Chile to Argentina

Lake District Chile: (IT-CHRT04)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/chile_andes_crossing_ride.aspx

Introduction
Lake District Chile
The Crossing of the Andes - the greatest adventure on horseback in the Northern Patagonian Andes.

Riding amongst the snow capped volcanoes of the Chilean Andes, discover hidden mountain lakes, and meander your way through the Huerquehue National Park.  For days you will feel like the only people on Earth! Then, crossing at a pass in Icalma, the mountains open into the vast valleys of the Argentinean pampas.  The views on the descent from the peaks of the Andes are stunning. Look out through the rugged terrain at the sparkling lakes below, and ahead to the open pampas you will soon be riding through. 

From smoking volcanoes and snow capped mountains, to deep blue mountain lakes, this ride is a once in a lifetime experience.

Get the best of two worlds and two great horse cultures.  The steep mountains, and endless virgin forests on the Chilean side will give you a new appreciation for the low and sturdy Criollo Chilean horses.  You will understand why the Criollo horses have become the prized horse of choice for the Chilean people.  You also have the opportunity to observe the unique style of the Argentinean gaucho life, and the open space of the Argentinean pampas where they live and work. Descend along the Argentinean cliffs where we admire the majestic condor and other wildlife unique to the area.  There is no better way to experience all of this than on a horseback trip. 

Accomodation

Accommodations
These are progressive rides where nights are spent either camping or in cabins in different locations. 
On the 9-day Trips:  We spend 2 nights in tent camps, 2 nights in cabins.  Shower facilities are available on 5 days. On all other days you can freshen up in lakes, rivers etc. or heat up some water over the campfire.
On the 10-day Trips: We spend 2 nights camping and the rest in cabins. When staying at cabins, you sleep in double rooms with either one double or two twin beds.
On the 11-day Trips:  We spend 5 nights in tent camps, 5 nights in cabins.  Shower facilities are available on 6 days. On all other days you can freshen up in lakes, rivers etc. or heat up some water over the campfire.

Description
Accommodations are in comfortable tent camps and in cabins during this trip.
There are no laundry services on this trip but facilities to hand wash your cloths are available in some locations. WIFI access is only available in Pucon.

9 day Camping Ride Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Camping at Laguna Geppinger (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 2: Camping at Termas Rio Blanco (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 3: Camping at Flor de Valle
Night 4: Camping in Araucaria forest (toilet facilities)
Night 5: Cabin in Icalma (shower & toilet facilities)
Nights 6 & 7: Camping in Argentina
Night 8: Hernan's Ranch (shower & toilet facilities)

10 day Cabin & Camping Ride Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Nights 1 & 2: Farmhouse in Pucon (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 3: Guesthouse in Termas Rio Blanco (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 4: Camping at Flor de Valle
Night 5: Lodge Nevados de Sollipulli at Sollipulli Volcano (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 6: Cabin in Icalma (shower & toilet facilities)
Nights 7: Camping in Argentina
Nights 8 & 9: Hernan's Ranch (shower & toilet facilities)

11 day Camping & Cabin Ride with Sollipulli Volcano Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Farmhouse in Pucon (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 2: Camping at Laguna Geppinger (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 3: Camping at Termas Rio Blanco (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 4: Camping at Flor de Valle
Nights 5 & 6: Lodge Nevados de Sollipulli at Sollipulli Volcano (shower & toilet facilities)
Night 7: Cabin in Icalma (shower & toilet facilities)
Nights 8 & 9: Camping in Argentina
Night 10: Hernan's Ranch (shower & toilet facilities)

Farmhouse in Pucon
The Guesthouse cabin, is situated beside a small creek and surrounded by fruit and chestnut trees. There are 2 cozy bedrooms (each accommodating two guests), a dining area, cooking facilities and a full bathroom (shared between the 2 rooms). The kitchen area has a gas stove and a refrigerator, and the cabin is heated with a wood-burning stove. A second cabin is located 20 meters away from Liucura River, providing the same facilities.

Guesthouse in Termas de Rio Blanco
Tonight, you sleep in the newly built guesthouse of this beautiful hot spring area. The guesthouse is located just a few minutes’ walk from the natural hot springs. Rooms are basic but comfortable.

