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8 Day The Patagonia Trail Horse Riding Holiday in Neuquén

Jakotango, Río Filo Huahum, Lácar Department, Neuquén Province, Argentina

Argentina Horse Riding Holiday

Jakotango is pleased to invite you to join this adventurous horse riding holiday in the Patagonia Trail, Argentina. You will ride down the Filo Huahum valley and ride along crystal clear lakes and rivers, and face the Pass of Tears. You can also visit the nearby estancia to see gauchos using traditional methods to make tack from rawhide. Explore the Patagonia Trail on horseback here!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 210 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Tack Type: Comfortable Argentine "recado" saddles with sheepskins for the ride in Patagonia
  • Horse Breed: Criollo, Some Quarter Horses, Thoroughbred, and even Percheron influence

Highlights

  • 7 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 2 - 8 hours
  • Adventurous rides along the crystal clear lakes and rivers
  • Ride down the Filo Huahum valley and face the Pass of Tears
  • Daily full board meals and drinks
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


7 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
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Accommodation

A week’s safari with Jakotango will see you stay in three different types of accommodation: "Base Camp", your mountain fly camps, and a gaucho’s farmstead. Jakotango 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 your dining room and bar. The tents are spacious but cozy with wood-burning stoves lit morning and evening. When up in the mountains, you'll 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, you'll always return to a hot shower. Any luxuries missing up in the mountains are made up of good food, good wine, and a great adventure.

Finally, 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 the "Base Camp"; there are spacious and comfortable safari-style tents and shared bathrooms set within the corrals of Felipe’s farmstead. You are cooked for and cared for by Felipe and his family, congregating in an ancient barn that has been converted into a kitchen and dining room.

A typical safari sees an itinerary of two nights at the Jakotango Base Camp, one night at El Buque Fly Camp, two nights back at Jakotango Base Camp, one night at Felipe’s Fly Camp, and the final night at Felipe’s house. However, this itinerary is subject to change, depending on the weather.

Program

Please be prepared that the following itinerary may change throughout the week if your ride is threatened by bad weather. Generally, Patagonian summers are stunning, but if you have a night’s camping ahead and rain is forecast, Jakotango will reschedule that day’s ride to make the most of the good weather and take precautions against the bad.

Day 1: Jakotango Base Camp

Fly to Bariloche where you will be met by one of Jakotango's team. You are recommended to 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, Jakotango 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 Jakotango Base Camp. Once arrived at the 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 your dining room, sitting room, and bar.

Day 2: Jakotango Base Camp

For your first full day at Jakotango, you will base yourselves out of camp, dividing the day into two rides: morning and evening. After breakfast, you will head out on the horses to explore the Filo Hua Hum Valley and, after three hours or so, will return to the base camp for a good lunch and a siesta.

After tea and cake in the afternoon, ride again, typically taking the horses up a short climb to give you a feel for the types of terrain you will be covering over the following days.

Day 3: Jakotangi Base Camp - El Buque Fly Camp

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 Jakotango does 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. Jakotango will provide you with a silk sleeping bag liner, a small facecloth and soap, plenty of snacks, and a packed lunch. The fly camps are basic, made up of two-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. Stop for lunch and a siesta at the edge of the tree-line before continuing to the summit in the afternoon when the most exhilarating part of the day begins. After a long but exciting day, ride into fly camp early evening, where a roaring campfire and delicious supper prepared by the gauchos will be waiting.

Day 4: El Buque Fly Camp - Jakotango Base Camp

After breakfast on the fire, ride back down into the valley in time for a well-deserved lunch at the base camp. The afternoon is yours to do with as you wish, siesta, walk, swim, or ride again.

Day 5: Jakotnago Base Camp

This morning is another chance to explore the valley and the lakes within it. Ride out after breakfast either stopping for a picnic lunch or heading back to the 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.

Day 6: Jakotango Base Camp - Felipe's Camp

Today, you will leave the 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 your second fly camp, up high in the mountains.

