Dec 21, 2010

Horseriding holidays in the south region: a must for horse fans.

by Antonella Kann

If there´s a region in Brazil which can be defined as ideal for horseriding, it´s certainly the south. Thanks to its topography, and the endless grassy highlands, allied with a fascinating landscape, the serra gaúcha – the gaúcho mountain chain – in the state of Rio Grande do Sul is a world away from any other ladnscape you´ve ever seen.

I´ve been a couple of times to S. Francisco de Paula, Cambará and the surroundings of these typical locations, where you can ride for miles without seeing another human being. Also, there´s a very calm and sturdy breed of horse called the “crioulo”, bred and raised in the South and extremely adapted to Brazilian soil.

The pretty setting is only another attribute, but after galloping on the rolling hills of the Aparados da Serra, any horse lover will not want to ride anywhere else than across those green and fenceless fields, crossing natural obstacle like rivers and canyons, sitting around a bondfire at the end of the day, sipping “chimarrão”, the non-alcooholic local beverage made from the leaf of erva mate, very popular in this part of Brazil.

The character behind the reins is a (special) gaúcho named Paulo Hafner , and the mentor of these fabulous horseriding holidays, something he introduced almost two decades ago. On the program, he´s offering all sorts of experiences, so you can choose between a few days on the saddle, with overnight stays in typical colono´s houses, where you´ll enjoy the hospitality of the gaúchos and their culinary specialities. Or, for those who are looking for something a little more comfy and luxurious, there´s also an option where you can spend the nights in a hotel, but then the atmosphere will be less personal.

I do prefer to meet the locals , taste their homey cuisine and sit by the fireplace in their kitchen, doing small talk with the family of owners. I should add that the south is an entirely different Brazil altogether, and the atmosphere is very distinct from the southeast or the northeast, to say the least!

A pit-stop to admire a waterfall in the region of the Aparados da Serra.

Best of all is that those riding expeditions can be scheduled all year-round, with higher temperatures in the summer but with freezing ones in winter. Both periods are nice, with different highlights due to weather conditions and itineraries. Do check Paulo´s website to have an idea of the incredible journeys offered on horseback. Something to think about when you are longing for something out-of-the-beaten-trail.

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  1. Hi I couldn't really find a good way to contact you but is it possible to chat about the site , its a good place to find cheap accommodation run by pousada owners, cheers

  2. The Brazillian landscape looks stunning from the photographs, I'd love to go on such a holiday where we could ride all day and see sights including waterfalls. I'll have to get saving up and convince my husband that it'll be fun for the both of us!

  3. One of the awesome information about the Horseriding holidays in the south region.Thanks for your great information about it.