Need horses to carry your packs or you? Professional guides and their horses are available for hire to go in and out of the valley.
To do and know before you go
Reserve your place to sleep in La Junta. If you don't have a reservation, especially during the highseason, you will not be permitted onto the trail. Reserve your camping first.
Reserve ahead of arrival. Since horses and their guides are limited, especially during high season, it's recommended to reserve horses in advance. Horses furthermore need time to be readied - shoed, properly fed and moved.
Choose fit, healthy horses. Choose responsibly. It's up to you to create the demand for healthy, well-fed horses. If you're horse looks unhealthy or too skinny, speak up. Demand another horse. There are many horse guides in Cochamó. So, select carefully from those who have a reputation of caring well for their horses and working responsibly as guides. Choosing only based on the lowest price may only support horses' inhumane treatment.
65 kilos max. Each packhorse holds up to 65 kilos - depending on the horse - and is divided into two even loads. These two larger, evenly weighted loads (like big backpacks or bags) are tied on to the upper sides of the horses flanks and are exposed, thus they should not have fragile items. One smaller yet lighter load that rests high and between the larger loads, allows for carrying fragile items. If your larger loads are uneven, items must be moved around to balance them.
Care for the delicate items. Items tend to get smashed, so fragile items should be carried apart or well protected.
All horses are accompanied by a guide. Don't just drop off your bags at the trailhead and head up to La Junta. Meet your guide. Ask to see the horses. Help the guide to arrange your bags. He or she will likely need to move items from one bag to another to even loads. Arrange which campground and a time to meet in La Junta.
The trail closes at 3 p.m. If you are getting a packhorse, you will need time to talk to your horse guide and arrange bags. Many horse guides leave only in the morning so they can make the return trip on one day.
Request a Packhorse Form
An email will be sent to the Agrupación de Arrieros Valle Cochamó, a group of local cowboys and girls that work with their horses in the valley.