From the horse’s mouth
Torres del Paine Estancia ride
- Local Chilean guides and horseman (baqueanos)
- Incredible beauty of Patagonia at the very bottom of South America : towering peaks, lakes, glaciers, forests and pampas.
- Ride eight full days on Chilean Criollo horse
- Comfortable accommodation in converted traditional estancias
-This ride will take riders from the southern to the northern parts of Torres del Paine National Park.
- See many local bords, animals and plants
Day 1 1 : LONDON - SANTIAGOInternational flight to Punta Arenas via Santiago de Chile.
Day 2 2 : SANTIAGO - PUNTA ARENAS - PUERTO NATALESOn arrival at Punta Arenas airport, a road transfer is organised to Puerto Natales (included). The transfer will be scheduled for 15:00, if you cannot make it to the airport on time then the alternative is to take the coach to Puerto Natales (US$15 one way). If you have decided to arrive a day early in Punta Arenas, you will be picked up from your hotel.
In the evening you will be escorted to dinner by the guide for the trip briefing.
Please note: this itinerary is flexible. Occasionally they will have to be adjusted to maintain the safety of the group. It is also important to note that if rivers are too high to cross (either in vehicle or horseback) then this will affect the itinerary.
Day 3 3 : PUERTO NATALES - ESTANCIA CONSUELO - ESTANCIA PERALES - 5 hours ridingEstancia PerralesYou are transferred to Estancia Consuelo (20min drive) which is still the home of the Eberhard family - one of the earliest pioneering families in Magallanes. Here you will meet the team and horses and become familiarized with the Chilean riding style. From this lovely Estancia you ride along a fjord until reaching Estancia Perales, the neighbouring estancia. Here you will have a welcoming meal and be able to relax next to the waters of Last Hope Sound. Dinner and night in Estancia.
Day 4 4 : ESTANCIA PERALES - BALMACEDA - HOTEL DEL PAINE - 8-9 hours ridingAfter breakfast, you will say goodbye to Estancia Perales and board a boat up the Last Hope Sound and into Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. Shared by the regions of Magallanes and Aysen, this is the largest National Park in Chile. You will disembark the boat here amongst stunning views of old growth forests of evergreen and deciduous southern beech. Here you meet your new horse and have some lunch before setting out on a beautiful trail through thick forests passing pristine rivers and streams. A fairly slow ride today gives you the opportunity to find your riding stride whilst enjoying the dazzling scenery on the route. Towards the end of the trail, you cross the Nutria river and emerge onto the pampas which marks the end of today’s ride. Your hotel for the night offers some of the best sunrises in all of Patagonia - if you are an early riser!
Overnight at Hotel del Paine.
Day 5 5 : HOTEL PAINE - LAGO GREY - HOTEL PAINE - 3 or 6 hours ridingAfter breakfast you meet your horse for the fast pampas ride to Grey Lake. Your view is dominated by the jagged peaks of the Paine massif as you ride out along the Grey river to the largest glacier in the park, Glacier Grey. On reaching the trailhead you will tether your horse and walk out across the swinging footbridge. The view is memorable. Glacier Grey protrudes off the southern ice field and is quite simply a wonder of nature. After some time walking along the beach and enjoying your picnic lunch, you will walk back to your waiting horse for the ride back to Rio Serrano. Overnight at Rio Serrano.
*Please note: for those who would like to get closer to the face of the glacier, it possible to join a boat trip on the lake. This optional excursion is subject to weather conditions and payable locally at a cost of approximately US$140 per person. Those who join the boat trip will be transferred back to their hotel rather than riding back.
Overnight at Hotel del Paine.
Day 6 6 : HOTEL PAINE - LAGUNA AMARGA - ESTANCIA TERCERA - 7-8 hours ridingEstancia Tercera BarrancaAfter breakfast in the hotel you pack up and start the ride eastwards towards the heart of the park. You are now riding directly towards the Paine Massif mountain range so the views are dramatic and beautiful. This trail skirts the southern edge of the mountains on a rarely trodden path. After a picnic lunch taken in one of the pretty valleys you continue east onto the beautiful soft pampas of the Patagonian steppe. Here you will have a chance for some canters as the light fades before arriving at Laguna Amarga, where you will take a short transfer to Estancia Tercera Barranca. Typical of the estancias of the area, Estancia Tercera Barranca is a working sheep ranch. There is a comfortable living area warmed by the welcoming log fire where you can read and relax before dinner which is served in the adjacent wooden quincho. A hot tub also awaits to soak away any aches! All rooms have private bathrooms.
