Your trip at a glance


  • Spend 26 days in the midst of breath­taking Patagonia
  • Hike through the Patag­onian Cordillera for 18 days
  • Acquire valuable nature knowledge
  • Spend the nights in Argentina’s wild backcountry
  • Enjoy relaxing days on a horse ranch in Patagonia
  • Live and learn together with people from all over the world
  • Witness fasci­nating natural landscapes


Eine Gruppe von Studenten macht sich Notizen waehrend einer Unterrichtsstunde in Patagoniens Landschaft
Eine Gruppe von Studenten wandert durch die weite Landschaft Patagoniens
Nahaufnahme einer rot-orangenen Blume aus den Anden
Ein Fluss schlaengelt sich durch das Tal eines Gebirges
Eine Gruppe von Teilnehmern beim Unterricht auf einer patagonischen Wiese

Field course in the Argentine Andes

When joining this research course a detailed training in essential nature guide skills will familiarise you with the unique natural history of Northern Patagonia.

Eine Gruppe von Studenten wandert durch die weite Landschaft Patagoniens

Arrival and orien­ta­tion in Patagonia

You will fly to Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires. From there you will travel by bus or by plane to the City of Neuquén in Neuquén Province. Once in Neuquén, all participants will meet at the Presidente Perón International Airport to start their 26-day-trip together. A chartered transfer will take you to the beginning of your path into the cordillera near the small town of El Huecu. From where you and your group are dropped off, you will travel by foot/horseback into the heart of an ancient volcanic crater to the headquarters of a Patagonian horse ranch located at the foot of the Andean Plateau.
The first day at the ranch will begin with an orientation meeting that will include an introduction to course logistics and cultural issues, backcountry safety and emergency protocols, as well as other important details. The next two days will be spent familiarising yourself with the new surroundings and preparing for the expedition.

Ein Schluesselanhaenger dient zum Groessenvergleich kleiner Steinpflanzen auf rotem Gestein

Topics of the course on Patagonia's natural history

On the fourth morning, you will begin your backcountry expedition into the Andean Cordillera. The primary focus of this experience is on exploring the fascinating diversity of life forms in Patagonia and the intricate relationships that exist between these organisms and their environment.

Typical field days during the course will involve hiking with backpacks along the planned route, punctuated by lesson presentations, focused field experience, and group discussions. Travel days will alternate with occasional days of “rest,” which will be spent focusing on various study topics. The nature of the programme is, however, dynamic, and depending upon what is encountered, you may opportunistically take advantage of observing subjects/topics of interest that are encountered unexpectedly.

Pflanzenzeichnung auf der Erde zur Erklaerung der patagonischen Pflanzenwelt

Due to the group’s partial reliance upon nature to provide the subject material, participants should expect the schedule to change with some frequency. It is within this environmental context that you will observe and study both the landscape and forces that still shape it, as well as the various biological organisms that have evolved to endure and even thrive in such conditions.

Specific attention will be paid to plants and vegetation types characteristic of the semi-arid steppe of the “southern cone," but you will also learn about bird, reptile, amphibian, and other wildlife species that live and reproduce in this region. Given the significant influence that humans have on natural ecosystems, you will also spend some time focusing on the varying influence that humans have had, and continue to have, on this landscape and its inhabitants.

Nahaufnahme einer auf einem Ast sitzenden Eule mit geschlossenen Augen

Accom­mo­da­tion in the Patag­onian Andes

You and your group will primarily be camping in remote backcountry locations and/or staying in very rustic accommodations. Please do not expect to have access to email, internet, telephone, and/or commercial laundry services between leaving and returning to Neuquén. At some of the course locations, you will have meals provided, but for the most part you and your group will be carrying and preparing your own meals.
During your few days on the ranch you will be accommodated either in a two-room-suite with a queen bed, a three-room-apartment, a guest house with one double bed and one single bed or a guest room with a queen bed. All of them have private bathrooms. Hot water for showers is heated in wood-fired hot water heaters. Power is supplied by small hydroelectric turbines. A cook will provide you with daily meals.

Nahaufnahme patagonischer orangener Fruechte zur Pflanzenkunde

Leisure time as a course partic­i­pant

During your ranch days you will have a lot of free time: You can take part in riverside picnics, go on a day ride and enjoy evenings sipping wine on the patio. Furthermore, you can go fishing in the Trocoman and Picunleo Rivers, go swimming in the pool or simply relax in the riverside sauna.

FAQ – Learn more about this trip

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  • reiseorte-argentinien-patagonien-landschaft-natucate
    1. Patagonia

    Patagonia is a region in South America that consists of an Argentine part (in the east) and a Chilean part (in the west). With a size of 766,000 km², the Argentinean part is twice as large as Germany, but has only 1.6 million inhabitants. The region is characterized by a uniquely wild landscape – it stretches over high steppes, river valleys, golden grasslands and rugged rocky landscapes to the heart of the Argentine Cordilleras.

    As part of our nature trip you can discover the breathtaking vastness of this special region on horseback.

    Learn more

Background of the field course in Argentina

The programme takes place in the southern Andean province of Neuquén, Argentina in the Patagonian cordillera: a dynamic region of ecological transition between the pre-cordilleran Patagonian steppe, the montane sub-Antarctic Patagonian forests, and the high elevation “altoandino” habitats. Mountains, plateaus, glacially-formed lakes, and rivers fed by abundant snowmelt – the profound and enchanting landscape of Patagonia is an ideal location to observe a diverse assemblage of species and habitats that have developed in extreme and dynamic conditions.
Daily experience immersed in the very surroundings being studied will provide participants with ample opportunity to learn more about nature and about themselves, as well as providing valuable perspective on the relationship between the human species and the rest of the natural world we affect.


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