Our 8-day Laguna-ride offers the unique opportunity to explore the high Andes on horseback. We will cross the Chilean side of the mountains up close to the Argentinian border while passing over the beautiful Laguna del Maule. We will stop by some beautiful natural hot springs and in summer you can even swim bareback with your horse in a lake. During our journey we will also meet some Puesteros – guardians of the animals in the mountains – and you’ll get the chance to learn a lot about their traditions, stories and lifestyle. Our Laguna ride lets you completely get away from the buzz of modern life and dive right into simplicity. Like the Chilean Puesteros you will cook all your meals over the campfire and camp out in pristine surroundings with only the stars watching over you.
- Trip length: 8 days
- Riding days: 6 days
- Riding hours: between 3 and 9 hours per day
- Meeting point: Linares (bus terminal)
- Number of participants: between 2 and 10 persons
- Experience: outstanding experience with local culture and traditions, bathing in natural hot springs, optional: detour up to the Chilean/Argentinian mountain border
- Seasonal activities: swimming with horses, fishing, skiing
- Sightseeing: volcanoes, swamps, lakes, rivers, traditional puestos
- Level: riders of all levels, there are cantering opportunities for experienced riders
- Horses: Criollo horses
- Saddle: Western saddle, Chilean saddle
- Minimum age: 10 years with parent
- Climate: dry mountain climate
- Dates: From December to April
- DAY 1:
You will be picked up in Linares (bus terminal). Ideally you will arrive there about midday or early afternoon. Let us know if you need any help in organizing your transport to Linares. If you need to buy any personal supplies for the trip we can stop by a supermarket first and then head on a 40 minutes drive to your base camp – a beautifully situated farm cottage in Rari. Here you will be welcomed by your guide Danilo and his wife Alejandra. You will have time to make yourself comfortable in your room, have a dip into the pool to wash the journey away and pack up for the adventure. You can guard all things that you won’t need on the trip safely in your room. In the evening you will enjoy a home-cooked dinner and spend the night at the cottage before you head off early into the mountains the next day.
After an early breakfast and a 3 hour car ride through the Precordillera the exciting moment is finally there: you meet your four-legged companions for the first time. We get your horses ready for you, pack all the equipment on the pack animals and ride off through the picturesque hilly landscape and higher into the mountains. On this day you already have the chance to immerse yourself completely into Chilean culture and get to know your first mountain people. In the afternoon marvellous views of the volcanoes San Pablo and San Pedro will open up beside our path. We put up our camp and spend the night in El Valle besides the river La Yegua (the Mare). Approx. 5 hours of horse riding
We begin our ride this day by making our way along the river Botacura and through a beautiful valley, that harbours a lot of animals and their Puesteros in the summer. We will have a lunch break at the Piedra Negra, a big black rock that used to be a Puesto about 50 years ago. Make sure to rest well as we have a big climb planned for the afternoon with astonishing views of the Laguna del Maule to your left. For experienced horse riders there will open up numerous opportunities to canter your horse until we arrive at Laguna del Maule’s little sister – Laguna El Piojo. Here you can unsaddle your horse and go for a refreshing swim together to wrap up your day. Approx. 6 hours+ horse riding, camp and dinner at Laguna El Piojo, great fishing.
In the morning we make our way downhill right along the Chilean/Argentinian border that follows along a mountain ridge to your left. If you feel energetic we can extend the morning ride by about 3 hours and make a detour right up to the actual border crossing. We stay for the lunch break in the valley Tronchoso before we have to climb uphill again in the afternoon. The view on the mountain top will make you forget the sweat though. Upon making our way downhill on the other side we ride along interesting rock formation until we reach our final destination for the day – a green valley with a lot of animals. Approx. 6 (+ optional 3) hours of horse riding.
We making our way along a mountain ridge that appears in a lot of beautiful colours. For lunch we stop at the Puesto “Piedra Hidalgo” – a Puesto that’s build at the side of a cliff. Here you will meet one of the oldest and best know Puesteros of the area that has a lot of different stories of the Cordillera to share. In the afternoon we will meander through beautiful hilly landscape until you reach the stunning view of the waterfall Salto de San Pedro. We stay close by for the night. Approx. 6 hours of horse riding.
This is our resting day – after 3 hours of horse riding we reach our camping spot for the night. A short walk away you will find beautifully situated natural hot springs and you will have the whole afternoon to enjoy a spa day in the most pristine environment. You have different options to choose from for our last camp out under the stars – we can prepare a traditional Chilean Asado, have a little Fiesta around the campfire or you might choose to visit the hot springs one last time with only the moon watching over you. Approx. 3 hours of horse riding.
For the last time we pack up our camp in the morning and return back to our starting point. We wash our horses and then it is time to give them a last hug before letting them run free on green pastures for a well deserved holiday. We will have a lunch break at El SAG, a control point for domestic animals and head back to our farm cottage in the afternoon, where you can wash the dust away and go for a stroll through Rari. Here you will find a lot of skilled artisans that make unique arts and crafts out of “crin” (horse hair”). Dinner & night at farm cottage.
All good things come to and end some time. After breakfast we will bring you to the bus terminal of Linares where you can continue your journey with an additional bag full of memories and unforgettable moments to share. Feel free to visit us again! <3
- Transfer from and to Linares (bus terminal)
- 2-nights lodging at the farm cottage
- all meals while staying at the farm cottage
- food supplies for 6 days (meals will be prepared together)
- horse riding with professional guide as specified in trip itinerary
- traditional Chilean Asado (BBQ)
- it is possible to individually extend the trip or your stay at the farm cottage by various days
- sleeping bag, camping mat and tent/tarp
- firm, closed in shoes
- comfortable long pants, long sleeve shirt
- hat, sunscreen & sunglasses
- insect repellent
- headlight/ flash light
- optional: fishing rod/ skiing equipment
We love our animals! Please make sure that the weight of your personal equipment does not exceed 20 kg per person, otherwise we have to make arrangements for additional pack animals.
Our sturdy Criollo horses are very well behaved and secure in the mountains. Nevertheless we highly recommend to get a personal travel insurance that covers horse riding as activity.
Please advise us in advance if you have any special meal requirements, allergies/medical conditions or are extremely afraid of heights.
We are excited to meet you! Please inquire about your favourite dates and pricing under Reservations.