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.
• 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
Our own private home base located within Torres del Paine National Park. Perfect for families or groups, ours is a fully-equipped campsite located on the shores of the Serrano River, away from the buzz of crowded Refugios and campsites. It has access to 2 bathrooms (one men’s & one women’s) with hot water, showers, and electrical outlets for charging and operating electronic devices. Meals are abundant, delicious and shared in a dedicated dining lodge with views of the Paine Massif’s changing colors and spacious room to lounge, relax, and enjoy great company!
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.
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.
PRICES FOR SEASON 2020/2021: (valid until April 2021)
2 riders USD$
3-8 riders USD$
Single supplement USD$ 250
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES/SERVICES: (must be booked in advance)
Sleeping bag and mattress rental (for day 5 at Lake Brush)
Q: Where do I keep my luggage that I won´t need during my trek while I am riding in the park?
A: The majority of the hotels and hostels will store luggage for their guests who are staying with them prior to and after their travels in the park. If not, we will happily store your luggage securely in our office until the end of your program. During your ride, your backpack and other luggage or equipment needed for the daily rides and activities will be transported in a private, secure vehicle. Each day your group will have guided vehicle support along the way.
Q: What equipment is included in this program? Do I need to bring any of my own riding gear?
A: This program includes all the necessary gear and tack needed for this 6 day ride and expedition. Professional riding helmets, leather chaps, leather gloves, saddle, saddle bags, & dry bags are all included. Prior to beginning your first day´s itinerary, you will stop by our office along with your guide to be fitted comfortably for your gear.
Q: Are there restrooms and showers in the Riverside Camp?
A: Yes – there are 2 restrooms and 2 showers per gender in the bath house located in the camp. Hot water is available during the generator’s schedule which functions 08:00 – 23:00. We recommend that you shower at night since your mornings you will be starting early for your days´ excursion.
Q: What is the Riverside Camp like?
A: Chile Nativo Riverside Campsite is our own private home base located within Torres del Paine National Park. Perfect for families or groups, ours is a fully-equipped campsite located on the shores of the Serrano River, away from the buzz of crowded Refugios and campsites. We run all operations in-house, meaning we’re free to work with our own trusted staff, source local products, select the best creature comforts and control all the moving parts that make up an outdoor travel experience. Our double deluxe tents are located on raised platforms, protected against the bracing Patagonian elements. Inside, you’ll find double-height mattresses, cozy down covers and heaters that can be operated during the evening to ensure a warm night’s rest. Permanent, separate male and female bathrooms with hot showers are just a short walk from the tents (please note that electricity and hot water in the campsite runs from 8 AM to 0:00 hrs). Meals are abundant, delicious and shared in a dedicated dining lodge with views of the Paine Massif’s changing colors and spacious room to lounge, relax, and enjoy great company. Our buffet breakfasts, design-your-own packed lunches and chef-prepared three-course dinners are a nourishing mix of local delicacies and high-energy foods to fuel our days’ adventures. Vegans, vegetarians and guests with other dietary needs are more than catered for with a range of alternative milks, gluten free breads, vegan cheeses and soy products. And of course, beer, Chilean wine and Pisco sours mark the perfect end to a day’s trekking. Our own concierge is always onsite to answer questions and to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. With factors such as generators, mosquitos and chilly nights in the mix, our concierge is there to advise when to close mosquito nets, charge electronic devices, close your deluxe tent and turn on the heaters.
Q: Do the deluxe tents have outlets for charging devices? Are the tents heated?
A: Each private deluxe tent has electrical outlets (C & L 220V sockets) for charging electrical devices during the hours the camp generators are operating (08:00 – 23:00). Each private tent is equipped with a small electric space heater with an auto shut-off security feature. This will allow you to heat your tent for the chilly evenings!
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.
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.