Journeys worth taking

Torres del Paine and surrounding area

Patagonia with Gaucho and Steed

Epic journeys

Discover Southern Patagonia and Torres Del Paine on horseback

Lodging

Estancias

Nights

5

Trip Details

Group or Privately guided

Price

From 3,000

Transport

Horseback

Pygmy miles

3600

Experience
Experience
Itinerary
Pygmy miles
Accommodation
Practical info

Experience

Journey

Your journey begins by tracing the eastern boundary of Torres del Paine National Park (TDP). The wide open patagonian steppe provides plenty of flat riding conditions and the solitude of the area is readily felt.

You’ll ride between local Estancias and their expansive cattle and sheep raising properties in route to the doorstep of TDP and the icebergs floating on Lago Grey near the southern patagonian glacier field. Although the landscape is wild and remote, overnights at Estancias offer comfort and relaxation after a long day of riding.

On this 6 day journey you will catch awe inspiring views of the Paine Massif, enjoy the company of gauchos and guides and experience a real seclusion into the wild of Patagonia.

experience a real seclusion into the wild of Patagonia

Activities

Horseback riding

You will be riding between four to six hours everyday across the remote pampas with the Paine massif in the distance.

And also

On this journey, you will have a chance to interact with local Gauchos who are as much a part of Patagonia as the landscape itself. The equivalent to a North American cowboy, their knowledge of riding and herding is unparalleled. The Gauchos are the local ranch hands at the Estancias, where cattle or sheep are raised (meals are often sourced directly from Estancia stock). Depending on the number of people in your party, a lamb bbq, patagonian style, will be served.

After four days of riding to its shores, you will have the opportunity to see icebergs on Lago Grey. The blue undertones will be mesmerizing and with luck, you’ll see an iceberg calve.

Place

Located at the end of the civilized world, Patagonia is wild and beautiful. The southern section of the Andes is here, along with an ever changing landscape of desert, steppe and plains. Torres del Paine is one of the best known and most alluring sections of Patagonia. Backpackers, horseback riders and mountaineers search the park for its treasures of soaring peaks and glacial lakes.

 

Itinerary

Track

Itinerary

Day-1

Transfer from Punta Arena’s airport to Estancia Tercera Barranca

We recommend you take the early flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas (4 hours), flying over the Andes and observing incredible views of the Patagonian Ice Fields. Upon your arrival in Punta Arenas, the most southern city on the continent, a private transfer will be waiting to take you to Estancia Tercera Barranca.
As we leave the airport we can see the Straits of Magellan and the mystical Tierra del Fuego. During our five-hour drive, we cross open pampas passing huge ranches (estancias) and with luck we will be able to see one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (a rare South American ostrich). We pass by Puerto Natales, located on the Sound of Last Hope, a small fishing town surrounded by mountains.
From there we will follow an unpaved road to Estancia Tercera Barranca, a typical example of an estancia in the region, with an amazing view of the famous Towers del Paine granite peaks.
(5 hours by private transfer) (D) (Night at Estancia Tercera Barranca)

Day-2

Round trip ride to Salto Las Chinas Waterfall

Today we will ride to the east of Torres del Paine National park. The first couple of hours will be across the Patagonian steppe, which is found on flatlands and plateaus with semi-arid, cold climates and an annual precipitation of up to 400 mm. After 3 hours riding will reach a waterfall “Salto Las Chinas”, where we have lunch before we start our ride back to our cozy ranch house. In the evening we will gather in front of the fireplace, with a Pisco sour in hand (Chilean brandy made from Muscatel grapes) to enjoy a Lamb barbecue Patagonian style.
(6-7 hours slow riding, trotting and cantering) (B-BL-BBQ) (Night at Estancia Tercera Barranca)

Day-3

One way ride to Estancia Lazo

We will start early in the morning, going down through a trail all the way to the border of Torres del Paine National park. We get to a look at point of the famous Torres, at the Sarmiento Lake, which is located at the limit of Torres del Paine National park.
We will have lunch on the shores of Lake Sarmiento whilst observing its strange calcium formations and then continue on through forests and small lakes with wonderful views of the Paine Massif, to arrive at Hosteria Lazo, located just outside the park.
The Hosteria is part of the Estancia Lazo, a large cattle ranch dating from the last century, which has magnificent views of the Paine Massive and Laguna Verde. The rooms are very comfortable; the estancia´s main house has been remodeled into a cozy, country-style dining room-bar.
(7-8 hours walking, trotting and galloping) (B-BL-D) (Night spent at Estancia Lazo)

Day-4

One way ride to Rio Serrano Area

We will begin our ride through native Nothofagus forests, going around small lagoons, with incredible views of the Paine Massif and surrounding areas. We reach the highest peak of our day with excellent picture taking opportunities of the Paine River emptying into Toro Lake (the largest in t he region). From this viewpoint we will begin our descent to the park’s visitor center, where we will spend the first of two nights on the shore of the Serrano River with amazing views of the “Cuernos” Del Paine.
(4-5 hours, slow riding, trotting and cantering) (B-BL-D) (Night at Hotel Rio Serrano)

Day-5

One way Ride to Lake Grey – Navigation in front of Glacier Grey

We will start our day by riding to Grey Lake. We will be crossing huge pampas and a bridge over the Grey River to reach a superb viewpoint of the lake full of icebergs, which have broken off from the Grey Glacier, part of the southern ice field, which is the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world. Our lunch will be in front of this magnificent view.
After lunch, we will take a boat ride to view the glacier up-close. In order to get to the boat we will walk through a mature beech forest where we might observe woodpeckers and Austral parakeets. We will navigate about one hour through icebergs of different tones of blue up to the Grey glacier, where we will stay for a while in front of the glacier in the hope of seeing icebergs calve. Our return journey offers views of Paine Grande with its impressive ice mushrooms. We will return in the transfer to spend a second night at the hotel.
(4-5 hours slow riding, trotting and cantering, 30 minutes walk, 3 hours by boat and 30 minutes by transfer) (B-L-D) (Night at Hotel Rio Serrano)

