The Gaucho Trail Ride - Day by Day

Itinerary - Day by day description of your horse riding holiday in Brazil

The SANTA CATARINA Gaucho Trai

riding the Gaúcho way .. living the Gaúcho way!
8-days, 7 nights, 6 days on horseback.
Not a “nose-to-tail” riding experience, but a trailride for riders looking for a true exciting and challenging experience!

* Description below is an example of the programme. The itinerary can be different during your travel week. First Fazenda can be the last fazenda, third fazenda can be the second fazenda, etc...

Paul Coudenys riding his horse in Santa Catarina, Gaucho country BrazilDay 1 - : Fazenda da Chapada 
Your “Gaúcho do Brasil” tripleader Paul will be waiting for you upon arrival at the airport of Florianopolis. Transfer (3hrs drive) to Coxilha Rica and Fazenda da Chapada near Lages. You will be welcomed with a local drink upon arrival at the fazenda. Yo will be introduced to Daniel the owner of the farm and the Gauchos who will accompany you throughout the trip and will even get acquainted with the horses. Installation in the cozy and comfortable  rooms of the fazenda. After a delicious dinner, we can socialice at the bar of the fazenda. Local gaúchos will perform music and folklore of the region. It’s a great first evening! 

Day 2 - : Fazenda da Chapada - Fazenda Rodeio Bonito
After breakfast, we saddle our horses early and leave around 09:00 direction Fazenda Rodeio Bonito. After the first few minutes you will notice already how beautiful the region is, we ride through wide and rolling green countryside dotted with Araucaria trees and cross pristine rivers. You will never forget your first canter with your criollo horse. After a ride of 4 hours we arrive at a typical fazenda where lunch is waiting for us. After a good meal and a siesta we mount our horses again around 14h. We continue towards fazenda Rodeio Bonito through the beautiful landscape of Coxilha Rica. 

The rolling hills of Coxilha Rica in Santa Catarina state, Brazil

Here we find the well-preserved colonial Tropeiro Route. This 250 years old tropeiro route was the route of cattle and mules between Rio Grande do Sul and Argentina to Sao Paulo. Gauchos drove herds thousands of kms beeing awy for months via this route. Goods on livestock traveled along the route, so the tropeiro became also a trade. The route, consisting of an approx 4m wide corridor made of stone was built by slaves. The corridor runs hundreds of kilometers through Coxilha Rica and the State of Santa Catarina. Tropeiro means Trooper. (The route of the troops). 
We follow a few miles this historic route and arrive around 17:30 at Fazenda Rodeio Bonito. We are welcomed by the owner Lucia. A hearty and delicious dinner is beeing prepared for us. We spent the night at this traditional Gaucho fazenda. 

Day 3 - : Fazenda Rodeio Bonito 
09:00, after a hearty breakfast we mount our criollos and trek through a rugged Coxilha landscape. We climb and descend, trot and canter, crossing rivers and seeing waterfalls. On top of a green mountain you have a fantastic panoramic view of the landscape, just you and the great outdoors! Coxilha is since colonial times a great cattle region. Most cattle ranches (fazendas) consisting of thousands of acres are already over 200 years old. We arrive at a little farm where Dona Vera has prepared a fantastic lunch. In the afternoon we ride another 3 and half hours until we arrive back at the the Fazenda Rodeio Bonito. After a refreshing shower and a delicious dinner, a soft bed awaits for you at this very cozy fazenda. 

Riding your horse on this brazilian horse riding holiday

Day 4 - : Fazenda Rodeio Bonito - Fazenda Lua Cheia 
We leave on horseback at 09:00 hidding for the high pampas of Coxilha Rica, the views are wonderful. The group of horses, the Gauchos, the landscapes, the atmosphere in the group, the sense of freedom, ... nobody wants to travel back home after this trip. After a lunch in the field we continue our ride to the next fazenda; Fazenda Lua Cheia where owners Dido and Sonia have preparded he best roasted lamb in the world. Dido is a vet and loves to BBQ and preparde meat.  We make it cozy with a drink and some life Gaucho music 

Day 5 - : Fazenda Luca Cheia - Fazenda Sâo Joâo Rancho 
After breakfast we saddle our horses. Depending of the season sometimes before heading fo we sometimes give the gauchos a helping hand at the farm rounding-up som cattle or sheep on horseback. We drive the herd to the corral, where they are either vaccinated or receive some treatment. So here on on another farm during our week youwill see the Gaúcho perform his daily job. Those who prefer not to participate in the activities can easily watch. Want to learn how to rope? Our Gauchos teach you the tricks of the trade! After lunch we continue our ride to the Colonial Fazenda Sâo Joâo.
Upon arrival at this Portuguese style Fazenda we pull off our boots, take a shower and are called to the table for a good meal, a cool beer or a warming Pinga (local rum). 

Rounding the cows on your horse riding vacation in Santa Catarina Brazil

Day 6 - : Fazenda Sâo Joâo - Fazenda Ferradura 
After breakfast we saddle the horses and leave for another great day in the saddle. We regularly ride into other gauchos whom are busy at work. These South American cowboys still live and work the same way as roughly 100 years ago. Gaúchos and horses matching great together, living as we can only dream of .. Climbing and descending, one slope steeper than the other, the ride regularly invites us for a nice canter. The horses are really fun to ride with. We arrive at Fazenda Ferradura and are welcomed by the owner Gaucho Benjamin Krüzen. A hearty and delicious dinner is beeing prepared for us. We spent the night at this traditional Gaucho fazenda. Dinner at the fazenda. 

Day 7 - : Fazenda Ferradura - Fazenda da Chapada 
After beakfast we depart for the last day in the saddle,a goo ride until we arrive at Fazenda da Chapada.Daniel, the owner of the farm welcomes us with Caipirinha & hugs.
The ladies of the house makes us a delicious dish while the musical talented gauchos bring their best songs, guitar and accordion into the barn. The bottle of Pinga is eagerly passed around and sometimes we dare to dance! : O) 
It's always such a pleasant evening, we enjoy the warm gaucho atmosphere and forge friendship with the locals. Overnight at the fazenda. 

 Day 8 - : Fazenda da Chapada - Florianopolis
After our last breakfast around 08:00 we say goodbye to Fazenda da Chapada, the guides, gauchos and horses and drive around 08:00  (depending the flight) direction Florianopolis. People staying longer can have a drop of  downtown Florianópolis, for the others the holiday comes to an end at the airport of Florianopolis. End of the program.

galloping on your horse riding trip in Gaucho country BrazilBrazil is a huge and very diverse country,...staying longer in the country is without doubt a good idea!
See the classic hightlights of Brazil, Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls, go for a samba to Rio de Janeiro, discover the 70 Islands and colonial beachtown of Paraty, go for a jungle adventure to the Amazone, meet the colonial towns and cities along the Estrada Real in Minas Gerais or stay some time more in Santa Catarina and relax at one of the 40 beaches of Florianopolis.

important information
We will do everything possible to follow the indicated intinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location and difficulty of terrain  In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, we ask you flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation! 

Staying some more days in Brazil? 
Feel like having a break on the beach after a week of riding? Only 200 km away from Coxilha Rica you will find Florianopolis,the most splendid coastal city of southern Brazil. We will be glad to help you to arrange an optional extension to the coast. Rather go somwhere else in the country?…you can fly from Florianopolis to all mayor cities in Brazil. Flying time to São Paulo: 40 minutes, to Foz do Iguaço waterfalls: 40 minuntes, and only 1 hour from Rio de Janeiro and Argentina.