Gaucho Life Cultural Tour

Puerto Natales, Chile

Trip Highlights

  • Experience Gaucho Culture
  • Horseback Riding
  • Remote Glacial Lake
  • Unique Gaucho BBQ
  • Sleep, Hike & Dine on a Working Ranch
  • Multiple Zodiac Boat Rides
  • Remote, Wild Ranch Country

Description

On this very unique adventure for private groups (no set dates) we combine Patagonia’s remote, dramatic landscapes, remote glaciers and isolated river corridors with the unique cultural setting of an authentic Patagonian cattle ranch. We’ll explore the traditional Chilean “Gaucho” culture while taking in the stunning surroundings. You’ll experience pure Patagonian solitude and visit the seldom scene Geike Glacier; an honor reserved exclusively for visitors travelling with Wildland Trekking.

Our destination is a cattle ranch in Southern Chile located along the Serrano River between 2 National Parks, Torres del Paine and Bernardo O’Higgins. In the early 1970s, Luis “Pekin” Guerrero and his wife Ana Soto began working with Comunidad Rio Serrano, a livestock cooperative that was based in present-day Pueblito Serrano. When agricultural land was divided during Chile’s agrarian reform, the Guerrero family was assigned a new plot of land encircled by rivers, glacier-capped mountains, and the Southern Patagonian Icefield. Founded in 1978, Estancia Anita is only accessible by boat and horse. Today, the Guerrero family continues the rural traditions of Southern Chile by using criollo horses and working dogs to facilitate their cattle operation. We invite you to come see the “real Patagonia” with us!

This tour is available as an add-on to longer treks such as our Torres del Paine W Trek or Torres del Paine O Circuit, or can be joined as a stand alone tour. Being in a very remote corner of the vast expanse of the Patagonian wilderness, this trip is tremendously unique, logistically complicated and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Working Ranch Disclaimer

The Estancia Anita is a real working cattle ranch. There may be some day to day activities on the ranch that can be graphic by nature (i.e. animal slaughter, meat butchering, cattle branding, etc…) During our visit it is possible some of these activities may be happening. Guests are not required to participate of course in any of these activities. There is also a large population of working dogs on the ranch. Anyone with a fear of dogs, horses or cattle may not want to be a part of this experience. This disclaimer is not meant to scare anyone, but rather is a reminder of the realities of visiting, staying at, and experiencing a very authentic working cattle ranch in a different country. This is not a simulated or theatrical experience, but a true cultural immersion experience on a remote Patagonian cattle ranch.

4 Days
$2800 Per Person
$160 Single Supplement  

$160 Single Supplement

On this trip the single supplement includes single rooms in the hotels we stay at before and after the camping portion of the tour. Once on our trek we put all guests who request it in single tents.

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Basecamp Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-6 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 7+MI / 11+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
10 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
1-7 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
550 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
550 feet
Quality of Trails:
Variable including well-maintained and off-trail
Additional:
This tour includes horseback riding, boat shuttles and hiking. The horseback riding is long and can be quite physically demanding. The hiking is on rock and dirt trails with moderate elevation gain, with some sections of more rugged off-trail hiking.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise vigorously 3-5 times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-10 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25 pound backpack

 

 

SOLITUDE LEVEL 5

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Patagonia hike a solitude 5. You can expect to see at most a couple other groups for the duration of your tour.

Learn More about our Rating System
BOOKING FLIGHTS

For our Patagonia treks we recommend flying directly into Puerto Natales, Chile on the day the trip begins. LATAM Airlines and Sky Airline offer direct flights from Santiago to Puerto Natales. However, you can also fly into Punta Arenas and we will pick you up and shuttle you to Puerto Natales (3 hours).

If flying into Punta Arenas, guests should arrive in the morning no later than 12PM, and we will shuttle 3 hours to Puerto Natales. If flying into Puerto Natales, guests should arriver before 3PM. Your guide will rendezvous with you at either airport and transport you to our hotel. An orientation meeting, dinner and accommodations are included on Day 1.

Flights to and from Chile are the guest’s responsibility. Multiple airlines operate flights into Punta Arenas (and LATAM Airlines flies into Puerto Natales), but there are no direct flights from U.S. or European cities. Most flights connect through Lima, Santiago, and/or Puerto Montt, Chile. The duration of these multiple-stop flights, including layovers, is normally between 20 and 28 hours.

Your flight on the final day should depart no earlier than 3PM if you’re flying from Punta Arenas. If you’re flying from Puerto Natales your flight can leave at any time.

Please Note: When you enter Chile, you will be issued a document called a PDI (tourism card). Please do NOT throw this away. You will need it to exit the country and nearly every lodge we stay in also asks for a copy.

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 6-7 People: Rate x 1.2
  • 8-10 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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TRIP ITINERARY

TRIP ITINERARY

PRE-TRIP DAY

If you’re joining this tour as an add-on after another Patagonia trip with Wildland, today will be the final day of that tour and we will transfer you to tonight’s lodging in Puerto Natales. If you’re joining this trip as a stand alone tour, we will pick you up at the airport in Punta Arenas and transfer you to Puerto Natales. With both options, lodging is included tonight and dinner is on your own. Your guide will meet with you to discuss the upcoming adventure and ensure everyone is ready to go!

