Gaucho Life Cultural Tour
- Horseback ride to glacial lakes
- Explore remote, wild ranch country
- Get to know Gaucho culture
- Very small, personal groups (max 5)
- Sleep, hike & dine on a working ranch
- Eat fresh Patagonia barbeque
- Enjoy multiple Zodiac boat rides
Our Gaucho Life Cultural Tour is available as an add-on to longer treks such as our Torres del Paine W Trek or Torres del Paine Circuit, or can be joined as a stand alone tour. This tour will enhance any of our offered Torres Del Paine hiking trips and your visit to Patagonia with a further understanding of this area’s history and by experiencing the local culture first hand. In this adventure we combine both Patagonia's dramatic landscapes of remote glaciers and isolated river corridors with the unique cultural setting at Estancia Anita. Here we’ll explore the traditional Patagonian “Gaucho” culture while taking in the scenic surroundings of this outstanding Ranch’s location. You’ll experience pure Patagonian solitude while visiting the seldom scene Geike Glacier; reserved for only visitors travelling with Wildland Trekking.
Estancia Anita is a cattle ranch in Southern Chile located along the Serrano River between 2 National Parks, Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins. In the early 1970s, Luis "Pekin" Guerrero and his wife Ana Soto began working with Comunidad Rio Serrano, a livestock cooperative that was based in present-day Pueblito Serrano. When agricultural land was divided during Chile's agrarian reform, the Guerrero family was assigned a new plot of land encircled by rivers, glacier-capped mountains, and the Southern Patagonian Icefield. Founded in 1978, Estancia Anita is only accessible by boat or horse. Today, the Guerrero family continues the rural traditions of Southern Chile by using criollo horses and working dogs to facilitate their cattle operation. We invite you to come see the “real Patagonia” on our Cultural add-on!
Trip Dates & Booking
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
We can often customize dates for groups at no extra cost!
- Drive to Zodiac Boat: 1.5 hours
- Zodiac Ride: 1.5 hours
- Hiking Mileage: .2 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
- Horse Ridge: ~ 2 hours
This morning you will have breakfast at your hotel before we transfer by vehicle to Nash Lodge. Here we will have lunch and a short briefing before taking a zodiac boat ride down the pristine Serrano River. Have your camera ready, this boat ride takes us through some extremely gorgeous territory on our way to our destination, Estancia Anita. During our boat ride there is one spot we must hike over a small ridge past a rough area of current to switch boats. This is a nice break in the boat ride to stretch your legs. Once at the ranch, you’ll meet the staff and set up our camp for 2 nights with the Guerreros family.
After we set-up camp, we’ll enjoy a scenic horseback ride while experiencing the traditional ranching style. Here we will watch as sheep dogs help herd cattle during a truly unique adventure. After our ride we’ll enjoy a dinner prepared by our private chef and a quiet night in the Patagonian countryside.
- Hiking/Riding Mileage: 12.8 miles (combination of riding and hiking)
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 550 feet
- Horse ride: 3-4 hours, ~6 miles
- Hiking time: 3-4 hours, ~7 miles
This morning starts with breakfast from our Chef. Then we start an exploration of the surrounding area with a horse ride/hike combination that will take us to the private Geike Glacier and lake by way of an old trail used by the Baqueanos of the ranch. This fabulous sight can only be seen by visitors to the Ranch by either hiking or horseback. It sits on the Guerreros’s private land between Torres Del Paine and Bernard O’Higgans National Parks and is truly remote. At our viewpoint, this amazing glacier has a surreal iceberg filled lake, we’ll enjoy a break and fabulous views of this magnificent landscape. On our return we will enjoy yet another delicious healthy meal prepared by our chef before falling off to sleep dreaming of floating ice listening to the Serrano River rolling by.
- Zodiac Boat Navigation: 45 Minutes
- Hiking Mileage: 1.2 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
- Catamaran Boat Navigation: 2 hours
Today starts at Anita ranch boarding the speed/zodiac boat after breakfast. We will navigate down the Serrano River until Puerto Toro, where we will hike to the outstanding Serrano Glacier. Along the way we’ll enjoy views of the lake and icebergs until reaching the foot of this ancient Glacier. After our hike, we’ll board the Tonina Catamaran launch to head back to Puerto Natales. You may even get the chance to try a local aperitif made with ice from glacier!
On the way back to Puerto Natales you will experience a typical Magellan spit-roasted lamb BBQ at Estancia Puerto Consuelo. This unique cooking style will change how you picture grilling forever! After our feast we will arrive at our hotel in Puerto Natales to rest before our final farewell dinner in town.
This morning, after breakfast our shuttle driver will deliver you back to the airport in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. If you are remaining in either city, please let us know. We can help you arrange extra activities in Patagonia. Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!
Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, availability of refugios, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more. Also, the kayaking and glacier hiking days on this trip are weather-dependent and not guaranteed; we will substitute alternate activities in the case kayaking and/or glacier hiking are not possible.
- A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
- Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
- Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
- Camping and lodging accommodations (Lodging Details)
- Use of a backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent & trekking poles
- Professional, certified Wildland Patagonia guides
- Horseback riding
- Meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the final day
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
- You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!
- Transportation to Puntas Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
- Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
- All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
- Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)
This Patagonia hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guides. We'll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants in Puerto Natales and in some of the backcountry lodges as well as meals prepared on the trail by your guides and/or support staff.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Trekking poles
- Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Satellite phone
We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.
Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).
Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!
We will meet you at the airport in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the first evening (your flight should arrive before 12PM if flying into Punta Arenas, and before 3PM if you're flying into Puerto Natales). Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.
Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.
In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.
Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.
The standard group size on this hiking tour is 5 guests, with a minimum of 2 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.
Age restrictions are as follows:
- 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
- 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis
For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.
If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.
For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.
For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:
Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.comIf you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.
Chile is a long, thin country extending North-South more than half the length of South America which gives it a tremendous diversity of climates. The Patagonia region of Chile, where we operate our trips, is at the far southern tip of South America, relatively far from the equator and close to the South Pole. It is a generally cool climate with potential for year round inclement weather including rain, snow, sleet, and very strong winds.
The average temperatures and precipitation in the Patagonia region are:
|October||51° F||37° F||5 in|
|November||55° F||40° F||5.6 in|
|December||57° F||42° F||7.2 in|
|January||59° F||44° F||5.1 in|
|February||58° F||43° F||3.8 in|
|March||55° F||41° F||4.9 in|
|April||50° F||38° F||5.8 in|
This modern, comfortable hotel, with architecture that evokes the form of Patagonia's natural landscapes, is a premier accommodation in the town of Puerto Natales. Just a couple years old, and with all the amenities, it is a fantastic place to prepare before, and rest after, our Patagonia trek.
Tent camping is in premier 1-person or 2-person, 4-season tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.