Explore the Vast Plateaus, Canyons, and Araucaria Forests of the Southern Brazilian Highlands on Horseback

São Joaquim Adventure Trail

No cars, no traffic, no village, no people, just horses, landscape and enjoyment

No cars, no traffic, no village, no people, just horses, landscape and enjoyment


The southern Brazilian highlands Experience the true Brazil with all its rich customs and hospitality. Superb riding, at all paces, at 3,000 to 5,500 ft elevations – surrounded by outstanding ever-changing scenery. The impressive mountain panorama of the Southern Brazilian High Sierra, with 1 National and 2 State Parks offers a variety of superb natural attractions, such as wide open and hilly grass, bush and woodland, lush patches of magnificent South American araucária pine forest, a great number of clear rivers and rapids, lovely green valleys and the canyons of the Serra Geral mountain range.

Animal and plant live of this part of the tropical highlands is well preserved, specially birds blue-crowned trogon, siriemas, buff-necked ibis, Southern lapwings, quails, a great diversity of hawks, falcons, eagles, saffron finches, shiny cowbirds, owls and many others. The area is also habitat of puma, and you may be lucky to discover its trail, while he is far ahead or... behind you. Other animals of the region are ocelot, pampas deer, armadillo, coati, otter and capibara.

Gaúcho rodeo The region is scarcely populated by small dairy farms and cattle ranches that seem almost lost in the vastness of the land. This is the home of the mountain gaúchos and horsemen. They have conserved and show proudly their traditions. On weekends, folks gather in the rustic galpões, the barn and animal shelters of the farmhouse and dance and sing while an opulent churrasco BBQ is prepared at the open fireplace. Beautiful horses and superb horsemanship are on display at the frequent rodeos, where people, typically dressed, show up to dance to the chamamê, xote or vanerão, the Brazilian rooted country music, live, of course. Our guests will visit, whenever fitting with logistics, these traditional events and enjoy great hospitality and fun there.

Fazenda The Santa Barbara ranch is located some 20 km distant from the town of Urubici. Our longtime partner “Zorro” Elvio and his wife Rosie, manage this working ranch of about 600 ha land, where some 400 cattle of mixed breed graze happily through out the year. Pigs, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats also are part of the family. The Santa Barbara is, as all the other ranches in the region, a small ranch by Central Brazil standards like in the Pantanal. It is family run and non-touristy. Guests are treated like friends and have the rare opportunity to participate in the day to day live of a traditional southern Brazilian mountain ranch. For our rides we choose out of a herd of 30 horses.

Enjoying a delicious chimarrão Nearby the Santa Barbara ranch is the Canoas river. Its creeks and rapids do invite for trout fishing. Host Elvio knows not only all the secrets of ranching, but is also a skilled fisherman, while his wife Anna Rose takes care of the kitchen, where the trouts end up for dinner "Belle Meuniere" style. Talking about food: it consists of enormous portions of delicious, regional food (also vegetarian, if required), mostly homegrown and homemade. Our guests will further relish on authentic churrascos from the fogo do chão and the stimulating mate tea from the chimarrão, a gourd with a silver spoon. An early morning camargo straight from the udder, makes you forget the delicious capucchino of your favored Italian restaurant. Another traditional delicacy for the highlands gaúchos is passoca, grinded lamp meat with pinhão, Paraná pine nuts. At this point we would like to mention that at Santa Barbara, and elsewhere we emphasize and cultivate between visitors and host a relationship that is strictly based on friendship and common respect.


Prices and Travel Details

São Joaquim Adventure Trail
Travel Time
10 days / 9 nights
Group Size
minimum 4 / maximum 6 participants
Travel Dates
January 10th - January 19th 2018  
February 7th - Februar 16st 2018  
February 28th - March 9th 2018  
March 22nd - March 31th 2018  
April 12th - April 21st 2018  
November 15th - November 25th 2018  
December 6th - December 15th 2018  
December 20th - December 29th 2018 ¹)
¹) Christmas Ride
We can organize the trails on different dates upon special request
4 riders 1,720 US$ per person
3 riders 1,820 US$ per person
2 riders 1,920 US$ per person
double or triple room occupation during trail
²) Christmas Ride: add-on 480 US$ per person


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Current Weather in Urubici



Urubici, SC


Humidity: 70%

Wind: 17.70 km/h

  • 18 Mar 2018

    Thunderstorms 26°C 18°C

  • 19 Mar 2018

    Thunderstorms 26°C 18°C

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