Horseback riding in Chile is an ideal way to see the most scenic parts of the country well off the path of most tourists.  The mountains and glaciers of Torres del Paine National Park offer some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.   These peaks in southern Patagonia rise almost vertically from sea level to nearly 10,000 ft. which is an even greater rise from the valley floor than that of the Tetons in Wyoming.  UNESCO has rightly named this area as a World Biosphere Reserve because of its unique natural features. It is located near the extreme southern tip of South America in Tierra del Fuego.  Magellan sailed through this passage via the Straits which now bear his name to reach the Pacific in 1520 and became the first to sail around the world. Darwin and many other travelers of note have marveled at this fascinating part of the world.

The terrain is often ideal for long gallops and the Criollo cross horses, which have wonderful endurance, are pleased to oblige. Riders can either camp or stay in estancias.  This is one of the world’s most remote regions where a few hardy farmers have raised sheep on huge estancias for centuries.  The unusual wildlife includes rhea, guanaco and condor (largest bird in the world with a wing spread up to almost 12 ft.).  The long, thin ribbon of Chile stretches the same distance as Juneau, Alaska to Mexico City and you will be near the extreme southern end where the next landfall to the south is Antarctica.  The world’s third largest glaciers (after Antarctica and Greenland) are here and huge blocks of ice sometimes plunge into the water below.  There are still virgin forest of beech and other trees and this is the home of the curious evergreen, embothrum coccineum, which produces vivid red flowers as well as other flora unique to southern Patagonia.

Many Equitours guests have greatly enjoyed these trips which are most rewarding for experienced riders who enjoy the excitement of travel in a region where the wind can blow very hard and weather conditions can be changeable and extreme.  Riders have the choice of staying in inns and estancias with hot showers or of camping.  Lamb and chicken dishes are the most common locally and are served with vegetables and rice or potatoes.  Horseback riding in Chile’s south will open your eyes to another country and way of life very different from ours.

  Peak Season

January, February, March, October, November, December


  Timezone in Chile

GMT-3


  International Airports

Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago (SCL)


Climate in Chile

Average daily temperatures vary in the area of the Glacier Estancia ride, but in the summer (December-March) one can expect 50-70° F. Temperatures can drop to 30° F at night and winds of 50 miles per hour are common in the spring.  The weather in this area of Patagonia is notoriously unpredictable and riders should pack for a variety of conditions.

The Riding through the Andes trip runs early November to late March.  Note that horse flies are excessive throughout the mid and southern parts of Chile and Argentina starting in December through January, and there may be wasps February to March. The weather is generally warm and dry during the day with a maximum temperature between 71-85° F (22-28° C). As the ride is at 2,300ft (700m) and higher, it cools down at night, generally to between 41-55° F (5-10° C) although it can be colder. There is a greater chance of rain in Chile at the beginning of your ride so it is necessary to be prepared with adequate raingear. As you drop into Argentina you will be in the “rain shadow” of the Andes where there is less chance of rain.  It can freeze at any time during the year and there can be a cool wind so bring clothing to layer on and off as needed.

  Average Temperature

85 °F » 30 °F


 

Browse 3 Trips in the destination Chile

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Glacier Estancia Ride

This ride in Chile is a spectacular opportunity to experience the wilderness and culture of the region. Riders absorb an ever-changing natural beauty as they venture off the main hiking trails and into the heart of the vast and varied landscape of the Torres del Paine National Park. Stay in... Read more

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Ride Across the Andes

Experience the local culture of the Andes on a 6 or 8 day trip from Puerto Varas, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina. The trip is adventurous, with numerous river crossing and some challenging terrain. While you'll have some opportunities for some long trots, much of the trip is at a... Read more

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Riding Through the Andes

The trek follows the old pioneer trail crossing the remote Puelo Valley; a route once used by smugglers. The journey, led by local outfitters, takes you through the hidden valleys of the pristine Patagonia Wilderness passing crystal clear lakes and ancient forests.  You will get a glimpse of the... Read more

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The gauchos and horses were excellent! There were lots of long canters and steep mountains.

Adrieene Soler, 2009

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Glacier Estancia Ride 2015

Please enjoy the below photo slideshow created by Mel Fox following her Glacier Estancia ride in Chile. Share8Pin715... Read more

Ride on the Edge of the Earth – Chilean Patagonia

Of Criollos and Camaraderie Horses and riders cantered swiftly through the swirling mists and windblown rain of Chilean Patagonia, concentrating on the winding path ahead. Warm food and a hot shower were still several miles away. A loud shout from the left caused me... Read more

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