Pioneers of Patagonia

Patagonia / Torres del Paine Argentina: (IT-ARRT13)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/argentina_pioneers_of_patagonia.aspx

Introduction
Patagonia / Torres del Paine Argentina
Ride the pristine wilderness of Patagonia, in Argentina.

Our base camp is set in a 45 000 acres working “Estancia” embedded in the Andes Mountains. It was founded long ago and first owned by English pioneers.

During this adventure, you will ride across uninhabited land you can only reach by horseback and camp in remote places. The trail goes past rivers and lakes full of trout, valleys and mountains covered by indigenous sub-Antarctic forests, gigantic monkey puzzle trees and more! From the hill tops, we will get sight of Chile on the other side of the border.

As the sun sets, the spectacular stars of the southern hemisphere will cover the sky...Relax at the camp with the campfire that lightens up the darkness of the night as you share a cup of coffee, tea or mate.

All this creates the ideal ambiance to feel the spirit of the old time explorers and make new friends. It is an experience without comparison.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations.

Description
All nights are spent camping in various camps along the way. We provide you with an igloo tent but you have to provide your own mat and sleeping bag (sleeping bags can be rented for an extra fee). There are no washrooms or shower facilities at the camps. You will experience authentic camping, meaning lakes and creeks for showering and shovels to dig a hole for washrooms.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Estancia
Night 2: Camping in Puesto Ignacio
Night 3: Camping by Relem River
Might 4: Camping in Mallín de las Lengas
Night 5: Camping close to the Polcahue lake
Night 6: Estancia

Estancia
Bathrooms are shared and there is no cellphone service and no Wi-Fi access.

Camping
We provide you with an igloo tent but you have to provide your own mat and sleeping bag (sleeping bags can be rented for an extra fee). There are no washrooms or shower facilities at the camps. You will experience authentic camping, meaning lakes and creeks for showering and shovels to dig a hole for washrooms.


Meals
Our meals on the trail are made the old fashioned way on the campfire: simple, home made and abundant. In the exact manner that life is in those far away places. It is this which makes them unforgettable.

Breakfast: we have tea, coffee or hot chocolate, home made bread, jam.
Lunches on the trail: pic-nic style. Roast beef, ham, cheese sandwiches. Salami and home made cheese, etc. Fruits, pies for dessert. Water and wine to drink.
Dinner: local traditional meals like lamb barbecue, stew or "empanadas". Fruits, pies for dessert.

Dietary Restrictions
We are able to cater to vegetarians and celiacs if notified ahead of time. We cannot cater to vegans.

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

Riding

Pace
We will be riding at high altitude, often above 6000-9000 feet.
The pace is slow with a few trots and canters during most of the trail due to the terrain. This allows to enjoy the scenery, the conversation, take pictures, etc.
The average riding day includes 3 hours on horseback in the morning and 3 to 4 hours in the saddle during the afternoon with plenty of intermediate stops to take pictures, spend some time at specific points of interest, etc.

Horses
We assign horses according to each rider's preference. We have plenty of horses, some are more challenging while others are very easy to handle. They are sure-footed as they were all born and raised in the mountains.

Safety measures
The trails are well known by our guides. In those places we believe risky, we step down the horse and walk. In case of emergency, our guides are trained and know what to do. We carry radio equipment, First aid kits for people and horses and Iridium satellite phone in case of emergency. We consider a must that all our guests follow our guide's instructions.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary 2020 - subject to changes

Note: This is a  special set departure to experience the December 14th 2020 total solar eclipse. This is going to be a very rare event because the sun will be close to the zenith.
At 1 PM on December 14th, we will make a stop close to Mount Picudo for the big event. While the total solar eclipse last just a few minutes, the whole process of partial solar eclipse takes three hours approximately. 
Please do not forget to bring your eye protection! Proper eye protection, like eclipse glasses or a sun filter, is the only safe option. Sunglasses don't work. ... Make sure your eclipse glasses are safe, or the sun's UV radiation can seriously injure the retinas in the eyes. Use a solar filter if you are using binoculars or a telescope.

Day 1 (Saturday December 12th): Arrival
You will be transferred from San Martín de los Andes airport. After meeting everyone, enjoy a traditional Argentinian barbecue dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the estancia


Day 2 (Sunday December 13th): Ride through giant monkey puzzle trees
After breakfast and last minute packing, we go to meet the horses. Say farewell to the last sight of civilization in this working Estancia as we start the ride into remote territories. We are heading west, to the Andes range. At first, the typical dry Patagonian steppe is all over but it gradually fades out. We are going towards one of the largest giant monkey puzzle trees woods in Patagonia. These trees only live here and can grow to be 1000 years old. We stop for lunch under the first group of them. When we reach Puesto Ignacio, our campsite for the night, we leave all heavy items behind and go for a ride into the woods. This is the first chance to feel Patagonian vastness and the immense size of these very old trees.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at camping in Puesto Ignacio


Day 3 (Monday December 14th): Ride to Relén River
Today, we will go north and then west. After moving into another valley, there will be plenty of chances for cantering and galloping, for those who like (only if it is an expert riders' group). We will start to see ñires trees, typical tree of the region. We have lunch under the shade of huge Monkey puzzle trees on the way to the Relén river where we camp tonight.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at camping by Relén River


Day 4 (Tuesday December 15th): Relén River to Mallín de las Lengas
After a morning ride through the forest, our trail leads us into higher ground, where we might see the condor. We will reach a Mapuche Indian reservation territory. The night's camp, Mallín de las Lengas, is at the border of a fairy tale lengas forest, worthy of a Tolkien novel. It is so pristine that the dead giant trees have piled up over the centuries. They are all around still lying on the ground. A moving scene. We will go for a ride through this magical forest. At night, an energizing meal awaits.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at camping at Mallín de las Lengas


