The Gaucho Trail Ride Practical Information

Good to know before you go

Brazilian Gaucho on his horse in BrazilRiding level: Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders.You should be confident on a horse at all paces. The pace is varied to include walk,trot and canter.
The riding: Trailride, 6 days on horseback, riding from one place to the other, average of 6 hours per day in the saddle.
Weight: riders weight limit: 120 Kg 
Age: minimum age is 12 years, only allowed if accompanied by an adult. 
Group size: groups comprise a maximum of 15 to 16 riders.
Horses: Brazilian criollos (Crioulo in Portuguese)
Allergic to horses? We also have a few Curly horses. Curly's offer a great solution, because they are hypoallergenic. This means that allergic people do not or hardly react to a Curly horse. 
Saddles: comfortable Gaucho-saddles
Guides: professional and multilingual guides-gauchos (see who is who) 
Comfort: clean and comfortable ranch rooms.
International Passport: Required for most foreigners (EUR, USA, CAN, AUS ,...)
Visa: most European and South American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Brazil. Contact the Brazilian Embassy in your country for more info. All North American Citizens, (US - CAN - MEX) require a visa to travel to Brazil.
Vaccinations: not required (consult your physician)

Diner at the fazenda in Gaucho Country Brazil after a day horseback ridingYou are alone?
Do not worry, you can individually register/book and join in a group with other riders. Most participants are people who register individually and may just like you, not know the other riders in your group. Since everyone has the same points of interest (horseback riding, nature, travel, culture) there is always a good atmosphere and understanding among the participants. Participants come from all corners of the world, so you can be part of a group with riders from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, France, Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, and many others countries. Your friends are suddenly so much more international! :)
A standard group consists of 6 to 15 riders. In general there are as many female as male participants.

Are your foreign languages not so good? 
No worries, local trip leader Paul is fluent in 6 languages and will help and translate with pleasure where needed.
Trips are always fun as we all speak the same equestrian language.

How to get there & Transfer: 
Gateway is Florianopolis (FLN), a coastal city and the capital of the State of Santa Catarina. Florianopolis has an international airport and is easily accessible. (See location) 
On arrival at the airport in Florianopolis, you will be picked up by Paul or someone of the Gaúcho do Brasil team. There is a shared transfer from the airport to the first fazenda. (around noon) This transfer is included in the price.  Idem return transfer. (In the morning)

Itinerary: We will do everything possible to follow the indicated itinerary, 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 for flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation. 
The description of the itinerary is an example of the programm. The itnerary can be different during your travel week. First Fazenda can be the last fazenda, third fazenda can be the second fazenda, etc...

The rooms and comfort during your stay: 
Accommodation at the Gaucho trail ride in BrazilOur trail-riding holiday is not a dude ranch vacation where you stay in a tourist ranch-hotel and where you're just a number, but a riding holiday where you stay on authentic working fazendas (ranches) whitout any fancy hotel service.  So we will stay in guest rooms at the house of gaucho families. One fazenda might be a bit more simple than the other, but all fazendas are authentic, colonial, cosy and very clean. The fazendas do not all have a standard type of room. Most rooms are double rooms, some fazendas also have 4 bedded rooms with connecting bathroom. There always awaits you a soft bed and a good shower.

The Meals: 
Brazil has a rich cuisine. The country is a mixture of European, Indian, African and Asian cultures and is reflected in the way the Brazilians cook. Especially the Italian and African cuisines have great influence on Brazilian cuisine. 
Not only the population is mixed, also their habits and customs. Already well before Europe spoke about fusion cuisine, Brazil was combining ingredients found from different continents to a new, typical Brazilian cuisine. They also often serve dishes from different countries on one table. 
The Brazilian cuisine is very good, varied and serves many naturally made dishes. The main dishes are mostly rice and beans (Feijão) and sauces, with lots of meat or fish and salads. From region to region one has its own traditional dishes. Along the coast you will find more fish and shrimp dishes, in the south the tasty meat grill's (Churrasco) will surprise you. In Santa Catarina real healthy country meals are often prepared on wood stoves, what gives a special extra flavor. During our holiday we eat delicious homemade Santa Catarina dishes at the fazendas.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the fazendas.

Travel Gear: 
• Valid international passport 
• Travel Insurance
• Pocket money (you can change EUR/£/USD in the airport) 
• A sweater and a jacket 
• 4 or 5 T-shirts and minimum 1 a shirt with long sleeves. 
• jodhpurs or jeans to ride with 
• Riding shoes or boots / riding shoes with mini-chaps or long chaps. (Gaucho boots can be bought on location) 
• A second pair of shoes for the evening 
• Swimsuit 
• Comfortable clothing + a Hat
• One towel 
• Toiletries 
• Sun Cream  
• Camera…
> we have raincoats and saddle bags available for you 
> It is recomended to put your luggage in travel bag instead of a hard suitcase. 10 bags are easier to get in the backup vehicle than 10 suitcases.  (thanks!)

