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Argentina Horse Riding Holiday

During this program, you'll get to know the northwest of Argentina, a region with ancient traditions and amazing landscapes. Ride your Peruvian Paso horses through the heart of the Calchaquí Valley starting in Cachi, a town with fascinating landscapes around the mountain Nevado de Cachi and buildings of colonial architecture that take you back in time.

Key Information

  • Tack Type: Argentine Gaucho
  • Horse Breed: Peruvian Paso


  • 6 horse riding days
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 to 6 hours
  • All riding and camping equipment will be provided
  • Ampascachi’s gauchos baquianos (they have profound knowledge of the region)
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included
  • 9 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


7 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport
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During this program, you'll get to know some of the most beautiful places in Argentina and Ampascachi has chosen different hotels because of their location and service which meet international quality standards and their architecture and interior design. Some nights may also be spent in the Ampascachi camp. During this program, you'll stay at the following accommodations:

Salta: Hotel Almeria

  • Type of accommodation: Hotel
  • Location: Salta, Province of Salta
  • Nights: 2

A boutique hotel that leaves all visitors astonished, the original construction with its wooden floors and tall windows were conserved and also, the original distribution of the rooms which today are high standard suites and hotel rooms. The location is easy to access and close to all interesting tourist, historical, and cultural sights. The reception, lounge bar, and restaurant were carefully designed and decorated.

Services include Wi-Fi, room service, and air conditioning/heating. It is a beautiful hotel where you feel very comfortable and can enjoy the views over the landscapes with greens hills and a profound blue sky around Salta.

Cachi: ACA

  • Type of accommodation: Hotel
  • Location: Cachi, Calchaquí Valley, Province of Salta
  • Nights: 1

This is a very comfortable hotel in Cachi with its colonial architecture and delicate decoration. This hotel is located within beautiful scenery in incomparable surroundings.

Cafayate: El Portal del Santo

  • Type of accommodation: Hotel
  • Location: Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley, Province of Salta
  • Nights: 2

This hotel is located in a region with a long tradition of wine production and offers wonderful views. The stunning beauty of the architecture and the surroundings makes your stay unique.

Molinos: Hacienda de Molinos

  • Type of accommodation: Hotel
  • Location: Molinos, Calchaquí Valley, Province of Salta
  • Nights: 1

A night in this hotel takes you back in time. The thick walls made mud and brick, iron bars in the windows, and the carob wood ceilings give the place a special atmosphere. The hotel was remodeled but still retains its colonial style.


The Calchaquí Valleys on horseback

This ride is like traveling back in time. The incredible landscapes of the Calchaquí Valleys have remained intact for centuries. Local people still preserve ancient traditions, which were long believed to be extinct.

This ride begins in Cachi, a village located at the foot of the Cerro Nevado de Cachi, a hill where time seems to have stopped. There, you will dive into the ancient culture of the Andes, which still fills the narrow streets lined with old colonial buildings. Then, the itinerary takes you to the heart of the Calchaquí Valleys. You will visit traditional artisan weavers, pottery studios, pre-Columbian history museums, and wineries where you can taste some of the best wines in the world.

Back on your Peruvian horse, you will head towards Seclantás to go deep into one of the most inspiring landscapes in northern Argentina. Riding among the mountain chains, you will reach Molino and Angastaco, along the Calchaquí River, where the contrast between the intense green shades of the crops and the sandy soil of the valleys will surely catch your attention.

You will discover all the amazing shapes of the rocks in the river gorge and enjoy a special connection with the stateliness of the valley, with the people and their customs. An experience that you only live by horseback.

After 6 days, your equestrian journey will end in San Carlos, the oldest and best-preserved colonial village in the province of Salta. Once there, don't forget to ask why it is nicknamed "The Village of the Five Names"! Here, you will let the horses take a well-deserved rest and a private transfer will take you to Cafayate, home to excellent high-altitude wine.

And with this exclusive toast, you will give a grand finale to this unforgettable adventure, with the Andean and colonial landscapes of the Calchaquí Valleys still lingering in your memory.

Ampascachi is sure that you will fall in love with this paradise in northern Argentina.

The highlights of this ride:

  • The captivating beauty of the landscape
  • Charming colonial villages
  • A unique wine culture in the world


Day 1

Every detail is planned and organized to live the adventure of your life! Ampascachi welcomes you at the Salta airport and drives you into the city, a journey of approximately 30 minutes, that allows you to enjoy the views and understand why Salta is called “The Pretty”. Check into the Hotel Solar de la Plaza. After a short rest, visit some of the most characteristic places in the city.

