Horseback Riding In The Puelo Valley

Destination : Patagonia
Program Type : Horseback
Duration : 10 days / 9 Nights
Price : $3.750
(Per Person) Taxes included
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Puerto Montt – Puelo River Valley – Bandurrias Island – Bariloche

We can either organise your adventure so that it starts in the Argentinean or Chilean Patagonia. We don’t have frontiers. What we offer here is just a suggestion of what you can do on your trip. If you would like to make any changes to the itinerary just get in touch with us and we can put together a tour tailor-made to suit you.

This horseback riding across the pioneers’ trails in the rural area of Puelo Valley in the Andes is amazing from the very beginning. You will also have experience of “huaso” culture, while enjoying the relaxed old way of life of the pristine Patagonian wilderness.

We believe that this experience is an ideal example of what can be done in the region. However, our idea is to adapt each proposal to the traveller’s specific needs. We are, therefore, willing to make all the necessary modifications and re quote it according to your interests.

Day 01: Puerto Montt – Puerto Varas

We will take you from El Tepual airport in Puerto Montt to the beautiful city of Puerto Varas located just 30 minutes from Puerto Montt. Accommodation will be provided for one night at a prestigious Bed & Breakfast. Later in the evening (6 pm), the guide of your adventure will visit you for a briefing about the trip and then will take you to the restaurant for dinner. You will have the rest of the day off for shopping if you need something else, this will be the last chance to shop as everything will be closed tomorrow when we leave the city.

Day 02: Puelo River – Andean Paths

You will leave Puerto Varas and travel150 kilometres, 40 kilometres on gravel road to reach Cochamo and then the little town next to the Puelo River. Then at the Tagua – Tagua Lake you will have time for picnic before crossing the lake, a ferry will take you to the other side.  Where you will meet the baqueanos ¨locals” and pick up the horses. We will ride until we get to the shore of the river. Here the horses must cross ¨swimming¨, and you on a motorboat. Arrival at our lodging place.

Day 03: Puelo River – Andean Paths

After a good breakfast, you will start your day riding in direction along the Puelo River. With untouched ancient forests and straight passes as your scenery, a wild trail to experience how the first pioneers travelled in the area. Packed lunch included. Afternoon arrive at your accommodation that has a fantastic view of the valley.

Day 04: Puelo River – Andean Paths

Today will be long day riding over some difficult terrain. The only way of exploring this isolated and unique corner of Patagonia is by horse. You will continue discovering how sturdy these horses are. In the afternoon you will arrive to Puerto Urrutia where you say good-bye to the baqueanos and horses as tomorrow we will get new horses and team. Transfer by motorboat up the river to a cosy cottage where you will spend one night. The cottage has amazing views of the river and mountains. Dinner and accommodation

Day 05: Puelo River – Valley

Today you will take a short boat trip in order to start your full day of horse riding.  New horses will be with you from today onwards. Enjoy the fantastic landscape and we will cross the river just as the locals do: on a wooden public boat while the horses swim alongside. Ride into the Ventisqueros valley where you will stop for lunch and relax. In the afternoon, the ride will take us to a little house where the hosts are waiting. Accommodation for 2 nights.

Day 06: Valleys And Forests

After breakfast and packing you will embark on a gentle full-day ride, crossing the river once more to visit another valley and see its glacier. This little valley turns wild and is remote, with incredible flora and devoid of habitants. You will be close to alerces forest. Packed lunch and ride back to farmhouse. Later there is a chance to go for a walk around the area or simply relax with a glass of wine.

Day 07: Puelo River – Bandurrias Island

Breakfast and then set off on a full-day ride towards “la Pasarela del Rio Puelo”, an important local hanging bridge, which is crucial for communication between the local inhabitants and the outside world. This area is particularly spectacular due to its huge waterfalls and rapids. You will stop for a picnic lunch near the bridge. Then you will ride again crossing a wild ancient forest, reaching Las Rocas Lake. You will then take a 10 minutes boat trip to Bandurrias Island. Accommodation and dinner in this enchanting and remote cottage.

Day 08: Bandurrias Island

Breakfast and depart. This morning you will enjoy 2 hours ride visiting the Blue Lake “Lago Azul” with its crystal clear waters and abundant fish life. The majestic peaks and stunning landscapes will not escape your attention! Picnic on the shore of Lago Azul. After lunch your ride follows a deep and straight passes along the forest reaching the south part of this lake. Passing through the typical cold jungle, Valdivian-type rainforest with its ancient alerces trees (Fitzroy Cupresoide) as well as other local “giants” such as the “coihue” and “arrayanes”(the cold tree). After leaving the horses in a safe place you will return back to the Island to enjoy the rest of the afternoon there.

Day 09: Bandurrias Island – Bariloche

After breakfast, say goodbye to your hostess and depart for Argentina. You will sail back where the “huasos” and the horses spent the night to reach the Mountain Police Station, “Retén de Carabineros” to clear immigration. This leads to the border crossing, close to the edge of the Puelo River. Great view of lake Inferior. Clear Chilean customs and immigration by horse. You will continue riding to the shore of Lake Puelo in Argentina and say good bye to the baqueanos and horses, last boat trip into the Argentine territory. Private transfer will take you to El Bolsón where you will have time for lunch and shopping and then to Bariloche.
Time table: 4 hours riding, 30 minutes sailing, 3 hours private transfer from Puelo Lake to Bariloche.