Overnight at Estancia Tercera Barranca
Day 7 7 : ESTANCIA TERCERA - LAGUNA AZUL - ESTANCIA TERCERA - CASCADE PAINE - ESTANCIA TERCER - 5-6 hours ridingEstancia Tercera BarrancaToday's ride takes you North-East, close to the border with Argentina. The area is full of guanacos and the hills ring with their alarm calls as you ride by. There will be chances for canters until reaching the uninhabited Estancia Gemitas for a short break. Afterwards follow Las Chinas Valley downhill to reach the dramatic Las Chinas waterfall where you stop for lunch. After lunch cross Las Chinas river and pass by the Estancia Laguna Azul and return to Tercera Barranca.
Day 8 8 : ESTANCIA TERCERA - ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO - 6-7 hours ridingToday starts with a short transfer. The destination is Estancia Cerrp Guido situated in the heart of Sierra Baguales, a wild mountain chain which extends from Torres del Paine through the border with Argentina. Here you will meet your new horse for the day and ride out into these grand peaks climbing up high towards the Tetas Las Chinas where, with luck, you will spot the famous wild horse herds of Sierra Baguales. After a few hours riding, you return to the estancia before driving back to Estancia Cerro Guido for dinner and comfortable beds.
Day 9 9 : ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO - SARMIENTO - ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO - 8-9 hours ridingAfter breakfast you will once again be saddling up for a full day’s ride to the South and the Estancia Entro Lagos. Vast plains and pampas stretch before you, with the opportunity for long gallops on your comfortable steeds - there will be big smiles all around, but don't forget to look up end enjoy the splendeur of the Patagonian landscape.
Make the best of your picnic to get some rest before your afternoon's ride. Your destination is Lake Sarmiento and its crystal-clear water. You ride around Lake Flemingo before reach your estancia for the night and a bonfire.
Day 10 10 : ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO - ESTANCIA LAS FLORES - ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO - 7-8 hours ridingAfter a hearty breakfast, it is time for one last long ride under the shadow of the Sierra Baguales. Today, you get to look at the large glacial valleys forme millons of years ago. You reach the Estancia Las Flores, where you will stop for lunch. Don't forget to look up: you might see the majestic condor fly over your head.
After these lovely views you are ready to continue on to Vega Nash where there will be opportunities to canter and enjoy this large flat ‘vega’, a typical pampa in this area. This will bring the group back to Estancia Cerro Guido, where a delicious Patagonian asado dinner will be cooking and you can enjoy our last night together. Time to take in the view one last time before reaching your estancia for an asado dinner (traditional BBQ) and a well deserved glass of red wine, under a myriad of stars.
Day 11 11 : ESTANCIA CERRO GUIDO - PUERTO NATALES - PUNTA ARENASAfter saying goodbye to the team you are transferred to Puerto Natales then Punta Arenas. The pick-up from Puerto Natales will be at 10:00.
This is a 3hr transfer so your flight should leave after 15:00 at the earliest. Alternatively, you could spend the night in Punta Arenas in preperation for an early flight tomorrow.
Day 12 12 : LONDONArrive back in the UK.
Dates & prices
- International flights are not included. The nearest airport is Punta Arenas and the meeting point is Puerto Natales.
- The group is composed of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 8 riders.
- IMPORTANT : There is a supplement if the group size is less than 6 riders as follows:
c. £770 for a group of 2-3 riders
c. £385 for a group of 4-5 riders.
We will invoice you for the small group supplement when you confirm and then refund it/reduce it as more people book.
- Children of 12 years and upwards are welcome if they are accompanied by an adult.
- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room with another rider of the same sex. If you wish to guarantee your own room then the supplement is c. £755.
- Group transfers are included at set times (see itinerary). Private transfers can be arranged between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales (at extra cost) or we can pre-book bus tickets for you. The bus is very easy and much cheaper!
Please note that the November ride (2019) has accommodation at Pampa Lodge on nights 3 & 4. Also, it does NOT go to Tercera Barranca. Instead it will go straight to Cerro Guido where guests will have an extra day riding out from this stunning estancia.
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.
1 English speaking horse guide
1 support vehicle
1 baqueanos team in charge of the horses
All inland transfers described in the itinerary
Airport transfers at scheduled times
Double or triple room in Estancia and guesthouses during the horsetrek
Price doesn't include
Beverage and personal extra
Free lunchs on day 2 and 11 in Punta Arenas
Airport local fees. 30$ to be paid at the aiport when flying back
Small group supplement. About prices see the text above
You will change horses about 4 times during this trail.
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Rider weight limit: 95 kilos, unless by prior arrangement.
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Experience riding in open spaces is an advantage. Guests who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to the ride. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces.
Visiting a new country offers the opportunity to meet other cultures with different mentalities, therefore it is important to accept these differences and respect the local way of life.