Lodge Nevados de Sollipulli at Sollipulli Volcano
This rustic mountain lodge offers cozy accommodations in small huts, just at the foot of the Sollipulli Volcano. The huts come with comfortable beds, heating and a private bathroom. Guests can also relax in the hot tub and sauna.

Lakeside cabin in Icalma
For your last night in Chile, you stay in double rooms in a single standing cabin on the lakeshore about 20 minutes from Icalma village. The cabin is equipped with a wood stove, a spacy dining room and a BBQ area. Bathrooms and washrooms are shared. The view over the lake is great from the cabin.

Hernan’s Ranch
This rustic ranch is set in a remote location, close to the border and surrounded by mountains and unique Araucaria forests. There are 2 cabins with double and triple rooms. Each cabin has a wood burning stove and a small common area. There are bathrooms and washrooms in each cabin but the facilities are shared. The cabins are made of basalt stones and timber, giving them a lot of charm.

Camping
While camping, we provide you with "Robens” and “Salewa” dome tents (double or single tents available), which are solid, lightweight and with plenty of room for 2 persons. No need to bring your own mattress or sleeping bag. You will be given a Thermarest mattresses and a "Doite" (Chilean brand) sleeping bag with comfort zone from -7 to 0 degrees Celsius (19 - 32 degrees Fahrenheit).
Washroom facilities depend on the campsite from outhouses to hole in the ground.
Most of the camping nights, guests will have the opportunity to swim in lakes or river and some camps offer shower facilities.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is not mandatory if we cannot find another rider to share.


Meals
All meals are included in the trip. On the trail, we have abundant breakfasts and dinners at camps or cabins and a picnic at lunchtime.

We serve a mixture of traditional dishes. BBQs are an important part of the diet, especially in Argentina. You will experience and taste the difference between Chilean and Argentinean dishes and of course the Chilean and Argentinean wines. 

Wine is included with dinner.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater for special diet requirements with prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
You should have at least an intermediate level physical condition and some experience on horseback, but you do not have to be a highly experienced rider.

Pace
We ride up to 8 hours a day. In difficult passages, we may lead our horses walking on foot.
Some canters and short gallops are possible in flatter parts, especially in Argentina portion, in the mountainous areas the pace is mostly at a walk or trot.

Horses
We share our farm with 20 horses, all of them Criollo Chilenos and crossbreds. While some of them are registered, most are "ordinary" working horses. The Criollo Chileno are perfectly adapted to our landscape. Short with a low center of balance they are ideal for climbing the mountains of the Chilean Andes. They are extremely sure stepping and not nervous at all, no reaction to thunder, dogs or whirring cameras. They have a tendency to search for closeness to their riders.
Our horses roam and graze freely throughout two large paddocks (a 12-acre pasture on the riverside and a vast, 70-acre field in the mountains) and several smaller 2-acre paddocks beside the house. They range free as a herd all year round and have an open stable available to them where they can seek shelter during the winter. During the summer months, rich pasture and plentiful grass form the staple of their diets, though we supplement with corn and oats when they work. In winter, due to the slow growth of grass in these rough mountains, we feed them additional hay.

Tack
We are using all local Chilean saddles and gear. Most of this equipment is made by our local saddle maker from Villarrica.
We use typical Chilean "Avio" working saddles, designed for a long days on horseback. Those saddles are very comfortable for both rider and horse. The base is a wooden frame held together by pieces of metal in the front and back. The seat is formed by a broad band of rawhide tied in between the frame. It is covered by a wool-filled pad, followed by 2 - 6 layers of sheep fleece and a leather cover. All parts are strapped together by the "cincha" which holds the saddle on the horse's back.
The original Chilean stirrups are made of wood and are beautifully carved. Unfortunately, it is hard to fit your foot securely inside unless you're wearing the traditional pointed boots of the Chilean Huaso. Our saddler makes extra wide leather-covered "capacho" stirrups, so that wider shoes, like hiking boots, can easily fit. They offer good protection while riding through bushes and prevent branches and vines from tangling about your foot. We can also provide classical open stirrups for those who desire them.
You can find bridles and reins made of many different materials across the Chilean countryside, including leather, PVC, and ropes. We use the traditional hand-plaited reins, inox bits, and simple rawhide headstalls. Some of our horses are trained to be ridden without a bit; just slip on a halter or a rope and jump on. You can try out this method in the pasture if you like!
While trekking, all gear is packed in saddlebags we make ourselves (sewed on our 1936 Singer) out of sturdy leather. Tents and sleeping bags are stored inside waterproof bags to protect against rain and horse sweat, and then placed within canvas sacks and attached behind the saddle across the horse's rump.

