Ideal for nature lovers, Bahia Bustamante offers a variety of different activities apart from just horse riding - sea lion, killer whale and dolphin watching along the 100km of private coastline - 21 colonies of breeding seabirds, including one of 60,000 Magellanic Penguins, as well as petrels, skuas, cormorants, herons, terns, gulls and ducks - the greatest diversity of sea birds in all Patagonia. An entire private village and its's surrounding terrestrial and sea environment is thus available for you to enjoy Patagonian wildlife in an unspoilt and peaceful setting.
One of the unique trip encounters is with the extremely rare flight-less steamer duck, the 200 resident pairs found here being the major remaining part of the world population. Other terms serve equally well to highlight several interesting experiences here; "quarteron horse riding experience" - the superbly trained criollo/percheron crosses are worth a location visit just for the experience of riding these large animals that are very well behaved, turn on a dime and listen to every rider command with commendable willingness - courtesy of Raul, their "Welsh" gaucho trainer; "fossilized forest experience" - yes, indeed there are also fossil deposits, the petrified forest remains allow you to contemplate details of tree rings, bark and trunk features close-up-close-up; "crystal clear ocean experience" - tropical even, one might call it. At Bahia Bustamante the riding is enhanced by the discovery and observation of all the above, while the operator backup is professional, with all your personal requirements catered to in a most satisfactory manner. Indeed there are cooks, waiters, drivers, room attendants, grooms, and riding guides to help make your stay as pleasant as possible. The overnight accommodation is superb, being composed as you can see on the accompanying photos, of twin share self contained bungalows built directly fronting the beach and close to the private restaurant. Each bungalow has a self-contained sitting room, bedrooms for four people and a well furnished bathroom.
Of course the village seaweed industry is in itself of great interest - you can follow the harvesting process at sea and learn all about the many different species of seaweed that are used in the production of a variety of products. Optional activities include scuba diving, salt water fishing, trekking and mountain biking.
The highly advanced local sheep operation with 20,000 animals will interest the agriculturally inclined.
We ride 2 hours to the petrified forest using the large percheron crosses - known in some parts of the Argentina as a "Quarteron". There is a good opportunity around the time of the picnic lunch to investigate the fossilized remains of the ancient Patagonian forest buried under a huge volcanic eruption 70 million years ago. Those trunk pieces that have been silicized show a great variety of brilliant blue/red/orange/brown colours which are quite unusual.
After the picnic stop we ride some way into the Patagonian Steppe passing the Puesto Maria for a short break before heading back to the estancia where we saddled up our horses in the morning. 6 hours of riding in total during the day.
Following a convivial breakfast we ride on a second set of horses - tall criollo's this time - from our village to a ravine that dissects the terrain and allows us to ride through it out onto the coast of Cape Aristizabal. At the ravine exit are the remains of a great many old Indian arrow workings, with shards aplenty, and even some fine arrow heads if you can spot them in the sand. There are also burials on the beach overlooking the sea. The ride continues across the peninsula we have emerged onto, to an old lighthouse with lunch at a secluded cove, brought in by the support vehicle. If the sun is out the water may be warm enough for a swim in the ocean. Later we ride back to our origin along the beach of Malaspina cove and through nearby bush to the Bahia Bustamante village. 7 hours riding in total.
After breakfast we meet our second set of horses again to try them out on a leisurely 5 hour ride along the coastal circumference of the Gravina Peninsula. These tall criollo horses (16-17 hands) go especially well at "paso", they are responsive turning and cantering very well. Raul has done a fine job here. We return ultimately back to our village for a late lunch. Then pack up our belongings for the transfer drive back to Comodoro Rivadavia and the late afternoon flight to Buenos Aires.
* A deposit will be required at the time of booking to hold your place.
|Riding holiday||Argentina||4 Days||Nov - Apr||Level A||4 - 8|
|8 riders||7 riders||6 riders||5 riders||4 riders||3 riders||2 riders|