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“Two day mountain ride with Ariane's outfit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ariane Patagonia

Ariane Patagonia
Concon | "Las Bandurrias", San Carlos de Bariloche 8400, Argentina
+(54)92944413468
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Attraction Details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Guided horseriding expeditions of one, two or several days. Dutch, english, french, german and spanish spoken. The trips usually include lunch or overnight stays at local families. In the summer we camp in the open air or visit an authentic Patagonian Estancia and work together with the gaucho's. All trips are measure made and adapted to requests of the visitors. Experience is not necessarily required.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Lakewood, Colorado
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
“Two day mountain ride with Ariane's outfit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

There were a number of factors that added to the success of this particular ride, and they include the fact that the weather was particularly kind to us. The day that Ariane's gaucho and I set out for two days dawned brilliant and blue and by mid afternoon our coats were off, same for the next day. So despite the fact that May is cold and rainy, I was extremely lucky to enjoy a pocket of excellent weather. It was a perfect setup for a perfect ride.

First of all, having ridden in three places in Argentina so far, I can appreciate that Ariane's horses are well fed and energetic, and the tack is well-kept. Being an experienced rider I can also very much appreciate being taken on what I can only express was a rather epic ride as Cristian and I went on what I would say was either a very old trail or in places where one never existed at all, well up into very high areas where the views were breathtaking. We rode through thick forests where the heavy leather chaps which made mounting so challenging were perfect for protecting knees from trees, and from the thorns and bushes.

At altitude we saw two condors, surrounded by National Geographic photographic moments in all directions. The horses watered at a pristine river, and the final walk to the overnight at a gaucho's house was a measured trot as the sun slanted over the hills and began to go down. We made our way to Tito's wonderful house as this authentic gaucho came out to greet us. Ariane met us there as well, replete with merry dogs and plenty of food.

Tito, a true gaucho and a talented cook, conjured up some magical chicken for us for dinner and soon his small but warm house- heated by a 1910 wood burning stove- was full of people, food and wine. As the sun disappeared and the evening's cool set in we were joined by a young couple whose car had broken down and immediately chairs were added, wine glasses were poured. It would be hours before they would get help so we added them to the party.

I had been going on adrenaline all day, thoroughly enjoying the excitement of the ride and the sights, smells and sounds of mountains and surroundings. But as soon as that delicious hot chicken hit my stomach- and Tito said that the chicken was "good for sleeping"-almost seconds later I felt a nudge on my left arm. I had literally fallen asleep at the dinner table, and Ariane was telling me that it was all right if I wanted to go bed. It was only 9 am,but my eyes were glued shut.

Titos' house had no other heat source so when the wood burned out it was icy. I slept under about six blankets in his daughter's room. About 5 am, I awoke, and realizing that this opportunity wouldn't often come again, quickly put on my riding boots and down jacket to go see the night sky.

The hills and distant mountains shone with starlight, as there was no moon, and the Southern Cross was on its side near the far horizon. The sky was a mass of white, unlike in most areas of America where light pollution fades our view. It was breathtaking, and I craned my neck in all directions. The frost crunched softly under my boots as I took in the aging buildings of the estancia, made mystical in the early morning, the tall poplars, the sleeping horses. This is as authentic as it gets, a world that lives on the sun's time.

The second day Cristian and I set off later after a breakfast that began with Tito's magical concoction of Nescafe, a bit of water and sugar and milk which he hand whipped for twenty minutes- literally- into a taffy-like consistency the color of caramel, then spooned into our cups to make into coffee as we wished. It was delicious.

We made our way over frozen puddles, past fragrant pines and tumble-down houses, horses, cows and sheep, tree-lined roads and past fascinating rock formations. Ariane passed us in her big blue pickup loaded with the dogs, driving ahead to find the riverside picnic spot. On the way we saw raptors on the fenceposts,

We gathered at a picture perfect spot where there was plenty of grass for the horses to eat and roll in, a pretty stream and blue grey rock formations. The dogs were chasing and running, and Felipe, Ariane's affectionate dachshund, alternated between poking his long nose in my face and in my food.

We finished off the last of Tito's magic chicken, soup, fruit, yogurt and salads that Ariane had packed to suit my food needs and all our appetites, and Cristian and I were off for the last leg. Ariane packs a very dangerous Danish cookie which you must ask for.

I had asked Cristian for a little more fast paced activity, and today I got it. We did four full out gallops on the way home, which allowed me to not only have a great deal of fun but also to do part of what I came here for: to practice my riding skills. The gallops were up and down hills, around trees, on flat areas, and gave me plenty of chances to correct my posture, and weaknesses. I could not have asked for more. While the first day was all about up and down the mountain, which was its own kind of adventure, this day was pure adrenaline, and the joy of allowing the horse its head while the late afternoon glimmered on the lake's mirrored surface in the distance.

What I so appreciated about this ride was Ariane's sensitivity to my skill level, and ensuring that I had an authentic experience. Riding into Tito's estancia was nothing short of mystical and magical. There was nothing "tourista" about it, and it's what I came here for. I am willing to get dirty and full of thorns and bruised for the sake of embracing an experience, and that's what I got- although I will say that the chaps I wore prevented the full of thorns part. While they take some getting used to for those of us who wear regular breeches, they are absolutely necessary for mountain wear in certain areas, and great for warmth.

Ariane caters to all levels of riders, and she speaks five languages. I found her to be wonderful company, and very accommodating. I will most certainly be back again.

Visited May 2013
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    3
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Perth
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“An Unforgettable Experiance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

We chose Ariane for a day's horse riding because we wanted an authentic experiance. We had the most amazing day. The horses were well trained, responsive and happy. We met a lovely local family and had a delicious asado in their home. Ariane is so nice and has created a wonderful experiance that I would highly recommend to all who want to explore the surrounds of Bariloche.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best guide in Argentina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

A few friends and I booked in with Ariane for a 7-day trek with gauchos, talk about a trip of a lifetime! Not only does she know the backcountry, she herself is a character and knows how to share a truly authentic Patagonian experience, she is not your standard commercial operation, she's the real deal.

A few of the things I really liked: she introduced us to the locals as we passed through their land; she had connections for us to stay and work at a 150 year old ranch; when one of us got hurt she went above and beyond to ensure his safety above all else; she kept us well fed and watered with more wine than I thought you could fit in a saddle bag; we struck camp as we went along and slept out under the stars. We couldn't have been in better hands.

I went to see Patagonia on horseback. I left having met a new lifelong friend. I recommend Ariane and riding with her to anyone who wants a real (and fun!) experience.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Unique and wonderful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

I had the pleasure of doing a day's horseback riding with Ariane where I was the only other rider. I discovered her through the word of mouth of someone running the hostel I was staying at. I find when going horseback riding with the larger companies, the experience is often quite commercial and many of the horses are frequently ridden by less experienced riders and so have developed bad habits. Her horses were an absolute pleasure to ride, well behaved and very responsive. At my request we did a fair amount of cantering and boy was it fun. We did an amazing ride across the beautiful countryside of Bariloche, stopping to drink some maté with some locals and a picnic lunch by a beautiful river. It was one of the best horseriding experiences I have had and cannot recommend it more! If you love horseriding and would like a more authentic experience of Bariloche, go horseriding with Ariane!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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