Following the footsteps of a Chilean Huaso

Explore the paths ingraved into this land by the Patagonian pioneers, riding like them through the fields that shelter the Puelo river valley. Be part of a truly organic experience without contest, in these fascinating lands, south of the south

The prologue to this Baquiana story begins the day before your departure. At 6:00 p.m., your guide will introduce himself to you at your accommodation in Puerto Varas and explain the details of your trip, how it will be carried out as well as under what conditions.
We recommend you that your arrival in Puerto Varas be early. This way you will have the time to visit this beautiful and quiet city, characterized by its typical German architecture, a vestige of the immigrants who came from those lands in the mid-nineteenth century. The city is located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue which is one of the largest in South America and offers an incredible view of the four volcanoes.

Day 1- Puerto Varas- Llanada Grande- Las Rosas

Today your exciting expedition through the Patagonian mountain range begins! Just before 9:00 a.m. your four-hour journey towards the Andes, bordering Lake Llanquihue with its magnificent view and passing between the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Shortly before arriving at the Reloncaví Estuary, the first fjord in the South of Chile, you will stop in Cochamó. Here you will take a break to experience the unforgettable flavors of this little agricultural and fishing town amidst its splendid scenery.

We continue the journey, passing through the entrance to the Puelo river valley, near the mouth finally reaching the Tagua-Tagua Lake. Once there, you will recharge your batteries, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and afterwards cross the lake on a small Ferry. On the other side of the river you will lose mobile phone signal. However, don’t despair because now you can focus and give full attention to beginning of your epic adventure. You will continue for another 40 minutes to the Puelo river, in Puerto Urrutia, where the transfer will leave you.

At this point you will meet the team of horsemen and horses. While loading the “Pilcheros”, you will meet your new four-legged companion, with whom you will share closely during the route. After crossing the river by boat whilst your horses swim alongside you, you will start a two-hour

ride over the beaches of Puelo, crossing the cattle fields. Towards the end of the afternoon, in front of the Puelo River, you will be welcomed by the warmth of a homestyle and a rich southern dinner in the house of Olivia and Tito, two of the Baquianos who accompany you on this trip.

Day 2- Las Rosas- Ventisqueros

After a typical Patagonian breakfast, you will continue the march through the Ventisqueros River valley where the landscape will be opened before your eyes and again crossing self-sustained land, old Cordilleran forests and some streams. Then, you will experience crossing the Ventisqueros River first hand! This river is easily identified by its width and strong current which the people of the area cross by horses, to move from one place to another in the valley.
Around noon, you will stop at a white sandy beach in front of the Ventisqueros to enjoy your lunch and rest. As the afternoon approaches you will continue the trip through the native forests, viewing waterfalls, and crossing the streams that bring you closer and closer to the glacier in front of which you will stay the next two days. Finally, after six hours of riding, you will reach the final destination for the day which is the humble home of Bernadette, one of the few people living in this remote spot, with whom you will have dinner prepared, on a wood fire stove, with the ingredients from the area.

Day 3- Ventisqueros – El Toro – Ventisqueros

Once you’ve had breakfast, we travel for four hours on horseback into a neighboring village that hosts a panorama of epic proportion. Resting alongside the banks of the Toro River you will enjoy a picnic lunch. As you move through the narrow valley, the flora becomes denser and eventually leads you to a Patagonian larch forest characterized by its protected native species and high altitude. Activating your senses, you will breath some of the purest air in the world. This day we return early after which you can spend the rest of the afternoon free. Wether deciding between taking a walk on foot and exploring the surroundings of the house, swimming in the river or simply resting in the middle of this earthly paradise, it is up to you as you wait for another typical and delicious Patagonian dinner.

