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Cabins Cascada de las Animas, Tour Operator

Horseback Riding Tours, Maipo, Los Andes

· Horseback Riding Tours

If you have ever wondered what it would have been like to have roamed the Wild West on horseback like the cowboys of the past, this is your opportunity to make this dream a reality.
We invite you to join us in a magical adventure exploring the Andes Mountains by horseback. Established in 1840, Cascada de las Animas is the oldest and most experienced operator offering horseback riding adventure trips in Chile.
We live and work in these mountains and our family has been exploring them for five generations. This intimate knowledge allows us to lead you to some of chilean most spectacular areas. Beautiful valleys, crystal clear lakes, colorful wildflowers, soaring condors, glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks surround us as we ride along secluded trails known only to the mountain horsemen of Chile. Most of our horseback rides take us through areas which are visited only a few times a year by the occasional local horseman or rancher.
Our horseback rides are designed to impress even the most seasoned trail rider. Mountain riding is our specialty and our equipment and horses are especially selected for these conditions. If you have never been on a horseback ride dont worry. Beginners can be secure in the knowledge that our trail horses are specially bred for mountain work and trained to be easily controlled by first time riders. Many of our guests are first time riders, starting out with a short horseback tour, and then returning to experience one of our longer horseback expeditions. (Be sure to check out our famous "Crossing the Andes" trip and our new "Journey to the High Lakes" to get a flavor for what our longer horseback rides are like.)
We have spent many years exploring the vast wilderness of the Andes Mountains and have selected some of the most spectacular campsites imaginable. All food and equipment is brought along on pack mules, allowing us to pamper our guests. Gourmet food is standard fare, as is a musician for entertaining around the campfire in the clear starry evenings. We take care of all of the hard work for you - setting up camp, packing the mules and saddling the horses, cooking and washing - we will even give you a hand setting up your tent if you need, although tents are rarely needed because it seldom rains during the summer months in the Andes of central Chile. Just bring yourself and be prepared for one of the most enjoyable adventure vacations of your life.
Join us on a horseback ride this year and experience it for yourself.
· One day Rides.

- Exciting 1 day horseback rides in the spectacular Chilean Andes

These rides take you on a tour through the 10,000 acre private Nature Sanctuary at our ranch on the Maipo River. Whether you are an experienced rider or a novice, you will find these rides perfect for someone who wants to spend all or part of a day horseback riding Chiles spectacular Andes Mountains. These are very popular tours with our campground and cabin guests as well as folks looking for an escape for the day from Santiago. Great adventures for the entire family, all tours are led by guides who are happy to point out the many spectacular views, as well as the native flora and fauna along the trails.

- Meseta Horseback Ride
Dates: available all year

We meet at our corrals in the Nature Sanctuary and give you a quick lesson in horsemanship before departing (our horses are very gentle and are accustomed to first time riders). We will follow one of a variety of trails in the sanctuary leading up into the mountains to a 250 acre plateau which sits over 300 meters above the river valley. The meseta affords a commanding view of the small village of San Alfonso and the surrounding area. Crossing the meseta, you will have an opportunity to see the work of our sanctuary reforestation projects where we have planted thousands of native and introduced trees. Riding on, we will follow the trail to a view point which overlooks the Rio Maipo, the Estero Manzanito and the surrounding mountains where we will stop for a break and enjoy the breathtaking sights. This area is a study in Andean geology where the Manzanito has cut into the mountains exposing multicolored bands of rock and an ancient seabed littered with fossils. After leaving the view point, we will follow a different trail down the mountain through the sanctuary, ending our trip back at the corrals.

-Day in the Mountains
Dates: available all year

A perfect escape day from Santiago, this package features an exciting horseback trip, lunch at our restaurant, and a relaxing afternoon exploring the nature sanctuary or sunbathing by the pool (optional sauna in winter months) surrounded by the beauty of the Andes mountains.
Our van meets you at your hotel in Santiago at 9:00am.
After arriving at the ranch, well cross the swinging bridge over the rapids of the Rio Maipo to the corrals where your horse will be saddled and waiting.
After a short instruction, we start the ride, heading up into the mountains. We will follow the route described in our Meseta Horseback Ride, enjoying the breathtaking views and clean air before heading back down the mountain to the corrals.
After the ride we meet back at the Cascada de las Animas restaurant for a delicious lunch (included).
The afternoon is yours to explore the sanctuary, take a short hike to the waterfall, or take a refreshing swim and relax in the shade by the swimming pool.
We will depart the ranch around 5:00pm for the van trip back to Santiago and your hotel.