Staff
Besides the long years team (Mathias, Alejandra, Katie, Luis and Aldo), we get additional guide and helpers throughout the summer months.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - 9 day camping ride - Subject to changes

Day 1:
Arrival day, pick up at Temuco airport (03.00 pm) or Pucón (01.00 pm). We take an initial ride through the Mapuche Indian Community Quelhue and along the rapids of Trancura River to evaluate your riding experience, get familiar with the saddle and tack, and determine which horses to take on our great adventure. In the evening we move to our base camp at Laguna Geppinger from were we start our ride the following morning.

Day 2:
We cross the first of three mountain ranges on our trail towards Argentina. At night we camp beside the natural hot springs in Rio Blanco Valley.

Day 3:
We ride through virgin rainforests and dense stands of Coighue trees and bamboo crossing the 2nd range. The night we spent at a mountain farm at the Mapuche Indian community “Flor de Valle”

Day 4:
We ride along the slopes of Sollipulli volcano, overnight on a clearing in an ancient Aruaucaria forest.

Day 5:
We cross the last range before Argentina and spend the night in a cabin at the shore of Lake Icalma.

Day 6:
We ride to the border, after arranging custom formalities with the Chilean border control we cross the border 20 meters on foot, and greet Hernan and his wonderful Argentinean horses which will bring us through the unique world of the Argentinean Andes for the next three days. We ride up to the top of Batea Mahuida Volcano with 6560 feet the highest point on our ride. Overnight in tent camp.

Day 7:
We ride the valleys and cliffs of Argentina, watch condors pass us by and enjoy amazing views over the endless wide open spaces of this uninhabited part of the world. Overnight in tent camp.

Days 8: 
On the evening of the 8th day we reach the outpost were Hernan lives with his horses and which marks the end of our journey. We celebrate the end of the trek with a typical Argentinean BBQ.

Day 9:
After breakfast we transfer back to Chile. We can bring you to Temuco city (1.00 pm) or Temuco airport (1.30 pm) or Pucón (3.30 pm).

--------------------------
Sample Itinerary - 10 day cabin & camping ride - Subject to changes


Day 1:
Pick up at Temuco airport (03.00 pm) or Pucón (01.00 pm). Time to get to know the horses, tack and equipment, and to get settled. Welcome dinner at the ranch house.

Day 2:
We take an initial ride through the Mapuche Indian Community Quelhue and along the rapids of Trancura River to evaluate your riding experience, get familiar with the saddle and tack, and determine which horses to take on our great adventure. In the evening we move to our base camp at Laguna Geppinger from were we start our ride the following morning.

Day 3:
We cross the first of three mountain ranges on our trail towards Argentina. At night we stay in double rooms in cabins 5 minutes away from the natural hot springs in Rio Blanco Valley. 
 
Day 4:
We ride through virgin rainforests and dense stands of Coighue trees and bamboo crossing the 2nd range. The night will be spent in a tent camp at a mountain farm at the Mapuche Indian community “Flor de Valle”

Day 5:
Today, we ride along the slopes of Sollipulli volcano, overnight in the mountain lodge “Nevados de Sollipulli”.

Day 6: 
We cross the last range before Argentina. We return to civilization again and ride through the small Mapuche settlement of Icalma. We spend the night in a cabin at the shore of Lake Icalma.

Day 7: 
After arranging custom formalities with the Chilean border control we are heading into the mountains to cross the actual border to Argentina. High in the mountains we say goodbye to our Chilean horses and the guides that led us to this magnificent place. Then we cross the border 20 meters on foot, and greet Hernan and his wonderful Argentinean horses which will bring us through the unique world of the Argentinean Andes for the next three days. We ride up to the top of Batea Mahuida Volcano with 6560 feet the highest point on our ride. Overnight in tent camp.

Day 8:
We ride the valleys and cliffs of Argentina, watch condors pass us by and enjoy amazing views over the endless wide open spaces of this uninhabited part of the world. On the evening we reach the outpost were Hernan lives with his horses.