DAY 1

  • Drive to Zodiac Boat: 1.5 hours
  • Zodiac Ride: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: .2 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
  • Horse Ridge: ~ 2 hours

This morning you will have breakfast at your hotel before we transfer by vehicle to Nash Lodge. Here we will have lunch and a short briefing before taking a zodiac boat ride down the pristine Serrano River. Have your camera ready, this boat ride takes us through some extremely gorgeous territory on our way to our destination, Estancia Anita. During our boat ride there is one spot we must hike over a small ridge past a rough area of current to switch boats. This is a nice break in the boat ride to stretch your legs. Once at the ranch, you’ll meet the staff and set up our camp for 2 nights with the Guerreros family.

After we set-up camp, we’ll enjoy a scenic horseback ride while experiencing the traditional ranching style. Here we will watch as sheep dogs help herd cattle during a truly unique adventure. After our ride we’ll enjoy a dinner prepared by our private chef and a quiet night in the Patagonian countryside.

DAY 2

  • Hiking/Riding Mileage: 12.8 miles (combination of riding and hiking)
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 550 feet
  • Horse ride: 3-4 hours, ~6 miles
  • Hiking time: 3-4 hours, ~7 miles

This morning starts with breakfast from our Chef. Then we start an exploration of the surrounding area with a horse ride/hike combination that will take us to the private Geike Glacier and lake by way of an old trail used by the Baqueanos of the ranch. This fabulous sight can only be seen by visitors to the Ranch by either hiking or horseback. It sits on the Guerreros’s private land between Torres Del Paine and Bernard O’Higgans National Parks and is truly remote. At our viewpoint, this amazing glacier has a surreal iceberg filled lake, we’ll enjoy a break and fabulous views of this magnificent landscape. On our return we will enjoy yet another delicious healthy meal prepared by our chef before falling off to sleep dreaming of floating ice listening to the Serrano River rolling by.

DAY 3

  • Zodiac Boat Navigation: 45 Minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
  • Catamaran Boat Navigation: 2 hours

Today starts at Anita ranch boarding the speed/zodiac boat after breakfast. We will navigate down the Serrano River until Puerto Toro, where we will hike to the outstanding Serrano Glacier. Along the way we’ll enjoy views of the lake and icebergs until reaching the foot of this ancient Glacier. After our hike, we’ll board the Tonina Catamaran launch to head back to Puerto Natales. You may even get the chance to try a local aperitif made with ice from glacier!

On the way back to Puerto Natales you will experience a typical Magellan spit-roasted lamb BBQ at Estancia Puerto Consuelo. This unique cooking style will change how you picture grilling forever! After our feast we will arrive at our hotel in Puerto Natales to rest before our final farewell dinner in town.

DAY 4

This morning, after breakfast our shuttle driver will deliver you back to the airport in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. If you are remaining in either city, please let us know. We can help you arrange extra activities in Patagonia. Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, availability of refugios, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more. Also, the kayaking and glacier hiking days on this trip are weather-dependent and not guaranteed; we will substitute alternate activities in the case kayaking and/or glacier hiking are not possible.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

This tour is booked on a custom basis for private groups so does not have set dates (requested dates are almost always available). Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to schedule your hike!

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Camping and lodging accommodations
  • Use of a backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent & trekking poles
  • Professional, certified Wildland Patagonia guides
  • Horseback riding
  • Meals beginning with breakfast on Day 1 through breakfast on the final day
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Transportation to/from Puntas Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

MEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT

This Patagonia hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guides. We’ll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants in Puerto Natales and in some of the backcountry lodges as well as meals prepared on the trail by your guides and/or support staff.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you’re interested in.

GEAR WE PROVIDE

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone

WHAT GEAR TO BRING

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

WHAT CLOTHES TO BRING

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

WHERE DO WE MEET?

We will meet you at the airport in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales on Pre-trip Day and transport you to the first night’s hotel (included), where we’ll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the first evening (your flight should arrive before 12PM if flying into Punta Arenas, and before 3PM if you’re flying into Puerto Natales). Our team in Patagonia will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it’s important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.

GUIDES

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

GUIDE WORKING PARAMETERS

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

GROUP SIZE AND AGE RESTRICTIONS

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a minimum of 4 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

TRIP INSURANCE

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664

If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.

WEATHER IN PATAGONIA

Chile is a long, thin country extending North-South more than half the length of South America which gives it a tremendous diversity of climates. The Patagonia region of Chile, where we operate our trips, is at the far southern tip of South America, relatively far from the equator and close to the South Pole. It is a generally cool climate with potential for year round inclement weather including rain, snow, sleet, and very strong winds.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the Patagonia region are:

Month Hi Low Precip
October 51° F 37° F 5 in
November 55° F 40° F 5.6 in
December 57° F 42° F 7.2 in
January 59° F 44° F 5.1 in
February 58° F 43° F 3.8 in
March 55° F 41° F 4.9 in
April 50° F 38° F 5.8 in

Accommodations

Accommodations

HOTEL NATALINO

2 NIGHTS

This modern, comfortable hotel, with architecture that evokes the form of Patagonia’s natural landscapes, is a premier accommodation in the town of Puerto Natales. Just a couple years old, and with all the amenities, it is a fantastic place to prepare before, and rest after, our Patagonia trek.
(heated pool)

TENT CAMPING

2 NIGHTS

Tent camping is in premier 1-person or 2-person, 4-season tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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