Dixit UNESCO: The gaucho way of life the liveliest equestrian culture in the world. The Brazilian Gaucho lives in the southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and all have roots in Europe due to the large numbers of immigrants who arrived in the 18th & 19th centuries, pioneers mostly from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Holland and Belgium.
The “Criollo” horse is just as legendary, an intelligent animal with unequalled stamina as well as being fast and highly manouverable and a joy to ride. If you are dreaming of a unique equestrian experience and a thoroughly authentic riding holiday.. Well, this is it! The locals of Santa Catarina will welcome you in traditional style! And this is just the start..
The beauty and huge expanse of the pampas with its rolling hills is difficult to put into words. Livestock farms (fazendas) with thousands of acres are the ideal playground to test the temperament of your criollo horse....and there are no roads or paths to follow, just simply pull yourselves across the great outdoors at a gallop or a canter. Your riding dreams will all be realised.
On average, you will be 6 to 7 hours per day in the saddle, make our way across rolling grasslands, riding through Araucaria forests, crossing pristine rivers and, in general, off the beaten track of southern Brazil. This is gaucho country so should you come across a cattle “round up” you will be invited to help. What is work for them is fun for you! During the “cutting” (sorting the cattle on horseback) you’ll be surprised at just how agile your criollo horse is! Every evening means a different fazenda. Colonial fazendas where time has stood still with rooms filled with antique furniture and large country kitchens, a perfect atmosphere to sample the local brew Chimarão (maté, a sort of tea) and Pinga (local rum).
Gauchos are not only tough men, but also romantic souls. Guitar and accordion will appear more often than not and the serenade is of lost loves and the good old days, this while mama is roasting the best meat in the world. A fantastic relaxed gaucho atmosphere, which is pure and sincere.
Multilingual Paul guides you through each eXperience and answers all enquiries whilst leading you through this unique experience .This is not a tourist trip where you're just a number but a gathering of riding friends among themselves. With pride, friendliness and hospitality the gaucho families open their doors for you, let you ride their best horses and guide you in their territory.
Riding the gaucho way, living the gaucho way!
Your Tripleader will be waiting for you upon arrival at the airport of Florianopolis. Transfer to Coxilha Rica and Fazenda da Chapada, 3 hours drive. Your adventure starts in Coxilha Rica, a high plateau in the interior of the Southern state of Santa Catarina.
After a traditional first night at Fazenda do Barreiro you will saddle up your criollo horses with very comfortable authentic saddles and leave for a 6 day trip from fazenda to fazenda. In the last day a transfer will be provided for your return to Florianopolis airport or hotel.
8 days | 7 nights
March | October | November
Your Tripleader will be waiting for you upon arrival at the airport of Florianopolis. Transfer to Coxilha Rica and Fazenda da Chapada near Lages. You will be welcomed with a local drink upon arrival at the fazenda. You will be introduced to the owner of the farm and the Gauchos who will accompany you throughout the trip and will even get acquainted with the horses. Installation in the cozy and comfortable rooms of the fazenda. After a delicious dinner, you can socialice at the bar of the fazenda. Local gaúchos will perform music and folklore of the region. It’s a great first evening!
After breakfast, the Gauchos saddle the horses early and leave around 09:00 direction Fazenda Rodeio Bonito. After the first few minutes you will notice already how beautiful the region is, you ride through wide and rolling green countryside dotted with Araucaria trees and cross pristine rivers. You will never forget your first canter with your criollo horse. After a ride of 4 hours you arrive at a typical fazenda where lunch is waiting. After a good meal and a siesta you mount the horses again around 14:00. You continue towards fazenda Rodeio Bonito through the beautiful landscape of Coxilha Rica.
Here you find the well-preserved colonial Tropeiro Route. This 250 years old tropeiro route was the route of cattle and mules between Rio Grande do Sul and Argentina to São Paulo. Gauchos drove herds thousands of kms beeing away for months via this route. Goods on livestock traveled along the route, so the tropeiro became also a trade. The route, consisting of an approx 4m wide corridor made of stone and runs hundreds of kilometers through Coxilha Rica and the State of Santa Catarina. Tropeiro means Trooper. (The route of the troops).
