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The Great Argentina Getaway - Horses and History
Pampered in the Pampas
After years of extensive reconnaissance, we have put together an exciting agenda and itinerary that we believe offers the best equestrian vacation in Argentina for the time that most have available. Designed around a long week, we concentrate maximum activity and minimum travel, locating our adventure in the historic regions of Mendoza and Cordoba. For those with more time, we have a portfolio of options for visiting Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Iguasu Falls, or even learning to tango following, or before, our itinerary.
Argentina is a modern country with a romantic South American flair. She offers monumental colonial cities, rich Gaucho culture and spectacular mountain scenery as well as some of the best world class wineries and food, all at affordable cost. More - traveling to and from North America avoids the unpleasant Jet Lag of trans-Atlantic flights.
We begin our journey in Mendoza, riding through vineyards, hiking and an optional canopy experience. Moving on we travel to Cordoba, and lodge at a favorite, elegantly restored, historic estancia, Los Potreros (Enclosures of Stallions) where horses were raised and trained for the Calvary. We ride out on a two day trip through the rolling hill country of the lower Andes to over-night at an old hacienda with comfortable old world accommodations (no camping). Riding along with local Gauchos we learn about their culture and cowboy ways. While traveling cross country, we ride the estancias own paso-gaited mounts (Peruvian Pasos). Returning we enjoy the remaining days on remote estancia trails, riding different well mannered, responsive horses: the locally bred Criollos. For those with a competitive interest, we schedule a carefully arranged polo practice and instruction. Each evening begins with high tea or leisurely cocktails on the veranda.
We have partnered with excellent local people allowing a plethora of options daily for a few folks who don't ride horses to join the trip.
We recommend arriving to Santiago de Chile and staying in transit for the flight to Mendoza. American Airlines is aligned with LAN (who handles the Mendoza flight) and you can use your AA miles for the whole distance.
Day 1 Arrive Mendoza - We meet your flight and transfer you to the Finca Adalgisa. Time to relax from the travel. We gather for introduction over the fincas own wine and cheese and for a dinner of Argentian specialties. Our selected lodging, La Finca Adalgisa is an early 20th century manor house and vineyard estate, a charming family home converted by Gabriela Furlotti, third generation Argentine-Italian, into the first regional boutique winery hotel/finca. Secluded and private, it is conveniently located within 20 minutes drive of Mendozas city center and within walking distance of a thriving little community with local shops and restaurants. D.
Lying at the foot of the high Andes, Mendoza and its outlying regions host many of the finest wineries in Argentina and the world.
Day 2 Experience the beauty of the Andes eastern slopes while riding between the grape vines and across rivers on Cesar Fernandezs well mannered Argentine Criollo horses. In the afternoon, weve arranged for a city tour of the interesting mid-size city of Mendoza where we learn the history of Argentinas independence from Spain. To top off the day, well visit a winery to learn the art of the unique Mendoza wine making process. We switch to the Gran Hotel Mendoza off Independence Plaza downtown Mendoza City with dinner out at a local favorite restaurant. B. L. (dinner not included)
Day 3 We visit another region today, Potrerillos, For the morning, weve arranged for an optional activity for a diversity in experience (see description below) and an afternoon hike in the Sierra. We return to the Gran Hotel Mendoza. Dinner out to another nearby favorite. B. L. (dinner not included).
Day 4 A fun, cultural way to see the country, we depart on an early luxury bus ride across the country to Cordoba and to our favorite estancia Los Potreros. (or we may opt for a local flight depending on timing). Dating back several hundred years, Estancia Los Potreros is an exclusive 6,000-acre working cattle ranch that has remained in the same Anglo-Argentine family for four generations. The estancia is secluded on the top of the "Sierras Chicas" at an altitude of 3,000 feet, nestled between the pampas and the Andes in the beautiful Argentine heartland.
Steeped in family history, there is much evidence of the pioneering work of the Jesuits who first organized farming in the area before forced to leave in 1796. The Begg family now invites guests to share their home and lifestyle, providing a unique and unforgettable vacation with first hand contact of the rural traditions of Argentina. The estancia prides itself on setting a high standard of professionalism in accommodation and hospitality, taking care of guests with unrivaled personal attention to detail. It provides a unique experience for those who like to combine the pleasures of estancia life with fabulous horse-riding. Whether your passion be outstanding horses, beautiful scenery, walking, photography, bird watching, wild flowers, soaking up the local culture or simply enjoying good company in a truly unique setting, Estancia Los Potreros has something for everyone. B.D
Day 5 and 6 We ride out on a two day horse trip through the rolling hill country of the lower Andes to over-night at an old hacienda with comfortable old world accommodations (no camping). Riding along beside local Gauchos we learn about their culture and unique cowboy ways. B.L.D.
Day 7 Time at the Ranch to experience the home Gaucho scene, maybe even play some polo for those who are game to try this local rural sport. And of course well experience a gaucho asado (BBQ). B. L. D. In their words:
Today provides you with the opportunity to try one of the sports for which Argentina has
become famous, and is the undisputed champion of the world polo! You will head
down to the polo grounds (an old alfalfa field!) for some short on-the-ground instruction
about the rules, and then after a short practice session of stick and ball, you will play a
couple of chukkas. Fast, fun and highly addictive, you are warned that this could be the
start of an expensive habit!
