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PATAGONIA GRANDE TRAVERSEE (14D/13N)
RATES PER PERSON
  • 2 riders USD$ 7.980
  • 3 riders USD$ 7.640
  • 4-6 Riders USD$ 6.490
  • 7-8 Riders USD$ 5.880
DEPARTURE DATES
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TRIP LEVEL
Ultimate Challenge
TRIP LENGTH
14D/13N
START / FINISH
Bariloche (BRC), Argentina 
Puerto Montt (PMC), Chile 
ACTIVITIES
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Day 01 Bariloche
Arrive into Bariloche International Airport, group transfer to hotel in down town. Bariloche is situated on the shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi, big touristy ski town surrounded by mountains. Depending on your arrival flight you will have the chance to explore the area and get great views from the Cerro Otto or any last minute shopping before the ride. Meet your guide for the holiday and full briefing for the next days ride. We will all go for a traditional barbeque dinner at a local restaurant.
(30 minutes by private transfer) (D) (Hotel ***+ in Bariloche)

Day 02 Bariloche / Rio Pichileufu
A minibus will take us 30 kms to the starting point of the ride at Estancia Nirihuau a 180 has timber forest with 70 has more used for riding and training horses - Check gear and horses. We will start our ride and pass the Cerro las Buitreras and arroyo la mina from here we will reach great panoramic view from the Valley Alto Chubut. . Lunch stop and afternoon ride to Rio Pichileufu. We camp at the shore of the river.
(30 minutes by private transfer, 6-7 hours riding) (B-BL-D) (Night camping without facilities)

Day 03 Río Pichileufu/ Nacimiento Alto Chubut
Early in the morning we have a country breakfast and we start to pack. The ride will be across the Pichileufu Valley to Carreras mountain high pass at 1800 MTS, which is a great spot for watching condors and eagles and plenty of wildlife. We will start our descent towards the source of the Rio Alto Chubut with dry vegetation. Camp here at 1500 MTS. Some nomads’ shepherds are still spending some time there.
(6-7 hours of riding) (B-BL-BBQ) (Night camping without facilities)

Day 04 : Chubut Valley / Mt Las Serruchas pass.
Today we will start riding downhill through the Chubut Valley. There is a possibility to stop at Miranda’s family who live very close to an abandoned lead mine. We will make a short stop to visit the place and meet the local family an their young gauchos. This place shows the remains of the past when adventures came to find gold here .Afternoon horse trek on a tricky terrain up to la Serrucha pass stunning views of the Tronador Mountain, its glaciers and the endless steppe.
(6-7 hours riding) (B-BL-D) (Night camping without facilities)

Day 05: Mt Las Serruchas /Fitalancao
After breakfast and putting down the camp, the horses will take us down onto the Patagonian steppe where the vegetation changes finding boxed-leafed barberry, fire bushes and fire tongue. The trail will guide us to an old and traditional working estancia. This last century estancia has been refurbished but keeping it’s own style. Visit toe shearing shed and the working depots. For dinner we will enjoy a delicious asado with local veggies and Argentinian wine.
(6-7 hours riding) (B-BL-D) (Night in a Ranch, bathroom with hot showers)

Day 06: Fitalancao/ Ñorquinco / Maiten / El Bolsón
Today is the last day with the Argentinean Creole horses. This morning we will pack all our stuff and we will ride towards an abandoned steam train station in Fitalancao. It used to communicate the other villages in the early 40’s. We will follow this railway that leads us to a small aboriginal village called Norquinco. After passing by the route continues passing other estancias on the way in order to reach the road where we will farewell the horse and the baqueanos .Transfer on private minibus to El Maitén village, possibly visit to the Train if. Museum open. Lunch. Afternoon transfer to El Bolsón town. This is an attractive growing town surrounded by mountains where many artisan show their products at a flea market. Night at hosteria.
(4 hours riding, 45 minutes by transfer) (B-BL-D) (Night in a hotel ***+ in El Bolson)

Day 07: El Bolson / Bandurrias Island
Late breakfast, private transfer to the Lago Puelo quay, load the boat and continue our adventurous trip. The turbo-jet boat will take us across the two lakes, thereby passing the immigration control. After having complied with the custom procedures, we'll cross the rapids that join the two countries of Argentina and Chile. We enjoy lunch. A local guide will be waiting for us and will take care of our luggage. After the custom control in the Chilean side we will have a 10’walk to the Las Rocas Lake where a motorboat will take us to Bandurrias Island. We will have great views of the Andes and the surrounding mountains today. A warm welcome and a nice rest will be waiting for you in your exclusive cabaña on the Island.
(30 minutes by private transfer, 2.5 hours by boat) (B-BL-D) (Night at Las Bandurrias cabins)

