Patagonia Frequently Asked Questions

Airports, Asado, & More

Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

Wondering about where we’re going and what we’re doing? Check out our frequently asked questions to learn everything you need to know before booking our Cowgirl Yoga & Hiking Patagonia retreat.

Check our General FAQs for info on payments, policies and packing.

Still can’t find the answer to your question?

Patagonia Frequently Asked Questions

What’s included in the Cowgirl Yoga & Hiking Patagonia retreat?

  • 8 days/8 nights at our own private casa in the Arelauquen Golf and Country Club.
  • All meals starting with dinner on the first day and ending with breakfast on departure day (9th day).
  • All airport transfers between our lodge and the Bariloche Airport. All transfers to outdoor activities.
  • Open bar (includes mineral water, drinks, juices, beer and wine at the house).
  • 6 days of activities: 3 guided hikes and 3 horseback rides (see below for details). There will be 1 “rest day” in the middle of the week.
  • Daily yoga classes.
  • Daily housekeeping service.
  • Free wifi.
  • Tons of pre-retreat assistance with travel planning, including suggestions for travel in the area on your own. *Please note that much of this is provided via our private Facebook group, see last question below.

What's not included?

  • International and Domestic flights.
  • Transportation from Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) to Jorge Newbury (AEP) Airport.
  • Guide and staff gratuities – we will advise amounts and who to tip before the retreat. 
  • Extra nights at a suggested hotel, if needed.

Where exactly are we going in Patagonia?

Located in Northern Patagonia, San Carlos de Bariloche is the outdoors capital of South America, situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake. We’ll be staying, riding and hiking in the spectacular Nahuel Huapi National Park.

What airport should I fly into?

From the US, you will fly to Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE). IMPORTANT: You have to change airports in Buenos Aires to get to Patagonia! We highly recommend coming in a day early to break up the trip, and to spend a little time in Buenos Aires too. You will book a separate, domestic flight from Jorge Newbury domestic airport (AEP) to Bariloche (about 2 hours from BA).

Once you arrive in Bariloche, we’ll meet you at the airport to take you to our lodge, which is approximately 30 minutes from the airport.

This is a badass active retreat with 6 full days of activity ahead of you (+1 rest day in between!), so if your schedule allows it’s worth coming in a day early to Buenos Aires, flying to Bariloche on the morning the retreat starts. We definitely recommend more time in Buenos Aires before or after the retreat (you came all this way, why not make the most of it?), and are happy to offer our suggestions for food, shopping, hotels, and more! Just ask. We’ll also post these on our private Facebook group (see last question below).

What travel documents do I need, and do I need any shots?

Make sure your passport is valid for six months after the last day of your trip. No visa is required for US citizens, but other nationalities should check with their local consulate. No inoculations are required to enter Argentina, but make sure you are up to date on all boosters (i.e., tetanus). Please be sure to let us know if you have any health conditions, and are taking any medications.

At this time (April 2023), proof of Covid vaccination is not required to enter the Argentina. As that is always subject to change, we suggest bringing your vaccination record with your passport.

Should I get travel insurance?

SI. A retreat is an investment in your well-being—but it’s also a financial investment. No one books a retreat with the intention of cancelling, but unexpected life events do occur. If we could make it mandatory, we would. It’s a lot of $ to lose if something happens – and something always seems to happen. That’s travel, and that’s life. We cannot offer refunds or credits of any kind, given the small boutique scope of our business. *TRAVEL INSURANCE WORKS* if you have to cancel!

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND purchasing your own travel/trip cancellation insurance so your trip fees will be covered in case you have to cancel your retreat. Trip insurance should also be purchased to cover medical expenses, in the event you have an accident while on the retreat. 

True story: one of our international retreaters missed two days of the trip due to bad weather that forced airline cancelations. Through her travel insurance, she was able to get reimbursed for not only the missed days, but her travel expenses as well.

Another true story, from our 2022 France retreat: one retreater tested positive for Covid the day before the retreat started; she was already in Europe. She got everything covered, including a week in a hotel in Switzerland.

You can usually add insurance to your airfare when booking flights. While we don’t have a specific recommendation for the retreat portion, you should start by checking with your credit card company. There are lots of options out there. Check out this continuously updated FORBES article, Best Travel Insurance Companies.

What will the weather be like?

The seasons are opposite in North and South America – it’s early fall in Patagonia in March. We can expect temperatures in the 60s and 70s during the day, and between 30s and 40s at night. The sun is strong during the day, but the wind chill can have a dramatic effect. High SPF is recommended, as are layers. Pack for Patagonia like you would for Montana! And check out our packing list here.

Who are our guides?

Our guides are born and raised Patagonians who have created partnerships with companies like ours, to offer outdoor fitness and adventure trips in their beautiful part of the world. You can find out more about them at Far Away Fly Fishing.

Margaret Burns Vap from Big Sky Yoga Retreats will be your US trip leader and yoga teacher. She also leads international yoga retreats in France and Sicily.

Where are we staying?

We’ll be staying at “La Casa Moderna”, a private home at the Arleauquen Golf and Country Club in Bariloche, specially selected for the needs of our group. It has a spacious living room, with floor to ceiling glass, for optimal lake and hillside views. Our casa has an outdoor hot tub and a sauna. While rooms are double and triple options with shared baths, there is plenty of space for everyone. 

