Laguna el Dial
Laguna el Dial 8 days / 7 nights
Riding tour in the south of Chile. In this riding adventure we have the privilege to enter the heart of the Andes to experience a real and unknown nature, far away from everything. It allows us to travel through one of Chile’s most beautiful and unknown routes and experience a variety and mix of landscapes: Mountains with lush vegetation as well as mineral-rich, desert-like mountains, together with gorges and valleys with crystal clear water. We follow paths carved by hand into the rock to allow the animals to pass through. We discover the world of the shepherds, the typical personalities of the Chilean mountains, respectable and honest workers, who tell the tourists their stories and poems, which come from the everyday life of the workers in the imposing mountains. We get to know the technique of loading a mule, get to know our horse and trust it. We live in perfect harmony with our surroundings. Every night after the riding tour we set up our tents together and make a fire, where we later enjoy our warm dinner. We drink mate and chat, surrounded by a spectacular landscape.
The participants travel to Parral (460km south of Santiago) before the first riding day. In Parral they will stay at the Hotel Brescia, in rooms with two or more beds. There they meet at 19:00h with the guide, to whom they give the backpack for the riding tour. All luggage that is not needed can be left in the hotel and picked up after the return from our adventure. Dinner in the town where Pablo Neruda was born.
After breakfast at the Hotel Brescia we leave the village at 9:30 am by private car to reach the meeting point in the Cordillera, 53 km away, where we meet the staff of Hacienda Ecuestre. Drivers, horses and mules are already waiting for us for our first riding tour. About six to eight hours separate us from the place where we will camp. This first route, riding uphill and always approaching the heart of the Cordillera, allows us to get to know our horses and fellow riders better. We ride through fields and woods and cross rivers. Some passages require, for safety’s sake, that we get off the horse and walk about 50m.
We leave for a 6 hour tour, where we will reach the Laguna el Dial in the late afternoon. We are surrounded by impressive mountains all along the way. We camp at the lagoon, where we have the opportunity to talk to the shepherds who herd their animals here in summer. Night barbecue in this majestic setting.
Enjoying the beauty of this lagoon, we set off on a 4-hour tour around the lake. We head towards the highest point (3200 m.a.s.l.), the border between Chile and Argentina and the back end of the lagoon. On the way back we concentrate on fishing, relaxing, bathing and drinking mate with our shepherd friends.
We leave our campsite early because the longest day of our journey awaits us. We will spend about 10 hours on horseback and ride through the summer pasture Belmar and Plaza, up to the Cajón de Moralito. After the impressive descent Z (named after the zigzag shape of the path) we arrive at the Cajón de Ibáñez, the naturally hot thermal baths. Overnight stay near the thermal baths.
To relax our muscles after the long ride, we have a rest day. We enjoy the regenerating effect of the hot springs, explore the surrounding area on foot, play community games and also let the horses recover from the strains of the past.
During the morning we once again enjoy the medical thermal baths and benefit from the regenerating properties of sulphur. At noon we leave the sector de la Balsa and leave for our last riding day. We spend about 7 hours on horseback, leaving the high mountains behind us and are again surrounded by forests and crystal clear water. We come to the sector de Canelos, where our adventure ends. We announce our arrival to the SAG and the police. From here we are picked up again by private car. The last night we spend on the Hacienda Ecuestre, where comfortable bungalows, a warm pool and a delicious dinner await us.
The last day offers another highlight, after six days in the Andes, we leave after breakfast for a ride on the beach of Pelluhue. The black sand and the sea air offer a welcome contrast to the Cordillera. After the ride the program ends. Individual onward journey or further overnight stays on the beautiful Hacienda are possible.