After lunch in the Convento restaurant, the guide shows you around Salta until dinner time. Enjoy a delicious meal in one of the many Peñas, the Peña Los Cardones, a traditional place with folklore music. Go back to the hotel to rest and tomorrow, you are going to meet the horses, the Peruvian Paso horses, your companions in this adventure.

Day 2

After the breakfast buffet at the Solar de la Plaza hotel, head to Ampascachi’s equestrian center, the Casa de la Tradición, in Chicoana. You'll be introduced to the team members who accompany you on your equestrian route and then proceed to meet the horses. The connection between riders and horses is very important and today, you have the opportunity to ride on different horses and choose the one you feel comfortable and safe on.

You will be introduced to riding techniques, explain the specific features of the horses and then practice what you have learned during a two-hour ride around the Casa de la Tradición. Have lunch at the equestrian center and then drive back to Salta. You have the afternoon free to either rest or go around the city until it is time for dinner at the hotel. Sleep well, tomorrow is going to be a great day!

Day 3

After breakfast at the hotel, the Ampascachi transfer drives you along the Cuesta del Obispo to Cachi, a small town with ancient traditions that still remain intact. First, check into the hotel La Merced del Alto located outside the town. Discover this small town with its narrow cobbled streets and typical colonial houses entirely built of natural materials of the region: cactus wood, thick walls of mud bricks, and rustic floors.

In Cachi, visit the church, museum, and the old part, in its surroundings, visit archeological sites, a wine bodega, and areas where the indigenous people work in their fields and take care of their animals like goats, sheep, etc. For lunch, try delicious northern food at the Molino de Cachi restaurant.

In the afternoon, continue the tour in and around Cachi and are amazed by its secrets, traditions, and handicrafts. Return to the hotel for dinner and go to bed. The night before, your horses were brought to Cachi where they recover before you start your adventure with them tomorrow.

Day 4

Wake up on a sunny day and have breakfast at the hotel while you enjoy the scenery around the mountain Nevado de Cachi. Get the horses to start your ride to Seclantás, a town in the center of the Calchaquí Valley where the most important battles for Argentine independence from the Spanish Crown took place and where you also find ruins of the ancient Inca Empire who used to live on these lands. %Stop for a picnic at lunchtime near the legendary national highway Ruta 40, which runs along the Andes and connects the south to the north. Continue our ride along the Camino de los Artesanos (a road where typical regional handcrafts are manufactured and sold) and arrive at Seclantás where Ampascachi’s logistic team will be waiting for you. Have dinner and sleep comfortably in a mountain cabin. Discovering these amazing landscapes on horseback makes you feel part of nature!

Day 5

Have a nice breakfast with fresh bread that the Ampascachi logistics team prepares for you. Continue your equestrian route through the Calchaquí Valley, and appreciate endless sceneries of rivers, valleys, and mountains you will never forget. At lunchtime, stop at the Brealito river banks, have a break, and have a light lunch before you continue the ride to Molinos where you arrive at sunset.

Spend the night in the house of the last elected governor by the Spanish Crown, Nicolás Severo Isasmendi. It is a big colonial house that was remodeled and converted into a picturesque hotel but still maintains its spirit. Enjoy dinner with typical food from the region and then go to bed in the hotel.

Day 6

Have breakfast in the hotel and enjoy the atmosphere in Molinos. Ride along the banks of the Calchaqui river until you reach Angastaco. Around midday, stop for a picnic at the Finca La Angostura and keep riding until you arrive at the Finca El Carmen outside Angastaco; this finca produces delicious wine. Have dinner at the finca and spend the night there.

Day 7

Have breakfast at the Finca El Carmen with fresh bread and different marmalades before you continue the trail. Stop in Angastaco where you'll visit the church and then ride deeper into the heart of the Quebrada de Las Flechas where you'll enjoy outstanding landscapes until you reach La Viñita. The logistics team has already set up the camp for you, have dinner and go to rest

Day 8

Have breakfast in the camp and get on your horses. On your way to San Carlos, pass canyons and mountains and a tiny village, San Lucas, where only a few inhabitants live. The trail ends in San Carlos, where you leave the horses. The transfer takes you to Cafayate where you'll check into the Hotel Patios de Cafayate, have a delicious dinner, and spend the night

Day 9

Cafayate is the most important town in the Calchaquí Valley. It is a place with a very favorable climate to grow vineyards for the fruity white Torrontés wine. Visit the vineyards and then a well-known bodega where you'll also have lunch and try different wines that are famous beyond Argentine borders.

