Estancia Huechahue

The wide open spaces of Patagonia are ideal for a horseback riding holiday in Argentina. At the foot of the Andes you will gallop across water meadows, visit Indian burial caves and explore basalt caverns as condors circle overhead - the riding here is boundless. Experience a day working cattle with the gauchos and enjoy a traditional lunch cooked on an open fire. Learn from the locals, about their culture and traditions and environment as you discover an area of stunning natural beauty as you ride on horseback through 15,000 acres of Patagonian countryside.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Ranches and Cattle Drives
10 days / 7 days riding
From £2,740
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- The vast open spaces of Patagonia and the wildness of the Andes
- View Lanin volcano on the horizon
- Work cattle with the gauchos or help them bring the horses in
- The estancia is almost 100% self sufficient and they are justifiably proud of their beef
- Fantastic criollo cross horses suitable for all abilities
- Non riders are welcome and the fly fishing is particularly good
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE- BUENOS AIRES

    Fly from Europe to Buenos Aires (not included). There is currently only British Airways which flies this route direct, but there are plenty of options with one stop, such as Iberia, Air France, TAM etc.
  • Day 2 2: BUENOS AIRES - BARILOCHE - HUECHAHUE - 1-2 hours riding

    Estancia Huechahue
    On arrival at Buenos Aires International Airport (Ezeiza) you will need to collect your luggage and make your way across the city to the domestic airport (Aeroparque). We recommend using a Remis, which is a pre-paid taxi and the desks are after baggage collection and before you enter the main arrivals hall. Check-in for your flight to Bariloche (c. 3hr). Please note that you must leave four hours between your arrival and departure flights in order to clear passport control, collect your luggage and transfer across the city.

    On arrival at Bariloche airport you will be met and transferred to the estancia (c. 3-4 hours drive) where you will be met by your hosts.

    NB. It is also possible to take an overnight bus from Buenos Aires to Junin de los Andes if you prefer - please ask for details.

    Depending on the time of your arrival, there may be time for a short ride in the afternoon to familiarise yourself with the horses and tack.

    IMPORTANT : The itinerary is entirely flexible and the following is an example of some of the rides and activities on offer, however, you can ride as much or as little as you like.
  • Day 3 3: CHENQUE HILLS - 5-6 hours riding

    Estancia Huechahue
    A full days ride on Estancia Huechahue with an "asado" lunch. Follow the Huechahue stream through its basalt canyons, riding as fast as you want across the water-meadows sending the plovers and ibis screeching, before returning over the top of Chenque Hill, where the Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you.
  • Day 4 4: CATTLE WORK - 5-6 hours riding

    Estancia Huechahue
    A day spent working cattle with the gauchos. Lunch with the gauchos is strips of beef ribs threaded onto a stick and cooked over the open fire. A siesta in the shade and a chance to separate the cows on horseback or try your hand with a lasso in the afternoon.
  • Day 5 5: INDIAN BURIAL CAVES - 5-6 hours riding

    Estancia Huechahue
    A full days ride on the estancia to visit the Indian burial caves. The caves were formed when the glaciers carved the valley, opening an entrance to the lava flow tunnels formed during previous eras of volcanic activity. The Tehuelche Indians laid out their dead, surrounded by their weapons and always somewhere where they could see their enemies coming. They decorated the walls with designs. The remains have disappeared, but the petroglyphs and the view are still there.
  • Day 6 6: CONDOR CLIFFS - 4-6 hours riding

    Estancia Huechahue
    This morning's ride offers the chance to see the estancia's stallion with the mares and new foals, and the opportunity to herd horses. After a late lunch there will be an evening ride to the cliffs where the condors and eagles roost. While sipping a cocktail and watching the sun go down, the condors return, soaring above and below you before settling for the night.
  • Day 7 7: INDIAN RESERVATION - 5-6 hours riding

    Estancia Huechahue
    A days ride through the neighbouring Indian reservation. The estancia's saddle blankets and saddlebags are woven by some of the Indian women and the skins from the cows are worked into rawhide and then bridles and halters by the men. Stop to watch what progress is being made and to share a "mate" on your way through.
  • Day 8 8: ESTANCIA HUECHAHUE - 5-6 hours riding

    Estancia Huechahue
    A full days ride to a different part of the Estancia. There are 15,000 acres in all so there is still plenty left to explore. Lunch will be on the river. On the way home a chance to see guanaco, deer, wild boar and “peludos” - the baby armadillo.
  • Day 9 9: HUECHAHUE - BARILOCHE - BUENOS AIRES - 1-2 hours riding

    Depending on the timing of your flight there may be an opportunity for a short ride in the morning before being transferred to the airport.

