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Riding in Argentina

Riding in Argentina Riding in Argentina
£ 4540

Join Nick and Iris Van Gruisen on a wonderful adventure in Argentina.

Begin with a couple of days in and around Buenos Aires, known as the ‘Queen of the River Plate Basin’ or the ‘Paris of South America’, a city full of contrasts where the architecture reflects a time of splendour and abundance and cultural influences from immigrants including the Spanish, Italians, English, French, Dutch, Jews, Arabs, Greeks and Japanese.

Then spend seven days on Estancia Huechahue in Argentine Patagonia, a land which is unfeasibly beautiful, rugged and wild and where life is always an adventure. Four generations of the Wood family have worked on the 15,000 acres of Patagonian Steppe to produce a self-sufficient oasis and thriving cattle operation. Today Jane Wood Williams runs the estancia and has been welcoming guests since 1990. Huechahue maintains traditional values and customs whilst welcoming visitors into a unique world where horses and cattle still roam free and food is home grown. Enjoy a riding programme which will be adapted to the experience of the group and to how long you wish to ride each day. There will be opportunities to catch sight of condors, swim and to work with the cattle on horseback.

There is also an optional extension to Southern Patagonia where one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Western Hemisphere can be found in the Patagonian Andes. Numerous turquoise lakes fed by melt water from the glaciers reflect the majesty of the snow-capped peaks. The mountainsides are covered by primeval forests of sub-Antarctic beech trees. Surrounded by this magnificent vegetation are the immense glaciers, the highlight of any trip to this region. Travel to the small and picturesque tourist town of El Calafate, known as the National Capital City of de Glaciers and enjoy excursions into the awesome Los Glaciares National Park and to see its famous Perito Moreno Glacier.

Patagonia Extension: 12 – 17 October 2021

Extension price: £1,440 (based on a minimum of 6 people)

View detailed itinerary >>

13 days from
per person
Single Supplement:
Tour Date:
2nd October 2021 -
14th October 2021

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    Detailed Itinerary
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    Day 1-3 London - Buenos Aires
    London - Buenos Aires

    DAY 1: London / Buenos Aires

    Suggested flight (not included in the cost of the tour) British Airways flight BA 247 via Sao Paulo departing London Heathrow at 22.25 hrs.

    DAY 2: Buenos Aires

    Arrive in Buenos Aires at 10.05 hrs. Transfer to the centrally located 4* Pulitzer hotel for a two-night stay.

    Lunch under own arrangements. In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour of the main areas of Buenos Aires, including La Boca, the birthplace of tango and the blue-collar neighbourhood. Continue to see San Telmo, the oldest barrio of Buenos Aires where you will learn about the slave market, the arrival of European immigrants, literature and the British Invasion of the city in 1806-1807. Also visit Plaza de Mayo where the Casa Rosada, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the central parts of the city are situated. You will also visit the Recoleta, the most aristocratic area of the city. The neighbourhood is known for its French architecture and wide parks. The Recoleta Cemetery is a very important spot in this area, impressive not only for its unique architecture but also for its historical value. It was founded in 1822 and important historical figures are buried here, including Eva Peron. Return to the hotel. Dinner under own arrangements.

    DAY 3: Buenos Aires

    Morning full day excursion in the northern areas of the city. You will visit San Isidro and Tigre, located on the Río de la Plata, and the complex streams and rivers that form the Delta del Río Paraná. San Isidro is where the families from the Porteña elite built their summer villas early in the 20th century. From here continue to Tigre and discover life in the Delta, the fruit port and landscapes from the river. Take a walk along the riverbanks before boarding the old island flatboat, Afrodita, originally used to transport barrels for a distillery.

    Lunch on board the boat on the Parana River sailing towards the Rio de la Plata (route depending on the weather and water levels). This is a wonderful chance to get great views of the villas, Victorians docks and English gardens. Transfer back to the hotel. Dinner under own arrangements.

    Day 4 Buenos Aires / San Martin de Los Andes
    Buenos Aires / San Martin de Los Andes

    This morning, transfer to Jorge Newbery airport for a domestic flight to San Martin de Los Andes arriving in the mid-afternoon. On arrival, transfer to Estancia Huechuahue, a working cattle ranch in Argentine Patagonia, where seven nights are spent.

    Late lunch at the lodge before enjoying a short afternoon ride to familiarise yourself with the horses and the way the Argentinians ride. Ride to the cliffs where the condors and eagles roost. Watch them soar above and below us before settling for the night. Return to the lodge. Dinner at the lodge.

    Day 5-10 Huechahue

    DAY 5: 

    A full day’s ride on Estancia Huechahue following the Huechahue stream through its basalt canyons, riding as fast as you want across the water-meadows sending the plovers and ibis screeching.

    Enjoy a traditional ‘asado’ lunch (barbeque), before returning over the top of Chenque Hill, where the Andes rise behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you. Dinner at the lodge.

    DAY 6: 

    Breakfast at the lodge. Half day’s ride exploring the River Collon Cura which borders the Estancia.

    Lunch at the lodge. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner at the lodge.

    DAY 7: 

    A full day’s ride to Estancia Huechahue’s Indian neighbour up the river. Riding up over the top, there may be a chance to see guanaco, deer, wild boar and ‘peludos’ (baby armadillo) before taking a swim to cool off in the river. 

    Lunch on the river. Return to Huechahue, riding back down the river spotting different types of birdlife on the way. Dinner at the lodge.

    DAY 8: 

    Breakfast at the lodge. A morning’s ride to collect the heifers from their paddock.

