Horseback Riding in Brazil

Land of the Gauchos


This is a ride with stunning landscapes combining the dramatic scenery of canyons and waterfalls with the wild nature of the Lagoa do Peixe National Park. A perfect combination of riding for 3 days on the coast on Lusitano horses and 4 days in the mountains on Criollo horses.

You start with 3 days traveling through a variety of marine terrain, such as marshes, coastal dunes and lagoons, arboreal habitat and ocean sandbanks in the Lagoa do Peixe National Park. The number of different habitats within the Park has resulted in some unique environments with great diversity and variety of species, and all remains practically untouched by civilization. It is considered a “Wetland of International Importance” site, part of Brazil’s Mata Atlantica Biosphere Reserve.

The ride continues with 4 days riding the majesty of the Canyons, something few have access to, a true spectacle of nature, unforgettable for anyone who has the chance to see on horseback. The spectacular mountain scenery, massive canyons and bottomless waterfalls of this region will take your breath away. This area is renowned for its gigantic canyons, sheltering a type of geological step dug into the mountain by the tectonic movement and by the work of rivers throughout the eras. Different from most canyons in the world, like the Grand Canyon of Arizona or the Fish River Canyon of Namibia, Brazil’s canyon country is in a lush green area of rich grassland and huge araucaria forests.

This is the land of the gaucho. You are sure to have the chance to enjoy traditional gaucho barbecues and some excellent food.

Stay at three different farms, one on the coast the other two in the highlands. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable.

Traditional gaucho barbecues and some excellent food, with good variety including local produce. Special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice.

  • Horse Breeds:
    Lusitanos and Criollos
  • Trip Pace:
    walk, trot and canter
  • Tack:
    Traditional Brazilian gaucho saddles with a raised pommel and sheepskin pommel
  • Weight limit:
    240 lb

Porto Alegre airport or Caxias do Sul

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Lusitano farm near Lagoa do Peixe National Park

Welcome at the host farm located 140 miles southeast of Porto Alegre. Settle in and enjoy an afternoon familiarization ride.

Day 2

Ride near coast of Lagoa do Peixe National Park

After breakfast depart for the Atlantic Ocean, crossing Lagoa dos Peixes National Park about an hour away from the coast.  Afternoon ride through deserted beaches. Leave the horses in the field for the night and return by car to the farm.

Day 3

Dunes and fields of Lagoa do Peixe National Park

This morning you’ll ride across the north side between the Lagoa dos Peixes and dunes with a stop for lunch in an open field. In the afternoon continue riding until reach the main house of the farm.

Day 4

Transfer to Criollo ranch in highlands

Today is your last ride in this area through the deserted beaches of the lagoon. After lunch transfer (6 hours) to Potreirinho ranch in the Highlands, where you will be welcomed with the hospitality and good food of the gauchos. After tasting a local drink (made with cachaca and fruits) you will be introduced to Paulo, who owns the horses and will be your guide for the rest of the ride. After a delicious dinner, join the group at the bar of the Fazenda to listen your guide’s instructions for the next day.

Day 5

Ride to Cachoeirão

After a good breakfast start to ride towards Cachoeirão, the biggest waterfall in this area. It is impressive and you’ll have chance to take good photos. Next continue the ride going up and down many hills with the opportunity of fantastic panoramic views of the landscape. Enjoy some good canters before returning home to the ranch. Around 5 hours on horseback.

Day 6

Gaucho culture

Ride towards Fazenda Tio Tonho. Today you’ll ride up and down many rolling hills, with opportunities for good canters. Pass by Araucaria forests and the Lopes family Ranch, where they produce famous Serrano cheese. This gaucho family works and lives the same way as more than 100 years ago. After a few hours we reach Fazenda Potreirinho, a typical ranch with the warm gaucho atmosphere. 5-6 hours in the saddle today.

Day 7

Ride up Monte Negro

Today’s ride heads toward the peak of Monte Negro, which at 4600 ft is the highest point of the ride, with a horizon of majestic landscapes, giving you a unique sensation of freedom. Lunch is a barbecue with a Canyon view or on the bank of a river, while the horses rest in the shade of a forest nearby. After a short siesta continue riding to see more canyons, cliffs or as the locals call “the peirais of the Aparados”. Around 5 hours on horseback

Day 8

Canyons of Aparados da Serra

After breakfast mount up and start the journey along the escarpments of the Aparados da Serra, covering an area of outstanding beauty typical of the Campos de Cima da Serra (Highlands). This highlights the greatness of the Atlantic rain forest in the lower part of Canyons, fields stretching across the plateau, and ferns lilies and bromeliads that sprout in rich slopes. The entire area was formed by intense volcanic activity that happened millions of years ago. Successive lava flows created the Planalto Sulbrasileiro, covered by clean fields, forests of araucarias and countless of crystalline rivers. There are many canyons distributed throughout the region, some of them are very impressive, with enormous rocky cliffs outlining the undulating landscape of the sloping foothills and giving the feeling of surprise and fascination when approaching their edge. The sharp vertical hillsides of basalt are colored by lichens and small bushes. Late afternoon you may see the mysterious fogs (called viracão by the locals), drift in. Picnic lunch on the field. Around 5 hours on horseback.

Day 9


Transfer (5 hours) to Porto Alegre

Itinerary Addendum

This daily itinerary is subject to change based at guide's discretion based on weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Available weekly when there is enough interest, usually starts on a Friday.

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Feb 25, 2024
Mar 4, 2024
May 4, 2024
May 12, 2024
Jun 1, 2024
Jun 9, 2024
Jun 30, 2024
Jul 7, 2024
Jul 27, 2024
Aug 4, 2024
Sep 21, 2024
Sep 29, 2024
Oct 12, 2024
Oct 20, 2024
Nov 2, 2024
Nov 10, 2024
Nov 30, 2024
Dec 8, 2024

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $3,675

  • Transportation
  • $995

    For all transfers roundtrip between Porto Alegra or Caxias do Sul and between accommodations. Price is per car for up to 3 people.

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Contact Megan Barrett

The guides in the first riding location spoke no English but we had a wonderful interpreter who rode with us and shared all meals and down time. He was kind, accommodating, and saw to any detail that he could control. At the second location the guide's years of experience leading riding groups shows. He and his wife are a great duo. We were well cared for the entire time we were with them. His Criollo horses were superb. The riders set the pace, especially for the first half of the trip. They want you to have the riding experience that YOU want to have. Ultimately, we figured that out and I had glorious long trots and canters along country lanes and the shoreline.

Otto, 2024