    Some airlines depart for Europe in the evening, in which case your flights should connect well, but others depart in the afternoon which will necessitate a night in Buenos Aires before departing for the UK.

    International flights are not included but can be booked for you on request.
  • Day 10 10: EUROPE

    Arrival back to the Europe today (if flying via Europe).

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates. 

- Prices are per person based on two riders sharing a twin or double room. There is no single supplement for solo travellers and you will be given a single room if available (if not, you will be required to share with another guest of the same sex).

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 1 rider and a maximum of 12 international riders, plus guides. 

- You can arrive/depart on any day and stay for as long as you like. We recommend a stay of 7 nights. There is a minimum stay of 3 nights. Please ask for prices for shorter/longer stays.

- Transfers are not included and are approx. £420 per car (return rate). This transfer takes the direct route through the wide open Patagonian steppes. If you wish to transfer on the scenic "7 lakes" route then there is an additional charge of c. £60 for this.

- Fishing on-site is included but the cost of a fishing guide are an additional cost of USD 410 per day (USD 600 after September 2020). A guide can accommodate up to 2 fishermen and and includes fishing at Huechahue and other local rivers. Fishing permits are an additional USD 35 per day.

- Open to children aged 10+ accompanied by an adult.

- Rider weight limit: 95 kg / 15 st 210 lbs. Heavier riders please contact us.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English speaking horse guide

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle

Accommodation

Double or twin rooms at the Estancia

Meals

Full board from first dinner to last breakfast
Snacks and drinks

Price doesn't include

Transport

International and domestic flights
Return airport transfers

Extra

Tips to local team
Use of a Fishing guide - 325€

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Transport

Airport transfers - 100€

Support Team

Access to all the fishing on the Estancia is included in this rate. See "dates and pricing". A guide can take 1 or 2 fishermen. This can include floating and / or wading. It does not include fishing permits and equipment hire.
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/12/2020 14/12/2020 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    12/12/2020 21/12/2020 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/12/2020 28/12/2020 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    26/12/2020 04/01/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • January - February 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/01/2021 11/01/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/01/2021 18/01/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    16/01/2021 25/01/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    23/01/2021 01/02/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    30/01/2021 08/02/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    06/02/2021 15/02/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/02/2021 22/02/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/02/2021 01/03/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/02/2021 08/03/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/03/2021 15/03/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/03/2021 22/03/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/03/2021 29/03/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/03/2021 05/04/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    03/04/2021 12/04/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/04/2021 19/04/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/04/2021 26/04/2021 £2,740 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

There are about 50 horses on the estancia and many have been bred on the estancia. Most are Criollo crosses of about 15-16hh and they are sure footed and well behaved. The horses live "wild" as much as possible on the 15,000 acres of the estancia.

You ride in traditional "montura de monte" which are similar to old English army saddles with sheepskins thrown over the top. The riding style is similar to western and the horses are neck-reined.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

There are horses to suit all abilities, however, we do recommend that you have some experience to get the most out of the holiday. Novice riders should be able to mount and control their own horse - there are no lessons or lead reins!

Rider weight limit: 95 kg / 15 st 210 lbs. Heavier riders please contact us.

Pace

The pace is varied to include walking through rocky sections, canters on twisting tracks through the pampas and gallops across the water meadows. The riding pace is adjusted to suit the abilities of the group, but there is plenty of fast riding for experienced riders.

Tacking ability and participation

The horses are usually tacked up for you in the mornings but you will be asked to assist with untacking at lunchtimes. Your assistance will be appreciated after lunch to groom and tack up the horses for the afternoon ride back to the estancia.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You should be fit and comfortable in the outdoors. The estancia is in a remote location and so you need to be physically capable of riding and hiking in sometimes harsh conditions. Patagonia can be unfriendly to its guests and the weather in the mountains can change quickly.

Equestrian equipment

There are saddle bags available so that you can carry some small items with you during the day (water bottles, sun cream etc). There are also leather straps to tie waterproof layers to the back of your saddle.

Travel info

Comfort

You stay at the estancia in twin bedded guest rooms. Four rooms are on the first floor of the lodge and 6 rooms are situated in two chalets across the lawn. There is a communal sitting room in each chalet and the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms.

Meals are usually served in the dining room within the main house, where there is also a living room and terrace, or in the BBQ room or "quincho" with an open firepit perfect for asados.

Meals

Breakfast often includes bacon, eggs and toast together with orange juice, tea and coffee.
Lunches are usually carried in the guachos saddle bags and include salads, quiche, pies etc.
Dinners are three courses and there is always plenty of meat. The estancia are proud of the beef that they produce and the Argentine culture traditionally includes plenty of beef. Asado bbq's are popular and you will likely experience at least one during the week.
Drinks are included and the local wines are good quality.

