CHILE Why Go There?

Chile is a land of contrasts - from the dry Atacama desert in the north, to the Lake District in northern Patagonia and down to the glacial fields of southern Patagonia at its tip - there's a horseback trail to suit everyone. The landscapes are vast and stunning, with impressive mountain ranges, volcanoes, deserts, fjords and crystal clear glacial rivers. Horse riding trails in Chile are breathtaking in every sense of the word.

SEE ALL OUR RIDES

  • Crossing the river with the horses
    Pack trip on horseback in Chile to Argentina
  • Riding down a sand dune
    Horse riding in the Atacama Desert Chile
  • Riding high in the mythical Torres del Paine
    Horses in the Torres del Paine national Park
  • Riding along the shoreline
    Horseback vacation in the Torres del Paine Chile
  • Glaciers along the route
    Horseback riding in Chile
  • Ride across salt flats in the Atcama Desert
    Horse riding trail in the Atacama Desert Chile
  • A mounted river crossing enroute
    Horseback vacation and grand traverse of the Andes

Types of riding holiday

Pack trips with Equus Journeys 

A horse riding expedition takes you on a long-distance itinerant horseback ride with all your baggage, equipment and food carried by either pack mules or horses or a support vehicle. You will ride through isolated and spectacular regions often only accessible on horseback. You will sleep in simple, yet comfortable, tents out under the stars.


Horseback trails with Equus Journeys

A trail riding holiday is an itinerant ride through stunning scenery. You will ride a progressive route through the local landscape and stop at a different place each night. The transport of the baggage, horses and riders is all done by support vehicle. At night, you will sleep in comfortable tents, gîtes, equestrian hostels or charming hotels.


Ranch stay with Equus Journeys

A ranch stay most often takes place on a cattle or horse rearing estancia or ranch - depending on the part of the world you travel to. We choose to send our riders to small or medium-sized, family-run ranches where you can really get to know the owners and workers. Nights are sometimes spent camping out, but more often than not are spent in the comfort of a simple gîte or high quality lodge.


Horseback safari with Equus Journeys

A horseback safari offers a unique chance to explore native wildlife and spectacular scenery on horseback. Routes can either be itinerant, with you camping ‘Out of Africa’ style, or centre-based, riding out each day from a lodge or camp which are comfortable and generally open to only small groups of riders. The horses you will be riding are truly exceptional as they will get up close to the wildlife while you observe.


Dressage with Equus Journeys

A dressage training holiday allows riders to either train and improve or perfect their dressage technique. The riding instructors are highly qualified and by working with perfectly-trained horses, riders will be able to progress and feel the precision of each movement. 


Equestrian stay with Equus Journeys

A centre basedriding holiday offers riders daily trail riding or other equestrian activities from a fixed location with accommodation. The rhythm of the ride is entirely flexible and these rides are often open to non-riders. The type of accommodation varies, depending on the country, from gîte to ranch or yurt to luxury lodge. 


Cattle drive

A cattle drive focuses on the herding of cattle, deer, or sheep working alongside the cowboys, gauchos, pantaneiros or mongols who raise them. Riders joining these drives will get involved in the many different aspects such as corralling, sorting, watching over the herd, branding, and castrating. Nights will be spent under canvas or on ranches, farms or yurts.


Horse drive

A horse drive involves moving herds of horses from pasture to pasture. In general, the riders tasks will involve circling ahead of and behind the herd in order to keep the horses in check, notably the youngsters. Nights will be spent in tents or on ranches and farms.


Natural horsemanship with Equus journeys

Natural horsemanship holidays allows for the discovery or the perfection of ‘Natural Horsemanship’ (ethological equitation), of which the aim is complicity and close cooperation between horse and rider. The instructors have been trained in a variety of methods such as those of Pat Parelli, Monty Roberts and Buck Brannaman, which they have then adapted to form approaches of their own. Accommodation varies depending on the destination and may include gîtes, ranches and guest houses.


Long distance horse ride

An enduranceriding holiday allows for the discovery and perfection of endurance riding through open countryside. This equestrian discipline is suitable for all experienced riders. The usual aim of these types of holiday is to complete the preparation for a long-distance race. Accommodation varies depending on the destination, and may include gîtes and guest houses.


