Patagonia Cordillera Riding Adventure

About the Experience

Venture by horseback into the rugged heart of the Andes into the cordillera chain of mountain ranges, by way of your strong and surefooted Argentine Criollos. 

Sturdy, dependable, and familiar with the passages of the longest mountain range in the world, you will be paired with a horse companion that is suited to your ridership level. Deep into this region you will go, with your trusted guides and fellow Wild Women there to experience it all with you.

Let fresh meals of garden vegetables, homegrown meat, and whole wheat sourdough baked daily sprinkle your stay at both cozy lodging and backcountry camping. Travel among springs at the edge of lovely meadows, aside endless rivers, and on the shores of an alpine lake. And, in the evenings, as the horses graze nearby, enjoy bathing in nearby streams, and sharing stories around the campfire before settling in for serene nights under the stars.

By day and by night, by horse and by foot, you will come to know the valleys, vistas, and mountain passes of Argentina. And you will come to never forget the well-being it brings you.

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Patagonia Cordillera Riding Adventure

About the Experience

Venture by horseback into the rugged heart of the Andes into the cordillera chain of mountain ranges, by way of your strong and surefooted Argentine Criollos. 

Sturdy, dependable, and familiar with the passages of the longest mountain range in the world, you will be paired with a horse companion that is suited to your ridership level. Deep into this region you will go, with your trusted guides and fellow Wild Women there to experience it all with you.

Let fresh meals of garden vegetables, homegrown meat, and whole wheat sourdough baked daily sprinkle your stay at both cozy lodging and backcountry camping. Travel among springs at the edge of lovely meadows, aside endless rivers, and on the shores of an alpine lake. And, in the evenings, as the horses graze nearby, enjoy bathing in nearby streams, and sharing stories around the campfire before settling in for serene nights under the stars.

By day and by night, by horse and by foot, you will come to know the valleys, vistas, and mountain passes of Argentina. And you will come to never forget the well-being it brings you.

DAY 1: PICK-UP

The driver will meet you at the Neuquen Airport (NQN) and bring you to the ranch outpost, Buta Mallin – the end of the road for most vehicles. A hearty lunch of homemade bread, fresh garden vegetables, salami and cheese will be prepared for you. Your Wild Women guides will introduce you to your horses and offer some basic riding instruction before the 3-hour ride into the heart of the estancia where the lodge is located. Wine and appetizers will be served to you on the patio followed by a welcoming dinner and full trip orientation at the main lodge, Casa Grande.

Riding Time: ~ 3 hours

DAY 2: RANQUILCO LODGE

Breakfast at Casa Grande including homemade bread and granola, milk and yogurt from our cow, eggs, coffee, tea, and mate. After breakfast, your guides will introduce you to the tack and provide saddling instruction, if desired. Go for a morning ride, where you’ll learn about trail safety, extended horse travel, and the local geography, weather, and culture. Return to the lodge for lunch before spending the afternoon relaxing by the river and taking part in a walking tour of the property that highlights Ranquilco’s off-the-grid homestead systems and way of life. Regroup in the late afternoon to discuss gear and packing tips in preparation for riding off into the mountains the following day. Enjoy some evening drinks on the patio followed by dinner.

Riding Time: ~ 2 hours

DAYS 3-6: LAGUNA NEGRA

We’ll head out into the “cordillera” (mountain range) to spend the next 7 days riding mountain trails deep into the Andes. This is the longest mountain range in the world, and this particular loop takes us right into the heart of it. The number of hours in the saddle ranges from 4-7 hours per day. We’ll camp by springs at the edge of lovely meadows, alongside rivers, and on the shores of two alpine lakes. In the evenings, we stake the horses out to graze, bathe in nearby streams, and settle in for delicious backcountry meals and nights under the stars.

We begin by traveling up the Trocoman River and ascending into high steppe land. You’ll then head into the Picunleo River valley and follow it up to a glacially carved bowl at the headwaters. Climb up and over several high mountain passes with massive vistas and views of active Chilean volcanoes. From the high point, drop down into the Cerro Negro valley, home of the beautiful high mountain lake, Laguna Negra, and the summer cattle outpost. The outpost has a few simple huts (where the gauchos live) and other basic, but welcomed, luxuries such as benches and an outhouse! It makes for a wonderful camp spot. Here you have a chance to spend time with the local gauchos that tend the herds of cattle, sheep, and goats in these beautiful summer grazing lands.

Riding Time: 4-7 hours per day

DAY 7: LAYOVER DAY

You’ll have a relaxing morning followed by a lovely ride around the lake and spend the afternoon lounging at the beach, fishing, and swimming. In the evening you’ll return to the outpost camp for a traditional asado (roast whole goat or lamb), a fun night to share with the neighbouring gauchos.

Riding Time: 1-2 hours

DAYS 8 & 9: OVERLOOKING THE ANDES

Pack up and ride over a mountain pass into another high valley, home of the gorgeous 5-mile lake, Lago Lauquen. On the pass, you’ll have spectacular views of Chilean volcanoes to the west, the Andes stretching to the north and south, and the Trocoman Valley back to the east. The next day is a full day ride back to the Ranquilco lodge, with vast views of the Cordillera Del Viento in the north. Upon returning you’ll be reunited with the wonderful luxuries and hospitality at the lodge – hot showers, cold beers, and clean sheets, followed by an excellent meal.

Riding Time: 4-7 hours per day

DAY 10: LOUNGING AT THE LODGE

A day of rest and relaxation. You can enjoy a swim in the river and relax on the beach, with glorious meals throughout. In the evening you’ll have your farewell party – a feast featuring a goat asado – attended by local gauchos and the entire Ranquilco community. Traditional gaucho dance late into the night.

DAY 11: FAREWELL

Breakfast this morning will be followed by your morning departure. Ride back to Buta Mallin and enjoy a picnic lunch on the way.  Meet the driver for your return trip to Neuquen Airport (NQN) for evening flights to Buenos Aires.

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!