through the Andean Lakes for riders
Ride wild on horseback adventure from the Pacific Ocean across the
Andes onto a plateau of lakes, waterfalls, rivers and ancient forests.
Follow the legendary 300 year old GAUCHO TRAIL once used by Indians,
Spaniards, Missionaries and the notorious outlaw duo Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid. Today it is used by "gauchos" and
their families who drive their cattle between pastures on the Patagonian
A 10-day small group adventures on horseback will take you into a
forgotten world of pure nature far from the tourist tracks. Leading
through dense forested valleys and high mountain passes, the GAUCHO
TRAIL passes through a scenic blend of isolated pioneer farms, rivers,
lakes, waterfalls and the ancient EL ARCO rainforest, whose giant
Alerce trees are dated at 4.000 years. Riding on through the natural
grandeur of the Andes we will then trace the mountain waters of the
Río Manso, Lago Tagua-Tagua and Río Puelo back to the
This adventure trip is strongly devoted to sustained and high quality
tourism. In order to preserve the natural and untouched state of this
secluded area we run our Gaucho Trail adventure only 3 times a year.
PUERTO MONTT - COCHAMO VALLEY
in Puerto Montt's airport. Travelling in the afternoon from Puerto
Montt, Puerto Varas or Petrohué via Ensenada through
an amazing scenery to the riverside lodge. Together with the other
participants of the group, test packing of personal belongings. Time
for a nature walk. Dinner in a natural surrounding and review of the
expedition. Overnight in tents.
COCHAMO VALLEY - LA JUNTA VALLEY
Ride along the río Cochamó with picnic in the Valdivian
rainforest. After a five-hour ride along the Gaucho Trail into the
Andes you arrive in our mountain lodge in La Junta. Option in the
afternoon: Hike the six kilometer nature trail into the Andean rainforest.
After barbecue, overnight near the mountain lodge.
EL ARCO FOREST
the journey starts through the mountains. After 5 hours riding and
crossing various rivers we reach the forest of "El Arco".
As the name indicates, El Arco features an arc of natural rock that
crosses a small waterfall with a single Alerce tree on the top. In
the forest around el Arco you will encounter examples of giant Alerces,
some as many as 4000 years old. It is possible to swim under the waterfall.
EL ARCO FOREST - VIDAL LAKE
we ride deeper into the ancient forest "El Arco". The expedition
continues for another 7 hours over an Andean pass and amazing valleys.
Camp at the mountain lake "Lago Vidal".
for riders and horses. Visiting of the families living around this
pristine lake. Dinner with a family at their farm.
VIDAL LAKE - RIO TORRENTOSO
follow the western shore of the Lake "Vidal" climbing upwards
partly high above the shore. Occasionally the trail offers spectacular
views over the lake. After crossing a wooden hanging bridge we reach
the sector of río Torrentoso in the afternoon. Dinner around
the campfire and night camp on the bank of the river.
RIO MANSO - RIO STEFFEN
the old "Gaucho trail" route we will see a little Andean
cemetery and cross a landing strip in the middle of nowhere. The trail
continues along the beautiful río Manso Valley and we will
ride up and downhill until we reach the río Steffen. This night
we pitch our tents close to a farmhouse. Dinner around the campfire.
RIO STEFFEN - RIO MANSO
morning we ride downhill to the río Steffen where we cross
a big wooden hanging bridge with our horses. Today the trail is full
of steep hills. By turns we ride through dense rainforest and open
valleys with spectacular views of the mountain range of the Andes.
After the final descent to the río Manso we ride two hours
more before pitching the tents on the bank where the río Manso
and the río Puelo flow together. Typical Chilean dinner at
TAGUA TAGUA LAKE
we ride two hours to the Lake "Tagua Tagua" where the horses
will be loaded on a wooden ferry to cross the lake. It is surrounded
by lush wooded hills and known for its turquoise water. On the other
side we continue the ride to the Chilean fisher town río Puelo.
With every kilometre we come closer to civilization. For the last
time we cross the río Puelo with our horses by ferry and on
the other side there is already the transfer car waiting. Farewell
party and a big dinner in the camp.
TAGUA TAGUA LAKE - PTO. MONTT
after breakfast. Transfer out to Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt's airport.
CAPACITY: Minimum 1 Person - Maximum 9 Person
- Transfer in/out Puerto Montt via Puerto Varas to our lodge
- Horseback excursions with English and German speaking guide
- Full board (all meals on all the 10 days included, one hot meal
- 2 nights in Riverside Lodge + 7 nights in tents
- Provided gear: horse, saddle, top quality tents, cooking equipment,
rain poncho, safety helmet, waterproof camera bag, rain poncho,
safety helmet, first aid kit
NOT INCLUDED :
- Any form of insurance
- Tips and extra expenses out of program
- Airfares Santiago-Punta Arenas-Santiago
- Hotel in Punta Arenas (both can be request to book and quote).
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT SUGGESTED :
As the weight limit for your personal gear is 13 kg you should
consider carefully what to take with you on this trip. Your access
luggage can be stored at the Lodge
- You will need a 100 % waterproofed duffle or canoe bag e.g.
"Ortlieb", "Cascade" or "Sealine"
that are rolled and snapped sealed. Without this bag you cannot
travel these regions of Patagonia satisfactorily, so consider
buying the best quality. The riders tie up their bags behind the
saddle. The bag should have a volume no larger than 60 litres
and will be used for your personal equipment.
- Important for your comfort are waterproof trekking overpants
- Waterproof trekking boots (Goretex or gaiters) are necessary
to prevent dirt or water entering boots.
- A rainproof hat e.g. a cowboy type hat is advisable for universal
protection from sun, rain and branches.
- On the trip, normal pants, a T-shirt and a pullover are comfortable.
Consider a second pullover as a spare.
- A pair of long sleeved shirts that are strongly woven serve
as good protection during rides along bush trails.
- Underwear of wool and synthetic mixture e.g. ski underwear is
ideal for sleeping.
- Fleece trekking socks are very comfortable. Fleece is superior
to wool clothing as it is lighter and dries faster.
- For evening relaxation, a pair of normal jogging shoes is perfectly
- Furthermore, you will need a sleeping bag (Climate group: 0
°C), an insulation mat and a rain poncho. Sleeping bags with
hygienic inlets, insulation maps and ponchos are also out for
rent at the Lodge.
- Don't forget to bring: Sunscreen & sunglasses, insect repellent,
water bottle, torchlight and a set of camping dishes (plate, mug,
knife, spoon & fork).
- To keep things handy while on the way, e.g. a camera, a day-pack
is not very comfortable. Instead, use a small waterproof camera
bag that also has a chest strap.