Horse Riding Holidays in South America
Why to visit South America on horseback?
There are several reasons that we take into account when choosing a destination to travel on horseback. When we think of vacationing on horseback, we evaluate the types of equestrian products that are offered in each region, as well as factors such as the number of nights of the program, the tourist attractions included, the accommodation service and the food among many other things.
One of the fundamental factors when selecting an equestrian route are the possibilities it offers us to know different cultures, since this allows us to enrich ourselves and expand as human beings. In this regard, South America always distinguished itself as a very attractive destination for those who seek to know new cultures. In this region of the extensive American continent, different cultural expressions coexist due to the different immigrant flows of the 19th and 20th century that influenced countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.
This territory saw the birth of different artists, whose work have been recognised in the world, such as Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar and Eduardo Galeano. In music, the first half of the twentieth century, tango, a musical style and a dance of River Plate origin (Argentine-Uruguayan), had great success in Europe and Colombia; and is currently considered a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
At the same time, South America is famous for its natural attractions. Many of the Natural Wonders belong to the lower part of America. Hence, we can come across the majestic Perito Moreno Glacier and the coloured mountains of La Quebrada de Humahuaca in Argentina; the majestic Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil; the striking Torres de Paine and the Atacama Desert in Chile; the lavish Ruins of the Machu Pichu in Peru; the endless Salt Mine de Uyuni in Bolivia, the largest desert of continuous salt in the World; The Galapagos Island in Ecuador; The Pantanal and the Beaches of Brazil; The Andes Mountain Range and the Amazon River, just to mention some of the thousands that exist in this wonderful part of the continent.
We could even say that few pictures are able to reflect the experience that a person lives when he is in front of these wonders. For all these reasons, visiting South America is a good option, and especially if it is on horseback.
Another of the distinguishing characteristics of South America is the vast expanse of land of each country. There are countries in South America where you can fit many countries of Europe. This great extension and the distance between the destinations allow a better development of horse riding holidays within this land.
Unlike other continents, South America will allow you to ride in a natural way and get into routes where wild flora and fauna thrive. Except for the routes and roads where it is necessary to follow the indicated signs, the rest of the territory has no marks and you can ride with your group without obstacles and with greater fluidity in the ride, so you will enjoy more of the experience of horse riding holidays.
What is the best country in South America for horse riding holidays?
Although in many of the countries of South America we will find very interesting proposals for our holidays on horseback, 5 of them are worldwide recognised for their equestrian activity: Peru, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Ecuador. Each of these countries offers a well-differentiated equestrian product due to its geographical conditions:
Horse Riding Holidays in Peru
The Sacred Valley of the Incas: Magic, Beauty and Culture
One of the most important horseback riding holidays in Peru is the tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. When travelling this valley on horseback you will be able to enjoy an unparalleled view from the Peruvian Andes. Observing the peaks of snow-capped mountains and the blue lagoons from above will allow you to enjoy a true natural spectacle.
In these rides you will also collect a great cultural wealth, since in the Sacred Valley of the Incas settle many indigenous towns of which you will be able to know their customs.
Equestrian tourism providers in Peru
One of the main providers of this equestrian route is Perol Chico, which offers the possibility of taking magnificent trails along the back of the world-renowned Peruvian Paso Horse, which by its own pace is usually called “The Roll Royce” of horses.
Horse Riding Holidays in Argentina
At the southern end of the American continent there is a country that has diverse climates, landscapes and customs: Argentina.
This beautiful country offers us a wide variety of landscapes to visit: valleys, flatlands, mountains, jungles, rivers, lakes and sea. We highlight the following three characteristic regions for horse riding holidays in Argentina:
The North, with its mountains and Andean valleys, such as the Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy, Los Valles Calchaquíes and the Lerma Valley in Salta.
The Centre, which shows us the imposing Traslasierra Valley and the Sierra de Los Gigantes in Córdoba.
The South, which presents the famous Patagonia Argentina, consisting of large blue lakes, forests, high mountains and valleys, with the permanent company of the Andes.
Culture & Customs
Argentina also offers us the possibility of knowing a great variety of customs and typical characters, among which the Argentine gaucho stands out, which is the synthesis of the man of the field and the horse. In addition, this country is recognised for its important exponents of universal literature, such as Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar. It is also distinguished by a very characteristic urban music: tango, which together with other musical folkloric expressions such as chacarera, zamba, vidalas or chamamé paint the musical landscape of each region.
Foreign tourists who try the Mate, a symbol that is part of the culture and DNA of Argentina, are often fascinated, as well as with the various regional foods such as asado, locro, humita and tamales.
It is in this context of climates, landscapes and culture, that Argentina is one of the most recommended countries to travel on horseback.
Equestrian Tourism Providers in Argentina
In Argentina there are two important equestrian tourism providers that offer horse riding holidays services:
In the Central and Northern Region, the most important horse riding holidays provider is Ampascachi Horse Riding Holidays, which sells ridings in Córdoba, Salta and Jujuy.
In the Southern Region, the most important holiday provider on horseback is Huechahue.
Riding in the North and Centre of Argentina
Ampascachi is the operator indicated for those who want to engage themselves in the Argentine gaucho tradition, since in each of its routes you can appreciate the customs and uses of the gaucho.
This provider has a beautiful colonial house from the 19th century, framed by the Sierras Cordobesas, which was restructured to host the riders and be the starting point to the different destinations. There also takes place the breeding of their elegant “Peruvian Paso Horses”, which are the horses use in the different routes.