Day 4- Ventisqueros – Island Las Bandurrias

After a delicious breakfast, you will say goodbye to the place that received you over the past two nights and head towards the Puelo River. Along the way you will find dense forests that are crossed by rivers and here you will too need to cross these rivers with the help of your four- legged companion. Huge mountains and white curtained waterfalls will imprint an image, never to be forgotten. We rest for lunch and replenish your energy as in the previous days, in front of the running water of the Ventisqueros River. During the afternoon you will leave the valley to cross the Puelo River over a large bridge. On the other side, while your horse follows the trail that lines the slopes of the mountains towards Lake Las Rocas. Finally, after the longest ride in these days of travel, at approximately seven hours, you will arrive at your new refuge. This is no less than the private island of Las Bandurrias, a remote place that faces the immensity of the lake and is surrounded by grand mountain ranges. Here you will enjoy a well-deserved rest an exquisite dinner in absolute peace.

Day 5- Las Bandurrias Island- Blue Lake- Las Bandurrias Island

Today, after a breakfast contemplating the splendid scenery around you, you will leave the island to start another day of horseback riding alongside the pilgrims and horses. Leaving the shores of Lake Las Rocas you will walk the trails towards the Colina fields, the first approach to what is the Chilean mountain range and where you will make a short stop before continuing the journey crossing a chain of mountains that overlook Lago Azul on whose limpid beach you will break for lunch and a short rest. The afternoon takes you through an old Valdivian type forest with its signature varied and prolific flora, a product of the temperate and humid microclimate of the forest which is a phenomenon that occurs in a few places within the Chilean territory and from which you cannot remain indifferent. Thus, the scenario of thousand-year-old forests and multiple paths will accompany you for the rest of the route. The majestic mountain will complete this penetrating and magical landscape. After a short navigation, you will return to Las Bandurrias Island where you will have time to review the experiences of the day and enjoy a delicious dinner. A long- awaited bed meets you where you can rest at your leisure after more than five hours of riding.

Day 6- Las Bandurrias Island – Las Rosas

On this sixth day, after a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast, you will continue your journey submerging yourself within the dense forests. Reaching the source of the Puelo River, a boat will take you to the other side as the whilst the horses are guided through the river. Once again on the mainland, you will follow the path towards Segundo Corral, an Andean settlement in the area. The ascent continues until you reach Las Mellizas, the two crystal clear lagoons surrounded by the mountains. Here you will enjoy lunch amidst the mountains. Leaving behind the heights of the mountains, you will travel to reach the Ventisqueros River valley later that afternoon. This is roughly seven hours of riding but it ends by being the finish line for the day. This last stop is nothing less than the home of a family in the area, who will welcome you with food and bed on your last night under the Patagonian firmament.

Day 7 – Las Rosas – Llanada Grande -Puerto Varas

Dawn bring with it its own mix of emotions as end of this journey approaches. The last breakfast and ride will once again, continue alongside the Puelo River and will take you to Puerto Urrutia on an hour of horseback. Then, it´s time to say goodbye and leave behind your faithful travel companion only to continue on four wheels instead towards Lake Tagua Tagua. We will navigate by ferry to the other side and return to the route that invokes the senses for the remaining four hours of the trip. This borders the Reloncaví Estuary which passes through the deep blue of Lake Llanquihue and delights you with the magnificent view of the Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes, located in the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. When you set foot again Puerto Varas, after 7 days of crossing treasuring the wild charms of Patagonia and its corners, you can close the final page in the magic tale of this unforgettable experience.

This program is just an itinerary proposal. Anyway, Girovai.com is at your complete disposal to customize your trip, based on your tastes and according to your needs, to make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

Values expressed per person in USD dollars

2 people 3 people 4-5 People 6-8 People 9-10 people
US $ 3800 US $ 3630 US $ 3180 US $ 3080 $ 2980

Includes:

· Private, land and maritime transport, as indicated in the program
· 7 nights accommodation
· Meals as indicated in the program
· 1 bottle of wine at dinner per three people, during the ride
· Baquiano bilingual guide
· Equipment with VHF radio
· Riding and pack horses according to the number of riders

Does not include:

· Flights and airport taxes
· Everything not indicated in the program

Accommodation:

