fbpx

ESTANCIAS & GLACIERS

Overview

Experienced riders will be talking for years to come about this adventure through Patagonia’s estancias and National Parks. Charismatic gauchos – their laughter, tales and endless “mate” tea – will accompany you as you encounter pampas, hills, valleys and four different glaciers. This 8-day all-included program provides you with everything you need to enjoy the estancias, glaciers, lakes, rivers and waterfalls from the saddle.

Trip highlights

• Ride from Torres del Paine to Bernardo O’Higgins National Parks
• Sleep at remote campsites, estancias and hotels
• Experience varied trail conditions
• Ride to Serrano River and Grey Lake
• See Serrano, Grey, Tyndall and Balmaceda Glaciers
• Visit a working ranch
• Navigate through the Last Hope Sound

Itinerary

Day 1

Transfer from Punta Arena’s airport to Estancia Tercera Barranca

5 hours by private transfer

Night at Estancia Tercera Barranca (D)

To travel without hassle, take the early flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas (4 hours). Relax and enjoy the journey over the Andes and views of the intricate patterns of the Patagonian Ice Fields. At Punta Arenas airport your private transfer will be waiting to take you to Torres del Paine via Puerto Natales. Leaving Punta Arenas we’ll see the Strait of Magellan and the island of Tierra del Fuego. Our 5-hour drive weaves through open pampas and huge estancias (ranches) with the chance of seeing the ñandus (similar to ostriches) that call these landscapes home. We’ll pass through the fishing town of Puerto Natales, located on the Sound of Last Hope and surrounded by mountains, then take an unsealed road to Estancia Tercera Barranca. This is a working ranch typical of the region, and blessed with fantastic views of the three Towers.

Day 2

Round trip ride to Salto Las Chinas waterfall

6-7 hours slow riding,trotting and cantering

Night at Estancia Tercera Barranca (B-BL-BBQ)

Our destination today is Salto Las Chinas waterfall on the east side of Torres del Paine National Park, a route taken more than a century ago by Lady Florence Dixie whose 1880 account of traveling Patagonia has become iconic. As we ride across pampas and plateaus we may see condors matching our speed as they soar the skies above us. We’ll stop for lunch at the waterfall before making our way back to the ranch via the same trail. Our evening will be spent beside the fire, with Pisco sours and Patagonian lamb barbecue.

Day 3

Ride to the Serrano River, through Torres del Paine National Park

6-7 hours slow riding, trotting and cantering

30 minutes by private transfer

Night at Chile Nativo Riverside Camp (B-BL-D)

After breakfast we’ll mount our horses and set off for Torres del Paine National Park. At Sarmiento Lake, just bordering the park, there is a lookout point of the three Towers. We’ll stop here to enjoy the view, have lunch and observe this glacial lake’s distinctive white calcium deposits and rock formations hugging its shoreline. Our ride continues through forests and past small lakes, all the while accompanied by postcard views of the Paine Massif. On the shores of the Serrano River we’ll stop, settle in to our camp and enjoy dinner together.

Day 4

Round trip ride to Grey Lake lookout

7 hours walking, trotting and cantering

Night at Chile Nativo Riverside Camp (B-BL-D)

A huge section of pampas begins our ride to Grey Glacier, giving us the chance to canter as much as we want! Once we reach Grey River we’ll start along a narrow path backdropped by incredible mountain views. We’ll stop at the Pehoe Lake lookout to pause for a moment above its famously turquoise waters. Continuing on, the trail to the Grey Lake lookout becomes more rugged. Lunch will be here looking over this icy lake and the massive face of Grey Glacier, whose waters feed the lake. We’ll ride return via the same trail and reenergize ourselves with an evening canter across the pampas before arriving home. Be sure to take a shower if you would like to, as tomorrow’s campsite does not have these facilities.

Day 5

One-way ride to Lake Brush

10 minutes transfer

4 hours walking and trotting

Night at Lake Brush Campsite (No showers available) (B-BL-BBQ)

This morning we start by heading south across the Serrano River to a traditional Patagonian farmhouse where we’ll choose new horses to accompany us for the next three days. Our destination today is an secluded valley at the border of Torres del Paine National Park. To get there, we’ll ride across several rivers and trot through landscapes filled with wetlands and lakes, while views of the Paine Massif and its final glaciers alter alongside us. We’ll set up camp on the shores of Lake Brush and savor another Patagonian style lamb barbecue.

Day 6

One-way trail ride to Serrano Glacier

5 hours walking

Night at Hostería Balmaceda (B-BL-D)

After a nourishing breakfast we’ll set off for Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. Today’s trail is a peaceful one, taking us through humid forests and following the Serrano River until its mouth at the Last Hope Sound. At Hostería Balmaceda, our destination for today, we’ll have wonderful views of Serrano Glacier as it seems to cascade into the lagoon beneath it.

