Pioneer Estancias Ride

Northern Patagonia Argentina: (IT-ARRT03)

Northern Patagonia Argentina

Great riding, hospitality and the chance to understand the history of the region and the people who settled it.

This fantastic ride takes place in the northern region of Patagonia. With Jane Williams helping us to organize this trip, riders are sure to experience great riding, hospitality and the chance to understand the history of the region and the people who settled it. Junin and San Martin de los Andes were difficult to get to even by Patagonian standards – to the west were the high Andes and to the east a large desert. The first European arrived in 1883, peace was made with the Indians in 1903 and the first settlers arrived in the early 1900’s. They were well-educated, well traveled and worldly in their outlook – pioneers and adventurers who came from Europe looking for space to create new homes and enterprises for their families. We visit 3 estancias where today some of their children, grand children and great grand children live protected by the trees their ancestor planted. All are living, working estancias, the herds of sheep have been replaced with herds of Hereford cattle and now they are all beginning to take guests on their family estates; which are a tribute to the success of those pioneers who came to create homes for their families.

Despite these gentle words – remember that in many ways this is still the Last Frontier – the riding is fast, the distances long, the rivers are large, the views are vast and days can be as adventurous as they were in the early 1900’s – but at the end of the day a hot bath will be waiting and the accommodation will be really comfortable.


The lodge has 8 double or twin-bedded guest rooms all with bathrooms en-suite. 3 are on the first floor of the lodge and the others are in 2 chalets a short stroll across the lawn. Each chalet includes a communal sitting room area. All of the rooms have Wi-Fi and private bathrooms.

All meals at the Estancia are served in the dining room of the main house. Lunch and dinner are large meals in Argentina. Dinner is late (never before 9pm and sometimes not until 11pm). Argentine beef is justly renowned both for its excellence and for its quantity. The estancia is virtually self-sufficient. Ham and Bacon are cured in the smokehouse, eggs from the chicken run and milk and homemade yogurt and cheeses from the dairy cow and our goats and of course we have our own beef, lamb, venison and wild boar. With our large orchards, fruit is in abundance and all the preserves, bottle fruit, even the apple juice are home produced! There is a large vegetable garden and bread is freshly baked on a daily basis!
Lunch is often an "asado" - the traditional Argentine barbecue. 
Vegetarians can be catered for with prior notice.


The riding can be fast and exciting and you should be competent at all paces and a confident rider. Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders


Sample Itinerary - Subject to changes.

Day 1 : We will meet you at Chapelco airport, San Martin de los Andes and drive you to the Estancia (approx. 40 mins). After lunch there will be an afternoon ride. A chance to familiarize yourself with the horses and tack and the way we ride. Night at the estancia 

Day 2 : A full days ride on Estancia Huechahue with an "asado" lunch. Follow the Huechahue stream through its basalt canyons, riding as fast as you want across the water-meadows sending the plovers and ibis screeching, before returning over the top of Chenque Hill, where the Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you. Night at Huechahue. 

Day 3: After breakfast we set out for Estancia Cerro de los Pinos, the house is 20 km away, but the riding is fast. We cross the ridge on the Mendana Estancia in front of Lanin Volcano before dropping down and crossing the Chimehuin River. The settlement is close to the river, enclosed by pines. Night at Cerro de los Pinos. 

Day 4 : Time to leave Cerro de los Pinos and ride on to Estancia Collon Co. Another 20 km ride across to the Quilquihue river and racing up the valleys to the settlement on the Collon Co stream to get there in time for dinner. 

Day 5 : A day exploring Estancia Collon Co – a vast area of water meadows and rolling hills running right up to the Andes mountains. Their gauchos will be keen to show us their Hereford cattle. Night at Estancia Collon Co. 

Day 6 : It’s too far to return to Huechahue in a day, so we will head for the town of Junin de los Andes and the Hosteria Chimehuin. A long morning arriving in time for a late lunch thus giving the chance for exploring the town before dinner at “Buamscha’s” . The Buamschas came to Junin at the same time as those pioneers came to their estancias, since then it has been a meeting place for fishermen, hunters and locals. It is known throughout the Argentine for it’s trout, venison and beef. 

Day 7 : Our last day’s riding as we make our way back to the estancia, this time we cross the River Chimehuin just outside Junin de los Andes and climb back up Mendana ridge, before racing along the ridge, huge views on either side. Possibly the longest day of all but the horses will be keen to get home. Night at the estancia. 

Day 8 : A farewell ride before transferring to the airport.

The above is a sample itinerary only and is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.

  -- Additional days can be added in the beginning or at the end of this trip.


Rates and Dates for Pioneer Estancias Ride

Rates include:

Accomodation, all meals, fully guided riding days with English speaking guide.

Packages and Options

Rates Note:

Massages and saunas at Cerro de los Pinos are extra. Single supplement waived if willing to share.

Rates Note:

Massages and saunas at Cerro de los Pinos are extra. Single supplement waived if willing to share.

Transfer and Other Charges:

2012 Transfer incl. from Bariloche at 2:30 pm - drop off for departures after 4 pm
2012 Transfer from San Martin (Chapelco) included any arrival time

Dates Note:
Trips can be arranged on request with 2+ riders.

Rates do not include:

Insurance (essential), telephone calls, gratuities or massages and saunas at Cerro de los Pinos.

Other Info
Meeting: San Martinde los Andes - Chapelco
Airport: Chapelco (CPC) San Martin or Bariloche (BRC)
Transfer: Chapelco or San Martin de los Andes / Bariloche


In the summer months the weather is generally hot and dry during the day with a maximum temperature between 22 and 35 deg. C. As we are at 700m, and on treks considerably higher, it always cools down at night, generally to between 5 and 10 deg. C. On treks it can be colder. It rarely rains.


What To Bring:


This list is only a guideline for you


Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets


Visa (check with your consulate)



Comfortable trousers - jodhpurs, jeans etc.

Safe footwear for riding – we can provide half chaps

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Rain jacket and trousers



Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts



Underwear and socks


Light summer jacket

Warm jacket

Comfortable shoes/sneakers




Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

Sewing kit


Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and enough extra films

Sun glasses with strap

Sun Block

 that is SAFE for riding. We can provide half-chaps.

Protection against the sun, which is very strong. Sun block, lip balm and if you do not intend wearing a hard hat, a hat with a wide brim (also good if it happens to rain).

Dress is always casual. There is a laundry service at Huechahue (extra cost).

The best way to dress is in layers -  a T-Shirt, shirt, pullover/fleece and a jacket to give protection against wind and rain. Trousers should be comfortable for riding (jeans, jodhpurs, etc.). Footwear that is SAFE for riding, we can provide half-chaps. Swimwear.

Fishing Gear

Four, five weight rods with floating line. Chest waders. A selection of flies suitable for fishing in Montana works well - woolly worm, woolly bugger, pancora, matuka, adams, hare's ear, prince nymphs etc. On pack trips it is best to take a smuggler type rod - it is very difficult to transport long rods through dense forests without damaging them. There are some rods available for borrowing.