A traditional Argentine asado cooked by our gauchos and champagne for the winners
will be held at the polo ground, followed by a gentle afternoon ride, perhaps to collect
the mares and foals to protect them from the elusive puma. Say goodbye to your horses
for the last time, and a gala dinner rounds off your stay at Estancia Los Potreros.
Day 8 Transfers to the airport for your Flight home (or on to Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Patagonia? ) from Cordoba. We can help with extension arrangements. B.
This is a well researched and arranged itinerary which we make every effort to follow. However, the trip is subject to weather and many events beyond are control, which may cause changes and delays. We may also change the route for other good reasons. Please come prepared to cheerfully accept the unexpected!
Optional Activity Description (Day 3):
Flying through the air suspended from a pulley harnessed to a steel cable is the most exciting experience in Potrerillos. Experience the rush and listen to the cable sing as we guide you over 1500 meters (5000 feet) on 6 different zip line cables, some over 40 meters (130 feet) above the Valley floor. Our longest cable stretches over 450 meters (1500 feet) crossing the Mendoza River.
Scenic Potrerillos Valley views and spectacular El Plata Mountain, 6100 meters high, (20,000 feet) coupled with incredible geological layers lifting from million year old mountain formations make an unforgettable zip line adventure experience.
Base CircuitLength: 1:30 hour aprox. Average altitude: 30 m aprox / Route: 5 lines (700 m along) / Difficulty: Beginners / Minimum age: Younger than 12 assisted by guide / Equipment: Gloves, individual harness, helmet / Includes: equipment, mini trekking, professional bilingual guides, security talk.
RATES AND DATES:
2012 Price: $2995 (min of six), with 4-5 add $500/person surcharge.
Dates: February 26-March 4
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you book. This can reimburse you if you need to cancel last minute due to sickness or other emergencies. Or if circumstances beyond our control cancel or delay the trip. One company is Travel Guard 1-800-826-7488 or compare prices at www.insuremytrip.com. We recommend the Essentials Expanded Travel Guard policy which includes pre-existing conditions (you must purchase the policy within 15 days of the trip deposit).
Air Travel: We like Americans schedule best but investigate the best deals online or use your miles. We recommend flying over night into Santiago and then transferring to Mendoza and then depart either through Santiago or Buenos Aires. There is a chance that we will be subject to a new governmental entry fee that is being imposed on all people from countries that require visas from Argentinians. For Americans it would be $131, payable in cash. Chile also imposes this on Americans if you leave the Santiago airport but is avoidable if you are in transit. LAN airlines to Mendoza and return to Santiago from Cordoba can be arranged with AA miles.
Inclusions: All accommodations, land transportation, flight or overland transport Mendoza to Cordoba, gentle responsive horses, Argentine tack, and saddle bags. Meals as indicated: B- breakfast, L- lunch, D- dinner.
Exclusions: Not included are Meals not indicated, airport taxes, external air travel, bottled drinks and alcohol, (most wine is included), gratuities, entry fees to museums, churches, etc., personal expenditures, meals , costs resulting from illness or injury and emergency evacuation, program changes and delays beyond our control. There is a chance that we will be subject to a new governmental entry fee that is being imposed on all people from countries that require visas from Argentinians. For Americans it would be $131, payable in cash. Chile also imposes this if you leave the Santiago airport but is avoidable if you are in transit.
Call or e-mail us to answer your questions or make a reservation. Carefully read the application/contract form for details about payment, cancellation, refunds and legal responsibilities. You can reach us at the following numbers: Bear Basin Ranch -phone 719-783-2076, toll free fax 866-244-4691.
As we are frequently outdoors or leading trips, we do not maintain a regularly staffed office. We do however, check the answering machine and will promptly return your call or e-mail.
EQUIPMENT AND PREPARATION LIST:
Passport __Credit cards and cash for tips, shopping etc. _Airline tickets _Travel Insurance to include emergency medical, trip cancellation etc. available any travel agency __Suitcases of your choice for the majority of your gear__ Day Pack or Fanny Pack for daily items and camera + plastic bag to protect. Its good to have a day pack as you may be doing a combination of hiking and riding _Leisure clothing for travel and dining out. __Lightweight waterproof hiking/riding boots well broken-in __Waterproof gaiters or half chaps for riding/hiking. _Leisure Shoes _ __ Polar fleece type pullover for layering _ Rain gear: we like 100% waterproof jackets and pull over rain pants __Hat with a Brim...essential for sun and rain protection __ __ Assortment of light expedition clothes: pants, shirts, socks, underwear _ Toiletries: sun block (#30 or more), lip balm & personal items __ Insect Repellant __ Personal medications __Swim Suit
_ Quality sun Glasses_ Flashlight - We like headlamps. __ Pocket knife __Water Bottle __Camera __Binoculars.
HEALTH: We ask that you consult your family doctor concerning what medications, shots or inoculations he or she may recommend. We eat in only the best restaurants and our own cooks are carefully sanitation trained.
WEATHER: We expect mild warm (70-80s) temperatures but please come prepared. Rain is always possible
Have A Great Trip!
horseback trips, horse trips, wine tour on horses, Argentina horse trek, trail ride pampas - A deluxe vacation on horseback to the best of Argentina, fine wines, great horses in a historical setting