Day 5 (Wednesday December 16th): Mallín de las Lengas to Polcahue Lake
After breakfast, we will be heading towards the Picudo Mountain. It is the highest riding point of the trail and offers a breathtaking view.  We climb and descend through the lengas forest, in the half light of this dense wood. The monkey puzzle trees will be our hosts for the night as we will camp close to the Polcahue lake.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at camping at Polcahue lake


Day 6 (Thursday December 17th): Polcahue Lake to the Estancia
During the morning we will ride straight west. Our route follows paths that have been used over the centuries by the Mapuche Indians to reach the Pacific Ocean crossing the Andes range. We will stop close to the Chilean border and go past the Pulmarí lake. After a long day, we arrive back to the Estancia at sunset. Tonight, we enjoy a few basic privileges of civilization: electricity and hot water. Farewell dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the estancia


Day 7 (Friday December 18th): Departure
After breakfast, transfer back to San Martín de los Andes airport. End of program. 

NOTE: Whilst we always endeavor to avoid changes before and during the program and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances, including acts of man or nature which so require.


Extra days and/or activities:

Rafting the Aluminé river: we go rafting the River Aluminé, the region’s best. 8 - 12 miles on the rapids surrounded by awesome scenery. The level of difficulty of this river is OK for everyone, thus combining adventure with safety. Transfer back to San Martín de los Andes.  

Trout fishing: the area is famous for brown and rainbow trout fishing. Fly casting or spinning during season.


Rates and Dates for Pioneers of Patagonia

Rates include:

Camping equipment, all meals and beverages (excluding spirits), English speaking guide, gauchos, horses, saddlebags, pack mules & transfers to/from San Martín de los Andes.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20207 day ride, AP$1750

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2020 Transfers from/to San Martín de los Andes included
2020 Extra days/ activities- Please inquire

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 01/01 - 04/30 7d / 6n 7 day ride, AP 4 /12 Reserve

Dates Note: Special departure confirmed for solar eclipse ride on Decenber 12th (as of 01/23/20)

Rates do not include:

Flights, Buenos Aires International airport transfers, travel and medical insurance, gratuities and all others not indicated

Other Info
Meeting: San Martín de los Andes Airport
Airport: San Martín de los Andes
Transfer: San Martín de los Andes Airport

Climate:
                                    San Carlos de Bariloche area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

75

75

70

60

52

47

46

49

54

61

66

71

Average Low Temperature (°F)

46

45

41

36

34

32

30

31

33

36

40

44

Average High Temperature (°C)

24

24

21

16

11

8

8

9

12

16

19

22

Average Low Temperature (°C)

8

7

5

2

1

0

-1

-1

0

2

4

7

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

3

2

4

6

10

11

12

11

6

6

5

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons


Summer
In summer, days are warm and sunny and nights are cool. During the day temperature may vary from 9ºC to 27ºC, which means you can fully enjoy outdoor activities. Scarce winds mainly from the SW and few rainy days. Due to its latitude, daylight extends up to 10 p.m.

Fall
During fall, days are mild-cool and nights are cold. During the day, temperatures may vary between 4ºC and 13ºC. This is the rainiest season and in general, with gentle rains during the night.

Winter
Winter sees cold days with snowfalls in the surrounding mountains, which do not affect traffic in the town. During the day, temperatures range between 1ºC and 10ºC.
 
Spring
Days are still cool and nights cold in springtime. Days become longer and longer and temperatures rise gradually during the day, reaching marks between 7ºC and 20ºC by the end of the season.

The rainy season is from March to December and the dry season is during the summer. It rains around 1500 mm per year. The rains fall mainly on the cordillera. Precipitation may be rain in fall and spring and snow in winter, depending on the altitude. 

Please be aware that, on the trek, we climb to higher altitude, so the temperatures will continue to drop, especially at night!

What To Bring:
During the ride it is much better to keep your personal clothing and items light!  Normally, you only use half of what you take along.
As these are pack trips we provide saddlebags to place your personal items.
You can leave everything you will not need at the starting point and pick it back upon return. 

· Two changes of clothes: loose pants, long sleeve shirts which protect better from the sun than polo T-shirts. For the cold weather it is better to carry along some but thin warm clothes rather than just one thick one. Polar sweaters do well both in summer and winter.
 · Undershirt and underpants
 · Water bottle
 · Jacket and/or poncho
 · Hat (not a cap)
 · Scarf, neckerchief, gloves
 · Rain cape
 · Swimsuit
 · Insect repellent
 · Sneakers (the ones that can get wet) and riding boots (optional)
 · Personal medicine
 · No specific vaccine is mandatory in this region but as for any outdoors activity we recommend tetanus vaccine
 · Personal hygiene items and a small towel
 · Sunglasses (optional)
 · Sunscreen
 · Small lantern and batteries
 · Binoculars (optional)
 · Camera, batteries and film for at least 100 snapshots


Others

• We provide saddle bags.

In case you do not have some of the items below, our partner in Argentina will be happy to help you get them locally.

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets

Passport

Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR

Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)

Riding boots (waterproof) + Minichaps

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING

Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts

Jeans

Shorts

Underwear and socks

Pajama

Bag for dirty clothes

Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes

Swimsuit

 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING

Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

Sewing kit

Handkerchiefs

Adapter for electric appliances (optional)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm  

Binoculars