- Pangal Horseback Ride
Available all year

This is a very popular riding trip and is a wonderful way to spend the day exploring the high Andes. Highlights include fantastic views, clean air, cool mountain streams and soaring condors.
Our van meets you at your hotel in Santiago at 9:00am. After arriving at the ranch, well cross the river to the corrals where your horse will be saddled and waiting. After a short instruction, we start the ride, heading up into the mountains. Like the Meseta Horseback Ride, we will follow the trail up to the meseta rising high above the river valley, quickly gaining over 300 meters in elevation. After crossing the meseta, we will follow another trail that continues climbing steeply upwards to "La Campana" - a 1730 meter, bell shaped mountain that dominates the landscape surrounding the ranch and sanctuary. Atop la Campana, we have a 360 degree view of the Rio Maipo Valley and the surrounding mountains. From la Campana, we continue along a gently ascending trail into the realm of the condor, until we reach "Cruce de los Maquis". Cruce de los Maquis is an enchanting spot with a crystal clear stream rushing down the mountainside, surrounded by tall native shade trees and spring flowers. Guests are encouraged to soak in the refreshing pool here while your guide prepares a delicious chilean "asado"(barbecue) lunch. (Vegetarian dishes are available upon request) After resting a bit after lunch, we then remount our horses for the return trip back down the mountain ending up at our corrals.
Afterwards we meet for farewell refreshments at the Cascada de los Animas restaurant before boarding the transport van for the trip back to Santiago.

· Two and Three days ride

- Rincón del Rodeo
2 day packtrip into the Cascada Nature Sanctuary
September - April

This ride takes us into the high chilean Cordillera near our base of operations on the Maipo River. During the trip we will pass over a high mountain range, with views of beautiful valleys, rivers, springs, and rugged peaks. This is a pleasant yet challenging adventure with a team of experienced guides and muleteers, exquisite food and plenty of music under the stars at our campsite.

Day 1

Breakfast at our restaurant at Cascada de las Animas near San Alfonso.
Departure after breakfast from our corrals nearby in the Nature Sanctuary.
We begin a steep ascent of the Cordillera though our private sanctuary winding our way along trails towards the "El Maqui" Pass that allows us access to "Rincón del Rodeo" valley. At the pass, we will stop for lunch and enjoy the view before continuing on to our overnight destination. Once we reach our campsite, our muleteers will help you get your camp set up and then you will have plenty of time to explore the surrounding area while your guides prepare a delicious chilean barbecue.
That night we will entertain you with songs and music as only chileans can do, while being bathed by the light of a thousand stars under the clear night sky.
Campsite: Rincón de las Mariposas.

Day 2

Depart after breakfast and return to Cascada de las Animas by a different route. We will ride along the length of the "Rincón del Rodeo" valley eventually reaching a maximum altitude of over 3000 meters, before beginning our descent into the valley of the Maipo. The views here are breathtaking, with a panoramic view of the entire area.
A stop at Pangal Mountain Range for lunch before finally reaching the corrals at the Sanctuary. A farewell refreshment is served at the Cascada de las Animas Restaurant after the tour.

· Six days ride
- Corral de los Caballos
6 day adventure riding in the high Andes

This ride takes us into the high Andean Cordillera near our base of operations on the Maipo River. We have designed this trip for those who wish to experience a true week long Andean horsepacking adventure. During the trip we will pass through high mountain ranges, and visit beautiful valleys, rivers, springs, and rugged peaks. This is an exciting "trip of a lifetime" with a team of experienced guides and muleteers, exquisite food and plenty of music under the stars at our campsites.

Day 1

Breakfast at our restaurant at Cascada de las Animas near San Alfonso.
Departure after breakfast from our corrals nearby in the Nature Sanctuary.
We begin a steep assent of the Cordillera though our private sanctuary winding our way along trails towards the "El Maqui" Pass that allows us access to "Rincón del Rodeo" valley.
At the pass, we will stop for lunch and enjoy the view before continuing on to our overnight destination.
Once we reach our campsite, our muleteers will help you get your camp set up and then you will have plenty of time to explore the surrounding area.
Campsite: Rincón de las Mariposas.

Day 2

Depart after breakfast. We will ride along the length of the "Rincón del Rodeo" valley gently ascending into the heart of the Cordilleras, stopping for lunch and a rest along the way. The views here are breathtaking, with a panoramic view of the entire area. At the end of the day we will reach a beautiful mountain stream called the "Coyanco". We will make our camp here near its crystal clear pools surrounded by flowers.
Campsite: Casa de Piedras de las Yaretas.

Day 3

We depart camp and follow along "Estero Coyanco", passing through beautiful huge "vegas" (mountain pastures) and over a 3400 meter pass, eventually reaching our destination at "Corral de los Caballos." This is where the "Estero Coyanco" born, a magical place of spectacular waterfalls and pools. Campsite: "Corral de los Caballos."

