The standard day ride that we offer in the mountains near Santiago is probably one of the most straight forward in all the Andes of the central cordillera. But the Andes are different from many mountain chains, and there are few wide trails. The paths tend to be narrow and follow the contours. There are amazing rock formations and cactus of different types. Some bits are quite steep and rocky and sometimes the path winds along the edge of a steep side of a valley. There is very rarely any kind of sheer drop, but the steepness of the hill and the fact that you are raised up on the back of a horse can make it feel a little alarming.
So just occasionally we have had nervous riders who who have been a little anxious. This is understandable, but really unnecessary. We can walk up most of the valley sides on foot when going to the river with our children. But the impression is strong. Once you get over your first nerves you will feel triumphant at what you have achieved.
It is difficult to strike a balance between providing a proper experience of mountain riding, glorious views of the Andes, a touch of the thrill and almost fear which is said to be one of the ingredients of a good holiday, with a sense of complete security. But secure it really is, with good sure-footed horses who are born and bred on the mountains, who can, as I was told when I first came riding in Chile “do this at a gallop in the dark when you are not riding them”, and most important of all, with experienced, caring and careful guides. The guides, local horsemen known as arrieros, were brought up in the Cajon del Maipo working in the mountains, usually with their fathers before them. They know and understand the mountains and what is more, they respect them, and would never take risks.
Some excerpts from TripAdvisor reviews are listed below the photograph.
My husband prefers motorbikes and has a fear of heights however he had no problem tackling this ride. The horses were so well trained you could leave them to find the best route and take photographs while riding along.
The horses knew the route and were very sure footed on the track so something which could have been a challenge, turned out to be great fun.
there is some steep terrain. It is an adventure, not to worry, the horses are well trained.
At first most people were a little nervous but you soon learn how strong and capable the horses are and you end up trusting them with your life! You start off with a gentle climb and as you truely get into the mountains you will be riding in places where you never thought you would go on a horse.
The scenery is fantastic and the horses were amazing. I was surprised by how steep and rocky the track was- wow, definitely wow.
Yes, there are some parts where the track is very narrow and you are very high up but all you need to do is relax and trust your horse – they have been doing this terrain all their lives.
If you are afraid of heights, I do not recommend this outing. If you are a thrill seeker, this is a trip of a lifetime.
For TripAdvisor general reviews see our testimonial page . For review comments on specific topics see also Highlight of our trip, camping rides, good quality horses, guides, nervous riders I felt like a cowgirl, efficient smooth administration Novice riders