Day 08: Bandurrias Island / Lago Azul
We enjoy an early breakfast. This morning we’ll ride for 2 hrs visiting the Blue Lake "Lago Azul" with its crystal clear waters and abundant fish life. The majestic peaks and stunning landscapes will not escape your attention! Picnic and relax on the shore of the lake. After lunch we will ride on steep passes across the forest along the mountains passing through typical cold jungle or Valdivian-type rainforest. You will enjoy its ancient Alerces trees as well as other local "giants" such as the "Coihue" and "Arrayanes"(the cold tree). End the ride at the Palenque. Sail back to the Island.
(45 minutes by boat round trip, 5 hours riding) (B-BL-D) (Night at Las Bandurrias Cabins)

Day 09: Las Rocas / Lago Verde
After breakfast, a motor boat will take us back to the other side of the lake where the horses will be waiting. Cross the river using a traditional raft method on manpower based! Horses will get on as well! Reach "Segundo Corral" the last settlement close to the border. Then follow the trail down the Puelo River to a fantastic hanging bridge, "la Pasarela del Rio Puelo", an important hanging bridge crucial for the communication between the inhabitants and the outside world. Night and dinner at cosy house in front Rio Puelo. German and Chilean hosts will invite us to share their house.
(30 minutes by boat, 5-6 hours riding) (B-BL-D) (Night in a local farm house)

Day 10: Lago Verde / Ventisqueros
Nice breakfast , saddle up and cross again the Hanging Bridge and follow the west side of the Ventisqueros Valley- Enjoy the remote and green landscape. Ride into the Ventisqueros valley where we will stop for lunch and relax. In the afternoon, the ride will get us to a little house where the owners are lodging us for 2 nights.
(4 hours riding) (B-BL-D) (Night in a local farm house)

Day 11: Ventisqueros
After breakfast and packing we embark on a gentle ride, crossing the river once more to join the other valley and approach its glacier. This little Valley turns wild and remote, with incredible flora and devoid of habitants. We will arrive close to the Alerces forest on this occasion. Box lunch and ride back to our guest farmhouse. Later there is a chance to go for a walk around the area or simply relax with a glass of wine.
(4 hours riding) (B-BLD) (Night in a local farm house)

Day 12: Ventisqueros / Rio Puelo
Home made breakfast at the farm house. Back on the saddles! This morning the trail takes us across beautiful ancient forest, clean pampas and the unique opportunity to cross several times the Ventisqueros River. Enjoy a pleasant box lunch at the Ventisqueros shore. In the afternoon we ride where we will probably meet farmers working on their land looking after the cattle and making a living through family agriculture. Is amazing to see how fertile these mountains can be!! At the end of the day we will cross the river just as the locals do: on a public little motor boat with the horses swimming by the lead. Last night accommodation at cozy farm cottage
(6-7 hours riding, 20 minutes by boat) (B-BL-D) (Night in a local farm house)

Day 13: Llanada Grande / Puerto Varas
Home made breakfast. Last ride, horses will take us through the forest and along the Puelo River to the hamlet of Llanada Grande. A private transport will be waiting for us, to drive for one hour to the ferry that will cross us to the other side of the Tagua – Tagua Lake. Pic - nic lunch. And drive to Puerto Varas. The road goes at the side of the Reloncavi Estuary. You will enjoy the beautiful sight of the river's mouth flowing into the sea .On our way to Puerto Varas, we will be able to contemplate the colours of the sensational virgin nature of the National Park of Vicente Perez Rosales, skirting Lake Llanquihue and the volcanoes of Osorno and Calbuco, all around the beautiful Puerto Varas town.
(3-4 hours riding, 4 hours by private transfer) (B-BL-D) (Night in a ***+ hotel in Puerto Varas)

Day 14: Puerto Varas / Airport
Breakfast and transfer to the local airport.
(45 minutes by private transfer) (B)

 
Hotel Milan

Hotel Milan is an owner run hotel situated in the heart of Bariloche, across to the Cathedral, only a few steps away from the main street.