Climate

The seasons are the reverse of the UK and the estancia is only open during the more pleasant months of October - April. Dec - Feb are considered high summer, with temperatures ranging from 22 - 35c. Nights are always cool due to the altitude and can drop to 5-10c.
Spring and Autumn can be cooler but still not unpleasant temperatures on the whole.
It rarely rains and is a dry area, but you should still bring adequate rainwear as the weather is unpredictable and can change quickly. It is possible to experience all seasons in one day and it can always be windy!

Guide and local team

You will be guided by an English speaking member of the team supported by a number of local gauchos who may only speak Spanish. Your host, Jane, is English and married an Argentine so is very knowledgable about the area and very proud of her estancia - she is not always available to guide but you are likely to meet her during your stay.

Tips

Tips are welcome if you are happy with the service (5-10% is a suggested rate). There is a laundry service available and if you use it then we recommend tipping a little more!

Packing list

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust
- Warm hat if visiting during the spring/autumn months

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather during the cooler months
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermals in case of cold weather

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Nightwear

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Keep a copy of your passport and travel documents in a separate place in case you lose the originals
- Please be aware that internal flights in Argentina may have a lower luggage allowance than your international flight and you should pack according to the lowest limit.

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers - particularly during the summer months (Nov-Mar)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Visa & Health

Formalities

To enter Argentina, a valid passport and onward ticket is required by all British, Australian, Canadian and American nationals. Nationals not referred to are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Visas:
Citizens of the USA, Canada and Australia must pay a reciprocity fee prior to arrival in Argentina. The reciprocity fee must be paid online by credit card and you must print the receipt and take it with you to the airport. You cannot pay the fee at the airport. As of 2014 the fees are: USD 160 for US citizens; USD 100 for Australian citizens and USD 92 for Canadian citizens. For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/argentina/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade d’Argentine en France
    6, rue Cimarosa
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01.44.05.27.00
    Fax :
  • Ambassade de France en Argentine
    Cerrito 1399
    C1010ABC Buenos aires
    Tél. : 54 11 4515 7030
    Fax :
  • Embassy of Argentina
    65 Brook Street
    W1K 4AH London
    Tél. : +44 020 7318 1300
    Fax :

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Argentina, however, it's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Argentina. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended as well as a hepatitis A vaccination.
A yellow fever vaccination is recommended when travelling to the central north and northeast of the country, including the area around the Iguazu Falls.
Malaria is almost absent, except in remote areas along the border with Bolivia and Paraguay. Occurences are rare and taking normal anti-mosquito precautions is usually sufficient, so buy mosquito repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net. Also wear long sleeves and trousers wherever possible.
Argentina's public health system provides free services for emergencies and non-emergencies, regardless of your nationality or immigration status. The level of care does vary, however, particularly outside Buenos Aires.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plug fittings in older buildings are of the two-pin round type, but most new buildings use the V-shaped twin with earth pin. Travellers should bring a world travel adaptor.

Budget and money

Argentina's currency is the peso (ARS or AR$). Within Argentina the $ symbol is used to denote a peso. To avoid confusion, the symbol for the US dollar is often one of several variations including, US$, U$, U$S or U$A.
One peso is divided into 100 centavos. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and of 1 peso. Notes come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos.
Exchange rates vary depending on where you try to exchange your money. Rates at the airport are usually substantially worse than the rate in the city. Be careful where you exchange your money - there are what Argentineans call "arbolitos" which are people who exchange AR$ for US dollars or another foreign currency on the street, and they can take advantage if you don't speak Spanish or if you don't know the exchange rate. Also be aware that there are many fake notes going around. If you get one then you can change them for good notes at Banco National.

Telephone and jetlag

To call Argentina, the following dial code is required:
+54 to dial in (00 54 from UK)

To call from Argentina, the following dial code is required:
00 code to dial out (00 44 for UK)

Standard Time +0400 GMT

Did you know?

Did you know?

Patagonia is generally considered to be the southernmost section of both Argentina and Chile, including the Andes mountains, deserts, steppes and grasslands. In Argentina the most northerly point is the Colorado and Barrancas rivers which run from the Andes to the Atlantic; in Chile the Reloncavi estuary is the northern limit. Both Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands are considered to be part of Patagonia, which extends as far south as Cape Horn.

The name Patagonia orignates from the word Patagon, which Magellan used to describe the native people on his expedition in 1520. These locals were considered to be giants and it is now believed that they were Tehuelches Indians, who were taller than Europeans at that time.

On this riding holiday in Argentina you will get to experience the vast beauty of Patagonia as well as viewing evidence of ancient Tehuelches Indian settlements - there are cave drawings within riding distance and a lot of the local riding tack has been made by the local Indian communities.