One of or GoChile's team members was invited to ride through the Andes mountain range in Santiago and this was her experience.

When you ask us what to do in Santiago, the answer usually has to do with museums, bicycle rides, street art, restaurants, and nightlife, but in the metropolitan region, there is much more than urban activities. The capital city of Chile is surrounded by the Andes Mountain range, and that is a privilege that many people from Santiago know how to enjoy, but that most visitors are unaware of.

It is possible to disconnect from the noise and bustle of the city for an afternoon trekking or riding in places that are not far from Santiago. This was shown to us by our friends from AndoAndes, who invited us to try one of their outdoor activities near the capital.

The transfer picked us up at 9:00 am and it took only 30 minutes to get to the stable where we started the ride. Once in the place, we were greeted by Orlando, the muleteer who takes care of the horses that would take us for a walk.

Orlando takes care of his horses with love and knows them well. Between him and Pancho, the guide of Ando Andes, they gave us a horse to each one according to our experience level. We were a group of 9, five tourists from the United States, the guide, Orlando, Francisca from Ando Andes and me. They gave me one of the tamest, Duro de Olvidar, a brown horse with a punk hairstyle.  

Before leaving the cavalcade, Orlando gave us the instructions to ride a horse. He explained how to turn to the right, how to turn left, how to brake and what to do to move forward. He fixed our stirrups and we left. We went up to the path with the mountain on one side and the city on the other.  

While riding Orlando told me that Hard to Forget (my horse) did not like to be overtaken by others, and that's why every time someone wanted to pass us he would jog. He also told me that he did not like to walk a lot and that's why he was slow when nobody bothered him. I liked that the muleteer knew that about the horse, it made me feel safe. Also, that confirmed to me that the man cares for each one of his animals and how animalistic for me that is a very important factor.

After three hours of gentle riding, we reached the top where we sat in the shade to eat the lunch provided by AndoAndes. From up there you can see Cerro El Plomo and its glacier, an unusual sight from the most visited hills in Santiago. You can also see the city and the Andes Mountains in their maximum splendor. While we were eating we were lucky enough to see two flying condors that accompanied us for a long time until they decided to fly to another place.

The descent was a little shorter, it took us about 2 hours and when we arrived downstairs they were waiting for us with a bottle of delicious Chilean wine, ice cold beers and a snack to share.

After 5 hours of riding and sharing our experiences around a table, we said goodbye. An afternoon in Santiago felt like a full day in the depths of the mountain range.  

Live the experience