Here, you will meet Felipe Chandia, a local gaucho, whose land you are privileged to ride over and whose homestead you will be staying at the following night. For generations, Felipe’s family has 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.

Day 7: Felipe's Camp - Felipe's house

After a breakfast of bacon and eggs on the fire, start the four-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, you 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.

Day 8: Departure

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.

Weight limit

The maximum weight is 200 pounds for a novice rider and 210 pounds for an advanced rider (15 stones or 95 kilograms).

Type of horses

Predominantly the Argentine "Criollo" horse crossed with a Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, and Percheron. Jakotango is operating a breeding program to produce the ideal mountain-safari horse and has imported the first Noriker stallion from Austria into the country to cross with Criollo mares.

Wildlife

In Patagonia, there are (amongst others) red deer, wild boar, puma, and an abundance of birdlife. You are fortunate to regularly see condors on your rides; they are usually very curious, swooping down to within only a few meters of your horses to investigate.

Luggage

Jakotango does not have a luggage limit but please note, on some domestic flights, there is a 15-kilogram (33-pound) per person luggage restriction. Should you wish to bring more, please be aware that you may be asked by your airline to pay a fee.

Length of rides

Varying between 2-8 hours in the saddle. On longer days, you will stop for a picnic lunch and siesta, untacking and tying your horses to trees, then falling asleep on your sheepskins and ponchos.

Tack

Argentine "recado' saddles with sheepskins and traditional rawhide bridles. All of the horses are trained to neck-rein.

Laundry

Laundry will be available on one day of your safari, typically when you have returned to Jakotango Base Camp after your first night of camping at El Buque Fly Camp.

Information required

Jakotango needs to know your age, weight, height, and riding experience, special drink requirements, and any dietary restrictions or allergies.

Riding ability

You should be comfortable at all paces. The riding in Patagonia is predominantly slow due to the steep climbs and rocky descents but down in the valleys, there are opportunities to canter.

Terrain

In the mountains, you will reach places otherwise inaccessible but for on horseback. The area is totally wild, rugged, and unspoiled; you may find it challenging. If you suffer badly from vertigo, Jakotango does not recommend you to join on the mountain peaks. There are steep climbs on horseback and sometimes, for your own safety, you may be required to walk yourself. Down in the valleys, there are green pastures, beech forests, crystalline rivers, and lakes.

Location

Argentina is a trip to magnificent sceneries and less for wildlife. Nevertheless, the country has some spectacular close-up sightings of condors on the mountains as they swoop down to take a closer look at you. In Patagonia, there are also red deer, wild boar, guanaco, and an abundance of interesting birdlife.

Food

Meals

Argentina is famous for being a carnivorous country but Jakotango can happily cater to vegetarians and other diets. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let them know in advance and they will make their best efforts to cater to you.

Drinks

All alcohol and soft drinks are inclusive; most spirits, wine, and beers are available but please let Jakotango know should you have a special request.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 7 days of horse riding
  • Daily full board meals and drinks
  • 7 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Internal flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Champagne
  • Tipping (The recommended tip is 20 USD per person per day)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE). This is a wonderful, vibrant city so Jakotango advises you to stay here for a couple of nights either before or after the trip. Tango shows and shopping are some of the highlights as well as city tours and excellent restaurants. In November and December, the Argentine Polo Open is a unique opportunity to see the best and fastest polo in the world. There is a domestic flight to Patagonia from Buenos Aires which Jakotango organizes at an additional cost, to either Aviador Carlos Campos Airport (CPC) or San Carlos de Bariloche Airport (BRC).

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Pricing information

Jakotango will accept children on riding safaris but they must be competent riders and up for an adventure. There is a half-price discount for children under 12 years old.

Non-Riders

Jakotango will take non-riders but this should be discussed with them first. Non-riders may have to stay at the base camp on their own whilst the others camp out.

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