Day 10:

Breakfast and transfer to Bariloche airport


  • You can add additional nights in Bariloche City
  • You can also fly back to Buenos Aires or Santiago (Ask us for availability and fares).
  • From Bariloche to Puerto Varas, ask for Lakes Crossing Expedition.
Value of the program per passenger
2 Passengers 3 Passengers 4 Passengers 5-8 Passengers 9-10 Passengers
USD 4.965 USD 4.420 USD 3.880 USD 3.840 USD 3.750
  • Rates valid during 2013- March 2014
  • Rates subject to the variations of the market

Departure Dates:
22.11.2013 – 01.12.2013 CLOSED
02.12.2013 – 11.12.2013 CLOSED
18.12.2013 – 27.12.2013 CLOSED
25.12.2013 – 03.01.2014 THIS SEASON ALL BOOKED
17.01.2014 – 26.01.2014 THIS SEASON ALL BOOKED
17.02.2014 – 26.02.2014 2 RIDERS


You will stay at an American style Bed & Breakfast the first and last nights. The following five nights you are invited into the homes of local pioneers for a unique opportunity to experience their way of life. The extremely charming but often rustic homes offer basic accommodation in dorm rooms with shared facilities. Nights six and seven accommodation at our private island, Bandurrias Island where we have a charming cabin: you will stay in a cosy and well-equipped 2-storey cabin heated by firewood; the same system heats the water for showers. The room offers a splendid view of a coigues forest while the living and dinning areas and great sundeck overlook the small beach next to the quay. Here you find stunning views of Las Rocas Lake and the surrounding peaks. The cabin offers accommodation for up to six people, the main house has two rooms with original French country decor. It is a very cosy and warm place where we’ll share meals and pre-dinner drinks with Francoise Dutheil, our island host. The house is surrounded

Riding Difficutly

The trip is an exciting one but not demanding, though some days there will be terrain with more demanding difficulties. Also some days will be longer than others when we have to cover a particular distance. Lots of river crossings, which are great fun and allow riders to experience the local way of travelling. Some steep up hills and undulating terrain could turn just a bit more demanding if the weather is not good. This adventure ride is an excellent way of experiencing different terrain and being able to ride one of the toughest horse breeds in the world. Clients may canter on open ground, trot in the forest, or simply enjoy the ride at their own relaxing pace.


We believe that tour leaders are the key to a successful and memorable trip; we use only experienced guides with a great knowledge of the area. They are all friendly, great fun and highly passionate about the Puelo Valley area. She or he will be able to be one step ahead and give all the help and assistance in any unpredictable situation, ensuring the trip runs smoothly. Local huasos or “baqueanos” – these will always be there to help with saddles, horses and to look after you; they are a great support for the whole group and they even have an amazing ability to predict the weather! They also enjoy making wooden handcraft.


A valid passport document with visa for both Argentina and Chile is required. Check the current advice for nationals of your country.


We use qualified staff provided with safety equipment including a portable radio with available connections to radiotelephone networks; in case of emergencies we have access to direct telephone lines through 2-way radio links. Life jackets are provided for river and Lake Crossings and while sailing. We use international adventure tourism insurance but clients are obliged to have their own travel insurance that covers them for the activities on the tour.

Health And Vaccinations

No special vaccinations are required for this area of South America. Clients with special medication should bring enough for the trip. It is advisable to get your own first aid kit. No chemists after day 1.

Packing And Clothing

We suggest bringing a daypack, where you will put a few personal belongings plus a lunch box and water bottle. These can be put inside the saddlebags to access throughout the day. Please bear in mind that we do not accept any type of rigid cases; a good quality duffel bag with strong zips will do. We provide strong quality bags just to protect your own and to make things easier. Comfortable trousers, waterproof pants, fleece, jacket, hat, some warm pairs of socks, sun block, insect repellent, personal medicines, personal knife, flash lamp and riding boots or trekking shoes and sandals (teva stile). Using plastic bags as a waterproof for your clothes is the cheapest way of keeping things dry in case of rain! The maximum weight of your luggage during the first five days is 15 kilograms per person. At your arrival at Puerto Varas, you will have to separate your luggage into two bags. What you do not wear during the first five days will be taken by transfer to Bandurrias Island where you will stay nights six and seven.

Important Notes

  • During January, horse flies proliferate in the whole southern part of Chile and Argentina! They do not harm but are a nuisance and are attracted to dark clothing. Take this into account when selecting your clothing.
  • You can review with us any points that will affect your travel plans – for example where the trip starts or whether it includes a Pre-Trip Option or Post-Trip Extension.

Chilean Horses

On the expedition we use Chilean horses, which is a mix between Arab and English horses. They are sturdy medium size horses, docile and safe. Chilean horses are muscled, strong, quick and agile. Our horses are born and raised in the area so they know the terrain very well.


The cuisine on the trip will be a mix of a special blend of flavours and ingredients consisting of an ethnic variety of gastronomic Creole-Chilean style. A traditional wood stove gives its special flavour to the dishes. Depending on the season, it is possible to taste the delicious rainbow trout, fontinalis, or salmon trout. The Creole barbecue “Asado al palo” or “Asado al Asador” is served during several meals. It consists of delicious lamb cooked with plenty of embers and firewood. As the main local dish, people cook it in different ways, usually accompanied with salad, potatoes and, of course, Chilean red wine. The vegetables and fruits are superb and the variety of the region’s berries is impressive. Vegetarian dishes are also a great delicious option but we do need to know if you prefer vegetarian options at the time of making a booking. The drinking water is crystal clear, safe to drink and tastes delicious. The island also has a personal collection of a good variety of wines.


  • All services mentioned on the itinerary, including one horse per person. People who weight more than 90 kilograms must consider hiring an extra horse to alternate during the trip. The Chilean horse is not a big horse. Price for extra horse US$ 180.
  • All prices are valid until March 2014, but they can vary according to exchange rate, fuel price and general changes due to economic circumstances.
  • Accommodation mentioned on itinerary
  • Food mentioned on itinerary

Not Included

  • Domestic or international flights
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Those not mentioned in itinerary
  • Extra night