In the afternoon, continue the tour in and around Cafayate and appreciate the friendly inhabitants, the colonial architecture, and the sceneries of the landscapes where different green and red shades predominate. Visit the Amphitheatre, the canyons Quebrada de las Conchas and Garganta del Diablo as well as different rock formations like the Piedra del Sapo. At sunset, go back to the hotel where you'll enjoy your last lunch together and then go to rest. Cafayate is a wonderful place to visit!

Day 10

After breakfast, leave for the airport. Ampascachi is pleased that you were their guests and that they could show you amazing places and landscapes of the northern part of Argentina. Thank you for your confidence and that you have chosen Ampascachi for this great adventure.

Ampascachi is delighted that they shared beautiful days together with you and will be happy to welcome you again soon. Have a safe trip back home!

Topography of the trails: Cachi / Seclantás / Molinos / Angastaco / San Carlos sections

Ride across a diversity of topography characterized by hills, mountains, valleys, and plains. Ride along small paths and cross rivers, streams, and the wide and dry Calchaquí riverbed.

Description of the saddle, bridle, and bit

The anatomic saddle used was specifically designed to give comfort to the rider and protect the horse’s back. Their look is esthetical and similar to the Argentine gaucho saddles. The reins and bridle are made of sole leather which is also used when getting a horse under saddle as it is light and transmits the given helps easily to the horse’s mouth.

At Ampascachi, they use the same bridles and reins for their rides as they use during the training of the horses and obtain docile, well-educated, and versatile horses. They use Pelham bits with short shanks so the horse responds easily to soft aids.

Education and training of the horses at Ampascachi

They themselves breed the horses that are used for the riding holidays, they were specifically selected for that purpose by Ampascachi. The education of horses is based on the principles of etiology which studies the brain and learning processes of horses and emphasizes on respectful and ethical treatment.

About Ampascachi's horses

All horses are Peruvian Paso horses, they have been breeding them for over 20 years by selecting the best horses. The Peruvian Paso horse moves in a special gait, the paso llano, which is very comfortable for the rider, and at an average speed of 10 to 12 kilometers per hour, it allows it to move quite quickly over a long period of time.

The horse moves both legs on the same side, first, the hind leg steps down and then the front leg. The paso llano is a broken, harmonic four-beat gait, the center of gravity is almost immobile which makes it a very smooth and comfortable gait to ride. The horses are also trained in the gallop, a gait that is natural in all horse breeds.

Your safety while riding

The horses were bred and selected by Ampascachi and have passed a process of education and training without aggression. All horses are unique, have a stable character, and are prepared for equestrian activities.

Nevertheless, riding or any other equestrian activity always bears a certain risk, this is why they ask you to be honest about your horse experiences and to follow the instructions on how to tread and ride the horses that our guides give you during the whole duration of your holiday. Ampascachi strongly recommends the use of a riding helmet; you can bring your own or borrow one for free at Ampascachi.

Make sure that the helmet fits correctly to fulfill its purpose to protect your head. During the rides, at all times you are accompanied by a guide and at least one more member of the Ampascachi team. On your first riding day, your guide explains important security measures and the right behavior to protect yourself and your horse in situations that could be dangerous. The members of the Ampascachi team always carry a satellite phone and a first aid kit for emergencies and they have knowledge of first aid.


In the programs for companions, you'll travel to places full of natural beauty, culture, and history. In the Calchaqui Valley and the Lerma Valley in Salta as well as in the Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy, you'll see breathtaking landscapes and learn about the amazing traditions of the local people.

The companions have the possibility to see fantastic valleys and beautiful localities where you'll be offered a range of interesting activities. You'll discover how beautiful the city of Salta is, “The Pretty” as it is called, and other villages like Purmamarca and Tilcara in the Quebrada de Humahuaca or Cachi, Seclantás, Molinos, Angastaco, San Carlos, and Cafayate in the Calchaqui Valley, latter internationally known for its top-quality wines. Whenever it is possible, Ampascachi organizes to share activities with the riders.

IMPORTANT: This program is for companions and can only be booked when a rider books the equestrian program.

Riding ability

  • Novice: A rider who is comfortable at a slow pace, but still with some difficulties. Able to saddle up and unsaddle without help.
  • Intermediate: A rider who is confident in the gallop and has the horse under control in all gaits and also during long rides.
  • Expert: A secure rider also in a fast gallop.