You follow a few miles this historic route and arrive around 17:30 at the next Fazenda. You are welcomed by the owner Lucia. A hearty and delicious dinner is beeing prepared for you. You spent the night at this traditional Gaucho fazenda.
09:00, after a hearty breakfast you mount your criollos and trek through a rugged Coxilha landscape. You climb and descend, trot and canter, crossing rivers and seeing waterfalls. On top of a green mountain you have a fantastic panoramic view of the landscape, just you and the great outdoors! Coxilha is since colonial times a great cattle region. Most cattle ranches (fazendas) consisting of thousands of acres are already over 200 years old. You arrive at a little farm where Dona Vera has prepared a fantastic lunch. In the afternoon you ride another 3 and half hours until you arrive back at the Fazenda. After a refreshing shower and a delicious dinner, a soft bed awaits for you at this very cozy fazenda.
You leave on horseback at 09:00 hidding for the high pampas of Coxilha Rica, the views are wonderful. The group of horses, the Gauchos, the landscapes, the atmosphere in the group, the sense of freedom, ... nobody wants to travel back home after this trip. After a lunch in the field you continue your ride to the next fazenda; Fazenda Lua Cheia where owners Dido and Sonia have preparded the best roasted lamb in the world (according to them!). Dido is a vet and loves to BBQ and preparde meat. We make it cozy with a drink and some live Gaucho music.
After breakfast the Gauchos saddle the horses. Depending of the season sometimes before heading for the next Fazenda sometimes you give the gauchos a helping hand at the farm rounding-up some cattle or sheep on horseback. You drive the herd to the corral, where they are either vaccinated or receive some treatment. This is part of the Gaucho daily job. Those who prefer not to participate in the activities can easily watch. You can also learn how to rope! The Gauchos teach you the tricks of the trade. After lunch you continue your ride to the Colonial Fazenda Sâo Joâo.
Upon arrival at this Portuguese style Fazenda you pull off your boots, take a shower and be called to the table for a good meal, a cool beer or a warming Pinga (local rum).
After breakfast and saddling the horses it's time to leave for another great day in the saddle. You regularly ride into other gauchos farm whom are busy at work. These South American cowboys still live and work the same way as roughly 100 years ago. Gauchos and horses matching great together, living as you can only dream of.. Climbing and descending, one slope steeper than the other, the ride regularly invites you for a nice canter. The horses are really fun to ride with. You arrive at Fazenda Ferradura and you are welcomed by the owner Gaucho Benjamin Krüzen. A hearty and delicious dinner is beeing prepared for you. You spent the night at this traditional Gaucho fazenda. Dinner at the fazenda.
After beakfast you depart for the last day in the saddle, a go ride until you arrive at Fazenda da Chapada. Daniel, the owner of the farm welcomes you with Caipirinha & hugs.
The ladies of the house make you a delicious dish while the musical talented gauchos bring their best songs, guitar and accordion into the barn. The bottle of Pinga is eagerly passed around and sometimes we dare to dance!
It's always such a pleasant evening, you enjoy the warm gaucho atmosphere and forge friendship with the locals. Overnight at the fazenda.
After your last breakfast around 08:00 you say goodbye to Fazenda da Chapada, the guides, gauchos and horses and departure around 08:30 (depending the flight) in the direction of Florianopolis to the airport or your hotel.
*Open Bar Service
Every day you spent the night at a different farm where you will be offered drinks. To make things easy and not having the hassle with making notes every day for drinks or confused bills at the end of the week we offer you the Open Bar Service in two different options to be paid on arrival
100 Euro p.p. for all alcoholic drinks & soft drinks during the entire week.
Beer, Caipirinha, Cachaça, non-alcoholic soft drinks, Guarana, coffee, tea, milk, water, etc.
*Wine not included, but you can buy wine at each farm. Price of a bottle depends of the brand and quality
50 Euro p.p. for all soft drinks during the entire week.
Non-alcoholic soft drinks, Guarana, coffee, tea, milk, water, etc.
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