Polo with Equus Journeys

On a polo playing trip, you will be introduced to this invigorating equestrian sport involving 4 players on horseback on two opposing teams. This riding discipline is within the skill-set of any experienced rider. Accommodation varies depending on the destination and may include estancias, hotels or guest houses.


Exploration with Equus Journeys

A trip led by an extraordinary guide with a specialist knowledge of the destination.  Whether it be an open itinerary or a trip full of memorable events, it is often the guide that truly sets these trips apart; the guide’s insight and skill allows for total and unique immersion into different horse cultures found throughout the world.


Family Trip

During a family horse riding holiday, the pace of the ride, the riding level, accommodation comfort and guides are chosen to suit the needs of a family riding together. The transport of the luggage and of the riders and horses is done by support vehicle. Non-riders are often welcome on these holidays. A family horse riding holiday is also a fantastic opportunity for non-riders to get into the saddle for the first time.

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in tents, outdoor dining

Nights in yurts, the traditional housing in Central Asia, with beds and sometimes stoves for heating.

Nights in luxury or boutique accommodation. Rooms have private bathrooms. 

Nights in basic shelter such as a mountain hut/cabin. Usually dormitory beds with shared bathrooms.

Nights in hotels, guesthouses, B&B's or homestays. Double or twin rooms with bathrooms.

Nights in luxury camps with proper beds and linen. Toilets and showers are usually provided.

Ideal For Families

These rides are ideal for families and offer maximum flexibility

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Non riders

Non riders are welcome to join their riding friends as activities are available for them such as riding   lessons for beginners, cyling, walking, fishing, golf...

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AVAILABLE RIDES

  • Crossing the Andes at Aconcagua

    11 days / 7 days riding from £ 2,240

    Cross the Andes on a horseback trail through the exact same spot that San Martín and his "Army of the Andes" did in 1817 to free the people of Chile LEARN MORE

    ACTIVITY : LEVEL : COMFORT :

  • Torres del Paine Estancia ride

    12 days / 8 riding from £ 4,251

    Ride courageous Criollo horses on a trail ride through Patagonia and into the mythical Torres del Paine national park. Each night is spent in comfortable estancias with a warm welcome, LEARN MORE

    ACTIVITY : LEVEL : COMFORT :

  • Andes Grand Traverse

    16 days / 11 riding from £ 4,950

    A spectacular horseback trail which starts in Argentina and ends in Chile. After 5 days of trail riding in Argentina through the mountains and pampas you cross into Chile by LEARN MORE

    ACTIVITY : LEVEL : COMFORT :

  • Torres del Paine Glacier ride

    12 days / 8 riding from £ 3,635

    An adventurous and pacey horseback trail ride through the Torres del Paine national park, camping in sometimes remote locations and visiting some of the most beautiful glaciers in the park. LEARN MORE

    ACTIVITY : LEVEL : COMFORT :

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YOUR ADVISOR

The Chilean Criollo

On all our riding holidays in Chile you will see and probably ride, the Chilean Criollo horse.

Unlike other Criollo breeds, the Chilean Criollo originates entirely from South America and has not been influenced by the import of European breeds. Most of the horses came from fertile valleys in Peru and Bolivia - the difficult passage across the Andes mountains and the dry deserts in the north of Chile meant that only the toughest and soundest horses made it to the central valleys of Chile. Here they were bred as cattle horses and only the best mares were bred from - they had to show lateral dexterity, courage to confront and pin untamed cattle and an even temperament that permitted a high degree of trainability while conserving energy needed for a full days work.

Prior to 1850 the Chilean Criollo was a closed breed, and the geographical problems posed by its borders meant that they were one of the last countries to see new breeds arrive. Around this time, Chile became the first country to register their national breed and faithful traditional breeders ensured the purity of the breed.

Chilean Criollo's are extremely hardy. They have a low metabolism, strong hooves, and a thick double coat which makes them suitable for both cold and dry/hot weather. They have a very thick and abundant mane and tail and a great immunity to disease. Standing only 13.1 - 14.2 hands high they are tough enough to carry any reasonable sized adult rider up and down the most demanding gradients. Unlike other American breeds, such as mustangs and baguales, which evolved during natural selection, the Chilean Criollo has been bred under the influence of man, and selected for the specific purposes required of a companion animal in tough, mountainous terrain.

This is what makes the Chilean Criollo the ideal horse for our riding trails in Chile.