The city of Salta

Salta is located in the northeast of the country at about 1600 kilometers from the country’s capital, Buenos Aires. Founded at the end of the 16th century, it is one of the most beautiful historical cities in Argentina. It is situated among winding mountains with many tobacco plantations. Tourists and local citizens call this city “Salta the Pretty” because of its incredible colonial buildings, its neoclassical churches, and its shadowed squares.

The indigenous roots and its rich culture have brought a long tradition of festivities, folklore, art, music, and local cuisine. The city offers the possibility to visit wine museums and art galleries, among them, you can find the Historical Museum of the North which tells the history of the city, or also the museum “Casa de José Evaristo Uribiuru”, portraying the lifestyle that the rich families of Salta once had.

The Archaeological Museum of High Altitudes exhibits different objects which were found in an area where sacrifices and burials were held over the llullaillaco volcano. The Anthropological Museum exhibits archeological findings of the pre -Inca site called Tastil. The city is also famous for its typical food, tamales and humitas, local dishes cooked with tender corn, and for its delicious white Torrontés wine, produced in Cafayate,

Lerma Valley (Riders only)

Located in the Province of Salta, the Lerma Valley is an extended and fertile area where you perceive the scent of wild herbs. The characteristic, old colonial houses are embellished by the work of handicraft men and surrounded by fascinating landscapes. The climate is typical for a mountainous area with a mildly humid climate and a dry season that starts in May and lasts until November.

This valley descends from the west to the east at an average altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level. Among its main rivers are the Arenales and the Toro, and on its southeast border, you can find the second biggest artificial lake in Argentina, the Cabra Corral. In the extreme north of the valley, you'll find the great city of Salta.

Apart from this beautiful city, the visitor discovers many other important villages and towns such as Rosario de Lerma, Campo Quijano, Cerrillos, el Carril, Chicoana, la Merced, and Coronel Moldes. In the north, the Lerma Valley is connected to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, in the southeast to the majestic Quebrada del Toro, and in the south to the Calchaquí Valleys.

Chicoana (Riders only)

At a distance of 30 minutes by car from Salta city, surrounded by impressive green mountains, fertile valleys, gaucho traditions, and amazing history, you can find a population with a welcoming attitude that makes Chicoana a place worth visiting. Chicoana is located at the edge of the green canyon Quebrada de Escoipe, very close to where Abreu y Figueroa founded “San Clemente de la Nueva Ciudad de Sevilla” in 1576. The locality was destroyed by the Chicoanas Indians, who had already been living in the place before Columbus discovered America, and for that reason, today the place is called Chicoana.

Calchaquí Valley

Located in the northeast of Argentina, in the central region of Salta, the Calchaqui Valley is part of a unique geographical area with more than 500 kilometers of longitude which is characterized by stunning mountain chains on both sides and a fertile area with vineyards offering singular vines. This valley is emblematic of its historical and cultural richness.

Along the way through the valleys, you'll find small towns, among them, an old colonial settlement in Payogasta, Cachi, a picturesque winegrowing town, and Molinos, a town with an impressive church. Further on, there is Angastaco, San Carlos, Animaná, and Cafayate, the latter being well-known for its delicious wine production.

Heading towards the east of the valleys, you can find the National Park Los Cardones to protect the Cardon cactuses, the typical flora of the place. The Calchaquí Valley embraces a great number of rivers, among them, is the main river called Calchaquí which flows along the Quebrada de Escoipe, the Valle Encantado, Quebrada de las Conchas, and Quebrada de las Flechas, known for its majestic rock formations.

These valleys were inhabited by sophisticated indigenous groups such as the Calchaquíes, the Tafí, and the Yokavil, also called the Diaguitas. Still today, local people keep many of their traditions alive.


In the heart of the Calchaquí Valley, Cachi is located at an altitude of 1228 meters above sea level. Its inhabitants maintain the ancestral traditions and customs alive which can be observed in their handicrafts like woven plaids, pottery, and ceramics as well as in the regional cuisine.

This old town seems like a portrait of a past time. It has narrow and pebbled streets with typical colonial-style houses that were built with local materials, cactus wood, adobe, and wooden floors. It also offers many tourist attractions; e.g. the Pío Pablo Díaz museum which shows important handicraft objects of the indigenous cultures. The landscapes offer stunning views of the Cerro Nevado, considered an ideal place for trekking and rock climbing.


