Category Archives: mountains

Reviews and Comments III: Camping rides

Camping rides are much harder to organise than day trips, but equally they seem to be more rewarding. You can ride further up into the mountains, get away from it all more completely, and enjoy the immensity and silence of the Andes more intensely. I don’t think we have ever had anything but a rave review after a camping trip. The sky in Chile is one of  the clearest in the world and sleeping under the stars is an unforgettable experience.

One old gentleman of over 80 went for 4 days riding into the mountains with our guide, Rigo. Our visitor was a good rider and said that although it was not quite what he had expected – rather what he would call rock climbing on a horse – yet it was the best 4 days of his life.

It is true that many people are surprised by the Andes. This in turn surprises us as we think, “Well what did you expect from riding in the mountains?” I think in many countries there are “trails” which are often wide tracks perhaps between or alongside steeper bits. In the Andes you ride on narrow paths usually and up and down the contours which are are sometimes unexpected. This is the norm in the Andes of Chile and we are all used to it, as are the sure-footed horses who take it all in their stride. With good experienced and caring, careful guides, who themselves have ridden these paths since there were children, it can be very safe, but it is often surprising, and perhaps thrilling. Almost everyone comments that it was the trip of a lifetime.

We try hard to give good food in the authentic Chilean style on overnight camping rides. We usually send some wine and the famous pisco sour, (unless it is a family ride with children). Often for just one night’s camping the evening meal will be a barbecue, because that is the tradition in Chile – but we can provide vegetarian food as well. On a longer trip, for the second night the guide often cooks a cazuela – a delicious Chilean national dish. For breakfast it will probably be eggs and porridge, a fruit salad and some bread and avocado. Sometimes the guide catches a fish or too and makes a special dish for you – but this is not guaranteed!

Some excerpts from TripAdvisor reviews are listed below the photographs.

camping in the Andes - horse rolling


setting up camp, horse riding in the Chilean Andes

I just returned from a 3-day/2-night horseriding trip (February 10-12), and it was one of the highlights of my trip to Chile…I loved the remoteness of the area, as once we started our climb into the mountains we saw no one for three days.

overnight (2 days, one night) ride in the mountains. 
The ride was definitely the highlight of my time in Chile – confident and sure-footed horses, stunning scenery and total tranquility in the evening. 

We rode up into the mountains (with minimal horse riding experience) where we were in awe of the endless Andes.. I highly recommend that you camp under the stars.

So off we set, 2 Aussie city slickers on horseback following our guide Rigo & for backup behind us was another guide Leo then the mule carrying all our gear (next time I’ll leave my coffee machine in Melbourne) plus a few dogs for good measure…..Upon return to the camp there was some light rainfall. Before leaving we opted for the sleeping under the stars option so we had no tents but no problemo, Rigo gets on the satellite phone & calls for a tent. A few hours later a young guy emerges from the bush with a tent. We’re like ”Where the f@# did this dude come from?” turns out he had run all the way from home, now that’s what I call service! 

For TripAdvisor general reviews see our testimonial page .  For review comments on specific topics see also Highlight of our tripcamping ridesgood quality horsesguidesnervous riders I felt like a cowgirlefficient smooth administration Novice riders

Making hay in Chile

Forking the hay into the baler ready for winter feed for the horses It seems to be a basic characteristic of human nature, along with hunter-gathering and nest-making, to long for a little piece of land to cultivate. Here in Chile where the mountains rise up on either side and small flat patches of rich… Continue Reading

What to bring for horseback rides

What to bring for horseback rides Here is a list of what to bring for horseback riding holidays, split up into day rides, daytime for a camping ride, night-time for a camping ride. This will obviously vary a little according to time of year. January and February are usually hot and not very cold at… Continue Reading

Mutisia flower – Red

Mutisia, a type of clavel de campo, Asteraceae family. The flowers in the cordillera are totally unexpected and unusual. They are often quite fleshy and exotic looking and flower abundantly in the dust of the semi-desert terrain. The mutisia flower is especially beautiful and often grows up through the branches of  a shrub, making itself… Continue Reading

El Morado glacier

El Morado glacier – a surprise in the middle of hot temperatures found in Chile Riding up to the El Morado glacier on a day ride or after camping nearby can be chilly and we wear warm clothes. The temperatures are higher further down in the sheltered valley where we camp on overnight rides. This is… Continue Reading

Alstromeria: Pink & yellow flowers

Alstromeria, flor del aguila, found in the Andes near Santiago Chile Various different types of Alstromeria are  found in the Andes near Santiago Chile. This is one of the most beautiful from the Cajon del Maipo and can be seen on certain day riding expeditions. It is an example of the luxuriant types of flower found… Continue Reading

Fossil Lake Ride: La Rubilla

The Fossil Lake Ride This is the most challenging ride as although it is not difficult or dangerous, it is a steep climb, not advised if you suffer from vertigo or are unfit. The horses do not find it hard but they need to rest from time to time as we climb the altitude very… Continue Reading

Marmolejo Horseback Ride

Marmolejo mountain, seen in left fork as we ride up the valley Engorda Marmolejo is the highest mountain in the Cajon del Maipo and is the southernmost peak in the world that is over 6000m . This ride involves negotiating rivers which adds a touch of drama even though they are not difficult to cross and… Continue Reading

Morado National Park: Glacier Ride

Lunch by the frozen lake at the foot of the hanging glacier El Morado (not the Morado National park) The Morado National Park of Chile, accessed from Bano Morales, is famous for its red river and its glacier. Many tourists visit it, but we take a different approach, where you will see almost nobody except… Continue Reading

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