This signature horseback adventure offers everything you’d imagine in Northern Patagonia and is one of the most historical & traditional routes in this area. In the heart of the beautiful region of Aysén with its rich gaucho culture, ride along old horse and ox paths across mountain passes to the iconic Las Torres del Avellano through the remarkable Avellano Valley. Explore lush forests and the beautiful Andes from a true pioneer perspective. Spend your evenings in authentic puestos while enjoying traditional Patagonian asados – slow roasted lamb cooked over an open-fire. Explore the abandoned mining town of Puerto Cristal -a now declared national monument- along a historical tour of this quiet ghost town. This is an adventure that experienced horse riders will not want to miss!
• Slow Ride Along Historic Horse Trails
• Visit the Iconic Towers of Avellano
• Ride Alongside Chile´s Largest Lake
• Meet Local Gauchos – the True Pioneers of Patagonia!
• Experience Lush Forests with Stunning Valleys
• Visit Puerto Cristal – An Old Mining Town & Declared National Monument
• Enjoy Pristine Scenery, Wildlife, Flora & Fauna
• Visit the Marble Caves – 1 of Chile’s Top 10 Destinations to Visit
• Explore the Beautiful Region of Aysén Patagonia
Welcome Briefing at Hotel – Gear Review
After your national flight from Santiago to Balmaceda Airport, your guide will meet you at your hotel in Coyhaique to give you a briefing on the ride as well as time to organize your luggage and gear.
We’ll advise you how to pack for the trip and make sure there isn’t anything you have left behind!
Transfer from Villa Cerro Castillo to Lake Alto – One Way Ride to Puesto Rabanal
- 2 Hour Private Transfer
- 6 Hours Slow Riding
- Night Camping at Puesto Rabanal (BL-D)
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take a two hour car ride in to the mountains of Cerro Castillo to a farm near Lake Alto.
From here, your guides will introduce you to your horse and will prepare the pack horses for a late morning departure.
This ride begins on old ox and horse paths until the road becomes only a trail through a small mountain pass in the upper valley where few families live.
After a slow ride through the valley with unforgettable views, we arrive to Puesto Rabanal where we will make our first camp for the evening.
Dinner is shared around a campfire where we rest after a nice first day’s ride.
Round-Trip Ride & Hike to Las Torres del Avellano
- 2 Hour Slow Ride
- 3 Hour Hike/ 5KM
- Night Camping at Puesto Rabanal (B-BL-BBQ)
Today we’ll pack up our horses for the day as we ride a few hours to the glacial lake and base of the Avellano Torres.
As the magnificent peaks come in to view, you’ll be amazed at the landscape and colors of the valley.
We’ll tie up the horses for lunch and hike up to the iconic lookout which rewards us with a 360 view of the mountains and surrounding lakes.
After lunch and hiking back down to the horses, we’ll hop back on for a ride back to our base camp where we enjoy an evening with our guide and gauchos as they prepare a delicious lamb asado!
One-Way Ride through Avellano Valley
- 7 Hours Slow Riding
- Night at Private Family Farm(B-BL-BBQ)
Today is a long but beautiful ride, descending down from the mountain pass as we make our way through the iconic Avellano Valley.
We’ll ride through beautiful canyons and virgin forests, crossing rivers and making our way towards General Carrera Lake, the largest lake in Chile.
Our destination is a private family farm where we’ll set up our camp to rest and reflect on today’s sights and experience riding in the heart of Aysén.
Together we will prepare dinner before a well-deserved night of rest.
One-Way Ride to General Carrera Lake
- 5-6 Hours Slow Riding
- Night Camping at lakeside farm (B-BL-D)
After a delicious breakfast, today we head out towards General Carrera Lake. Our first glimpse of Chile’s largest lake will be jaw dropping as we emerge from the forest to look out over the cliffs into the deep cobalt blue water.
We’ll ride along the coastal cliffs, and there may be sections where riders will dismount to allow the horses and riders safer passage through slippery slopes or narrow trails.
Our guides will help through any difficult terrain and are very knowledgeable and dependable.