Day 4

Layover day. Today we rest, with an opportunity to hike around the surrounding area or take a short horseback ride during the day through the fantastically beautiful valleys and canyons nearby.
Campsite: Corral de los Caballos.

Day 5

Depart camp after breakfast. Today we ascend to the headwaters of "Estero Manzanito", passing along the ridge of the Cordilleras and through beautiful flower-filled "vegas" surrounded by crystalline springs. Campsite: El Rincón de las Perdices.

Day 6

Today we will return to the Nature Sanctuary at Cascada de los Animas. This is an exciting day, taking us along a spectacular route with incredible views of the Maipo Valley and its Mountain Range.
We will stop for lunch at "Estero el Pangal" and eventually reach the corrals at the Sanctuary. After a chance to rest up, we will meet for a final farewell dinner at our restaurant.

· Crossing the Andes
A 14 day horseback adventure traveling from Chile to Argentina.
Feb. 15 - Feb. 28

An incredible journey across the Andes from Chile to Laguna del Diamante (Diamond Lake) at the foot of the Maipo Volcano (5,299 meters) in Argentina. This ride is almost entirely in the Argentinean Cordillera, which is mostly an area of National Parks. As the days pass we will travel through an enchanted land of mountain ranges, beautiful valleys, rivers, and springs with views of rugged peaks and volcanoes, until we arrive at Laguna Diamante, the crown jewel of the central Andes in the great valley of the Maipo. This is a journey into the heart of the Andes, with a team of the most experienced guides and muleteers in Chile, exquisite food and plenty of music under the stars. We plan several "layover days" where we remain at the same campsite to give you a chance to rest and enjoy the area. A magical journey that you will remember for the rest of your life.

All inclusive package from Santiago includes transfer to and from Santiago international airport or your hotel, lodging one night before and one night after your trip, all meals, and access to our nature sanctuary, sauna and pool facilities.

Day 1

Arrive to Santiago where we will meet you at the airport or your Santiago hotel and drive you to our ranch resort at San Alfonso. San Alfonso is a 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 in to your cabin 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.

Day 2

Breakfast at our restaurant at Cascada de las Animas near San Alfonso.
Departure after breakfast in vans (approximately 2 hours journey) to "la Panimavida" from where the ride starts out, in the direction of the "Piuquenes" pass on the border of Chile and Argentina, at a height of 4,300 meters above sea level. This is an important border crossing in the cordillera, from which there opens out in front of us one of the most beautiful and colorful valleys of our ride.
Campsite: El Chocolate.

Day 3

Gentle descent through the valley of the Rio Palomar, then across the Rio Tunullan. Campsite: Refugio de la Cruz.

Day 4

Along the valley of the Tunullan River, which we cross again.
Campsite: El Tacho.

Day 5

Up through the "Cien Vueltas" (100 turns) to the Corrales Negros.
Campsite: Vega Corrales Negros.

Day 6

We ride through the valley of the Marmolejo River till we arrive at the Salinillas Valley, and cross the same river.
Campsite: "El Rial de los Chilenos" with spectacular caverns and waterfalls.

Day 7

Departure in the direction of the "Torrecillas" - gigantic castles of stone around a beautiful clear river. Campsite: La Vega de Torrecillas.

Day 8

Layover day. In the morning we go for a ride and in the afternoon we can relax. Campsite: La Vega de Torrecillas.

Day 9

We leave the Torrecillas and ride across the canyon of the Colorado River towards "Las Overas", where it is possible to see large numbers of guanacos.
Campsite: Las Overas.

Day 10

We cross the valley of the Rio Papal before finally arriving at the Diamante Lagoon. Campsite: Las Enumeradas.

Day 11

Layover day. Today we enjoy a ride to the incredible Diamante Lagoon where we will spend the day before returning to our campsite. Campsite: Las Enumeradas.

Day 12

We leave "Las Enumeradas" and ride through the valley of Maipo Volcano before crossing back into chilean territory through the Alvarado pass to the south. (3.400m). Campsite: Laguna de Alvarado.

Day 13

On our final day we ride along the Alvarado canyon then cross the Rio Maipo. We continue through the valley of the Maipo towards the "Cruz de Piedra"(stone cross), the Chilean frontier control post, where our vans are waiting to take us home. We end our adventure with a special farewell dinner at the Cascada de las Animas restaurant.

Day 14

Breakfast and checkout of your cabin.
Transfer to Santiago airport or your hotel as required.