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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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La Casona De Odile

This B&B, situated on a lavender farm and grove of trees (all planted by her owner, Odile), and a stream at the bottom of the garden is truly an oasis. The rooms are rustic but very clean and comfortable. Many were decorated with art, some of which was produced by Odile herself. The place is well known for the fantastic “French cuisine”, including a four course meal and an excellent breakfast -many different homemade breads and jams, cereal, yogurt, fruit, coffee, tea, juice-without a doubt THE BEST breakfast in El Bolson! Odile is a great hostess, a real character who has lived in the area since the mid-80s.


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Bandurrias Island

Island Las Bandurrias has a woodland path circumnavigating the shore, small private beaches and two charming cabañas. Guests stay in a cozy and well-equipped 2-story cottage heated by firewood; the same system heats water for showers. The bathroom offers a splendid view of a southern beech forest. The living and dining areas and great sundeck overlook the small beach next to the quay. Here you find stunning views of Lago Las Rocas and the surrounding peaks. The cabaña offers accommodation for up to 6 people and the main house features two further guest rooms with original French country decor. It is a very cozy and warm place where we'll share meals and pre-dinner drinks with Francoise Dutheil, our island host. Francoise’s prized flower garden which includes butterfly bushes, fuschia and camellia is adjacent to the main house.


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Local Farm House

These homes of local pioneers give us the unique opportunity to experience their way of life. The extremely charming but often rustic homes offer basic accommodation mostly in twin, triple or dorm rooms with shared hot showers. Sometimes we spend the nights outside in tents. Food will be organically grown and sourced from local gardens, while the meat will be cooked on a delicious Chilean asado (BBQ)


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INCLUDED
-All full board meals (including wine in dinner during the ride)
-Dinner at restaurants on 1st, 6th and 13th nigh.
-Local guides, Baqueanos, “Huasos” and tour leader (French & English).
-VHF radio communication equipment.
-Saddle horses, pack horses.
-All In/out private transfers, transportation by minibus & motor jet boats, ferry crossing.

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NOT INCLUDED
Any additional night.
Insurance of any kind and any medical expenses
Gratuities for guide and Baqueanos
tipping: this is very important in Chile and Argentina, you should allow 200 u$ for this.
More information is given in the pre departure information.
Please note that most travellers find Chile and Argentina more expensive that they expect and we recommend that you bring more spending money rather than less!
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MEALS
the products are organically grown and picked from farm orchards, while the meat will be cooked on a Argentine and/ or Chilean Asado (BBQ). Argentine meat is served on the first night, in Bariloche and 6th night in  El Bolson (a great dinner!!) We also enjoy fresh sea food at a restaurant in Puerto Varas at the end of the trip.
The cuisine on the trip will be a mix of a special blend of flavors and ingredients consisting of an ethnic variety of gastronomic Andean Creole-Chilean style. A traditional wood stove gives its special flavour to the dishes.
Depending on the season, it is possible to taste the delicious rainbow trout, fontinalis, or salmon trout. The Creole barbecue “Asado al Palo” or “Asado al Asador” is served during several meals. It consists of lamb cooked with plenty of embers and firewood. As the main local dish, people cook it in different ways, usually accompanied with salad, potatoes and, of course, Chilean red wine. The island also has a personal collection of a good variety of wines. The vegetables and fruits are superb and the variety of the region's berries is impressive. Vegetarian dishes are also an option but we do need to know if you prefer vegetarian options at the time of booking. Water is crystal clear, safe to drink and tastes delicious.
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HORSES AND RIDING LEVEL
The Argentinean Criollo Horse
Generally small in size, the characteristics of the horse from the pampa demonstrate its ability to adapt itself to the environment, a capacity which has ensured the survival of the Criollo breed.
Coming from the Barb and Andalusia horses imported by the Spanish conquerors, he went back to the wild before being used and raised by the Indians from the pampa. He served all the partisans in quest of their freedom: the Gauchos, the Indians and the armies of the European settlers. Today, it's the peon's horse for the work and the displacements.
The horse's name can vary from a country to another: Criollo in Argentina, Crioulo in Brazil, Costeño or Morochuco in Peru, Corralero in Chile and Llanero in Venezuela. As well, the horses' morphology of vary slightly according to the characteristics of the original environment and the habits of breeding. For instance, since several years some Chilean Corralero reproducers, more robust and heavier than their Criollo cousins from the East are imported by breeders from southern Brazil and Uruguay. The Criollo horse lovers, more traditionalists from Argentina and Uruguay are mostly reserved to an evolution of the official standard.

