Argentina – Estancia Huechahue

An estancia in northern Argentine Patagonia in the foothills of the Andes. Fun and fast riding in a spectacular location. Gallop across water meadows and try your hand at helping the gauchos as they work cattle.

Product Description

  • Riding experience: for intermediate plus to experienced riders , see more information on Riding experience
  • Open September to April
  • Arrive/depart any day
  • 7 nights / 7 days riding
  • 4 – 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 16 stones (102 kgs) (224 lbs)
  • Usual maximum: 10
  • Nearest airport: Bariloche
  • Price approx 25 000,- NOK for 7 nights

Estancia Huechahue covers 15,000 acres and supports 900 head of Hereford cattle. Some 400 acres are under irrigation where alfalfa is grown for hay and there are also orchards of plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.

The estancia prides itself on its self-sufficiency whether in the form of fruit, nuts, vegetables or electricity! Beef is home-produced and during the week you have the opportunity to enjoy at least one “asado” – a traditional Argentine barbeque lunch.

The riding is limitless. Setting out from the estancia, ride through barren rolling hills and along the narrow rocky gorges of Andean streams or take a ride to the Chenque Hills where the mighty Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you. Watch the condors and eagles as they float high above you. Ride across water meadows or visit burial caves where Indian drawings can still be seen on the walls or try your hand at working cattle with the gauchos.

Ingunn – riding holiday responsible:

E-mail: ingunn.k@xxl.no

Direct number: +47 48 25 47 33

See www.inthesaddle.com for all our riding holidays in South America and rest of the world. 

The horses are Criollo crosses, part anglo-normando, of about 15.2 – 16hh. They are bred on the estancia, are sure-footed and generally well behaved. They are forward going and most suited to confident intermediate or experienced riders. They are neck-reined and the riding is similar to Western style. The saddles used are “montura de monte” which are similar to the old English army saddles with a sheepskin on top.

The riding programme is tailored to the needs and abilities of those visiting the estancia.

Estancia Huechahue

The programme can vary, but below is a example of a week’s riding from the Estancia. In September, October, November, March and April, the condors are particularly spectacular. Lunches next to the river with the chance to swim are best in January and February.

Day One

You will be met at Bariloche airport and driven to Estancia Huechahue (approx. 2 hours 30 mins). After lunch there will be an afternoon ride. A chance to familiarise yourself with the horses and tack and the local riding style.

Day Two

A full day ride on Estancia Huechahue. Follow the Huechahue stream through its basalt canyons, riding as fast as you want across the water-meadows sending the plovers and ibis screeching, before returning over the top of Chenque Hill, where the Andes rise up behind you and the vastness of Patagonia stretches out before you.

Day Three

Spend the day with the gauchos rounding up cattle into the corrals. Lunch may be with the gauchos and could be strips of beef ribs threaded onto a stick and cooked over the open fire. You cut off the chunk you fancy and eat it sandwich style. Meat, bread and mate – the gaucho diet. After a siesta in the shade you will get the chance to separate the cows on horseback or try your hand with a lasso.

Day Four

A full day ride on Estancia Huechahue to visit the Indian burial caves. The caves were formed when the glaciers carved the valley opening an entrance to the lava flow tunnels formed during  previous eras of volcanic activity. The Tehuelche Indians laid out their dead, surrounded by their weapons and always somewhere where they could see their enemies coming. They decorated the walls with designs. The remains have disappeared, but the petroglyphs and the view are still there.

Day Five

A morning ride to see the stallion with the mares and new foals and a chance to herd horses. After a late lunch an evening ride to the cliffs where the condors and eagles nest. While you have a cocktail and the sun goes down, the condors return soaring above and below you before settling for the night.

Day Six

A day ride through the neighbouring Indian reservation. The saddle rugs and saddle bags on Huechahue are woven by some of the Indian women and the skins from Huechahue cattle are worked into rawhide and then bridles and halters by the men. Ride by and share a “mate” on the way through.

Day Seven

A full day ride to a different part of the Estancia. There are 15,000 acres in all so there is still plenty left to explore. Lunch on the river. On the way home a chance to see guanaco, deer, wild boar and”peludos” – the baby armadillo.

Day Eight

A farewell ride on Huechahue before transferring to the airport.

The accommodation on the Estancia is very comfortable. There are a total of 12 rooms which can be made up as twin or double, each with private bathrooms. Eight rooms are in three separate chalets a short walk across the garden and four rooms are in the main lodge.

No extra charge is made for single occupancy.

There is also a sauna, a hot tub and a cold water pool for jumping in on hot days.


The prices below are on the basis of a seven night stay. Shorter or longer stays are possible so please ask for a quote

ESTANCIA STAY (7 nights)

Sep 2015 – Apr 2016: €2,717

INCLUDES Accommodation; full board; drinks; riding; ranch activities; ranch fishing; transfers from Bariloche

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT No single supplement for a single room

PAYABLE LOCALLY Fishing guides (USD325 per day per guide for up to two fishermen); off ranch fishing; tips; laundry

NEAREST AIRPORT We recommend you fly to Bariloche (2 hours road transfer) rather than to the nearest airport Chapelco (San Martin de los Andes) which has a very unreliable flight schedule

TRANSFERS Included from Bariloche (2 hours by road) if staying five or more nights or for groups of 4 or more staying at least 3 nights.  Transfers from San Martin are €61 per vehicle each way

NOT INCLUDED International flights


In northern Argentine Patagonia in the foothills of the Andes. Nearest airports are Bariloche and Chapelco (San Martin de los Andes).


September to November is spring time when days are warm although it will be cold at night. Summer is December through to February when day time temperatures may rise to 30C. Autumn is March to April.

The bulk of the rain falls between May and July when the Estancia is closed, although because you are in the mountains you do need to be prepared for rain at any time.



Reviews from In The Saddles guests: Guest reviews