FAQ – answer your questions

Thanks for your interest in Horse Riding Chile. If you have any more questions please read our FAQ list below about horse riding in the Cajon del Maipo in the Andes mountains near Santiago, Chile.

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Our most often asked questions:

What time is pick up and drop off?

9-45 am pick up and 5-30 pm drop off, unless by special arrangement.

Can I pay by credit card?

Only in advance and with a 10% surcharge. Best is to bring pesos on the day.

Can I pay in dollars?

Yes, with a 10% surcharge. Best is to bring pesos on the day.

What should I wear/bring?

Long sleeves & trousers, trainers or walking shoes, sunblock/extra water.

How do we get there from Santiago?

We are not on public transport so it is best if we pick you up.

Is transport included?

No. The shared cost per pickup from central Santiago is 40,000 for a car (3 persons) and 70,000 for a minivan (up to 10 people). The journey is approx 1 hour 15 minutes.

Are there mountain views?

Yes, we are in the mountains (at 1000m) & we take you riding up to a higher level.

More questions about Horse Riding Chile:

1. How near is the ranch to Santiago?

A: Our small-holding (called a parcela here) is 1 hour 15 minutes from Santiago by car. Situated in the Cajon del Maipo to the south-east of the city, in the pre-cordillera. See map

2. Q: Is it necessary to have experience?

A: No. The horses are very well behaved and the path out from El Toyo, Cajon del Maipo, is easy. In the high Andes we also take rides and you can be relatively inexperienced, but the going is slightly more difficult there.

3. Can I pay by credit card when I get there?

No. We do not have the facilities as there is no electricity at the parcela. But if you pay through Paypal.com, made out to ridingsantiago@gmail.com, they accept credit cards on our behalf. We have to charge a surcharge for this service.

4. Can I ride in shorts and a t-shirt?

Your legs will get pinched by the stirrups so we advise jeans, and long sleeves against the very strong sun.

5. What clothes do you recommend for riding in the Andes?

Jeans or long trousers, long sleeves, hat,  trainers or boots, sunglasses, sunblock, a light jacket in winter.

6. Do I need to bring anything?

It is always worth bringing extra water although we do supply some to everyone. Otherwise, as little as possible please.

7. Can we gallop?

In general no as the terrain is not suitable. If you are a very experienced rider our guide might arrange a short spin.

8. Do you have helmets?

Yes.

9. In which months can we camp?

November to March, no problem. April and October sometimes. May to September, rarely. It depends on the weather but the cordillera gets cold in winter. We can take you on several different day rides and find overnight accommodation if you like.

10. Is weight or height an issue?

A: Yes. We need to know if you are over 6 ft (1.83m) or over 220 lbs (100kg). This because Chilean horses are small, though sturdy, but we can arrange to have a larger horse if it seems necessary. Very heavy weight puts you off balance slightly and although it is no problem with experienced riders it can be dangerous. So we need to know, along with the other details we ask for, such as riding experience, special diets etc.

11. Should I have an English speaking guide if I don’t speak Spanish?

We can provide one as an optional extra but we have found over the years that most people get much more out of going on a ride with a local Chilean ‘arriero’ or horseman. They do not speak English but are used to working with tourists and are good at non-verbal communication. We are there at the beginning of the ride to explain details to you but later you will feel more in touch with this very real part of Chile if you do not have an English speaker coming between you and your guide.

One of our guides, for instance, often takes his fishing tackle and you can fish in an artesan way in the river where we ride. We can provide an English speaking guide to accompany the arriero, at an extra cost, but we recommend in most cases that you do not take up this option.

12. Do you take children?

Yes, but we need to discuss individual cases. We enjoy taking children if they are big enough to sit on a horse by themselves. There is no exact age limit but over 8 years is better. The responsibility is greater than for taking adults and the costs are higher as we send extra guides to help with children. So it is hard to give the usual discount which people expect for children.

Having said that, out guides are all family men. We all enjoy showing them the wonderful places in the Andes. Rides which include camping overnight  tend to be a little longer and more arduous so we prefer children of 10 years or more.

13. Can I be picked up or dropped off at the airport?

Yes. We can do that and also arrange special times for the ride to fit in with your flight times.

14. How long is the ride?

The day, from pickup to drop off, is usually around 7 hours, of which nearly 3 is transportation there and back. The actual time in the saddle is considerably less and will depend on your experience and wishes. We find inexperienced riders are slower and tire more easily. We try to respond to your preferences as to how far we ride, how long we stop for lunch, exactly when we come back down and so forth.