Horseback 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 frontier.
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 Pacific.
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
DAY 1 PUERTO MONTT - COCHAMO VALLEY
Arrival 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.
DAY 2 COCHAMO VALLEY - LA JUNTA VALLEY
Breakfast. 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.
DAY 3 EL ARCO FOREST
After breakfast 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.
DAY 4 EL ARCO FOREST - VIDAL LAKE
After breakfast 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".
DAY 5 VIDAL LAKE
Rest day for riders and horses. Visiting of the families living around this pristine lake. Dinner with a family at their farm.
DAY 6 VIDAL LAKE - RIO TORRENTOSO
Today we 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.
DAY 7 RIO MANSO - RIO STEFFEN
Following 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.
DAY 8 RIO STEFFEN - RIO MANSO
In the 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 a farmhouse.
DAY 9 TAGUA TAGUA LAKE
This morning 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.
DAY 10 TAGUA TAGUA LAKE - PTO. MONTT
Packing after breakfast. Transfer out to Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt's airport.
 
TTEAM CAPACITY: Minimum 1 Person - Maximum 9 Person
 
2004-2005 COST PER PERSON
Min. 4 persons
US$ 1.480
 

INCLUDED :

  • Transfer in/out Puerto Montt via Puerto Varas to our lodge
  • Horseback excursions with English and German speaking guide as described
  • Full board (all meals on all the 10 days included, one hot meal per day)
  • 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 and parka.
  • 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 suitable.
  • 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.

Make your Reservation...

ALTUE ACTIVE TRAVEL
Coyancura 2270, oficina 801, Providencia, Santiago, CHILE
Telefóno: (56 2) 333 1390 - Fax (56 2) 234 9783
Email: info@altue.com