    After lunch there will be an ‘Aparte Campero’ competition – dividing into teams of 3 and separating cattle against the clock. Return to the lodge. Dinner at the lodge.

    DAY 9:

    Today is a full day’s ride on Estancia Huechahue, visiting the Indian burial caves. The caves were formed when the glaciers carved the valley, opening an entrance to the lava flow tunnels formed during previous eras of volcanic activity. The Tehuelche Indians laid out their dead, surrounded by their weapons and always somewhere where they could see their enemies coming. They decorated the walls with designs. The remains have disappeared, but the petroglyphs and the views are still there. Lunch at the lodge. Dinner at the lodge.

    DAY 10: 

    A day’s ride over the picturesque ridge, with beautiful views either side. Ride into town for a look at the shops.

    Picnic lunch watched over by the Lanin Volcano. Ride to the River Chimehuin, known for its two introduced species of Salmonidae, the brown trout and the rainbow trout. Pass through the town of Junín de los Andes before returning to the lodge. Dinner at the lodge.

    Day 11 Huechahue / Buenos Aires

    A final last ride and a quick lunch at the lodge.

    Transfer San Martin de Los Andes for a domestic flight back to Buenos Aires. On arrival, transfer to the Pultizer Hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner under own arrangements.

    Day 12-13 Buenos Aires / London

    DAY 12: Buenos Aires / London

    Transfer to Buenos Aires airport. Suggested flights (not included) British Airways BA 246 via Sao Paulo departing Buenos Aires at 11.50 hrs.

    DAY 13: London

    Arrive London Heathrow at 06.55 hrs.

    Day 11 Huechahue / Bariloche / El Calafate
    Huechahue / Bariloche / El Calafate

    Optional Patagonia Extension

    Early morning transfer to Bariloche Airport. Domestic flight to El Calafate arriving in the afternoon. On arrival, transfer to the 4* Kau Yatun Hotel where three nights are spent. The hotel is situated only 600 metres from El Calafate centre and is surrounded by beautiful countryside.

    Lunch under own arrangements. Afternoon at leisure. You may like to visit Glaciarium, a glacier interpretation centre, to gain an idea of what you have in store for the next few days. You can also visit the GlacioBar, the first ice bar in the world made from glacial ice. Visitors to the bar receive futuristic-looking capes, gloves and boots for warmth. The maximum visiting time is 20 minutes, just enough time to try the house cocktail, Fernet con Coca, a bitter, aromatic digestive served with Coca-Cola.

    In the evening meet your guide and depart for a Nativo Experience, an excursion in 4x4s along the coast of Lake Argentino. Travelling through the cliffs with views of the Andes Mountains, the excursion focuses on the first contacts with the natives made by those who undertook the first expeditions to these lands. Then enter the world of those natives, the Tehuelche, with a visit to the caves on the shores of the lake. Here thousands of years ago the Tehuelche left their marks on the rock, from which today we can only begin to understand their culture. The tour ends in with dinner in one of the caves. Return to the hotel.

    Day 12 El Calafate

    Morning transfer to Puerto Bandera. Board a ferry for a trip on Lago Argentino to view the Upsala Glacier disembarking close to Estancia Cristina, founded in 1941 by Joseph P. Masters and his wife. The estancia is located in a unique corner of Los Glaciares National Park with unique access to the glacier. Set off in 4×4 vehicles for a 20-minute trek through the Feruglio Mountains to a viewpoint above Lake Guillermo and the eastern side of the Upsala Glacier. Continue the trek for 14km through Fossil Canyon (Cañadón de los Fósiles) known for its high concentration of marine fossils and kaleidoscopic colours.

    Box lunch en route. Arrive back at the estancia for a visit before departing for the port to return to the hotel. Dinner under own arrangements.

    Day 13 El Calafate

    This morning drive along the rubble road from El Calafate deeper into the Andes Mountains to Nibepo Aike, a 103-year-old working ranch, covering an area of over 12,000 hectares, bounded by the southern arm of Lago Argentino and the border with Chile, set in the Andes mountain range.

    Lunch of grilled lamb at the ranch. After lunch board a small boat to navigate through the Brazo Rico and the South of the Lago Argentino. Disembark on Monedas beach for a walk through the surrounding area of national park which remains exactly as it was left by the pioneers with Baguales (wild cows) roaming unhindered, having been allowed to breed freely since area was declared a national park. The path passes through the Lengas woods at the end of which you will catch your first sight of the awesome Perito Moreno glacier through the trees. The path then descends to the beach where you can spend some time taking in this amazing landscape. Return to the boat and sail in front of the glacier to observe the ice slides and the front of the glacier as it pushes forward onto the Magallanes peninsula forming a natural dam. Disembark at Bajo las Sombras pier and transfer to the walkways where there will be a chance to take pictures from different angles of the Perito Moreno glacier wall before returning to El Calafate. Return to the hotel. Dinner under own arrangements.

    Day 14 El Calafate / Buenos Aires

    Transfer to El Calafate Airport for a domestic flight to Buenos Aires arriving in the evening. Transfer to the Pulitzer Hotel where a further night is spent. Lunch and dinner under own arrangements.

    Day 15-16 Buenos Aires / London

    DAY 15: Buenos Aires / London

    Transfer to Buenos Aires airport. Suggested flights (not included) British Airways BA 246 via Sao Paulo departing Buenos Aires at 11.50 hrs.

    DAY 16: London

    Arrive London Heathrow at 06.55 hrs.

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