Day 9:
We enjoy a day long farewell ride to cliffs and a viewpoint overlooking the area of our last day’s rides. We celebrate the end of the trek with a typical Argentinean barbeque while recounting our adventures from the past week and sharing our impressions of this experience of a lifetime.

Day 10: 
After breakfast we transfer back to Chile. We can bring you to Temuco city (1.00 pm) or Temuco airport (1.30 pm) or Pucon (3.30 pm). If you prefer, you may finish the trip in Argentina, and keep on traveling or riding some more days in the Argentinean pampas.

--------------------------

Sample Itinerary - 11 day cabin & camping ride plus Sollipulli - Subject to changes

Day 1:
Arrival day, pick up at Temuco airport (03.00 pm) or Pucón (01.00 pm). Welcome to the ranch and dinner at the ranch house.

Day 2:
We take an initial ride through the Mapuche Indian Community Quelhue and along the rapids of Trancura River to evaluate your riding experience, get familiar with the saddle and tack, and determine which horses to take on our great adventure. In the evening we go to our base camp at Laguna Geppinger from where we start our ride the following morning.

Day 3:
We cross the first of three mountain ranges on our trail towards Argentina. At night we camp beside the natural hot springs in Rio Blanco Valley.

Day 4:
We ride through virgin rainforests and dense stands of Coighue trees and bamboo crossing the 2nd range. The night we spent at a mountain farm at the Mapuche Indian community “Flor de Valle”

Day 5:
We ride along the slopes of Sollipulli volcano, overnight in the mountain lodge “Nevados de Sollipulli”.

Day 6:
We ride up the volcano, reaching its 2.5 miles wide crater which is filled with a 660 feet deep glacier. We return to “Nevados de Sollipulli” for a second night.

Day 7:
We cross the last range before Argentina and spend the night in a cabin at the shore of Lake Icalma.

Day 8:
We ride to the border, after arranging custom formalities with the Chilean border control we cross the border 20 meters on foot, and greet Hernan and his wonderful Argentinean horses which will bring us through the unique world of the Argentinean Andes for the next three days. We ride up to the top of Batea Mahuida Volcano with 6560 feet the highest point on our ride. Overnight in tent camp.

Days 9 and 10:
We ride the valleys and cliffs of Argentina, watch condors pass us by and enjoy amazing views over the endless wide open spaces of this uninhabited part of the world. On the evening of the 10th day we reach the outpost were Hernan lives with his horses and which marks the end of our journey. We celebrate the end of the trek with a typical Argentinean BBQ.

Day 11:
After breakfast we transfer back to Chile. We can bring you to Temuco city (1.00 pm) or Temuco airport (1.30 pm) or Pucon (3.30 pm). If you prefer, you may finish the trip in Argentina, and keep on traveling or riding some more days in the Argentinean pampas.


Rates and Dates for Chile to Argentina

Rates include:

Accommodations, meals, wine is included with dinner. 8 riding days, English speaking guide, all camping equipment including tent, sleeping bag and mat.
Cabin + Camping: 6 nights in cabins and 3 nights camping; 5 days with shared bathroom facilities.
Camping + Cabin: 6 nights camping and 3 nights in cabins; 5 days with shared shower facilities
Camping Ride + Sollipulli Volcano: 9 riding days, 5 nights camping & 5 nights in cabins; 6 days with shared bathroom facilities.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    201910 day Cabin + Camping Ride, AP (low)€3100$3720
    • Single supplement€400$480
  • B
    20199 day Camping + Cabin Ride, AP (low)€2750$3300
    • Single supplement€300$360
  • C
    201911 day Camping Ride, AP, plus Sollipulli Volcano (low)€3550$4260
    • Single supplement€400$480
  • D
    201910 day Cabin + Camping Ride, AP (high)€3350$4020
    • Single supplement€450$540
  • E
    201910 day Camping + Cabin Ride, AP (high)€2980$3575
    • Single supplement€300$360
  • F
    201911 day Camping Ride, AP, plus Sollipulli Volcano (high)€3660$4395
    • Single supplement€550$660
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfers included from/ to Temuco airport/ Pucón at set times 0 $0
2019 Transfer to/from Temuco airport/ Pucón outside set times (1-6 pax), pp, return
This is a "Group Rate"
110 $135
2019 Small group supplement (1 pax only) 1,800 $2,160

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
D 2019 11/29 - 12/08 10d / 9n 10 day Cabin + Camping Ride,... 2 /8 Expired
E 2019 12/15 - 12/24 10d / 9n 10 day Camping + Cabin Ride,... 2 /8 Reserve
F 2019 12/27 - 01/06 11d / 10n 11 day Camping Ride, AP, plu... 2 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: This trip can be arranged at other dates between Dec 1 and March 30 - with a minimum of 2 riders.