The Chilean criollo horse

Like many other Criollo breeds across Latin America, the Chilean Criollo is extremely hardy. It has a low metabolism, a high threshold for discomfort, a great immunity to disease and a remarkable rate of recuperation. Their hooves are strong and their thick double haircoat makes them well suited for both cold and dry/hot weather. It is doubtful any other breed surpasses their productive energy level. Although abundant manes, tails and forelocks are characteristic of all Iberian breeds in the Americas, none can compare with the volume and thickness that typifies a good Chilean Criollo specimen. All breeds of Iberian origin also have some incidence of semi-convex facial profiles, but the Chilean Criollo breeders proudly state their preference for this characteristic.

It is truly ironic that a breed like the Chilean Criollo is virtually unknown to anyone outside of the meridional South America. The fact is that this breed is the oldest registered Criollo breed, the oldest registered horse breed of South America, the oldest registered stock horse breed in all the Americas and the third oldest horse breed of any kind in all the Western Hemisphere. This "antiquity" comes from the fact that the Chilean Horse registry was officially inaugurated in 1893 when formalizing breed status was still a new concept in the Americas.

Riding difficulty:

The trip is an exciting one but not demanding, though some days there will be terrain with more demanding difficulties. Also some days will be longer than others when we have to cover a particular distance. Lots of river crossings on some days, which are great fun and allow riders to experience the local way of travelling. Some steep up hills and undulating terrain could turn just a bit more demanding if the weather is not good.

This adventure ride is an excellent way of managing lots of different terrain and being able to ride one of the most resilient horse breeds in the world. Clients may canter on open ground, trot in the forest, or simply enjoy the ride at their own relaxing pace.


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GENERAL FACTS
Guides:
Chile Nativo believes that tour leaders are the key to a successful and memorable trip; we use only experienced guides with a great knowledge of the area. They are all friendly, great fun and highly passionate about the Puelo Valley area. She or he would be able to be a step ahead and give all the help and assistance in any unpredictable situation, ensuring the trip runs smoothly.
Local Huasos or "Baqueanos":
will be there at all times to help with saddles, horses and to look after you; they are a great support for the whole group and they even have an amazing ability to predict the weather! They also enjoy making wooden handcraft.
Safety:
We use qualified staff and safety equipment including a portable radio with available connections to radiotelephone networks; in case of emergencies we have access to direct telephone lines through 2-way radio links. Although communications are much better than they were before we still rely on radio type and good weather conditions for sending messages.   Life jackets are provided for river and lake crossings while sailing. We use international adventure tourism insurance but clients are obliged to have their own travel insurance that covers them for the activities on the tour.
Health and Vaccinations:
No special vaccinations are required for this area of South America. Clients with special medication should bring enough for the trip. It is advisable to get your own first aid kit. No chemists (pharmacies) after day 1.
Packing and Clothing:
We suggest bringing a day-pack, where you will put a few personal belongings plus a lunch box and water bottle a jacket, sunglasses. These can be put inside the saddle-bags to access throughout the day. Please bear in mind that we do not accept any type of rigid cases; a good quality duffel bag with strong zips will do. We provide strong quality bags just to protect your own and to make things easier. Comfortable trousers, waterproof pants, fleece, jacket, hat, some warm pairs of socks, travel towel, sun block, insect repellent, personal medicines, personal knife, flash light or head lamp and good riding or trekking shoes. Using plastic bags as a waterproof for your clothes is the cheapest way of keeping things dry in case of rain!
Most of our clients realise after doing the ride how much extra luggage they brought. It is important not to bring unnecessary stuff. The pack horses will especially appreciate your consideration. Our ethic is to protect our horses and not to cause them unnecessary strain. Two complete changes of clothing are plenty.  Bring less than 15kg Per person. In case of more weight please contact us.
Flight Connections:
Daily flights depart either from Santiago international airport to Puerto Montt (Chile) or from Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery local airport into San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina).
Important Notes:
During January, horse flies proliferate in the whole southern part of Chile and Argentina! They do not harm but are a nuisance and are attracted to dark clothing. Take this into account when selecting your clothing.
You can review with us any points that will affect your travel plans – for example where the trip starts or whether it includes a Pre-Trip Option or Post-Trip Extension.
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