Horseback Riding picture
Alex E. Proimos/Flickr

Key Info

Southern Patagonia


Recreation, Sightseeing Type
  • 3.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Some say there's no better way to navigate Patagonia than on horseback. Ever since guachos (cowboys) first steered their sturdy steeds through Southern Patagonia's rugged terrain, horseback riding has been a romanticized mode of transportation. Several superb horseback riding services operate throughout Argentine Patagonia.

If you're planning to explore the Lake District, you can surround yourself with the breathtaking natural scenery of Nuhuel Huapi National Park on horseback. Travelers suggest booking a horseback riding expedition with Huara Viajes y Turismo, a trusted riding service that takes passengers through Patagonia's spectacular backcountry. To learn more about their excursions, visit Huara Viajes y Turismo's website (written in Spanish). If you're staying in Atlantic Patagonia, take a half-day ride along Puerto Madryn's scenic coast. Travelers also recommend Nativo Adventure, a horseback riding company that services the Atlantic district's eastern coastline. Find out more about Nativo Advenure by visiting their website.

Lastly, if you're hoping to explore Patagonia's most rustic district—Southern Patagonia—travelers praise Cerro Frias, a trusted horseback riding service (based in El Calafate) that boasts affordable prices and attentive guides. Along Cerro Frias' picturesque circuit, horses hug Argentino Lake and carry their riders on a scenic trail, featuring dramatic views of Argentino Lake, the Andes, and the southern border of the Perito Moreno glacier. "They offer wonderful and reasonably priced packages [...] It was well organised and the guides were lovely. They accommodated all levels of riding ability," exclaims one TripAdvisor user. Cerro Frias offers daily tours that depart from El Calafate at around 10 a.m. Prices start at $250 ARS (about $57 USD) and increase to $330 ARS (about $75 USD), depending on time of day and the season. To learn more, consult Cerro Frias' website.

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Time to Spend
#1 Argentine Lake District

Stretching across northwestern tip of Argentine Patagonia sits the picturesque Lake District. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains with Chilean Patagonia to the west and Atlantic Patagonia to the east, the Lake District contains breathtaking vistas from nearly every angle. San Carlos de Bariloche, known simply as Bariloche, serves as the region's major hub. Towering over the immense Nahuel Huapi Lake and the surrounding national park, Bariloche provides a tranquil setting for lounging outdoors, savoring local cuisine, and admiring the picturesque scenery. But Bariloche boasts more than natural beauty. Venture into Bustillo, the heart of the city, and you'll discover European architecture infused with local hardwood accents, which create a lofty urban setting. During July and August, you'll find idyllic skiing conditions, and, in January, you'll relish prime hiking and river rafting weather. We suggest visiting during November or March, when you can soak up the fresh air, marvel at postcard-perfect views of the Andes, and relax at a tucked away mountain retreat without heavy crowds.

From Bariloche, it's easy to travel to Cerro Catedral's luxurious ski retreat. It's also worth checking out Villa La Angostura (a lakeside village 50 miles north of Bariloche) and San Martín de los Andes (a scenic town 112 miles north of Bariloche). Both feature local craft markets and panoramic views.

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Fede Nuñez, Pixelado*Photo_Pro/Flickr
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