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El Patagon Horseback Riding Tour
Length: 5 daysLocation:Torres del Paine

Experience the wondrous land of Patagonia, Chile!
Canter across windswept pampas, watch the incredible condor soar overhead, realize your smallness as you stand at the base of towering glaciers, and marvel at the untamed beauty that lies at the ends of the earth. Each day, after crossing grand territories on horseback, relax by the fire at a working estancia, beautifully converted to attend to guests. Become educated on the natural and political history of the area, as well as its interesting myths and legends as your guides relate the stories that unfolded here long ago.

Before you trip begins you must take a transfer fro the airport/ hotel in Punta Arenas to your hotel in Puerto Natales. The evening before Day 1, your guide will meet you at your hotel at the designated time to discuss details and answer questions about the adventure to come.

Full Itinerary

Day 1:
After packing your things and breakfasting in the hotel dining room, your guide will meet you at 8:30am in the lobby. From Puerto Natales we will drive northward towards Estancia Dos Maria’s where we will meet our horses. Dos Maria’s is a working estancia which borders the Torres del Paine National Park and together with the park, shares the immense and breathtaking Lake Toro. As we arrive you will be greeted warmly by the ranch owners themselves who have offered to share with us their traditions, and use of their land. You will also meet the gaucho who will guide you into wild and secluded areas on horseback for the remainder of the trip. Before we are fitted to our mounts, the people of Dos Maria’s will give us a tour of their estancia and demonstrate some aspects of estancia life (sheep shearing, or a round-up). Next, we will mount up and go for a refreshing ride around the estancia with invigorating trots and canters through pastures speckled with sheep and horses. We will also ride down to the banks of the enormous Lake Toro, where we will take our lunch, and stare out across its crystalline blue waters before returning across the open land to the warmly lit ranch house. Here will say goodbye to our new friends and horses for the night and make the short drive to Pioneros, a gorgeous tree lined estancia converted into a hotel, where we will enjoy a delicious hand prepared meal before a good nights rest.
Time in the saddle: 4 hours

Day 2:
We will enjoy a scrumptious breakfast together at Pioneros before packing our things and heading once again to Estancia Dos Maria’s. Here we will mount our horses and begin this days adventure. We will first head towards Cerro Castillo, a border crossing and the only outpost in the area, to arrive at the Chinas River. We will cross the Chinas River and follow it as it curves gently through a long valley spotted with the occasional estancia. Here we may enjoy some refreshing trots and gallops along the riverside. From the valley floor we have excellent views of geographical formations, as tall mountains rise abruptly from the flat pampas. We will stop near the river to lunch in the shade and you will have some time to continue bonding with your Criollo horse, or chat with your new friends. After lunch we will again cross Chinas River and head towards our evening’s accommodation at the banks of Laguna Verde (green Lagoon). First we will arrive at the gorgeous Lake Sarmiento. As this lake unfolds before us, you will notice its clear turquoise waters are surrounded by a bank of hard white calcium carbonate that extends to form small beaches. Puma scat and prints have been spotted in this area and we may even catch a glimpse of the elusive animal. In the distance you will see the unmistakable Torres (Towers) of granite reaching high into the sky, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. We will follow the white banks of Sarmiento for approximately two hours before we arrive at a shady, green forest. We will cross the spongy earth, below gnarled branches, catching an occasional glimpse of the glistening waters of Laguna Verde through the trees. When we finally arrive at Estancia Laguna Verde you will instantly fall in love with its charming architecture and red roofs. This estancia sits just on the outskirts of the Torres del Paine National Park, and is blessed with a most spectacular view of the massive, glacier studded mountain range, which is often reflected perfectly by the glassy waters of Laguna Verde below. Once the horses are unsaddled in the corral, we will head towards the guest houses for a refreshing shower, and then meet in the dining room for a pre-dinner pisco sour to discuss our next day’s adventure.
Time in the saddle: 5 hours

Today we will awake and enjoy a delicious buffet style breakfast in the estancia dining room before saddling our mounts for the days ride. We will start out by riding along the edge of Laguna Verde, through a beautiful green forest. We will cross several fresh water mountain streams as we ride through the knee-high grasses and emerge from the forest and find ourselves at the foot of one of the worlds most spectacular mountain ranges, the Torres del Paine. We will ride beneath its towering heights as we begin an ascent to an incredible lookout from which you may see the turquoise, emerald, and milky blue glacier lakes that were carved out centuries ago by massive glaciers. From here you may see rivers that curve serpent-like at the base of the mountains, connecting lakes and eventually flowing to Last Hope Sound. Search the open skies for the enormous condor as it glides noiselessly through the fresh atmosphere. We will have lunch at this beautiful lookout before continuing the rest of the ride. We will then cross between rolling hills and hidden ponds as we circle around Laguna Verde and head back towards the lovely estancia. Once we arrive, enjoy a relaxing stroll on the beach or sip your beverage of choice and enjoy the view from the comfort of the front porch before we meet in the dining room for a delicious evening meal.
Time in the saddle: 5 hours

Day 4:
On this day we will arise early to pack our bags and lunches for our final day of riding. After a scrumptious breakfast we will walk down to the corral to meet our horses. We will begin by crossing once again through the lush forest that surrounds the estancia before we come to a small puesto (workers home) on the banks of beautiful Lake Sarmineto. Maybe if the inhabitants are home we will be invited in to share a refreshing mate (traditional teal) before we reenergize over a picnic lunch on the white corral beaches of Sarmiento.Later, we will enjoy several fast trots and gallops on our sturdy Criollos as we cross the flat pampas, feeling the freedom and joy of horseback riding across country. Finally we will come to the crest of a small hill from which we may gaze down upon beautiful Laguna Amarga (bitter Lagoon). This lagoon is especially striking as it is the only saltwater lake in the area, causing salt to build up on the black sand beaches and giving the impression of eternal winter. It is also frequented by flocks of flamingo that group together like pink satin on the surface of the water. If it is a cloudless, calm moment, we may marvel at the perfect reflection made by the Torres that tower eternally in the backdrop. You will feel the wind rushing around your face as we enjoy on last gallop along the beaches of Laguna Amarga. We will then travel a short distance to Estancia Laguna Amarga where our transfer will be waiting to carry us to our hotel. This evening will be spent in the luxurious comfort of Hosteria Las Torres, one of the parks most frequented hotels. Treat yourself to one of the hotels specialty spa treatments, sip your favorite beverage or take a stroll around the estancia’s expansive grounds.
Time in the saddle: 5 hours

Day 5:
Today we will pack our bags and lunches for our final excursion we will be taking a tour by private van through the breathtaking Torres del Paine national park. Relax and listen to your guide relate the natural history of the area as you gaze at the enormous snow- capped peaks and glacier fields that stretch out to the horizon. We will surely spot herds of playful guanaco or a pair of shy nandu. As we drive along together, keep watch for any of the 120 species of birds that live in this area including condors, falcons, hawks, geese and a variety of other wildlife. After a visit to the Administration Center in the heart of the park, we will continue to our lunch spot on the banks of Grey Lake. On a clear day you can see across the milky water to the face of the massive glacier, or for an up close view you will have the option of taking a boat ride out onto the lake where you will be amazed by the color of the ice as the sun reflects off its’ smooth surface. Perfect the moment with an iceberg chilled pisco sour or whisky served by the crew.After endless photo opportunities and glorious views we will end our day in our hotel in Puerto Natales, where after a change and shower we will celebrate our adventure together over a delectable, traditional meal and toast with world-class Chilean wines.

Day 6:
Service ends. Transfer on to other travels.

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