Hotel Salto Chico
 

explora PATAGONIA

Hotel Salto Chico

Our lodge is located right at the heart of the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in central Patagonia. The varied and untouched landscapes of this area led UNESCO to declare it a biosphere reserve. Our Patagonia hotel lodge opened in 1993 on the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall. It affords an excellent view of the unique Paine Massif and two of the three impressive torres, or towers, which give the park its name. The lodge has 49 rooms and a variety of inviting spaces. Situated on a 3-hectare (7.4-acre) site, the design borrows certain organic forms from the landscape itself, adapting to it with simple elegance. It was designed to create a dialogue with its environment, putting human beings in touch with the sublimity of their surroundings. For Patagonia travel, the lodge provides the welcome surprise of comfort in a remote area; nonetheless, you are not isolated from nature, but placed “within” it.

 
Stables Stables

Stables

Hotel Salto Chico is the only lodge in the area with its own horses, which have been bred and trained especially for our travelers to ride.

Our stables are 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from the lodge in an area of 593 meters² (709 yards²). They are home to 26 horses of different breeds and mixes, especially trained by explora for riding in the area and taking our travelers on amazing Patagonia adventure tours.

The horses were bred at the stud farm belonging to the Ibáñez family in Chile's central valley. A team led by veterinary horse specialist Gaela Hourcq is responsible for feeding and grooming the horses. The horses are constantly cared for by Gaela and her team of two stable managers, a blacksmith and three stable hands.

GAELA HOURCQ, HORSE EXPERT

Gaela is from France and has 15 years of professional experience with horses, spanning prestigious stud farms and stables in the UK, Ireland, France, the United States, Canada and Japan.

She has been working at explora for five years, supervising the breeding, raising, breaking-in, feeding and care of the horses, as well as training our stable personnel.

She is also an expert rider. She has participated in English thoroughbred races in the United States, France and Canada. In 2005 she won the first Endurance race held in Torres del Paine National Park.

CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR HORSES IN PATAGONIA

Quarter horse with Argentine criollo: strong, tough, fast, docile and small in stature.

Quarter horse with English: elegant and well-proportioned.

Chilean criollo with English: docile, tough, fast and well-proportioned.

English with Belgian and percheron: tough, strong, firm-footed and large.

Patagonian criollo: tough, robust and good-humored.