GRANDE TRAVERSEE 2012 14 Days- 13 Nights Program

A fascinating adventure from the virgin steppes in Argentina to the Valdivian forests in Chile. A unique eleven days ride where Creole and Chilean horses will take you along estancias and fundos crossing endless pampas, green forests, and clear rivers .Come and ride with the gauchos and its different cultures but with only one spirit.

Day 1 - Bariloche
Arrive into Bariloche International Airport, group transfer to hotel in down town. Bariloche is situated on the shore of lake Nahuel Huapi, big touristic ski town surrounded by mountains. Depending on your arrival flight you will have the chance to explore the area and get great views from the Cerro Otto or any last minute shopping before the ride. Meet your guide for the holiday and full briefing for the next days ride. We will all go for a traditional barbeque dinner at a local restaurant. Back to hotel (D).

Day 2 - Bariloche / Rio Pichileufu
Early breakfast. A minibus will take us 30 kms to the starting point of the ride at Estancia Ñirihuau a 180 has timber forest with 70 has more used for riding and training horses - Check gear and horses. We will start our ride and pass the Cerro las Buitreras and arroyo la mina from here we will reach great panoramic view from the Valley Alto Chubut. . Lunch stop and afternoon ride to rio Pichileufu. Camp at the riverside. (B, BL, D)

Day 3 - Río Pichileufú/ Nacimiento Alto Chubut
Great camp breakfast and pack. Ride will across from the Pichileufú Valley to Carreras mountain high pass at 1800 A good spot for watching condors and eagles and plenty of wildlife. We will start our descent towards the source of the rio Alto Chubut with a dry vegetation. Camp here at 1500 a.s.l. Some nomads’ shepherds are still spending some time there. Another delicious meal. (B, BL, D)

Day 4 - Chubut  Valley /  Mt. Las Serruchas pass.
Today we will start riding downhill through the Chubut Valley. There is a possibility to stap at Miranda’s family who live very cloe to an abandoned lead mine. Short stop to visit the place and meet the local family an their young gauchos. This place shows the remains of the past when adventures came to find gold here .Afternoon horse trek on a tricky terrain up to la Serrucha pass stunning views of the Tronador Mountain, its glaciers and the endless steppe. Camp (D,LB,C).

Day 5 - Mt. Las Serruchas /Fitalancao
After breakfast and putting down the camp, the horses will take us down onto the Patagonian steppe where the vegetation changes finding boxed-leafed barberry, fire bushes and fire tongue. The trail will guide us to an old and traditional working estancia. This last century estancia has been refurbished but keeping it’s own style. Visit toe shearing shed and the working depots. For dinner we will enjoy a delicious asado with local veggies and Argentinian wine. Nigth at estancia. (D, LB, D)

Day 6 - Fitalancao/ Ñorquinco / Maiten / El Bolsón
Today is the last day with the Argentinean Creole horses. This morning we will pack all our stuff and we will ride towards an abandoned steam train station in Filancao. It used to communicate the other villages in the early 40’s. We will follow this railway that leads us to a small aboriginal village called Norquinco. After passing by the route continues passing other estancias on the way in order to reach the road where we will farewell the horse and the baqueanos .Transfer on private minibus to El Maitén village, possibly visit to the Train if. Museum open. Lunch. Afternoon transfer to El Bolsón town. This is an attractive growing town surrounded by mountains where many artisan show their products at a flea market. Night at hosteria. (B. LB, D).

Day 7 - El Bolsón / Bandurrias Island
Late breakfast, private transfer to the Lago Puelo quay, load the boat and continue our adventurous trip. The turbo-jet boat will take us across the two lakes, thereby passing the immigration control. After having complied with the custom procedures, we'll cross the rapids that join the two countries of Argentina and Chile. Lunch. A local guide will be waiting for us and will take care of our luggage. After the custom control in the Chilean side we will have a 10’walk to the Las Rocas Lake where a motorboat will take us to Bandurrias Island. Great views of the surrounding mountains in the Andes today. A warm welcome and a nice rest will be waiting for you in your exclusive cabaña on the Island (B, BL, D)Timing: 30’ bus from El Bolsón to the Lago Puelo quay; Motor Boat: 2,30hs.

