How To Explore The World’s Most Pristine Landscapes On Horseback

Explore two of the world’s most pristine and wild landscapes on horseback: the Torres del Paine National Park and the Atacama Desert (highest and driest) in Chile. Stay for five days and four nights in either of the world-class resorts, the explora Patagonia and explora Atacama, and jump onto their new program — guests and gauchos rise at dawn to drive cattle across the pampas (open grasslands) between remote estancias (ranches.)

Get your own Gaucho

The private stables in these resorts house the stellar Chilean Criollos (horses with ancient Iberian blood) and purebred Arabians – both trained for experienced riders. Each group is accompanied by a genuine gaucho.

Located far south in South America, the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978. Patagonia riders are eased into the five-day riding program with a gentle ascent and tour of Lake Toro before moving on to more advanced rides along the banks of the crystalline Serrano River. The epic conclusion to the riding program is a full day ride into the northern sector of the park for an intimate view of the Grey Glacier at Puntilla Pehoé.

Known as the driest, highest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert is full of surprises: mountains, volcanoes, salt flats, geysers, wetlands, hot springs and an abundance of animal and plant life. It also has a culture that dates back 10,000 years, ruins of which can still be seen today in the daily lives of the local Atacameños.  Experienced horseback riders will be guided to the mountain peaks of the Cordillera de la Sal to descend across the dunes towards the Valle de la Muerte (Valley of Death).  Love this!

Four luxury-lodge nights at explora Patagonia start from $2,780 US, or at explora Atacama from $2,640 (per person, double occ.

explora’s series of nomadic journeys, travesías, lead travelers across borders into Argentina and/or Bolivia on extended expeditions. For more information on these two horseback adventures or their other exotic trips click or e-mail:

explora P.S.  We’d like to emblazon their manifesto on our “Travel Trophy” flag:  Leave home, enjoy the journey, pack light, go far, forget the time, walk, deviate from the route, go outside when it rains, ask questions, try new flavours, don’t stop, stop, talk with people, listen to stories about the place, protect nature.