Luggage: 
The maximum allowable weight of your luggage depends from airline to airline. Check with the airline or travel agent how many kilograms and pieces of luggage you can take. Your personal luggage is transported during the trek to the various stopovers.

Health: 
Southern Brazil is a safe region in terms of health. You can easily eat and drink anything without beeing stomach bothered. Eating raw vegetables, salads and icecreams is no problem. 
There are no vaccinations required and there is no malaria in this part of Brazil. 
In case of illness or an accident, there are good hospitals and doctors nearby.£

Language: 
Portuguese is the official language. Many Brazilians are monolingual, those who master a second language speak mostly Italian or German (especially in the South) because of their origins. More and more Brazilians now lear Spanish or English.

Currency: 
The Brazilian currency is the REAL. = R$.
  
1 Euro = approx 3,50 Real  
1 USD = approx 3.10 Real 

Cash dispensers can be found in all towns and cities.
In the cities you can pay with credit cards. (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, ...)

Electricity and plugs
http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm

Mobile phone: 
In towns and villages there is mobile phone coverage everywhere. During the ridingtrip there are some days without coverage.

Internet: 
In towns and villages there is everywhere Internet acces. During the ridingtrip there is no internet acces.

Time in Brazil: 
http://www.worldtimeserver.com/
During the European summer time it is 5 hours earlier in southern Brazil than in Europe. 
During the European winter time it is 3 hours earlier in southern Brazil than in Europe.

Weather in Santa Catarina - Brazil: 
It's summer in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil when it is winter in Europe and vice versa, its winter in southern Brazil when its summer in Europe. 
Summer on the coast of Santa Catarina (Florianopolis) is about 30C ° to 33C °. During the winter it cools down to about 17C ° to 20C °. 
Our ride will be held in the interior of the higher region of Coxilha Rica, where it is always a little cooler. (Ideal riding temperatures!) 
Summer in Coxilha Rica: about 25C ° to 30C ° (from 21 DEC to 20 MAR)
Autumn in Coxilha Rica: about 15 ° to 25C °    (from 21 MAR to 20 JUN)
Winter Coxilha Rica: about -4C ° to 10C °        (from 21 JUN to 20 SEP)
Spring in Coxilha Rica: about 15C ° to 25C °    (from 21 SEP to 20 DEC)  
 
Travel Insurance: We request you take a travel Insurance. Ask your local insurance company or travel agent about it. You will not be allowed to participate at the “Gaúcho do Brasil” riding holiday programme without having a personal travel insurance. Your insurance details will be requested on arrival.
Trip Cancellation Insurance recommended: In order to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances interfering with your “Gaúcho do Brasil” vacation, we strongly suggest that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You can use any travel insurance company you are comfortable with.

Release Agreement:
The “Gaúcho do Brasil” guests are required to sign a release agreement at the time of check-in. This is mandatory and guests cannot participate in the tour without signing the release agreement (all moneys paid are non-refundable). Please feel free to read the release agreement prior to your arrival: please download the form here. Parents or legal guardians of minor children are required to sign the release agreement on their children’s behalf. Please direct all questions to the office.

Safety: 
Brazil has not always the best reputation for safety and crime. This is primarily and almost exclusively in large cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife. 
The state of Santa Catarina and its capital city Florianópolis is quiet and completely safe.
Our ride passes through the region of Coxilha Rica where there is no need to worry at all!

Staying longer: 
Fancy a week after riding a break on the beach? Just 200 km from Coxilha Rica is the best coastal city in southern Brazil, Florianopolis. Or we can suggest other great regions. We will gladly help you to arrange an optional tour extension to the coast.

 What is a gaucho? 
A gaucho is a cowboy or vaquiero from Southern Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. They are descendants of European immigrants and in some regions Gaúchos also have Indian blood. 
They are often described as strong, honest, proud, silent types. However, the gaucho is also a colourful character, known for occasional rebel-rousing, but always respected. Gauchos were, and still are, master horse riders. They are also adept at the use of boleadoras (also known as bolas)
The Gaucho culture and way of life is still very present in Southern Brazil. UNESCO has launched a project to protect the Gaucho culture and quotes as follows: "The gaucho way of life is the liveliest equestrian culture in the World".

General info about Brazil: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil
 
Rules: We are not so much into rules, but we reserve the right to refuse service to any individual who jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of any of our guests, staff, family & community members, animals & livestock, or who refuses to follow the rules we have established for your safety and welfare during your visit with us.