer o atendimento e o profissionalismo com que você preparou tudo e a atenção do Cristian e do Ivan ; exelentes profissionais.
Todos sem exceção, adoraram os passeios. Espero que possamos repetí-lo em breve no próximo ano. Talvez você tenha alguma sugestão semelhante, nos mesmos moldes.Se tiver, por favor nos envie.Se me permitir uma sugestão, gostaria de fazê-la , isto é , podermos ajudar na cozinha; e até fazermos alguns pratos. É que no nosso grupo 2 pessoas gostam de cozinhar ( apesar das refeições estarem irrepreensíveis;congratule o cozinheiro) , é que temos prazer em cozinhar,principalmente na situação em que estávamos em Las Chinas.

 
Hilton Porto
November, 2009
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Mother Nature’s best work...Patagonia
 
Patagonia has a grand beauty, a magical quality that stole away the part of my brain reserved for thoughts of the greatest place on earth. The only disappointment with my visit is that it was MUCH too short. I would be content to explore the enchantment of this harsh and beautiful land through all the seasons. If you are a person that likes to be entertained by the unpredictable challenges of nature, and to spend time responding to the glory of watching the day go by in a spectacular display of Mother Nature’s best work...Patagonia is the place for you. I could spend a lifetime without boredom watching the days roll by in Las Chinas Valley. My few short days in Patagonia were like a tiny taste of my favorite food after a long hike, temptation without fulfillment. I must go back someday.

Chile Nativo has got it right. From the early stages of research and planning my trip, I recognized that the staff was professional, knowledgeable, and excited to allow the wayward traveler an opportunity to glimpse the life and land of Patagonia. Their respect for the environment, wildlife, local lifestyles, and history of the region is obvious. Their respect for the traveler is also apparent. (They demonstrated the flexibility to accommodate our small group of 3 people, all with different interests. THAT is an accomplishment!)
I could not be more impressed by the efforts of a travel company anywhere in the world!
I send many thanks to all the staff at Chile Nativo for your thoughtful considerations of our needs. I appreciate your patience with my many questions. Thank you for waiting for me when I wandered down a path in the woods and found a beach, a lake, and a magnificent iceberg. The experience captured me, and I could have stayed all day… sorry you had to wait! Thank you for the brief introduction to a true wonder of the world called Patagonia. Thank you for your efforts to observe and preserve a most precious piece of the world. Thank you for the opportunity to visit Las Chinas Valley, which might very well be the most perfect place to ride horses that I will ever see in this lifetime. Thank you for being available to a first time visitor to Patagonia.

I left a piece of my heart in Patagonia; the rest wants to go back and learn more about the lifestyles of local people, the geology and biology of the area, the politics and preservation efforts of Torres del Paine. Best of luck, and “good times” to everyone at Chile Nativo. I will recommend your company to anyone and everyone who hopes to visit Patagonia!

 
Nancy Tuttle
December 2008
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Estancias, Glaciers & Pisco Sours!
 
Travelling as a group of 6 friends of varying horse-riding abilities, we highly enjoyed our week in Patagonia. Chile-Nativo made arrangements which accommodated all speeds and included, for some, a day off the horses for those who needed a break from the saddle. Our horses were wonderful; tough and hardy but very responsive with admirable stamina and endurance.

The baquenos were friendly and helpful, the tack comfortable and the horses well cared for. We were also pleased to spot deer, fox, skunk, condors, guanaco and nandu amongst the wildlife - if not the elusive puma! The organisation and logistics were on spot, the food and drinks were delicious and, of course, the scenery was fantastic. The variety of landscapes we rode over left us with marvellous memories of the rolling hills on the estancias, rugged icy mountain peaks, glaciers and rocky forested hills.

Although we never caught a salmon at Brush Lake our lamb BBQ was superb and the location magnificent. Our Zodiac ride to the Serrano glacier and penguin spotting trip rounded off the trip nicely and left us very sad to have to leave. A highly recommendable holiday, we felt very well looked after by our guides.

 
Kotska Wallace
November 2007
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Riding with my daughter
 
“Mom, let’s do a mother-daughter horse trip in Patagonia,” my 20-year-old e-mailed me from Santiago, Chile during her semester abroad. I thought she was nuts. At 53 years old, I had serious doubts that my aging hips would survive a horseback trip in rugged mountains at the end of the earth. My daughter was insistent. “You can do it, mom,” she said. I finally caved in, bought a big bottle of Iboprofen, and agreed. But then I was faced with the daunting question of how to arrange a horse trip in Patagonia — which is thousands of miles and another language away from my home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Based on a recommendation from the Rough Guide to Chile travel book, I contacted ChileNativo. I also searched the Internet and contacted several other outfitters. From the beginning, ChileNativo was the most responsive and flexible. Especially important, given the meat-centric nature of Patagonia, ChileNativo was unfazed by my daughter’s vegetarianism. Today, four months after first contacting ChileNativo and two weeks after returning from my once-in-a-lifetime, 8-day horseback trip in Patagonia, I have nothing but good to say about ChileNativo.

If you’re reading this website, you don’t need testimonials about Patagonia’s magic vistas and awe-inspiring scenery. But you may have doubts on choosing an outfitter. I found that ChileNativo delivered all that it promised — and more.

Our guide, Andre, was responsible, knowledgable and wonderfully bilingual, with an infectious smile and good humor. Much to my surprise and delight, he was also a gourmet cook who, among other things, appreciates fresh-brewed coffee in the morning rather than Chile’s ubiquitous Nescafe packets. And instead of dry, tasteless sandwiches for our box lunches, we were treated to home-made bread, fresh avocadoes, tomatoes, goat cheese with herbs, salmon, chicken breast, mango juice and chocolates. Dinners were equally superb.

And then there was the horse ride: magnificent horses and even more magnificent “baqueanos” (cowboys) accompanying us — especially the incomparable Manual. It goes without saying there is also the ever-changing yet always breath-taking terrain, from pampas to forests, glaciers, crystal clear lakes and the mountains of Torres del Paine. I shall never forget our first full-throated gallop across the pampas, the ground disappearing beneath us as if in a fast-forward movie. (And then there was the time when my horse decided to jump over the mud rather than walk through it…)

Even now, weeks later, I laugh in amazement at all that we did and how this desk-bound mother from the dairy state of Wisconsin survived her fantasy as a cowgirl adventurer. My enduring thanks to Andre, Gonzalo, Manual, and Oleman. And last, but not least, thanks to Angelo, who makes the best campside “flaming banana” I have ever had in my life and who returned my daughter safe and sound from a night of disco-hopping and dancing in Puerto Natales. — Barbara Miner, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A., November 2004 (e-mail: barbaraminer@ameritech.net)

 
Barbara Miner
November 2004
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