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Horse Riding in Patagonia

The vast and rugged landscapes of Patagonia have been explored on horseback for hundreds of years, and horses are still preferred by the gauchos today. Visitors to Patagonia, both novices and experienced riders, can also feel the thrill and excitement of riding through the Andes or across the Steppe.

We help you think about the kind of riding you might like to do and choose which regions of Patagonia are going to suit you best.

Three questions to consider when choosing your Patagonia riding trip

1. How many days do I want to ride for?

If you're thinking of just a half day or a day of riding then there are several estancias in places like Torres del Paine and near El Chalten and Bariloche which you could visit for a day or two as part of a longer trip. There are also a few luxury lodges which offer horse riding as part of their overall offer.

If you're looking for a longer trip, anything from 3 days to 12 days of riding, then you can either base yourself out of an estancia (a traditional Patagonian cattle ranch) or head out on an expedition from A to B, potentially crossing through the Andes betwen Chile and Argentina.

Some of our customers have enjoyed rides of 3-5 days in two different parts of Patagonia.

If you are a novice then three to four hours in the saddle each day is probably enough. However many people have learned to ride out here and over a week or two you could learn to canter and gallop.

2. What sort of accommodation do I need?

What are you going to enjoy most? Camping out on the under the stars, sharing the campfire with the local gauchos? Riding by day and then returning to a traditional estancia each evening for good meal and comfy bed? Or perhaps a luxury lodge with great food, fine wine and a spa to rest those weary limbs?

Whichever region of Patagonia you choose to visit there will be plenty of options for you to choose from.

3. Shall I combine the riding with something else?

Some people will come to Patagonia for 2 to 3 weeks just to go horse riding ... and for those people there are countless possibilities.  However for others the riding is just a part of the overall adventure.

For example in Torres del Paine you could combine a few days of hiking with a few days of riding. Up in the lake district you might combine some riding with fly fishing, rafting or kayaking.

 

Luxury Lodges: Hike & Rides  

Luxury Hike and Ride: Torres

From the area's most exclusive lodge, go horse-riding and trekking in the best known, as well as the most secluded, areas of the Torres ...

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6 days

$3,351

Hike and Ride from Comfort: Paine

Base yourself in Torres del Paine's most talked about luxury lodge and explore the rugged outdoors both on foot and horse-back. Everything will be ...

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5 days

$4,000

Estancias: Live and Ride at a Ranch  

12-day Estancia Ride

Pass fjords & mountains as you ride the open pampas & trek to the towers of Torres del Paine. You'll also visit the hanging ...

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12 days

$5,290

Riding Patagonian Estancias

Experience the true Patagonian lifestyle on horseback; riding through forests and lagoons to see the sights. You will stay in Estancias and experience an ...

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6 days

$2,994

Across the Andes

An incredible and unique trip that takes you across the magnificent Andes on horseback. An incredible way both to embrace the guacho spirit and ...

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10 days

$4,160

The Estancia ride, 10 days

An opportunity for experienced riders, up for some fast and technical riding through the Patagonian mountains and pampas, to experience guacho life - ride ...

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10 days

$4,799

Mountain & Glaciers: Torres del Paine  

The Fjord Trail

A great trip for those who don't want to spend too many hours in the saddle, this journey takes you through varied terrain crossing ...

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3 days

$1,095

Glacier Ride Taster Trip

Ride to beautiful spots in Torres del Paine by horse, including the remote Glacier Dickson with a local horse riding expert. You'll wilderness camp ...

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4 days

$1,696

Glaciers of Paine by horse

No other riding trips takes you to as many glaciers as this. A trip for experienced riders, you'll enjoy the fast pace & spend ...

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8 days

$3,595

Horse Moving Ride

Become a true Patagonian gaucho on this unique trip as you take part in droving horses across the Torres del Paine National Park - ...

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10 days

$5,299

Riding to Glaciers with Gauchos

Run by the most experienced horse riding specialists in the area this is a trip for experienced riders up for a real adventure in ...

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10 days

$3,998

Rivers & Lakes: Lake District & Cochamó  

Puelo Ride

This varied itinerary includes riding to turquoise-blue lakes, waterfalls and rapids in Cochamo, as well as crossing a hanging bridge and seeing glaciers and ...

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8 days

$3,550

Cochamó Crossing

There are other ways to cross the border from the Chilean Lake District to Bariloche in the heart of the Argentine Lake District. But, ...

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7 days

$2,529

Horse-riding in Patagonia - your questions answered

When to go?

The best time to visit is between mid-September and mid-April. If you decide to go to one of the popular destinations like Torres del Paine then you might want to avoid the busiest months of December and January. Particularly for riding the beginning and end of the season can be a good time to visit.

Do I need experience/training?

There are plenty of trips that are suited to novices and hotels/estancias that welcome those are wanting to learng to ride. However, many of the trips listed here are aimed at strong intermediate to experienced riders who regularly horse ride at home. If you are planning to join a longer trip of three or more days then you should definitely be comfortable with 2-7 hours in the saddle. 

What type of horse, and tack?

The horses used locally are Criollo-mix and vary in size with the majority being between 14 - 15 hands. They are strong, fit, willing and sure-footed. We are able to provide good horses to both experienced riders and riders who are a bit more ‘rusty’. The pace of the ride will be adjusted by the guide to suit the majority of the riders but as we always travel with more than one staff member i.e guide and horseman, there is some flexibilty and riders soon find their own pace during the trip. Riders are not responsible for grooming or tack. Horses are constantly checked for injury and / or lameness and tiredness. At some stages during certain itineraries (and in any case where it becomes necessary for whatever reason) horses will be changed.

The tack is Chilean and comprises (usually) of metal or wood-framed saddles onto which layered felt, sheepskin and leather are placed. Rope, rawhide and leather form the bridles, girths, straps etc. The saddles provide adequate comfort for the long days riding and the stirrups consist of a cup through which the foot cannot pass. Most of the horses are ridden in simple snaffles. Halters are worn throughout the ride with rope tied around the horses neck to tie up at lunch stops & rest stops etc.

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Guide to Patagonia

Patagonia spans over 1,000 miles north to south and landscapes ranging from forests, to glaciers, to volcanoes and deserts. Read our Patagonia Guide to find out: how to get there, when to go, what to see and how to find the best trip. Or find out about:

 

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How can we help you?

We are Patagonian specialists, and have helped all sorts of different people arrange their perfect adventure holiday in Patagonia. Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure we're here to help you.

  • Join a group trek or tour
  • Plan an independent day by day itinerary
  • Organise your group's trek, expedition or multi-sport adventure
  • Tailor-made luxury holidays

 

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About Swoop

We've spent 15 years exploring Patagonia, and arranged holidays for over a thousand customers. We have a network of trusted guides, lodges, and local operators across the region and delight in helping people plan and arrange a great holiday.

You can book directly with our local partners in Chile and Argentina, or with our ATOL certified company here in the UK.

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