In 2020, on December 14, we will experience a two minute total eclipse of the sun in the mountains around the ranch. We scheduled this ride so we can experience the eclipse on a peak high in the mountains. Following he trail we use on our habitual Crossing the Andes ride we made some changes in places we stay overnight. More nights in Cabins, still some tent-camps on wonderful spots.
Pack horses will carry most of our luggage in Chile, in Argentina we will have an accompanying 4x4 pick-up truck;
Whereas in the Chilean part riding with pack-horses is no problem because the terrain rather than velocity is the challenge, riding without luggage in Argentina allows us to take a faster pace. As in Chile we do not have to take tents with us, we have more space for private luggage.
The route is basically the same as on our 9-day trail ride, except that in order to reach the cabins we have to descend into the valleys more often, bringing us into closer contact with civilization.
Cross the Andes on horseback with us and get the best of two worlds and two historic horse cultures!
From the snow-capped volcanoes of the Chilean Andes, through a pass in Icalma, to the open valleys of the Argentinean pampas, we'll explore and witness the landscape transition as we ride. Encounter smoking volcanoes, snowy peaks, deep blue mountain lakes, and dense, towering rainforests during this once in a lifetime experience.
On the Chilean side we'll experience steep mountains and endless virgin rainforests with our low, sturdy Chilean Criollo horses. Crossing the border, we'll witness the unique Argentinean gaucho lifestyle, the vast plains, and the dramatic cliffs where we can admire the majestic Patagonian condor.
Arrival day, pick up at Temuco airport 03.00 pm or Pucon 01.00 pm, welcome to the ranch, dinner at the ranch house.
We go for a four hour ride through the Mapuche Indian Community Quelhue, into the mountains of the Villarrica Forest reserve, and along the rapids of Trancura River to evaluate your riding experience, get familiar with saddle and tack, and to determine which horses to take to our great adventure. In the evening we move the horses in trucks and ourself in our van to the base camp on the shore of Lake Geppinger where we enjoy a Chilean BBQ.
We ride through virgin rainforests and dense stands of Coighue trees and bamboo, and pass by crystal mountain lakes and gurgling creeks. The trails lead through the National Park Huerquehue, the National Forest Reserve Villarrica and the Mapuche Indian Communities of Reigolil and Icalma. Overnights at the natural Hot springs of Rio Blanco and on the shore of Icalma Lake.
On the seventh day we return to civilization again and ride through the small Mapuche settlement of Icalma where we arrange custom formalities with the Chilean border control before heading into the mountains to cross the border to Argentina. High in the mountains at the border we say goodbye to our Chilean horses and the guides that led us to this magnificent place. We cross the border 20 meters on foot, and greet Hernan and his wonderful Argentinean horses which will bring us through the unique world of the Argentinean Andes for the next two days.
We ride the valleys and cliffs of Argentina, watch condors pass us by, meet shepherds with their herds of cattle or goats and enjoy amazing views over the endless wide open spaces of this uninhabited part of the world. On the evening of the 8th day we reach the outpost were Hernan lives with his horses and which marks the end of our journey. We celebrate the end of the trek with a typical Argentinean barbecue while recounting our adventures from the past week and sharing our impressions of this experience of a lifetime.
On the ninth day we take a farewell ride to the condor nests in the steep rocks north of the camp, and through the high plain pastures where the gauchos graze their herds of sheep and goats in the summer months.
Transfer from Hernan's ranch back to Chile; we can bring you to Temuco airport, Temuco city, Pucon or Antilco. If desired, you may finish your trip in Argentina and travel on directly from Hernan's place or spend more days riding in the Argentine pampas
Pucón, 1.00 pm or Temuco airport at 3.00 pm
Ten0 days, nine nights, eight days on horseback, one day transfer Argentina - Chile in private bus
Luggage is carried by pack horses in Chile and accompanying truck in Argentina
2 - 8 riders
Intermediate physical condition, experience on horseback is necessary. We ride up to eight hours a day with breaks; walking, trotting and cantering.
7 nights in double rooms in cabins, two nights in tent camps. In the tent camps two riders share one tent. We always try to give solo travelers a single tent. Because of weight issues this may not always be possible.
Shower, tab water, and toilet on all days but the 7th day.
Complete food and soft drinks from dinner on the first day to the farewell BBQ on the last day and breakfast on the return day. On the trail we have breakfast, a snack at midday and dinner at the campfire or in the cabins. We serve wonderful Chilean and Argentinean wines for dinner.
Here is a suggestion of things to bring to the ride. The weight limit for personal luggage is 12 kg/26 lbs. We provide a pack roll in which all luggage school fit. You pack two gabs, 12 kilo/26 lbs each, one for the Chilean leg, one for Argentina. For the stuff you carry with you in the saddlebags we provide waterproof bags that fit in our leather saddlebags.
All transports to and from Pucón, all fees, all equipment from spoon to tent and sleeping mats.
Enjoy a documentary filmed by German National TV about our expedition to Sollipulli Volcano, our Chile - Argentina ride and life on our ranch.
Enjoy some impressions of our horses: the morning on the paddock, out riding and finishing the evening on their mountain pasture. A video by our guide Lotte.
We are proud winners of the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Trip Advisor Excellence Award.#2 of 24 Outdoor Activities in Pucon
"A Highlight of our RTW Trip”Reviewed 8 August 2015, 2016 and 2017 Msmarits
Thanks for arranging that fantastic ride for us, it truly was a trip of a lifetime.Lindy and Ron Echlin [email@example.com]
It has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I will certainly be returning some time.Sarah Barford [firstname.lastname@example.org]