Day 8 - Bandurrias Island / Lago Azul
Breakfast. This morning we’ll enjoy 2 hrs ride visiting the Blue Lake "Lago Azul" with its crystal clear waters and abundant fish life. The majestic peaks and stunning landscapes will not escape your attention! Picnic and relax on the shore of the lake. After lunch we will ride on steep passes across the forest along the mountains passing through typical cold jungle or Valdivian-type rainforest. You will enjoy its ancient Alerces trees (Fitzroy Cupresoide) as well as other local "giants" such as the "Coihue" and "Arrayanes"(the cold tree). End the ride at the Palenque. Sail back to the Island . (B, BL, D) Timing: 5 / 6 hrs horseback riding.

Day 09 - Las Rocas / Lago
After breakfast, a motor boat will take us back to the other side of the lake where the horses will be waiting. Picturesque sight of the River Puelo source. Cross the river using a traditional raft method on manpower based! Horses will get on as well! Reach "Segundo Corral" the last settlement close to the border. Then follow the trail down the Puelo River to a fantastic hanging bridge, "la Pasarela del Rio Puelo", an important hanging bridge crucial for the communication between the inhabitants and the outside world. Night and dinner at cosy house in front Rio Puelo. German and Chilean hosts will invite us to share their house. (B, BL, D) Timing: 5 / 6 hrs horseback riding.

Day 10 - Lago Verde / Ventisqueros
Nice breakfast , saddle up and cross again the Hanging Bridge and follow the west side of the Ventisqueros Valley- Enjoy the remote and green landscape. Ride into the Ventisqueros valley where we will stop for lunch and relax. In the afternoon, the ride will get us to a little house where the owners are lodging us for 2 nights. (B, BL, D).

Day 11 - Ventisqueros
After breakfast and packing we embark on a gentle ride, crossing the river once more to join the other valley and approach its glacier. This little Valley turns wild and remote, with incredible flora and devoid of habitants. We will arrive close to the Alerces forest on this occasion. Box lunch and ride back to our guest farmhouse. Later there is a chance to go for a walk around the area or simply relax with a glass of wine. An unforgettable day again. (B, BL, D) Timing: 4 hrs horseback riding.

Day 12 - Ventisquero / Rio Puelo
Home made breakfast at the farm house. Back on the saddles! This morning the trail takes us across beautiful ancient forest, clean pampas and the unique opportunity to cross several times the Ventisqueros River. Enjoy a pleasant box lunch at the Ventisqueros shore. Afternoon, ride where we will probably meet farmers working on their land looking after the cattle and making a living through family agriculture. Is amazing to see how fertile these mountains can be!! At the end of the day we will cross the river just as the locals do: on a public little motor boat with the horses swimming by the lead . Last night accommodation at cozy farm cottage (B, BL, D) Hours riding: 6 / 7 hs.

Day 13 - Llanada Grande / Puerto Varas
Home made breakfast. Last ride, horses will take us through the forest and along the Puelo River to the hamlet of Llanada Grande. Minibus will be waiting for us. One hour drive to the ferry that will cross us to the other side of the Tagua – Tagua Lake. Pic - nic lunch. And drive to Puerto Varas. The road goes at the side of the Reloncaví Estuary. You will enjoy the beautiful sight of the river's mouth flowing into the sea .On our way to Puerto Varas, we will be able to contemplate the colours of the sensational virgin nature of the National Park of Vicente Perez Rosales, skirting Lake Llanquihue and the volcanoes of Osorno and Calbuco, all around the beautiful Puerto Varas town (B, BL, D) Hours riding: 3hs Timing: 4 hs transfer Llanada Grande – Puerto Varas.

Day 14 - Puerto Varas / Airport
Breakfast and transfer to the local airport.


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