Clients should be made aware that the Torres del Paine National Park is roughly a 4-6 hour drive from the nearest trauma care facility in Punta Arenas (4 hours if they are situated in the Serrano area of the Park). There is a small hospital in Puerto Natales (3 hours) with a 24-hour medical assistance that can deal with minor injuries and illnesses. In the event of there being an accident or broken bone, clients would have to be taken out of the Park (probably by horse) to the nearest vehicle for the long drive out. There is one helicopter in the park for emergencies but it cannot fly in high winds. All our leaders carry first aid kits for dealing with minor injuries and incidents. Any client with a medical condition or using medication should discuss this with us prior to travel.
The Chilean saddles are usually metal or wood-framed with layered felt, sheepskin and leather. The stirrups are cupped so the foot cannot pass.
Most of the horses are ridden in a snaffle.
Lunches are picnics and you make your own from foods provided at breakfast.
Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice.
You collect your own water from the rivers you pass along the route - the water is clean and pure. Camps are always situated near to fresh water and you cross rivers during the day where you can also re-fill your water bottles. You may wish to take water purification tablets such as Micropur for the water if you are worried. Alternatively you can buy bottled water at the estancias each evening.
Guide and local team
Transport is contracted with a local and reliable operator, who is safety checked.
There is a radio base in the office in Puerto Natales. All vehicles used have a radio base and all guides work with a hand-held radio with a super antennae.
- Horsemen: The guests will not be with the same horsemen every day, generally they change with the horses. So we recommend guests pay each horseman direct, at the end of his/her section as it is very unlikely they will be seeing them again. Between US$4-6 per horseman, per day.
- Guides & Cooks: At the end of the journey, guests can give tips to the guide and cook. We recommend around US$10 per day.
- Driver: US$4 per day would be sufficient. Guests can give the driver a single tip at the end of the trip.
- 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
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Down jacket or warm coat for the cold evenings
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- 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.
- 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
- Good walking boots (or hybrid walking/riding boots)
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding
- You should use a soft sided suitcase which can easily be transported - we recommend a large backpack or rucksack of c. 60-80 litres
- 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!
- Please be aware that internal flights in Chile 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
- 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 camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
- Water bottle - 2 x 1 litre, or equivalent
- Wet wipes for when washing water isn't available
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
- 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
- Micropur or similar water purification tablets
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
Visa & Health
Passports issued to children must contain a photo and state the nationality.
On arrival in Chile the immigration authorities will issue you with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo - Tourist Card’, an A5 sized white form. You must retain this document and present it to immigration when you leave.
Visas are not required by the nationals referred to above for stays in Chile of up to 90 days. Nationals of Greece may only stay for up to 60 days without a visa. Nationals from Australia (US$95) and Canada (US$132) must pay a reciprocal tax at the airport.
As of 2014, US nationals no longer need to pay a reciprocal tax.
Addresses of consulates
- British Embassy in Chile
Avda. El Bosque Norte 0125
Tél. : +56 2 2370 4100
- Consulate of the Republic of Chile
1736 Massachusetts Ave NW
DC 200 36 WASHINGTON
Tél. : +1 202 530 4104
- Embassy of Chile in UK
37-41 Old Queen Street
SW1H 9JA LONDON
Tél. : +44 20 7222 2361
- Ambassade du Chili en France
2, Av. de la Motte-Picquet
Tél. : 01 44 18 59 60
- Consulat du Chili en France
64, boulevard de La-Tour-Maubourg
Tél. : 01 44 18 59 60
- Ambassade de France au Chili
Avenida Condell 65
Tél. : +56 224 708 000
Budget and money
Visa and MasterCard are commonly accepted; American Express slightly less so - in towns and cities, where ATMs are also largely available. Outside of the larger, more tourist-centred towns, currency exchange can be tricky.
Telephone and jetlag
Standard time – 4.00 GMT
Did you know?
Did you know?
Torres del Paine national park is situated in southern Chilean Patagonia and borders Bernardo O'Higgins national park to the south and Los Glaciares national park to the north (which is in Argentina).
Pronounced Pie-nay, the word Paine means "blue" in native Tehuelche language. The Torres, or towers, refer to three distinctive granite peaks which rise out of the Paine massif (mountain range). They extend 2,500m above sea level and are flanked by the Cuernos del Paine (horns of Paine). The Paine massif, which is a spur of the Andes, dominates the park as it rises above the Patagonian steppe.
A large portion of the park is taken up by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and includes Grey Glacier, Dickson glacier and Tyndall glacier. There are also a number of lakes, including Grey Lake, Sarmiento Lake and Del Toro Lake. All are vividly coloured, mostly due to rock flour suspended in their waters.
Horse-riding trails in Torres del Paine are truly spectacular as you can venture deeper into the park than hikers and visit some of the less frequented sights.