Rates do not include:

Travel and medical insurances, tips for local guides.

Other Info
Meeting: Pucon
Airport: La Araucanía International Airport in Temuco (ZCO)
Transfer: Temuco Airport or Pucón

Climate:
                                               Temuco area
 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

77

78

74

66

59

54

54

57

61

64

68

73

Average Low Temperature (°F)

48

48

46

43

43

41

39

39

40

42

45

47

Average High Temperature (°C)

25

25

23

19

15

12

12

14

16

18

20

23

Average Low Temperature (°C)

9

9

8

6

6

5

4

4

4

6

7

9

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

4

3

5

8

12

15

14

13

10

9

6

5

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Temperatures in Chile vary a lot with the height and whether we have sunshine or clouds. As a general rule we have high temperatures only with direct sunshine, as soon as the sun disappears, at night or because it's cloudy, temperatures drop immediately. In Pucón and on the ranch from January to March you can count on 25 degrees Celsius up in the day. At night however, temperatures go down to 10-15 degrees Celsius. On a ride in the heights of National Park Villarrica you may get temperatures near the freezing point at night, even in summer.

The weather is usually fine starting from October, with pleasant temperatures. However, we do not start running this tour before November because snow usually stays until that time, high up in the mountains. The best time of the year to visit weather-wise is probably mid December to March as temperatures are warm and there is a low possibility for rain.

Please note that as Chile is in the southern hemisphere, seasons are opposite to the seasons on the northern hemisphere. 
 

Special note - altitude
Pucon is situated on the entrance of a huge valley that reaches right into the center of the Andes at a height of 200meters/660 feet above sea level. The main house is at 350 meters/1150 feet. Behind the paddocks the mountain within 1.5 kilometers/ 0.9 miles rises to 1200 meters/4000 feet. On the trails we cross passes at about 2000 meters/6600 feet but ride into lower regions for the night camps. Generally speaking the Andes in southern Chile are not as high as further north. The highest peaks around are Volcano Villarrica with 2,860 m (9,380 ft) 14 km/8,6 miles away and Lanin with 3,776 m (12,388 ft) 70 km/44 miles away.

What To Bring:
Packing list suggestions for trail rides
The luggage you bring on the ride should fit our waterproof packroll of 20x12x12 inches.

• Sun block
• Torch (flashlight), water bottle (we can provide if you let us know).
• Hat or cap, best with wide rim.
• Sun glasses (compulsory on the Chile - Argentina ride) 
•Swimming suit, towel.
• Rain gear: we suggest you bring waterproof trousers and jacket, we provide additional rain ponchos which are great on horseback, but may not be suitable for the time you're not riding.
• Riding trousers: jeans or trekking trousers are perfect for the kind of riding we do.
• Shoes: Light trekking boots, best if they are high enough to protect your ankles.
• Fleece clothes to keep you warm during the cool nights in the Andes. Bringing several layers is the best option so that you can easily adjust to the temperature.
• For rides outside in the main season (which is January, February, March) and in the high Andes we strongly recommend that you bring warm underwear.
• We provide half chaps, though if you prefer your own gear, you are welcome to bring it.
• We do not provide riding helmets. If you are used to wearing one please bring your own, as they are not common in Chile and it will be hard to find one in a shop.

Weight and volume limit for personal items: 
 2 x 5 kilo/11 lbs (not including tent, mat and sleeping bag), one package for the Chilean leg, one for the Argentinean leg of the ride. Before the ride each rider packs 2 bags, one for the Chilean part, a second for the Argentinean part of the trip. On the last night in Chile, the supply truck brings the second bag and returns the first bag to the farm.

If you prefer to bring your own sleeping bag, tent or mattress, the size/weight should not exceed:

Bag: 40 x 20cm( 16x8 inches) and 2kg ( 4.4 lbs )
 Mattress 30 x 15 (12x6 inches) / 1kg ( 2.2 lbs )
 Tent 60x15 (24x6 inches) / 3.3kg (7.3 lbs )