Journey to the High Lakes

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Journey to the High Lakes


11 Day Ride

Beautiful horseback ride to the remote alpine lakes of the central Andean wilderness

Each year a few of our more adventurous clients, returning from our “Crossing the Andes” adventure, would ask if we would consider offering another long horse ride into the wilderness of the high cordillera. In 2005, our head horse guide Liliana “Gordita” Astorga, dusted off her topo maps, saddled up her horse and rode off with several friends and arrieros in search of new territories to see if she could do just that. Heading south from our ranch “Cascada de las Animas” along the spine of the Andes, they found a wilderness of incomparable beauty and splendor. They covered over 300 kilometers riding through high mountain passes, across uninhabited valleys, crossed roaring rivers and camped alongside beautiful lakes before returning on a circuitous route back to the Cascada de las Animas ranch. Gordita came back as excited about this trip as any that she has done. This ride took them into some of Chile’s wildest and most remote areas. The group didn’t see another person until they came down out of the mountains. This year we are offering you the chance to repeat this journey with us. Gordita will be leading this trip during the peak of the summer season here in Chile and the expectations are high that she will continue to find new places to explore during this trip. We expect this trip to fill up fast with returning clients so contact us early if you are interested.

Day 1:
This is an exciting and busy day. We begin the day with a pre-trip breakfast meeting at our restaurant in Cascada de las Animas. You will need to bring your baggage for the trip (packed and ready) to the restaurant so that your guides can load it on the pack mules. After breakfast, we will walk over to the corrals where our horses are saddled and waiting and the guides are making last minute preparations. We start our adventure departing from the ranch corrals heading upwards into the high mountains. We will ride for approximately 6 hours reaching an elevation of 3,400 meters (11,000 feet) before stopping for our first nights camp. Our camp will have a spectacular view of the ancient San Jose volcano. Campsite: Nacimientos del Manzanito.

Day 2:
After breakfast we ride south into the cordilleras de Caren. The cordilleras de Caren are a range of gently sloping mountains with wide valleys banded with a spectacular array of different colors. We spend most of the day riding through these mountains. Campsite: Alto de la Quebrada Onda.

Day 3:
We continue south, riding towards Las Vegas Azules, passing through steep mountains bordered by sharp cliffs. Campsite: Las Vegas Azules.

Day 4:
This a day of incredibly beautiful views. We will cross over a remote 3.800 meter (12,500 feet) mountain pass with an impressive view of all the Maipo Valley, then continue riding until we reach the Cajón de Codegua. Campsite: Nacimientos del Estero de Codegua.

Day 5:
Today we begin riding towards the east, passing through Las Cordilleras del Extravío. This range of mountains is filled with many large, beautiful mountain lakes and streams. Campsite: Lagunas del Extravío.

Day 6:
Today we will layover at our campsite relaxing by the beautiful Lagunas del Extravío, “Extravío Lakes”. This is a great place to explore with many trekking possibilities. Campsite: Lagunas del Extravío.

Day 7:
After our rest at the Lagunas, we continue riding east, still in las cordilleras del Extravío with enjoying the many beautiful waterfalls along the way. Our trail then leads us along the Río Extravío and into the Río Claro Canyon. Campsite: Pozones de Río Claro.

Day 8:
Today we make an impressive ascent following the Río Claro. Huge multi-colored mountains surround us accented with many streams and waterfalls. We make camp near the headwaters of the Río Claro. Campsite: Las Vegas de Río Claro.

Day 9:
Today we turn west and ride towards an area of beautiful large mountain lakes set in a wide valley surrounded by high mountains. Campsite: Los Mímulos.

Day 10:
Continuing towards the northwest, we cross over a 3,900 meter pass making our way back towards the Cascada de las Animas ranch. Campsite: Rincón de las Perdices.

Day 11:
Today we end our journey, arriving back at the Cascada de las Animas corrals. After enjoying a well deserved hot shower, we Hill all meet for a farewell dinner at the Cascada de las Animas restaurant.

Meeting point: Cascada de las Animas
Trip Length: 13 days – 12 nights – 11 days riding
Riders: Minimum: 6 Maximum: 20
Riding per day: 5-6 hours
Pace: moderate
Horses: Criollo cross
Weight Limit: 220 lbs

Cost per person:
$1.200.000 pesos (12 or more participants)
$1.344.000 pesos (7 – 11 participants)
$1.500.000 pesos (6 or less participants)

Extra Day Pre Trip Option:

Arrive in Santiago where we will meet you at the airport or your Santiago hotel and drive you to our ranch resort “Cascada de las Animas” at San Alfonso. San Alfonso is a quaint village about 1 1/2 hours southeast of Santiago nestled in the Andes mountains alongside the wild Maipo River. After arriving at the ranch you can check into on of our cabins or rooms and relax at the pool, take a hike in the nature sanctuary, and enjoy a delicious dinner at our restaurant overlooking the rapids of the Maipo River.

Extra Day Post Trip Option:

Spend the night with us at Cascada de las Animas in one of our quaint cabins or rooms after your trip. Have breakfast in our resturant the next morning before our transfer van takes you to the Santiago airport or your next hotel as required.

$Call or email us for Extra Day Pre or Post Trip optional add-on prices.



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