Day 7

Boat trip to Puerto Natales

10 minutes by zodiac

45 minutes walk

3 hours by boat

Night at Hotel Vendaval or similar (B-BBQ)

Our day begins crossing the river into the Last Hope Sound by zodiac, face-to-face with the steeply-descending Serrano Glacier at the foot of Mount Balmaceda (2148 m). We’ll take a short walk up to the glacier where we’ll board a boat bound for Puerto Natales via the Last Hope Sound. We’ll make a stop at Estancia Perales for a Patagonian-style lamb barbecue lunch, and arrive at Puerto Natales around 6:00 pm.

Day 8

Transfer to Punta Arenas airport

2.5 hours by transfer (B)

Your program ends with a private transfer to Punta Arenas airport. (To allow for travel time, guests should arrange their return flights for after 1 pm.) If you would like to stay the night in Punta Arenas, we’ll take you to your hotel.)

INCLUDED

  • All private transportation indicated in the schedule
  • All horses, saddles and pack horses during the excursion
  • Riding equipment, including elmets, leather chaps, leather gloves, saddle bags, dry bags
  • All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, D: dinner, BBQ: barbecue)
  • Two nights at Estancia Tercera Barranca (Pleasant farmhouse with private rooms and bathrooms)
  • Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park
  • Entrance fee to Bernardo O’Higgins National Park
  • Two nights lodging at Chile Nativo Riverside Camp (Comfortable domes with 2 inflatable mattresses and shared bathroom) (Bedding included)
  • One night at Brush Camp (Based on twin-share tents)
  • One night at Hostería Balmaceda (Twin standard room)
  • One night at Hotel Vendaval or similar in Puerto Natales (Twin/double Standard room with private bathroom)
  • Navigation between Monte Balmaceda to Puerto Natales
  • Guide (English-Spanish), Driver and Baqueano (local cowboy)

NOT INCLUDED

  • Any domestic or international flights
  • Any additional nights
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Sleeping bags and mattress (needed at Lake Brush campsite)
  • Lunch on Days 1 & 8
  • Dinner on Day 7
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks in the hotels
  • Gratuities for Guide, Baqueano & Driver

Lodgings

Estancia Tercera Barranca

A family run 6,500 hectare working estancia just outside the Torres del Paine National Park. It has a remote setting and excellent views of the Towers to the west and a warm, friendly, cozy atmosphere.
Accommodation is in the rustic but comfortable guest house with a small garden adjacent to the main house. There is a lovely fireplace in the gallery/living area which has comfy seating and huge windows allowing fantastic views. Good, home cooked food, homemade bread and jams, tasty Chilean specialities and excellent BBQs and Pisco sours!

Chile Nativo Riverside Camp

This new site is located in the Rio Serrano sector of the National Park. It has access to two bathrooms (one men’s, one women’s) with hot water showers and plugs for electronic devices.
​​In total we have 8 domes (4 meters in diameters each), with 2 inflatable double height mattresses per dome.
​​We also have a dining room dome, common area dome and kitchen dome for our personal chef.

Hosteria Balmaceda

The perfect place for resting, adventure and observation. There are 16 rooms with private bath and a dining room with grill. This is all surrounded by a beautiful landscape and a magnificent view of the Serrano glacier and the Balmaceda Mountain.

Hotel Vendaval

Conveniently located within the principal gastronomic neighborhood in downtown Puerto Natales, 3 blocks away from the waterfront and half another from the main square. 23 rooms are inside the block, which provides not only tranquillity, but also a breath-taking view and fully light-filled spaces.

Dates & Prices

PRICES FOR SEASON 2019/2020: (valid until April 2020)

2 riders USD$ 4.295
3-8 riders USD$ 3.895
Single supplement USD$ 250

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES/SERVICES: (must be booked in advance)

Sleeping bag and mattress rental (for day 5 at Lake Brush)

  • Dates
  • Start / End
  • Price in USD
  • Spaces Available
  • 8 DAYS
  • October 20, 2019 / October 27, 2019
  • USD 4.295
  • 8 spaces left
  • Book
  • 8 DAYS
  • November 11, 2019 / November 18, 2019
  • USD 4.295
  • 8 SPACES LEFT
  • Book
  • 8 DAYS
  • December 20, 2019 / December 27, 2019
  • USD 4.295
  • 8 SPACES LEFT
  • Book
  • 8 days
  • January 11, 2020 / January 18, 2020
  • USD 4.295
  • 8 spaces left
  • Book
  • 8 days
  • March 19, 2020 / March 26, 2020
  • USD 4.295
  • 8 spaces left
  • Book

FAQ's

Reviews

As horse lovers from the Netherlands and looking for a new unforgettable experience we decided to look for a horse ride in the Patagonia area. After some search on the internet we came to the Chile Nativo site and found a perfect ride for us. From our point of view we had an incredible trip and would recommend Chile Nativo for arranging you’re riding tour, giving you the opportunity to really enjoy. For horse riding and nature lovers the thing to do at least once in a lifetime.

Jasper Brugman, Netherlands

I was blown away by this trip and will absolutely be back to experience Patagonia on Horseback again. Everyone from the office staff to the guide, to the Gauchos, and our driver was professional but fun, and the experience was better for getting to know these people. Being in the backcountry and seeing the landscapes up close was one of the most amazing things I have ever done.

Sarah Frame, USA

Book