A wonderfully adventurous riding trip which combines professionalism and safari comforts, with intrinsically Argentine gaucho style. The ride take place about 1000km south of Buenos Aires, starting just north of the town of San Carlos de Bariloche and you will explore a gorgeous, pristine part of the Argentine Lake District. The landscape is one of snow capped mountains, turquoise rivers and jewel-bright lakes. 3 night rides use a comfortable safari-inspired base camp and 3 different ‘fly camps’ allowing you to ride deep into the wilderness but to also enjoy a few home comforts.
The meeting point is San Carlos de Bariloche in the Argentine Lake District. You will first need to fly Internationally to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and then take a domestic flight from there,
04 to 11 January, 2022 ( 6 saddles available)
11th to 18th January 2022 (not confirmed)
1st to 8th February 2022 (not confirmed)
16th to 22nd February 2022( not confirmed)
The scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Your Argentine adventure will be led by Jakob Von Plessen or one of his fellow guides, all of whom bring age-old knowledge, horsemanship and good old fashioned charisma. Brought up on the land, all have spent their days between horses and cattle. It is a true privilege riding with people such a deep affinity for their environment. You will be in the saddle for 4-7 hours a day with breaks for rests and lunch.
Weight limit: 95kg . Please contact us if you are near the limit.
Group size: maximum 8.
Season: November to March
Horses: The horses are local Criollo and Criollo crosses, some with Percheron blood. They are good natured and a sensible, responsive and enjoyable ride. Saddles are Argentine style with a comfortable sheepskin on top. The horses are ridden western style and are used to neck reining.
Pace and experience required: To take part in these rides you should have a reasonable amount of riding experience and a good level of general fitness. You should be comfortable and in control at a walk, trot and canter, and used to riding in open, varied country. You should also have a good head for heights! Experienced riders will have fun riding over interesting, varied terrain. The horses include sensible, steady schoolmasters so less experienced riders who are fit and adventurous, can also participate. Overall the pace varies; it is slow in the mountains but there are some open valleys and a chance to canter most days.
During a 7 night Patagonian Adventure, you will see you stay in three different types of accommodation – Base Camp, the mountain fly camps and a gaucho’s farmstead. Base Camp is situated on the banks of Río Filo Huahum, set within 12,000 hectares of private land bordering the Nahuel Huapi and Lanin National Parks. The camp is formed of four luxury African safari tents, with en-suite bathrooms, and the ‘quincho’ – a beautiful log cabin that serves as our dining room and bar. The tents are spacious but cozy, with wood-burning stoves lit morning and evening. When up in the mountains we stay in fly camps, and a ride will typically include two nights camping. The fly camps are basic, made up of dome tents each with sleeping bags, cots and mattresses. There are no showers but fresh mountain springs to wash your face and hands in and, the following day, we always return to a hot shower. Any luxuries missing up in the mountains are made up for with good food, good wine and great adventure. Finally, we end the week at Felipe’s House which is only accessible by horse or by boat. In terms of comfort, consider it between fly camping and Base Camp; there are spacious and comfortable safari-style tents and shared bathrooms set within the corrals of Felipe’s farmstead. We are cooked and cared for by Felipe and his family, congregating in an ancient barn that has been converted into a kitchen and dining room.
Fly to Bariloche where you will be met by one of the team. We recommend that you travel in your riding clothes as your luggage will be taken directly to camp, whilst you will ride in. From the airport, you will be driven two and a half hours to the shores of Lake Falkner. At the lake, you will meet a boat to take you across the water to where your horses, gauchos and guides will be waiting. Travel light with little to carry, just a camera and your water bottle should be enough. The ride into camp is only short, but it’s your first opportunity to get a feel for your horse and gaucho-style saddle which you may not be used to. If the weather is looking gloomy, we will provide ponchos on your saddle. However, please note that if the weather is really bad, and the lake is too choppy to cross, you will be driven directly to Base Camp.
Once arrived at camp, you will be shown to your tent and given a chance to settle in before an evening of drinks and dinner in the ‘quincho’ – the log cabin that serves as our dining room, sitting room and bar.
For your first full day at Jakotango we will base ourselves out of camp, dividing the day into two rides: morning and evening. After breakfast, we will head out on the horses to explore the Filo Hua Hum valley and, after three hours or so, will return to Base Camp for a good lunch and a siesta. After tea and cake in the afternoon, we ride again, typically taking the horses up a short climb to give you a feel for the types of terrain we will be covering over the following days.
Today, you will ride the Pass of Tears. It is truly one of the most spectacular rides in the world. With views across the Andes and into Chile, the day is utterly breathtaking. You will be riding along the very tops of the mountains, looking across miles of montane wilderness and traversing terrain you might not have imagined possible on a horse. It is a thrilling day but it can be challenging for some, and we do not recommend it to those who suffer badly from vertigo.
At breakfast, you will be given saddlebags to pack for your upcoming night’s camping. We will provide you with a silk sleeping bag liner, a small facecloth & soap, plenty of snacks and a packed lunch. Our fly camps are basic – made up of 2-man tents with cots, mattresses and good sleeping bags. There are no showers up the mountain but fresh running water from a spring to wash your face and hands.
It will take the morning to ascend the mountain. We will stop for lunch and a siesta at the edge of the tree-line before continuing to summit in the afternoon when the most exhilarating part of the day begins. After a long but exciting day, we will ride into fly camp early evening, where a roaring campfire and delicious supper prepared by the gauchos will be waiting.
After breakfast on the fire, we will ride back down into the valley in time for a well-deserved lunch at Base Camp. The afternoon is yours to do with as you wish – siesta, walk, swim, fish (let us know in advance to arrange licences) or ride again.
This morning is another chance to explore the valley and the lakes within it. We will ride out after breakfast either stopping for a picnic lunch or heading back to Base Camp, depending on the weather. Once again, you have the afternoon to do with as you wish, but with two long days in the saddle ahead of you, this is a good opportunity for a little rest and relaxation.
Today, you will leave Base Camp for good. You will need to pack up your saddlebag for two days of riding ahead, and leave everything else inside your suitcase in your room. You will meet your luggage again only when you leave and are on your way to the airport. You will have another exciting full day of riding today, and will be camping tonight in our second fly camp, up high in the mountains. Here, you will meet Felipe Chandia, a local gaucho, whose land we are privileged to ride over and whose homestead we will be staying at the following night. For generations, Felipe’s family have farmed this land and he continues to do so in the same tradition, living in a way that one might have thought had already passed into history.
After a breakfast of bacon and eggs on the fire, we will start the 4 hour descent to Felipe’s home, on the edge of the forest, close to the shores of Lago Traful. The place is simple but comfortable – safari tents with shared bathrooms – set amongst the old barns and corrals of the farmstead. In terms of experiencing Argentina’s gaucho traditions, this is as authentic and immersive as it gets. After a delicious lunch prepared by Felipe’s wife, Marta, we will have the afternoon to relax, explore and swim in the crystal clear waters of Lago Traful. A lazy afternoon precedes an ‘asado’ that night – lamb, slow-cooked over coals.
After breakfast, you will walk 20 minutes to the lakeshore where a boat will be waiting to take you to Villa Traful, a small community on the other side of the lake and the closest road access to Felipe’s home. You will say goodbye to your gauchos and guides on the shore, before crossing the lake to meet your luggage and the car that will take you to Bariloche Airport for your journey home.