Wide open spaces, vast ranches, dramatic mountain scenery and a very traditional cowboy culture – spanning the gauchos of Argentina and Uruguay, the huasos of Chile, the vaqueros in Brazil and the chagras of Ecuador – make for phenomenal South America riding holidays and adventures on horseback, whether you are an experienced rider or not.
Argentina really is one of the best destinations in South America for horse-riding, with Uruguay a close runner-up. The vast pampas plains make for exhilarating riding from traditional estancias (family-run ranches) on one of our holidays to Argentina, where you can also learn to play polo and hone your skills with some of the world’s best players.
We also have one of the finest horse-riding holidays in Argentina with an extraordinary guide for ten days – with half that time spent in the Patagonian Andes and the rest on a beautiful estancia where there is fast riding each day.
From the wild plains of northern Patagonia nestled up against the Andes to the rolling Sierras Chicas mountains around central Cordoba, friendly Argentine hosts welcome you with hearty fare, beautiful and hardy criollo horses, outdoor barbeques, nights out under the stars and comfortable cosy rooms with a fire at night as the evenings grow colder and you enjoy a delicious glass of Malbec.
You can ride as much or as little as you wish, mix in a little relaxation by the pool, a hike with a picnic or a spot of fishing and you have the ideal place to while away a week away from all civilisation.
Further north, we can offer you the chance to really get involved, as you head out with the local cowboys known as chagras on one of our Ecuador holidays on the bi-annual cattle round-ups in the foothills of the Andes, a fast and furious ride for confident riders who want a bit of adventure!
Even those who don’t have the confidence for such a ride can enjoy some gorgeous small family-run haciendas, beautiful colonial towns and spectacular mountain scenery on a variety of less challenging multi-day rides.
For those who wish to combine a few days of easy riding with history and local culture could consider taking the jaw-dropping Salkantay Trail through the Andes in Peru, stopping off each night in very comfortable lodges, where you can ease aching muscles in the Jacuzzi.
The final day sees you bid farewell to your trusty criollo horses and arrive at the most spectacular Inca city in South America – Machu Picchu – a perfect ending to your Peru riding adventure. Explore the wetlands of the Pantanal on horseback on one of our Brazil holidays – perfect for wading through the low waters as you look out for exotic birds, such as hyacinth macaws or jabiru storks, and unusual mammals, such as capybara and giant anteaters.
We will be delighted to help you find your perfect riding adventure in Latin America, whether it is a simple ride for one day to a week’s adventure crossing through the Patagonian Andes.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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