Day-6

Transfer to Punta Arena's airport

We will take a private transfer to Punta Arenas. (Clients should take the flight at 02.00 PM or later), if you decide to stay the night in Punta Arenas; we will drop you at your hotel.
(5 hours by private transfer) (B)

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Challenge
Motorized Vehicle
Hiking
Bicycle
Sustainability
Miscellaneous
3000pygmy miles

Base Miles

We provide 1 Pygmy Mile for every dollar you spend.

100pygmy miles

Horseback riding bonus

We provide one Pygmy Mile for every mile you ride (estimated).

500pygmy miles

Sustainable and responsible travel bonus

Traveling slower means an increased boost to local economies (such as the Estancias) and a reduced impact on the envirnoment. Furthermore, the company we work with is based in Punta Arenas, Chile. This isn’t some multi-national, faceless company, but an owner operated business. We think more care goes into the trips because of it and as a side benefit, more care to sustainability of tourism in the area.

Total Pygmy Miles

3600pygmy miles

Accommodation

 

Estancia Tercera Barranca

Puerto Natales, Chile

A family run 6,500 hectare working estancia just outside the Torres del Paine National Park. It has a remote setting and excellent views of the Towers to the west and a warm, friendly, cozy atmosphere.
Accommodation is in the rustic but comfortable guest house with a small garden adjacent to the main house. There is a lovely fireplace in the gallery/living area which has comfy seating and huge windows allowing fantastic views. Good, home cooked food, homemade bread and jams, tasty Chilean specialities and excellent BBQs and Pisco sours!
Picture by http://www.hotelesbaqueanozamora.com

Estancia Mirador Del Payne

Puerto Natales, Chile

Located on the park border and part of the working estancia Lazo, a huge cattle ranch dating from the last century, if offers magnificent views of Paine Massive and Laguna Verde.
The rooms are comfortable and simple; the main Estancia's house has been remodeled as a dining room-bar, keeping it cozy and country-style.
Picture by tripadvisor.com

Hotel Rio Serrano

Puerto Natales, Chile

Strategically located in the Serrano River area and at the Torres del Paine park border, it affords guests a panoramic view of the Paine Mountain Range. The hotel has 95 rooms (66 superior and 26 standard rooms) all with private bathroom, central heating and telephone; a comfortable hotel, refined yet cozy.
It also has a large lounge with comfortable armchairs, television and heating, where you will be able to enjoy a relaxing end to the day or simply admire the scenery.
Picture by http://www.hotelrioserrano.cl

Practical info

When

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec
not available
average
optimal

October (spring) November to early March (Summer) March to April (Fall). Least crowded in Spring and Fall and less wind.

Our Partner says: Chilean Patagonia is famous for its unpredictable weather. Because of the possibility of experiencing all four seasons in one day, it is important to be prepared for anything. The wind is the main factor prevailing during spring and summer, sometimes reaching over 100 kms/hour. Summer temperatures (December-March) fluctuate between 4°C (39°F) and 15°C (59°F), dropping to temperatures below 0°C during the night, and sometimes reaching up to 25°C (77°F). During the months of October and April, the temperatures can be cooler. There is also a higher probability of stable weather during these months and less wind.

How

Privately guided

Join a guided tour

This trip is available privately guided or by joining a group.

Prices per person for the standard itinerary:

2 riders USD$ 4.195
3 riders USD$ 3.695
4-5 riders USD$ 3.295
6-8 riders USD$ 2.995

Single supplement USD$ 830
Forced single supplement is 50%


Current dates of group travel:

March 3 to March 8, 2016
April 7 to April 12, 2016


Privately guided trips are available and will be similar in price to the above based on per person. Additionally, there are several other riding itineraries available (all customizable) including a 3 day exploratory trip, an 8 day trip with several days camping and a 14 day traverse of Patagonia.

Contact Pygmy Elephant to see discuss possibilities.

Service categories

Consult & Book

Pygmy Itineraries

For private groups, alterations to the itinerary can be made.

Included:

  • All the private transportation indicated in the schedule
  • All the horses, saddles and pack horses during the excursion
  • Helmets, leather chaps, leather gloves, saddle bags, dry bags
  • All meals indicated in the schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, L: Lunch, D: dinner , BBQ: barbecue)
  • All accomodations
  • Entrance fee to Torres de Paine National Park 

 

Not included:

  • Lunch on Day 1 & 8
  • Dinner on day 7
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.
  • Gratuities for Guide, Baqueano & driver.
  • Personal expenses


Additions Pygmy Elephant can source for your trip:

  • Flight to Santiago, Chile
  • Internal Flight Santiago - Punta Arenas
  • Any additional nights
  • Insurance

Challenge Level

Technical Ability

Level : High

Mental Strength

Level : Low

Physical Conditioning

Level : Medium

Our partner's rating:
Challenging: These active trips require you to have performed the featured activity regularly, with some periods on challenging terrain. Activities are mandatory and you may be traveling at high elevations. Hiking, riding or paddling for 4-8 hours daily. Some lodging may include rustic or remote camping or cowboy huts with out modern facilities.

The horse rides are for those with experience, and not for those wanting to learn how to ride a horse. Riders should feel comfortable in the saddle and bit fit enough to ride for 4-6 hours per day.

Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Boiliva, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.