horseback adventure in Argentina

November - March
8 days

Argentinian Patagonia’s peaks and rolling grasslands appear empty, yet the solitude of the steppe is broken by fertile, self-sufficient ‘estancias’ worked by South America’s original cowboys: the gauchos. Experience the working daily life of the gauchos and embark on a multi-day horseback adventure to the dormant volcanic region of Cerro Negro.

Argentina Gaucho fishing catch and release
Meal overlooking the hills in Patagonia, Argentina
argentinas gauchos
horse riding argentina

The cultural aim of this immersive, hands-on expedition is to experience life as an Argentinian gaucho – a hard-working South American cowboy. The secondary, physical aim is to reach the dormant volcanic region of Cerro Negro, at the culmination of a multi-day horseback trip made in traditional gaucho style. You’ll be several hours by car (and three more on horseback) from the next settlement. This underlines the independent and self-sufficient nature of life as a gaucho on an estancia that makes the very most of its abundant natural resources.

Initially you’ll get involved in a period of estancia-based activities – from fishing and riding to farming and blacksmithing. Next, you’ll embark on an exploratory pack trip into the remote volcanic peaks at the estancia’s furthest edge, on the border with Chile. On this self-sufficient, expedition-styled journey, you’ll wild camp beneath Patagonian stars and share fireside anecdotes with your fellow adventurers and local support team. The team will also call in at the ‘puesto’ or summer pasture to learn about the life of the ‘puesteros’ who live there all summer.



  • Develop or learn new skills on a remote, working estancia.
  • Experience the unstaged daily life of a gaucho.
  • Learn to ride or improve horsemanship skills.
  • Practice river fishing – gaucho style.
  • Help the experts at the sawmill, leather workshop or forge.
  • Prepare for an extended pack trip (on horseback).
  • Explore the vast estancia on foot and horseback.
  • Carry out perimeter inspections at the estancia’s edge.
  • Wild camp in the foothills of the Andes.
  • Learn to load and work with mules.
  • Look out for condors riding the thermals from Cerro Negro’s summit.
  • Enjoy delicious organic food straight from the estancia gardens.

An iconic destination

Patagonia has long held the imagination of armchair and actual explorers – fuelled in no small part by that classic of modern travel writing, Bruce Chatwin’s ‘In Patagonia.’ Our in-country leader recommends anyone who hasn’t read it to bring it with you to enjoy once you’ve been in Patagonia for while (perhaps a treat for the flight home). There are many facets to this epic destination, from its jagged mountain peaks and bright glaciers to storm-whipped coasts and shimmering vanishing-point highways. This immersive expedition to the region’s fertile inner plains, bordered by the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, will reveal the characteristics – and characters – of rural, hardworking Argentina.

Estancia life

Argentinian Patagonia’s estancias are epic, sprawling and often very remote. This off-grid estancia is totally self-sufficient, accessed only by mule or on horseback. With everyone mucking in with everything to ensure that estancia life runs smoothly, this is your chance to experience the inimitable way of life in one of the world’s most renowned wilderness regions. Escape the tyranny of your inbox to immerse yourself in the nitty gritty of gaucho life, embracing everything this slower-paced way of life has to offer.

Gaucho skills

On this immersive expedition, you’ll learn to horseride (or improve your existing horsemanship skills) with the estancia staff and perhaps some of the legendary gauchos themselves. Other skills and activities are on offer, from observing or assisting at the forge, the sawmill or the leather workshop, with assistance on building or farming projects always welcome.

Epic horse riding terrain

Learn to ride a horse or improve your existing levels of horsemanship in this incredible riding playground. Different mounts are available to suit each rider’s proficiency, and lessons and tips will come from the gauchos and estancia staff to ensure that each teammate is sufficiently challenged and prepared for the multi-day pack trip. The riding and tack are ‘gaucho’ style, so even experienced riders can prepare to learn something new. Necessary clothing will be outlined in the Expedition Handbook, sent on request or upon application to join the team.

The Journal

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Terms and Conditions
  1. One entry per person.
  2. Closing date for entries is 12:00 JAN 19th.
  3. Entrants must be at least 18 years old.
  4. The prize includes: 1 ticket valid for one-day entry on either Saturday 20th or Sunday 21st January 2018
  5. Getting to the venue in London is the responsibility of the winner.
  6. The prize is only available from 20th – 21st August 2018.
  7. The prize cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative.
  8. The prize cannot be sold or used by anyone other than the winner.
  9. The promoter reserves the right to provide an alternative prize of similar value should the specified prize become unavailable for any reason.
  10. Neither the Promoter nor any other person or party associated with this promotion shall be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever suffered (including, but not limited to, indirect or consequential loss or damage) or personal injury or death suffered or sustained in connection with either participation in this promotion or with any prizes offered.
  11. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the terms of this prize and without notice in the unlikely event of a major catastrophe, war, earthquake or any anticipated or alleged breach of any applicable law or regulation or any similar event or if circumstances arise outside of its control.
  12. The winner will be selected randomly by Secret Compass on 19 JAN 2017.
  13. Attempts will be made to notify the winner using the email address provided at the time of entry. If the promoter, having used reasonable efforts, is unable to contact the winner, then the prize is forfeited and further draw(s) may be conducted.
  14. The winner may be required to take part in reasonable publicity as specified by the Promoter.
  15. The Promoter cannot be held liable for IT system failures or delays or loss of entries.
  16. The organiser reserves the right to cancel this competition, or to change any condition of this competition, without notice.
  17. Acceptance of these terms and conditions is a condition of entry.
  18. No purchase necessary.