· Chilean Round-up
4 day round-up in the Chilean mountains
Nov 28 thru Dec 1 and March 24-27

This might be the most entertaining and attractive 4-day horseback ride found anywhere. In the Andean spring, after the snow has melted and the grass, herbs, flowers and water cycle starts again, the mountain horsemen (arrieros) of central Chile move their animals from the winter rangelands in the lower valleys, to the spring and summer rangeland in the high mountains. The horses stay in the high mountains feeding for 4 to 5 months and when autumn comes again and many meters of snow begin to cover the land, the horses and mares with their newborn foals are rounded up and driven back down to the winter rangelands again.
This is one of the oldest and most traditional activities to be found in South America. These are days of intense activities and close relationships among the muleteers. Around the campfire it is possible to meet some of the legends of chilean horsemen. These old muleteers were among the first to bring horses from Argentina into Chile. Some have fought bandits and been pursued by various armies and all manner of wild animals in the pursuit of their nomadic lifestyle. Many of these men have spent their lives living high in the mountains with only their horses for company. The beautiful scenery, displays of superb riding and the amazing stories are guaranteed to keep you well entertained.

Day 1

We meet for breakfast at the Cascada de las Animas restaurant.
Starting from the corrals at the ranch, we head into the mountains toward the high Cordillera. After riding about 4 hours we reach the Filos del Pangal at 3.000 meters for lunch and a rest. Afterwards we continue on to base camp at Los Nacimientos del Manzanito.
Here we make camp, have a great dinner and rest up for the next days activities.

Day 2

After breakfast we head toward La Caldera valley and the surrounding area to begin searching for and rounding up the horses. Maximum altitude 3.500 meters. This is a day with high emotion and incredibly beautiful landscapes.
Depending upon your riding skills, you may participate in this event as much as you want, working with the muleteers to surround the herds and move them back near camp.
Lunch is in Caldera Valley.
Dinner in base camp.

Day 3

This day is similar to the previous day with the roundup continuing into the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Lunch will be taken with us and served on the trail. If you prefer, you may remain in base camp to relax, or explore the area on foot.
At the end of the day we will return to base camp for a hearty dinner, music and storytelling.

Day 4

After breakfast we separate out the ranch horses and begin to drive them back down to la Meseta and the ranch corrals. After a full day on the trail we reach the ranch and put the horses to pasture. Afterwards, we meet for dinner at the Cascada de las Animas restaurant.

· Journey to the High Lakes
A 14 day adventure traveling to the remote alpine lakes of the central Andean wilderness
February 14 - 27 and March 7 - 20

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. Last season, our head horse guide Liliana "Gordita" Astorga, dusted off her topo maps, saddled up her horse and rode off with several friends and muleteers in search of new territories to see if she could do just that. Heading south from our ranch along the spine of the Andes, what they found was 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. For the entire journey 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 they will continue to find new places to explore during this trip. The itinerary below is based upon the original trip, but it may change as the trip evolves. We expect this trip to fill up fast with returning clients so contact us early if you are interested.

Day 1

Arrive in Santiago where we will meet you at the airport or your Santiago hotel and drive you to our ranch resort 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 in to your cabin 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.

Day 2

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 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 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 3

After breakfast we ride south into the Caren Mountain Range. The Caren Mountain Range 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 4

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

Day 5

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

Day 6

Today we begin riding towards the east, passing through Extravio Mountain Range. This range of mountains is filled with many large, beautiful mountain lakes and streams. Campsite: Extravio Lagoons.

Day 7

Today we will layover at our campsite relaxing by the beautiful Extravio Lagoons.
This is a great place to explore with many trekking possibilities.
Campsite: Extravio Lagoons.

Day 8

After our rest at the Lagoons, we continue riding east, still in Extravio Mountain Range with enjoying the many beautiful waterfalls along the way. Our trail then leads us along the Extravio River and into the Claro Canyon River.
Campsite: Pozones of Claro River.

Day 9

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

Day 10

Today is our second layover day with the option of trekking or a short horse ride through along the ridges of the high mountains. Many rivers and streams are born in this remote area and it is alive with an abundance of native flora and fauna.
Campsite: Las Vegas of Claro River.

Day 11

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 12

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 13

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

Day 14

Breakfast and checkout of your cabin.
Transfer to Santiago airport or your hotel as required.

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Cabalgatas, Maipo, Cordillera de los Andes
Cabalgatas, Maipo, Cordillera de los Andes
Cabalgatas, Maipo, Cordillera de los Andes
Cabalgatas, Maipo, Cordillera de los Andes
Cabalgatas, Maipo, Cordillera de los Andes
Cabalgatas, Maipo, Cordillera de los Andes
 
 
 
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