We’ll finally descend from the cliffs and arrive at an abandoned lake side farm with a pristine place for camping.
Depending on the weather and terrain conditions, we can expect today’s ride to last 5-6 hours.
One-Way Ride to Puerto Cristal
- 3.5 Hours Slow Riding
- Night at Puerto Cristal Guest Home (B-BL-D)
Today is one of our shorter days, riding along the coast of the lake until arriving at the old mining town of Puerto Cristal.
This ghost town was first established in 1945 and it’s mine was one of the main economic drives for the region and lake basin.
A town with a population of 850, it consisted of not only miners and company employees, but more than half were woman and children.
In 1997 the mine closed, and with that the town was abandoned.
The town is now a national monument and upon arrival, you’ll have a private tour of the remaining facilities and enjoy a delicious dinner and night’s stay at Puerto Cristal’s renovated private guest house.
One-Way Ride to Puerto Sanchez
- 3 Hours Slow Riding
- Night in Puerto Tranquilo Cabin (B-BL-D)
After a wonderful night’s rest, enjoy a scenic ride down an old horse trail until arriving at the coastal town of Puerto Sanchez.
Also an old mining town, the village has continued to survive because of its connection by gravel road to the Carretera Austral and recent interest in tourism.
In the afternoon, take a boat tour on the lake to the marble caverns, one of the top 10 places to visit in Chile.
We’ll then take a drive to Puerto Rio Tranquilo to spend the night.
Drop-Off in Coyhaique or Departure from Balmaceda
Today a private transfer will take guests to the Balmaceda Airport for their departing flight in the afternoon or Coyhaique if guests will be continuing their travels onward from here.
- All Private Transportation Indicated in Schedule
- All Meals Indicated in Schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, D: dinner, BBQ: Patagonia Asado)
- All horses, saddles and pack horses
- Helmets, leather chaps, leather gloves, saddle bags
- 4 Season Tents (double occupancy)
- 4 Nights Backcountry Camping
- 1 Night Accommodation in Puerto Cristal Guest House
- 1 Night Accommodation in Puerto Tranquilo Cabin
- Professional, Local Guide (English, Spanish speaking)
- Gauchos from the area to assist along the rides
- Domestic or International Flights
- Medical Expenses
- Personal Expenses
- Sleeping Bag or Sleeping Mat
- Additional Nights Lodging (Coyhaique)
- Gratuities for Guides/Driver
$New Season Pricing to Come!
Start / End
MIN 2 MAX 8 PEOPLE
Puerto Cristal Guest Home
This charming renovated guest house was built in the early 1950s and was designed to serve a single purpose, to serve and host the outstanding guests who visited Puerto Cristal! This is how this house received European and Japanese geologists, authorities, and engineers in its early days. Located at the top of Puerto Cristal, the guest house provides an unsurpassed view of General Carrera Lake. Its construction is based on stone & wood, with large windows and wide spaces. No internet or television is available allowing guests to truly rest and disconnect.
Dates & Prices
Program prices are determined on the final number of confirmed guests in a group. The per person price lowers as more guests join the group. Chile Nativo operates with a maximum of 8 guests per departure which allows for a high level of individualized service and an unforgettable personalized experience.
PRICES FOR SEASON 2022/2023: (valid until April 2023)
2-3Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
4-5 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
6-7 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
8 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
DEPARTURES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST!
Q: What Should I Bring on this trip?
A: Upon booking, we send a detailed packing list to help you plan accordingly. You’ll ride with guides and gauchos from the area, and our company has strict risk management plans in the event something should occur while in the backcountry. This trip is all-inclusive, meaning all equipment and food is provided. Guests are required to bring their own sleeping bag and sleeping pad and personal clothing, all packable and in compression sacks so the pack horses can accommodate the gear.
Q: What riding level is required for this trip?
A: Since some days of this trip are technical rides passing along sections of trails where riders must dismount to allow the horses and riders safer passage through slippery slopes or narrow trails, this trip is ideal for experienced and adventurous riders.