This cattle drive vacation is set in a wild and beautiful Estancia in a little known corner of the Patagonian Lake District. You’ll work with the gauchos to drive a herd of a thousand cattle to their summer pastures up in the Andes. The scenery is some of Patagonia’s most dramatic and you’ll camp beside the 70 meter high Agrio waterfall, swim in the crystalline rivers and bathe in a hot spring 2,500 meters above sea level.

 

Destination

The Patagonian Lake District

Min / Max group size

4 / 8

When to travel

November – April

Number of days

7 nights / 7 days

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Estancia Ñorquin El Morado,

You’ll be met at the estancia by Martín, the owner of Ñorquin and the charming host of this cattle drive vacation, who will introduce you to your horses: a good-natured chunky bunch of Criollo (Argentina’s national breed and the best option for horse riding in Patagonia) crosses.

Short ride to test out our horses and tack.

Night camping in El Manzano

Cattle drive vacation in Patagonia

Martín’s house

Day 2

Today you will start rounding the cattle up to drive them up into the hills. Horse riding in Patagonia is very varied though in the part in which lies the Andes, the mountainous pathways can be treacherous so it is generally taken at a walk. However, when working with the gauchos there’s always the occasional moment when you have to pick up the speed. Today will be a long day so it will be an early start, waking around six for a quick breakfast before packing up and setting off

Night camping at Maloñhue

Cattle drive vacation in Patagonia

Rounding up the herd

Day 3

Continuing the journey  up through a wide, open valley with the smoking Loncopue Volcano in the distance.

In the evening you’ll arrive at a ring of hills. After tethering your horses in a nearby Ñires wood you’ll camp next to a hot spring looking down across the valley you have ridden up. The hot spring is like a large bath and at first sight not particularly enticing though once you’re in it feels fantastic: lying back in a natural Jacuzzi, in the middle of the Andes, looking up at the millions of stars in what are said to be the clearest night skies in the world.

Night camping at the hot springs 

Cattle drive vacation in Patagonia

Riding up the valley

Day 4

A day to ride round the herd and to make sure all the cattle are accounted for and in good shape. In the afternoon there’ll be a short hike.

Night camping at the hot springs

Cattle drive vacation in Patagonia

Checking the cattle, gaucho style

Day 5

Today you will ride to the Cuero Lagoon and spend the day there, returning in the evening to the campsite by the springs.

Night camping at the hot springs

Cattle drive vacation in Patagonia

Riding up to the Cuero Lagoon

Day 6

Continue ride to the absolutely breathtaking Agrio waterfall – 70 meters (nearly 230 ft) high. You’ll spend the day near the waterfall; swim in the rivers further up stream and the really wild can even throw themselves off one of the river’s smaller waterfalls.

Night camping beside the Agrio waterfall

Cattle drive vacation in Patagonia

The Agrio waterfall

Day 7

Ride back down to Manzano.

Night at Martin’s House

Cattle drive vacation in Patagonia

Martin’s house from the hills

Day 8

Breakfast

End of trip

 

Price

  • Price includes – All food & beverages (including alcoholic drinks).  All accommodation: double rooms, at the home of Martín Cayol, and shared two man tents camping – please enquire if you require single accommodation. All local tax.
  • Price does not include  – International flights to Argentina. Bank charges. Personal camping equipment, sleeping bags etc. Personal medical insurance (compulsory). Any visa fees and extras such as tips, laundry etc.

Prices are quoted in US dollars. However, we do receive payments in UK pounds, a sterling rate will be given at the time of booking.

Notes

  • The cattle drive is only done two times a year (once in December and once in March), however a version of the trip can be done from November to April.
  • The ride depends a lot on weather conditions and Martin, the farm’s owner and your guide, reserves the right to change the itinerary at any moment.
  • Minimum age: 15

This program is an example of one of many programs we organize round Argentina. All our trips are tailor-made and we can adapt all our programs to your specific needs. And, if you would like help organizing transport, accommodation or any other activity in any other part of the country we would be very happy to help.

 

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