What's the food like?

Foodie Argentina: think meat. Superlative meat! And dulce de leche, yerba mate, empanadas, and Bariloche chocolate that can easily compete with the Swiss. Our in-house chef will pamper our palettes with fresh, local Patagonian fare, and lots of yerba mate. To begin the day we will fuel up for our hikes and rides with a full breakfast…but first, there will be coffee before yoga! 

Lunch – Hiking lunches will be “on the trail” and provided by our chef, usually something light. Riding day lunches are leisurely, in between or after riding at the estancias we are visiting. 

Dinner dinners will feature traditional fare, and will be served with Argentinian wine. 

*Check out What to Eat in Argentina on Epicurious.

What does a typical day look like?

Coffee. Meditation and Yoga. Breakfast. Ride and enjoy a leisurely lunch made by our estancia hosts, or hike with lunch on the trail. More yoga. Relax. Dinner. Sleep well under the Southern Cross, rinse and repeat. This is a very active vacation! We will start each day with a yoga practice before breakfast, and we’ll alternate horseback riding days with hiking. We’ll unwind with more restorative yoga, a glass of Malbec on the patio, time to relax and a leisurely dinner, when we can recap the day’s adventures and plan for the next day’s.

What’s the yoga like?

We often get asked what kind of yoga, how many times a day, what if I haven’t practiced in awhile – all valid questions. You will be fine. We offer straight up vinyasa flow, with a twist of restorative. We accommodate all levels of yoginis, but highly recommend some pre-retreat yoga experience, even if you start a practice with the retreat in mind. Some days will have one yoga practice, some will have two. We promise to get in as much yoga as we can, and balance it with our outdoor activities. Most mornings will begin with yoga (after coffee, but before breakfast) to start the day off right, on the yoga mat.

Am I in good enough shape for the hiking?

Your cardio fitness should be good enough to hike 2-3 hours at a time in varied terrain with altitude gain. We suggest you start a training or workout program at least 3 months beforehand so you can get the most out of the hiking. It does not need to be a hard-core program, just get out, play and be active a few days a week. Let us know if you would like suggestions! It’s a great opportunity to get in kick ass shape, to get the most out of this active trip.

What horseback riding experience should I have?

This retreat is not for beginner riders; we recommend riding experience and/or riding lessons to prepare. If you have been with us on Cowgirl Yoga before, you are qualified. You will be amazed at how much your seat improves after a week of riding like a gaucho!

We will spend between 2-4 hours a day in the saddle on the three days dedicated to “gaucho” riding, usually with a relaxed lunch in between and/or following the rides. We ask that you be comfortable with all gaits, including walk, trot and canter. We also ask that you pack appropriate riding gear, detailed in the packing list. POR FAVOR, NO TENNIS SHOES! Use this as an opportunity to buy some good riding boots! Please contact us if you would like to further discuss if your riding abilities are a good fit for this retreat. (And trust us – yoga gives you a better seat!)

The trail riding takes place on a variety of terrain, that can be very rugged at times. Please ask us if you have any concerns.

Do I have to participate in everything on the schedule?

You do not need to participate in everything; you can pace yourself to find the perfect amount of activity for you. We support you in doing as much or as little as is right for you, depending on how you are feeling. However: remember this is an active vacation, and we are giving you as much as we can of what you signed up for! (Personally, we wouldn’t want to miss a thing.) The schedule gives you a sense of the flow of each day. It’s always subject to change, depending upon the needs of the group, weather, etc.

NEW for 2024, we’ve added an extra day/night, to have a “day off” in between all the riding and hiking! But of course there will be yoga that day. 🙂 And in-casa massages (at additional but extremely reasonable cost.)

What if I’ve never been to Argentina?

Embrace the opportunity to experience a new place! And remember: there are many things that are not like the US. Some of it will push your comfort zone, most of it will expand your horizons. We don’t travel to have things be just like at home. We encourage you to do your “homework” – that’s part of the fun. Read about the history, the culture, the most recommended places to see and things to do. Learn a few Spanish phrases. We will share lots of resources with you as well.

Recommended reads:

Away & Aware: A Field Guide to Mindful Travel

Lessons from the road: what travel taught me about love

Destination Earth: A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler 

Women Are Becoming More Adventurous Travelers – and Doing It Alone

Bon Appétit’s Highly Subjective but Very Smart Guide to Traveling

Jetsetter Guides’ 8 Things to Know Before Traveling to Patagonia

How can I connect with other women on my retreat?

We set up a private Facebook group for everyone on this retreat. Yes, that means you have to be on Facebook. Trust us, it’s worth it just for this. It’s a great way to discuss travel plans, share links to articles, and for us to keep you updated on all trip info. And it’s much easier and faster than email, which can get stuck in spam, deleted, and forgotten. Bonus: it’s really fun to post retreat pics!

And no, it’s not a requirement and we can’t make you get on Facebook. We know some people are strongly anti-FB (we’ve gotten more than one earful). The FB group is intended to help, not challenge your social media values. While we promise we’ll get you all the info you need for your retreat via email…we can’t promise you won’t miss out on the fun of the group. #yourcall

Upcoming Retreats

Check out our calendar to see when your desired retreats are running—and reserve your spot. Retreats typically sell out, often several months in advance. So, stake your claim now!