Our hosts were passionate about horse-riding and horse care. They knew southern Chilean Patagonia like the back of their hand. That combination led them to organize horseback rides both for beginners and expert riders.
Our outing would take half a day and our destination was the Mylodon Cave. We joined a group and the local guide invited us to the wooden fence where the Criollo horses were being prepared with the right tack as well as with Chilean and English reins. “Every horse has their own temper. They are reliable, fit and easily controlled”, he said to us at the same time he gave us our horse, leggings and helmet.
We got familiar with the animal as we started riding. We left the main house behind and got deep into a pampa. Shortly afterwards, we got immersed in a lush lenga grove with bushes: Magellan’s mayten, prickly heat, Chilean firebush, Magellan Barberry, Darwin’s Barberry and crimson spire are all typical species from this area.
As we all had different riding abilities, the guide made it easy for us and generated a moment of enjoyment. The top of the cliff featured a magnificent view of Señoret Channel, Seno de Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound), Mount Pratt, Isla de los Muertos (Island of the Dead) and Mount Benítez, which houses the Mylodon Cave and the formation known as Silla del Diablo (the Devil’s Chair). Some members of the group dared to gallop for a stretch to feel the strength of the animal.
We slowed down and waited for the rest to join us. Then the guide told us about the characteristics of the cavern we were about to visit. Formed by a layer of lutite rock, the glacial process and the later winds that eroded it until three openings were uncovered. The remains of fur and bone found by Captain Hermann Eberhard himself and analyzed by experts in subsequent years gave evidence of the existence of an already extinct species. The Mylodon was a kind of large herbivorous sloth or anteater that used to dwell in Patagonian hills.
As we reached our destination, we tied the horses on a palisade and entered the National Forest Corporation venue, where the cave considered Natural and Historical Monument is located and preserved. A life-size plaster statue of the Mylodon let us appreciate its size.
We tasted a delicious appetizer at one of the neighboring restaurants and then picked up our horses to start our way back under some dark clouds. We could smell the humid soil. Even if the path was the same, the sensations had changed and were completing our adventure. Nature unfolded its whimsical weather during the day and we had to adapt to it.
Puerto Natales / Torres del Paine
ExtrasPrint this outing
Useful DataHow to get there
A shuttle from Estancia Travel picks up visitors at the hotels where they are lodged.Opening hours
Excursions leave everyday from 9am to 2pm and from 4pm to 9pm.Bear in mind
We recommend that you wear comfortable light shoes, comfortable pants, waterproof clothes, gloves and sunglasses.