This exceptional provider, with its complete crossings on horseback, offers the possibility of knowing both the beautiful landscapes of the Centre and North of Argentina and the customs of each region.
Ampascachi takes care of the traveller at all times: from the pick-up of the passenger at the airports, accommodations, to the respective transfers necessary for each route.
Riding in the South of Argentina
For those who like the South of Argentina, the recommendation is without a doubt Huechahue, which has an Estancia located at the foot of the majestic Andes Mountain Range.
This provider not only offers us the possibility of carrying out various types of horseback riding, but also puts at our disposal activities such as fishing, bird watching, rafting, and hiking. But without a doubt, the distinctive feature of Huechahue are the visits made to the Indigenous Reserve, where we will have the opportunity to share cultural expressions such as textiles and exchange friendly talks with its inhabitants.
Horseback Holidays in Chile
Chile is a country that, in addition to exceptional people, allows us to visit places of charm to travel on horseback: lakes, mountains and forests are part of the typical Chilean landscape.
Riding in the Chilean Patagonia
The Chilean Patagonia presents several majestic natural parks to travel on horseback. One of them is the Torres del Paine National Park, which is located in the extreme south of Chile. This park has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco and is considered the most important national park in Chile. Its main attractions lie in the spectacular nature of its landscape, mountains, glaciers, green and blue lakes and flora and fauna.
Horse Riding Patagonia, is one of the most important providers of equestrian tourism in the southern region of Chile, whose team is trained to ensure that you have the most pleasant trip through Chilean Patagonia. All their guides, in addition to being bilingual, have knowledge in flora, fauna and first aid for your peace of mind.
This equestrian tourism provider offers a program of horseback riding from two hours to ten days, allowing you to enjoy majestic places such as Última Esperanza, the Gray Glacier, the Chenke Indian Cemetery, the Laguna Amarga and, of course, the National Park Torres del Paine.
Riding in the Atacama Desert: Entertainment and Astronomy on Horseback
The Atacama Desert represents the most arid region of the planet, is located in the north of Chile and surprises tourists by the look that can be done of the stars. In fact, it is considered the best place to do astronomy. Therefore, any rider who likes to contemplate the wonders of the universe, will have his reward to be able to gaze the stars from different telescopes.
The equestrian programs in the Atacama Desert usually include stays in tents, from which you can appreciate the deep blue sky.
One of the advantages of this destination is that, having so much space and little intervention by the human hand, the routes are extensive and you can ride at full speed.
Horse Riding Holidays in Brazil
Brazil is known for its white sandy beaches. However, beyond these natural paradises, this beautiful country has other incredible tourist attractions that are also highly recommended for those who love to holidays on horseback.
Pantanal of Brazil. A place for adventurous riders
The Pantanal of Brazil is an alluvial flatland that covers the most western part of Brazil. It offers a rich selection of flora and fauna, forming in large a collection of ecosystems that includes the largest wetlands in America. With its immense diversity of bird and wildlife species, the Pantanal is Brazil’s main destination for wildlife observation. There you can observe beautiful animals, such as the jaguar, the capybara, the flat tapir and the yacaré. It is estimated that in this place there are more than 600 species of birds, 240 of fish, 80 of mammals and 50 of reptiles.
In most of this area, horses are still essential due to the difficulties to travel both in the rainy season and in the dry months.
Visiting this place is a great opportunity for those riders who like to explore nature in all its splendour.
How do you access to Pantanal? The terrestrial access to this place is given by paths of beaten ground, starting from the municipalities of Aquidauana or Río Negro. To reach the tourist farms by car, the trip can last up to four hours, if the roads are in good condition.
The level of preparation of the rider that is needed to carry out this journey is expert, due to the geographical complexity of the place. To make these routes it is necessary to have good physical condition and a lot of energy, since these routes oscillate between 3 and 6 hours on the horse.
The kindness and warmth of the owners of the Brazilian haciendas “Fazendas” await you to make these holidays on horseback a memory full of beautiful emotions.
Equestrian Tourism Providers in Brazil
A recognized provider of equestrian tourism in Brazil is Gaucho Do Brasil.
Horse Riding Holidays in Ecuador
Ecuador is a beautiful country to ride, whose diverse landscapes include the Amazon Rainforest, the Andean highlands, the cost of the Pacific Ocean and the Galapagos Islands. In addition, this country allows us to glimpse the culture inherited from the Incas.
Ecuador has two types of stations: The Tropical (From December to May), in which the climate is warm and sometimes rainy. And the Dry, in which the temperatures are a little cooler. However, for those who like to ride without much covers, Ecuador is an ideal destination, since it does not get as cold as in other countries of South America.
Equestrian Tourism Suppliers in Ecuador
One of the destinations most chosen by tourists for their horse riding holidays in Ecuador is the route of Hacienda La Alegría, a beautiful colonial house painted in beautiful colours that offers accommodation and adventurous horseback rides.
In this Hacienda, the horses are characterised by being with calm temperament and easy to ride. Most of them result from the crossing of the Criollo horse from South America with Arabs, Andalusians, Uruguayan Creole, Argentine Creole and Percherons.
At Hacienda La Alegría, located south of the city of Quito, you can enjoy a beautiful landscape and views of the Cotopaxi Volcano, being without a doubt a very good option for those who seek to know South America on horseback from a more familiar side.