Location: O’Higgins #965, Puerto Natales, Chile - Cel: +56 9 77318157

This ride will give riders a great Patagonian experience from Puerto Natales in the south, crossing the Torres del Paine National Park further north and then riding southwards back towards Puerto Natales. They will experience the lush green areas through to the typical dry, flat pampas, camping throughout and eating and drinking with the people whose families originate in this region. The last night will be in a rustic refugio.

Main highlights

  • Tour starts and finishes in Puerto Natales, camping throughout with the last night in refugio
  • Includes a boat trip up Last Hope Sound
  • Includes four, full-day rides on Criollo-mix horses with Chilean tack
  • Ride to the Glacier Grey beach, with optional boat trip
  • Experiencing breath-taking views of the Torres del Paine mountains
  • Ride through woodland, over mountains, through rivers and around lakes
  • Spectacular views everyday of the mountains, glacial rivers and lakes
  • Eat typical Patagonian food and wine and meet some of the people who live in this beautiful place
  • See many local birds, animals and plants

Brief day-by-day itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Puerto Natales AM. Transfer to Estancia Perales. 2 hour ride in area. Dinner. Night in camping at Estancia Perales. Lunch and dinner included. Hours in the saddle: 2.

Day 2
Take cutter across fjords to Balmaceda. Meet horses for ride to Serrano. Night Camping Rio Serrano. All meals included. Hours in saddle: 8-9.

Day 3
Ride to Glacier Grey viewpoint. Optional boat trip. Ride or transfer back to Serrano. Night Camping Rio Serrano. All meals included. Hours in the saddle: 5-6. For those taking the optional boat trip you will transfer back to the campsite in vehicle. Hours in the saddle will be: 3.

Day 4
Ride up the opposing valley to Laguna Amarga. Transfer to Laguna Sofia. Night in comfortable refugio. Goodbye dinner. All meals included. Hours in the saddle: 7-8.

Day 5
2 hr ride in the beautiful Laguna Sofia area. Transfer to Puerto Natales for onward travel. Hours in the saddle: 2.

Note: Hours in the saddle are approximate and largely depends on the group size and pace of riding.

Dates:

This ride is not scheduled and can be suited to individuals date requirements. Subject to availability.

Suitability:

This trip suits experienced riders wishing to combine some local flavor and camping with their riding adventure. It is designed for those who prefer to have a more intimate experience with nature and who enjoy a mixture of riding, from technical to some fast riding. There are some days of approximately 8 or more hours in the saddle. 

During long days riders will be asked not to ride their horses overly hard. We strive to be a humane company and keep our horses fairly treated. The holiday is a joint experience of the place and the riding. We expect the riders to treat the horses as though they were their own at all times.

Riders will experience a first-hand view of Patagonian nature and life, which includes the joys, threats and difficulties posed by farming cattle and sheep in the area. The route offers plenty of diversity with rides across open pampas, rides to wild glaciers and ice-berg filled lakes and peaceful rides through valleys and ancient beech forests. Throughout these long days in the saddle, the snow-capped mountains are never far away.

Accommodation:

The accommodation is a mixture of camping and refugio. Most campsites have facilities although these are usually basic. The first last night is in a very comfortable refugio, with 2 dormitory-style rooms.

Riding Experience:

Intermediate – Advanced. This holiday has some fast sections and some technical sections and some long riding days. Fitness and experience are essential. No beginners please.

Age Limit:

We can accept clients between the age of 12 – 70. Younger riders must be experienced and accompanied by an experienced adult. Older riders are welcome to join us on completion of a medical suitability questionnaire.

Trip Length:

5 days / 4 nights – 3 full days of riding and 2 days with 2 hours riding.

Group Size:

2 – 10 riders. Custom groups of any size: details available on request.

Detailed day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 / Arrive Puerto Natales AM. Transfer to Estancia Perales. 2 hours riding in area. Night in camping Estancia Perales.

Arrive into Puerto Natales. Clients will need arrive in the morning today. Meet in the comfortable café Spacio Kau for the trip briefing. Afterwards they will take a 40 minute transfer to Estancia Perales where they will have a 2 hour ride in the area. Dinner at the Estancia. Night in camping Estancia Perales, next to the waters of Last hope Sound.