The first and last night lodging will be in hotels in the cities of Puerto Varas and Bariloche. The second, third and fourth night you will sleep in the homes of the locals experiencing their lifestyle. The houses, may be rustic at times with a shared bathroom, but with their particular charm, have double, triple and dormitory rooms where several people can share. In some cases, you may sleep on mattresses on the floor. The meals you will enjoy these days are made with organically grown ingredients in the kitchen gardens and prepared by wood-burning stoves. You will also have the opportunity to try the famous Chilean barbecue (Asado). The last two nights you will stay in one of two well-equipped, cozy and heated cabins on the island of Las Bandurrias. The bathroom offers a splendid view of a Coihues forest whilst from the terrace you can admire the beach and its pier. Here the view of lake Las Rocas and the Los Andes mountain range will take your breath away. Some travelers can sleep in the rooms of the main house, decorated with original French furniture.

Season:

November and runs until the end of March. In some cases, it is possible to organize short horseback rides before the first half of April. To find out about availability, contact Girovai.com.

Degree of difficulty:

Although some days the ride can be more demanding, in general it does not require great physical effort. Every day, between 6 and 7 hours of riding can be expected however at a good pace or trot. In more open spaces you can gallop. In any case, it is an excellent opportunity to try the Creole horse, which is one of the strongest and most resistant breeds in the world.

Horses:

The horses chosen for the cavalcades are Chilean and descendants of the horse brought by the Spaniards. Each country has been adapted, mixed and improved these horses based on geography and their use. They are a cross between the Arab horse and the English. It is medium sized and robust animal, willful, safe and docile. These horses are born and bred in this valley are therefore great connoisseurs of these trails. The saddle is made of light wood and is covered with a soft layer of sheep’s wool which makes for a comfortable seat.

Guide:

According to the Girovai.com philosophy, the guides and hosts are the key to an unforgettable trip. Therefore, we trust only in these people with total confidence because they are the ones who are known for their knowledge of the area and are trained in first aid. They will always be one step ahead to help and advise you on the best way to make your trip an experience you will never forget.

Documentation:

Passport or travel document is required per day. We recommend you find out if there are any visa requirements according to your nationality.

Security and insurance:

Girovai.com has a sophisticated radio system in case of emergency and a first aid kit, as well as insurance for this type of tourism. However, a necessary requirement to participate in our adventures, is to hire travel medical insurance preferably in your country of origin.

Vaccinations:

There are no vaccine requirements for travelers. However, in case you need some kind of medicine, we recommend you bring with you and bring enough for the whole trip as it may be difficult to get in the area. We ask you, in addition, to be aware of possible chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood and heart diseases, as well as possible allergies you might have.

Clothing:

Riding pants (jeans), gloves, leather chaps, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, comfortable shoes or riding boots. We recommend not to wear riding boots because they have a thin sole and during the trip, in many cases it will be necessary to get off the horse and guide it. Neither are rubber boots recommended because the weather could be very hot. You will also need a windbreaker, fleece and waterproof jacket, hat, sunglasses with safety cord, sunscreen and lip balm. A small bag for personal items like scarfs.

Important:

The day before the start of the ride, next to the introductory talk, our guide will give you the material for the following days, which will include a bag to separate the luggage of the first four days of riding, which must not exceed 10 kg) while the rest of your things you will receive directly the Island Las Bandurrias. Since the transport of luggage will be carried out by pack horses, it is important that you choose a flexible bag (rigid suitcases are not allowed because they are not suitable for this type of transport).

Tips:

In South America it is customary to leave a tip when the service received is satisfactory. This is common in restaurants, with the porters in hotels and airport as well as with hotel staff etc. This tip is not an exorbitant amount but it however in recognition for the service. We will advise you during the trip about the appropriate tips; we suggest you consider a minimum of US $ 60 for Baquianos, assistants and guides.

Flights:

In Chile there are domestic flights that connect the cities of Santiago and Puerto Montt.