The Gaucho Trail Ride
SANTA CATARINA - GAUCHO TRAIL RIDE
An 8-day horseback adventure in the southern wilderness of Brazil ...
The ultimate trail blaze for riders looking for a truly exciting experience living the gaucho way of life and riding gaucho style.
Brazil offers a landscape diverse and beautiful as a backdrop, and the chance to sample the real gaucho world, and make no mistake, this is for real! The hardened gauchos and their agile beloved “Criollo” steeds make a formidable combination in the environment of their work. The “Gaucho do Brasil,” the legendary South American cowboy, refuses to break with tradition which makes for; 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 adventure starts in Coxilha Rica, a high plateau in the interior of the Southern state of Santa Catarina. Here at an altitude of about 1000m above sea level, in the heart of gaucho territory, you will be welcomed with open arms on an old fazenda (Brazilian for hacienda) by Paul and his Gaúcho friends. Flemish born Belgian Paul Coudenys, is one of the pioneers of the international equestrian tourism in Europe (HippoTrek). Paul, together with his gaucho companion Roberio will be your host and riding guide during your entire riding holiday. For eight (8) days you will be immersed in the most appealing horse culture in the world.
After a traditional first night at Fazenda do Barreiro we will saddle up our criollo horses (very comfortable authentic saddles) and leave for a 6-day trip from fazenda to fazenda. (8 days / 7 nights / 6 days on horseback) 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, we 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 we come across a cattle “round up” we will be happy to help. What is work for them is fun for us! 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!
Not a “nose-to-tail” riding experience, but a trail ride for riders looking for a truly exciting and challenging Gaucho experience!
Welcome to the world of "Gaúcho do Brasil"!