Day 2 / Boat to Balmaceda. Ride from Balmaceda to Río Serrano. Camping Río Serrano.

After breakfast, guests will say goodbye to Estancia Perales and hop on the boat which will dock especially to take them for a great ride up the Last Hope Sound. Guests will enter the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. Shared by the regions of Magallanes and Aysen, this is the largest National Park in Chile and one of five of the most expansive in the world (over three million hectares). With access only via the water, the mountains or the southern ice field itself, it remains a remote and pristine corner of our planet. It also contains the third largest mass of ice on earth after Antarctica and Greenland, so the climate is understandably extreme.

We will disembark the boat here and enjoy the stunning views which combine old growth forests of evergreen and deciduous southern beech, fire bushes and cypresses – a stunning contrast to the snow capped peaks and glaciers in this region.

We will meet our new horses and have some lunch before setting out on a beautiful trail through thick forests passing pristine rivers and streams in the shadow of the Chacabuco and Balmaceda range of mountains. A fairly slow ride today gives us the opportunity to find our riding stride while enjoying the dazzling scenery on our route into the Torres del Paine National Park. Towards the end of the trail, we will cross the Nutria river and come out onto the pampas which marks the end of today’s ride, as we approach our campsite.

This campsite belongs to the Astorga family who are still farming a few sheep and cattle and working in the traditional manner. For early risers, it also offers some of the best sunrises in all of Patagonia! All meals included with wine while camping.

Day 3 / Ride to Grey Glacier and Lake. Optional boat trip. Ride back to Rio Serrano. Night in Camping Rio Serrano.

After breakfast we will be meeting our horses and preparing for the pampas ride to Lago Grey. Our view will be dominated by the jagged peaks of the Paine massif as we ride out along the Rio Grey to the largest glacier in the park, Glacier Grey. On reaching the trailhead we will tether our horses and walk out across the swinging footbridge through the forest to Grey beach. The view that greets us is memorable – the pebbly shores of the beach form an almost surreal contrast to the blue of the floating icebergs that have calved off the nearby glacier. Glacier Grey protrudes off the southern ice field and is quite simply a wonder of nature. Measuring 28km in length and covering a total  area of 270 square km with its frozen walls of blue ice towering almost 35 metres high, it never ceased to impress.

After some time walking along the beach and enjoying our picnic lunch, we will walk back to our waiting horses for the ride back to Rio Serrano.

*Note The Glacier itself is 17 kilometers from the the Grey beach, so for those who would like to get up closer to the face of this marvel of ice, we can arrange a trip out onto the lake in the Grey III boat. This is an optional excursion available at the cost of approximately US$140 per person. Those guests who take the excursion will return to the hotel by transfer not by horse.

Return to camping Río Serrano for the night. All meals included with wine while camping.

Day 4 / Ride the up and over across the heart of the park to Estancia Laguna Amarga. Transfer to Laguna Sofia. Night in comfortable refugio.

After breakfast we will pack up and start our ride eastwards towards the heart of the park. We will now be riding directly towards the Paine Massif mountain range so the views are dramatic and beautiful. Our trail skirts the southern edge of the mountains on a rarely trodden path as we pass azure and turquiose lakes with the huge granite mountain peaks standing behind. After a picnic lunch taken in one of the pretty valleys we will continue east onto the beautiful soft pampas of the Patagonian steppe. Our riding destination is Estancia Laguna Amarga which has spectacular views of the Towers of Paine. From here we will take a private transfer to the beautiful Laguna Sofia where we will have our last night together. Weather permitting we will dine outside with a typical Patagonian-style asado. Night in the comfortable refugio. All meals included with wine.

Day 5 / Half-day ride at Laguna Sofia. Transfer to Puerto Natales for onward travel.

Today we will saddle up our horses and finish our tour with a fabulous half-day ride in the mountains, hopefully with views of the condors. Our lunch will be taken with views of the mountains before heading back to Laguna Sofia. Here we will collect our things and take a private transfer to Puerto Natales, where the tour ends.