Each year, T.A. Carrithers and his staff take groups on horse treks into the heart of the Andean cordillera. If you are looking for an adventure holiday that includes miles of mountain trails, sleeping under the stars of the southern hemisphere, and bearing witness to even more extraordinary landscape, consider one of our horse treks. Experience the inevitable bond between horse and rider.
January 23- Feb 1, 2017
Your driver will meet you in the town of Zapala, in the Province of Neuquen at 10:00 a.m. You'll then drive 4 hours into the foothills of the Andes to a place called Buta Mallin. This is a cattle outpost on the Estancia and the end of the road for most vehicles. Here we will have a mid-afternoon lunch with the gauchos–either an asado or traditional guiso (stew) served with fresh bread. Then you will have your first experience saddling and packing the horses for the 2 1/2 hour ride into the heart of the Estancia where the lodge is located.
In the evening, settle into your cottage or room and then join us on the terrace of Casa Grande for wine, traditional Argentine food, and good company.
This day will be spent at Ranquilco enjoying day rides, riverside picnics, and sipping wine on the patio in the evening. Enjoy fishing, swimming in the pool, or relaxing in our riverside sauna. Lunch and dinner will be served family style and will feature traditional Argentine dishes.
Day 3-Day 8
After packing up, we will head out into the Cordillera to spend the next six days riding high mountain trails deep into the Andes. This is the longest mountain range in the world, and our trip will take us right into the heart of it. We'll set up camp by springs at the edge of lovely meadows, alongside mountain streams, and on the shores of an alpine lake. In the evenings, we stake the horses out to graze, and settle in for hearty meals and nights under the stars.
The only other people we’ll see are the gauchos that follow their goat-herds into the mountains for summer. One of the highlights of a trip out there is to stop at a hut and visit with these wonderful people. We'll take a day ride up the valley, around the alpine lake Laguna Negra, to a neighboring summer cattle outpost at the head of the valley. We'll stop in for a traditional asado and maté. On the way back to our camp, we'll stop at the lake for fishing and swimming. On our last day, we'll ride down out of the hills and back to Ranquilco
We’ll have a full day to rest and relax and enjoy the comforts of Ranquilco. Sauna, swim in the pool or the river, or just relax in a hammock. An optional afternoon ride up the confluence of the Picunleo and Trocoman rivers will be offered. On this last evening, we will invite gauchos from all around for a traditional asado, and a late night gaucho dance.
On the last day, we’ll ride back to Buta Mallin, and drive back to Zapala, to arrive by 4:00 pm. From there, catch a bus back to B.A. or head to Bariloche or San Martin… or even over to Chile.
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