The Sertão, the Brazilian Outback on Horseback - Brazil
07 days - 06 nights - 6 days on horseback
a 7-day equestrian adventure following the footsteps of Lampião; the Brazilian equivalent of Jesse James or Pancho Villa.
(+ you can extend this trip with 4 extra riding days on the stunning palm beaches of northeast Brazil.)
Many are surprised when they learn that Brazil is bigger than Australia and is about the same size as the USA and that Brazil's attractions are a lot more than the Amazon, Carnival and Brazilian soccer. One of the world's most captivating places lies in the northeast of the country; the Sertão or the Brazilian Outback. Sung by poets, the Sertão covers eight Brazilian states and although battered by drought, it is one of Brazil’s culturally richest areas. From frozen-in-time colonial towns to otherworldly landscapes of red-rock canyons, rolling plains of caatinga to the mighty São Francisco River. It is the land of the brave northeastern Vaqueiros/cowboys. Dressed from head to toe in leather, to protect themselves against the thorns of the acacia bushes they have a totally different look than any other cowboy you have ever seen. (also, their horses are protected with leather chest and head pieces).
And in a harsh landscape where life is tough, controversial historical characters always emerge. At the beginning of the last century, the Brazilian outback was ravaged by a bandolero on horseback called Lampião. He was the most famous bandit leader of the Cangaço. Cangaço was a form of banditry endemic to the Brazilian Northeast; it had origins in the late 19th century but was particularly prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s. Lampião led a band of up to 100 Cangaceiros, who consistently took over small towns and who fought several successful actions against paramilitary police. Lampião's exploits and reputation turned him into a folk hero, the Brazilian equivalent of Jesse James or Pancho Villa. Lampião and 9 of his companions were killed in an ambush on 28 July 1938. The heads of those killed were cut off and put on public exhibition in the town of Piranhas. Until this day, Lampião is so culturally present in the region that we cannot do anything else then dedicate our trail ride to this Brazilian feared outlaw.
We will saddle the Mangalarga Marchador horse for you, an authentic Brazilian breed, which is a great forward going horse at a very comfortable pace and follow the footsteps of Lampião. The horses are used to the tropical climate and are just the most fun horses you can imagine.
A horse-riding trip of 7 days crossing the outback from colonial town to colonial town. Red soil, crazy rock formations, cactus-strewn landscapes, and the ever-present San Francisco river with its impressive canyons form the backdrop for our equestrian adventure.
On average, you will be 5 hours a day in the saddle. You will spend the night in comfy and colorful posadas and country houses while your luggage will be taken by a back-up vehicle to the next accommodation. You will enjoy breathtaking views, see ancient rock paintings, ride on the banks of the San Francisco river, go for a boat ride on the river, and also swim in it. The Canyons will make you feel small, and the hospitality of the locals in each town will melt your hearts.
And last but not least, just like in the old days. We will tie up our horses in front of the old train station in the village of Piranhas, and visit the Cangaço Museum, where we will learn all about Lampião and his gang. Ready for the great Brazilian Outback experience?!