Galloping good time in Chile

This item appears on page 57 of the April 2011 issue.
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I’m not a horseback rider, but my daughters are, so while traveling around the world for a year, on occasion we had to appease their desire to be on the back of a horse. By the time we got to Chile in April ’09 we were due, and both girls let us know loud and clear.

I found Ritoque Expediciones (Camino Concón, Quintero km 3s, n Punta de Piedra, Valaparaíso, Chile; phone 56 09 9730 52 12), which is in Concón, 30 kilometers north of where we were staying in Valparaíso. We e-mailed them from our laptop and received a prompt response.

The Shusterman / Greenwell family riding in the Ritoque Dunes — Concón, Chile. Photo: Marty Greenwell

We booked the half-day “Ritoque Dunes” ride. For three hours of riding, it costs $42 per person for a group of two or more (or $56 for one participant). (All prices are current as of 2011.)

All I have to say is ‘Thank God for my daughters’ love of horses.’ This was the most amazing experience of my lifetime.

We forded a small river, rode through the brush and then entered the world of the Ritoque Sand Dunes. All you could see no matter which way you looked were incredible, huge dunes. We climbed up and then rode down them; it was a little scary but also magnificent. I will never forget seeing my family’s shadows cast against the dunes as the sun set.

Leaving the dunes, we rode to an ocean beach and trotted through the surf like we were in some movie. (The horses weren’t all that fond of the waves.)

Ritoque Expediciones also offers a full-day trek for $104 for one participant, $83 per person for two or $73 each for three or more; a full-moon ride for $58 each, and two-, four- and 11-day treks. You can add a bilingual guide for $63.

There is public transportation from Valparaíso to Concón, but we splurged and had Ritoque Expediciones arrange a driver for us, which cost about $35 round trip.

It was a great experience and, almost two years later, I still fantasize about going back to do one of their longer trips.

LISA SHUSTERMAN
Cincinnati, OH

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I’m not a horseback rider, but my daughters are, so while traveling around the world for a year, on occasion we had to appease their desire to be on the back of a horse. By the time we got to Chile in April ’09 we were due, and both girls let us know loud and clear.

I found Ritoque Expediciones (Camino Concón, Quintero km 3s, n Punta de Piedra, Valaparaíso, Chile; phone 56 09 9730 52 12), which is in Concón, 30 kilometers north of where we were staying in Valparaíso. We e-mailed them from our laptop and received a prompt response.

The Shusterman / Greenwell family riding in the Ritoque Dunes — Concón, Chile. Photo: Marty Greenwell

We booked the half-day “Ritoque Dunes” ride. For three hours of riding, it costs $42 per person for a group of two or more (or $56 for one participant). (All prices are current as of 2011.)

All I have to say is ‘Thank God for my daughters’ love of horses.’ This was the most amazing experience of my lifetime.

We forded a small river, rode through the brush and then entered the world of the Ritoque Sand Dunes. All you could see no matter which way you looked were incredible, huge dunes. We climbed up and then rode down them; it was a little scary but also magnificent. I will never forget seeing my family’s shadows cast against the dunes as the sun set.

Leaving the dunes, we rode to an ocean beach and trotted through the surf like we were in some movie. (The horses weren’t all that fond of the waves.)

Ritoque Expediciones also offers a full-day trek for $104 for one participant, $83 per person for two or $73 each for three or more; a full-moon ride for $58 each, and two-, four- and 11-day treks. You can add a bilingual guide for $63.

There is public transportation from Valparaíso to Concón, but we splurged and had Ritoque Expediciones arrange a driver for us, which cost about $35 round trip.

It was a great experience and, almost two years later, I still fantasize about going back to do one of their longer trips.

LISA SHUSTERMAN
Cincinnati, OH