El Morado Mountain Safari

summary
Dates
Dec through to March (tailormade only)
Location
Provincia Neuquen, Argentina
Duration
14 days (5 nights in estancias, 8 nights camping)
Level
Intermediate riding skills
Size
Minimum of 4 people
Cost
Contact us for details

(includes full board, wine, transfers from Zapala, transfer from Ranquilco, mountain guide and gaucho, exclusive remote estancia accommodation, camping kit for mountain trip, horses and pack horses)

This is a great horseback safari to and from Estancia Morado which is nestled in the remote and rarely visited wilderness of northern Patagonia. Once the hunting grounds of the Indian this region is full of folklore history. We have lovely Argentine family hosts whom were early settlers to the region and have journeyed through the mountains here for years. We will be travelling with pack horses. We ride through different high summer land grazing pastures where remote living gauchos tend to their herds of cattle and flocks of sheep deep in the Cordillera. Camping will be simple. Sleeping under the stars pillowed on saddle, sheep skin saddle covers and thick woolen textiles as a comfy mattress, sleeping bag and ponchos for warmth. Tents and tarps will be pitched for those wanting. Washing in streams, hot springs or with the portable shower we carry.

There are some long days in the saddle, 7 hours some days. There will be some challenging moments. You are embarking on a traditional argentine style journey, one to remember. Wonderful tack, horses dressed in mapuche textiles. Authentic mapuche ponchos to keep you warm at night or to protect in event of a storm. Close to the Chilean border and ancient trade roots. Eating good food, including excellent asados (argentine barbecue), enjoying cheery open fires under the Patagonian night sky. Swimming in lakes, bathing in rivers. Meeting local mountain dwellers. Enjoying living with your horse on this adventure. A welcome 2 nights in a remote Bohemian home at the end of our safari where we will hopefully here some guitar playing and traditional folk songs around a barbecue outside the main house...

Option to extend your stay and have a natural spa at Volcanoe Copahue, a local national park. You can stay at Estancia Morado and be driven there and back easily in a day. It is a very scenic drive.

Itinerary
Day 01
Pickup from Zapala. 3 hr drive to Estancia Morado. Welcoming drinks and bbq supper.
Day 02
Late morning ride after a leisurely breakfast. Picnic lunch and siesta. Evening 'asado'.
Day 03
Pack and depart on mountain safari. Head up to estancia high summer grazing land. Six hours in saddle.
Day 04
Make our base for two nights in the summerland. A relaxed day ride with some canters. Opportunity for fishing.
Day 05
7 hr ride following winding river up the valley. Stop at beautiful siesta and picnic spot. Ride onward to new camp on river bank.
Day 06
Head up to a hidden cave, an ancient abode of the Indians. Spring water for drinking and washing. Relax and make barbecue.
Day 07
Ride to hot springs down valley. Bath and wash in the river. Find campsite for the night.
Day 08
Ride up high pass to Chilean border with spectacular views. Drop down valley and make camp at lake for two nights.
Day 09
Opportunity to swim the horses in lake. Explore area on day ride or just relax, go fishing or walking.
Day 10
We ride over an exciting mountain pass. Drop down into another spectacular valley. Camp lakeside.
Day 11
A full day's ride to a comfy mountain home where the safari ends. A bbq with traditional guitar playing and folk songs!
Day 12
Rest day for the horses. Relax or swim in the river. Traditional sauna in wood cabin. Meals at main house.
Day 13
Three hour ride to meet truck for transfer back to Estancia Morado where you started.
Day 14
Truck to Zapala or Neuquen for your onward journey.