Take ‘horsing around on holiday’ to a whole new level with travel specialist Swoop Patagonia

Thursday 24, March 2011


Take ‘horsing around on holiday’ to a whole new level with travel specialist Swoop Patagonia


Adventurers who find their travel interests geed up by the Grand National can find a selection of horse riding holidays in the fascinating region of Patagonia, says travel specialist Swoop Patagonia.


One of the most prestigious races in the world, the Grand National takes place on Saturday 9 April 2011. For four & half miles, and with 30 fence jumps, the horses and riders competing on the magnificent Aintree racecourse always deliver a thrilling contest. 


Travellers inspired by the equine event will find horseback to be a unique way to explore Patagonia’s vast mountains, forests and lakes. Whether riders are experienced or new to the saddle, Swoop Travel has a diverse range of trips across the region, including the chance to stay on an authentic ‘estancia’ cattle ranch. 


Seeing Patagonia by horse is a great way for visitors to truly get off the beaten track and see parts of Chile and Argentina they couldn’t otherwise access. The horse riding season takes place during the warm summer months of November - March, and the choice of terrain is rich and varied. 


In the northern Lake District the terrain tends to be lush and green and trips often contain lots of river crossings, Mid-Patagonia is mountainous with forests and lakes, and the southern terrain is rougher and more remote.


The horse riding opportunities in Patagonia broadly fall into the following categories:


  • North: The green Cochamó Valley and the area around the Futaleufu River in Chilean Patagonia is served by the  town of Puerto Montt. The Argentinian Lake District is served by the town of Bariloche.
  • Middle: Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is a world renowned trekking destination but  there are also some outstanding opportunities for riders to experience its glaciers, mountains and valleys too., and some routes and areas of the park are best accessed on horseback.
  • South: Horse-riding in southern Patagonia takes riders to wild and remote stony beaches, cliffs and forests. The main city is Ushuaia, close to Tierra del Fuego National park, and the wilderness of the terrain makes for adventurous going. Tierra del Fuego National Park is situated at the tip of Patagonia - the last point before Antarctica.


There are also itineraries which include a stay at an ‘estancia’, the cattle ranches situated throughout Chile and Argentina. Some owners have opened their estancias to guests, and provide comfortable places to stay and lots of outdoor activities.


Following are some highlights of the Equestrian activities on offer from Swoop Patagonia:



Pioneer Trail – four days from £290

Enjoy everything this trip has to offer – horse riding up to La Junta, looking out at the granite mountains and sipping mate with the locals. Guests will follow in the tracks of Andean pioneers – riding through mystical rainforest, fording crystalline rivers near thundering waterfalls and staring up at soaring peaks in the unspoiled La Junta Valley.


Departing 1 April, this trip is available from £290, excluding flights. The price includes three nights’ accommodation in cabañas and lodge, all meals, horse riding gear and a guide.


Extended itineraries available later in the year include:


Mountain & Glaciers: Torres del Paine

The Glacier Ride - ten days from £1,982

Full of fast riding, this horseback trek around the pampas and Torres del Paine brings the chance to sleep out under the stars some nights, and relax in the lodges with a glass of wine other nights. The Glacier Ride was the first long horseback ride in the Torres del Paine National Park and there is still no other ride like it.


This trip is available from £1,982, excluding flights. The price includes 6 nights camping (based on twin share); 2 hotel nights and 2 refugio nights, transfers to and from Punta Arenas and while in park, meals while camping (including wine with dinner), all equipment (except sleeping bags and mats which can be rented locally on request) English-speaking local guides, banqueanos to care for the horses, pack horses for luggage, saddle bags, waterproof stuff-sacks for the trip and entrance fees to Torres del Paine and the Seno Otway Penguin Reserve.


Estancias: Live and Ride at a Ranch

The Estancia Ride - ten days from £2,458

Riding from estancia to estancia across the seemingly endless pampas, riders with experience will discover Patagonia's vastness, look down from the Sierras and trot through the snow. Equine adventurers will experience life as a Patagonian gaucho on this fabulous, exciting riding expedition in Torres del Paine National Park. 


This trip is available from £2,458 excluding flights. The price includes 10 nights accommodation in estancias, lodges and a hotel, transfers to and from Punta Arenas and while in park, breakfast and lunch everyday, dinners stated on the itinerary (excluding drinks), lamb asado, English-speaking guides, banqueanos to care for the horses, saddle bags, waterproof stuff sacks for the trip and entrance fees to Torres del Paine and the Seno Otway Penguin Reserve.


Swoop Patagonia is aimed at holidaymakers looking for ideas of what to do, where to go and which operator to use in Patagonia. Focusing solely on this specialist area, Swoop provides a free, comprehensive catalogue of vetted local operators and trips in the region, as well as in-depth knowledge of Patagonia’s adventure travel opportunities.


In addition to the horse riding itineraries, the website offers help with a variety of other adventure travel options, including kayaking, mountaineering and trekking.


Book with the only UK based Patagonian adventure travel specialist Swoop Patagonia on


*all prices correct at time of publishing



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