Riding in Chile
from multi-day rides across the wide open plains of Torres del Paine National Park to crossing the Andes from Chile to Argentina
Chile offers some wonderful and varied riding, both fast and slower paced to suit experienced and novice riders. Stay in comfortable lodges, camp under the stars, stay with local families, cross rivers or gallop across wide open plains - there is something for everyone.
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The 1,630 square kilometres of the Torres del Paine National Park offer spectularly scenic rides through lush green valleys, ancient beech forests, vast glaciers and turquoise coloured, iceberg-filled lakes. Although days in the saddle can be long, the snow-capped mountains are never far away and you will have the opportunity to see guanacos, ñandus (rhea - the South American ostrich) and, if you are lucky, pumas. Stay overnight in authentic estancias, comfortable lodges or camp under the stars, with the option to join a group ride or organise a private ride for a family or group of friends.
The Lake District
Sure-footed horses will take you deep into the valleys and hills, and around volcanoes in a way that no other form of transport can, allowing you the freedom to appreciate the incredible views. Either base yourself in a lodge or join an escorted ride from Chile to Argentina, riding through the beautiful Puelo Valley, following an untouched and truly off-the-beaten-track route, much of it only accessible by horse or on foot. Along the way, experience magnificent mountain landscapes, ancient forests and a traditional rural way of life. Swim horses across rivers, ride up glacial valleys and stay in family homes.
The Atacama Desert
The Atacama is the driest, highest desert in the world, yet life flourishes in the oases formed by the streams that flow from the vast imposing heights of the Andes mountains. Exploring the extreme landscapes of mountains, volcanoes, salt flats, geysers, wetlands and hot springs on horseback, combined with visiting the local Atacameños to learn about their culture which dates back 10,000 years, is a unique experience. Stay in the village of San Pedro de Atacama in a comfortable lodge and ride out daily on Chilean criollo (and crosses between criollos and quarter horses), pure-breds and Arabians.
In the following section you will see our suggested options for possible accommodation.
Puelo Valley - Lake District - $3,940 - 7 nights or $3,250 - 5 nights
Operated by Open Travel this escorted ride from Chile to Argentina through the beautiful Puelo Valley, follows an untouched and truly off-the-beaten-track route along pioneer trails, much of it only accessible by horse or on foot. Experience magnificent mountain landscapes, ancient forests and a traditional rural way of life. Swim horses across rivers, ride up the Ventisqueros valley and stay in family homes. The prices are based on a minimum of 4 riders but rides can also be organised for two. A private ride can be organised in reverse and Open Travel also operate a longer ride from Argentina to Chile (which involves some camping) - Andes Grande Traversee.
- Bandurrias Island - in the middle of Las Rocas lake, a special and isolated place only reached on foot or horseback.
Torres del Paine, Patagonia - Estancia and camping rides - $5,999 estancias, $4,999 camping - 9 nights
Experience breath-taking views of the Torres del Paine mountains on 10 day escorted rides from the lush green areas of the south to the dry, vast pampas of the north. Sure footed Criollo cross horses take you through woodland, over mountains, through rivers, around lakes, to impressive glaciers and across huge pampas plains. Stay in comfortable lodges and on authentic estancias or sleep under the stars and stay in rustic refugios, eat typical Patagonian food and be guided by gauchos. The prices are based on a minimum of 4 riders but rides can be organised for two. Shorter rides can also be tailored for a private group.
Patagonia and Atacama - $3-600 per day
- Explora Atacama - a first class hotel just outside the village of San Pedro de Atacama with an impressive stable yard and beautiful horses. Ride over sand dunes, to salt flats, hot springs, around volcanoes and to local villages on half and full day rides.
- Explora Patagonia - a first class hotel in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park with their own beautifully trained horses. Ride out daily across open plains, to the face of glaciers, around lakes and have the opportunity to see condors and wildlife.
- Hosterķa Las Torres - a comfortable lodge in Torres del Paine National Park with a wide range of activities. Guided by gauchos, ride sure footed Chilean criollo cross horses over wide open plains, around lakes and to the face of glaciers.