This is the land of fabrics and craftsmen and the place where the ‘poncho’ was first woven. It is believed that the name of this small village comes from the old name of the Brealitos river, which had the name “Seclantás”. Seclantás is one of the old towns located on the banks of the Calchaquí river only a few meters away from route 40.

In 1814, those lands were the meeting point in the Calchaquí Valley for the patriots who were helping General Belgrano who was leading the independence movement to fight against the Spanish Crown. Seclantás is strategically located between towns and villages, all touristically and historically attractive for visitors.

Today, the village mainly consists of a central street where the activities take place and houses with verandas, roofs covered with reed and mud, and well-maintained facades. At an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, the climate of the village is dry and arid, it is generally sunny and winters are very cold.


This village is of great historical value and leaves visitors astonished by its unique beauty. Founded in the middle of the 17th century, Molinos was later inherited in 1775 by Nicolás Servero, the son of Domingo de Isasmendi, who led the country estate to great prosperity. Isasmendi was the last governor of Salta selected by the Spanish Crown.

Visitors can still see the magnificence of the chapel and the main country house, which was transformed into a hotel, the “La Hacienda De Molinos”. In front of the hotel is the church with the remains of Don Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi, who built it at the end of the 18th century. The church shows old statues and was declared a national historical monument in 1942.

Molinos is similar to any other village or town in the valley as it is quiet, the houses in the narrow streets have thick walls built with mud bricks and the big windows are protected with bars. The colors of the landscape range from various terracotta, ochre to green shades which make that place a breathtaking beauty.


Each and every place of the valleys is surprising, sometimes it is the colors or the magnitude of the mountains, in Angastaco it is their shapes and colors and the intensive blue of the sky. Angastaco is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains and with a river of the same name. The Angastaco rivers flow from Pucará through the valley and into the Calchaqui River.

The soil is sandy and a strong contrast to the intensive green color of the cultivations and the plants. From the 18th century on, the indigenous people who lived in Angastaco belonged to the religious mission Franciscana del Rosario in San Isidro, close to Cafayate. All the visitors are surprised and overwhelmed by this unique place and want to come back.

Towards Cafayate, the moon-like landscape is fascinating, most of all in Paso del Ventisquero and Paso de la Flecha. You can visit these places a hundred times and still find new shapes and combinations of colors in the area.

San Carlos

San Carlos is a lovely little town with 6000 inhabitants where an important part of the regional history took place, e.g. when the two powerful empires – the Incas and the Spanish – clashed and fought for control over the region. Some of the areas are part of the National Cultural and Historical Interest and on the 18th of February 1975, it was declared a National Historic Place.

Today it is a peaceful and wonderful town where visitors come to enjoy nice temperatures during the summers and the beautiful landscapes of the region. Its patron saint is San Carlos Borromeo which is celebrated every 4th of November when the villagers carry the statue around San Carlos.

The surroundings are mountainous with altitudes that reach 5000 meters in the southeast, south, and southwest and various valleys with rivers that run across them.


Cafayate is a small town located in the wonderful Calchaquí Valley about 190 kilometers south of Salta city. It is surrounded by attractive vineyards that are famous for their high-quality wines like the fruity, dry white wine Torrontés, and various red wines such as the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Malbec.

The climate is fantastic with sunny days and fresh evenings all-year-round that makes this place the best option and the perfect climate for the cultivation of grapes. Cafayate offers a wide range of tourist attractions which include breathtaking landscapes of the Andes, mountains that protect the vineyards; fantastic wine bodegas which no tourist should miss to visit, artistically and culturally interesting places, arts and crafts markets, museums, and the regional cuisine.


  • Breakfast in the camp: Country-style breakfast (milk, yogurt, cereals, butter, home-made marmalades, coffee, tea)
  • Breakfast in estancias/hotels: Full breakfast depending on the place
  • Lunch during rides: Light meals served as a picnic with soft drinks or mineral water. Lunch is light as the rides continue afterward.
  • Dinner in camp: Food cooked on an open fire and grilled meat like lamb, beef, goat; stews or empanadas.
  • Lunch and dinner in restaurants: Depends on the menu of each

If you have specific requirements for your diet (celiac, diabetes, food allergies, vegetarian, etc.) please let Ampascachi know upon booking.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 6 riding days
  • All riding and non-riding activities
  • Ampascachi’s guides and gauchos baquianos (they have profound knowledge of the region)
  • Ampascachi’s Peruvian Paso horses for all the equestrian routes of this program
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • All meals and drinks
  • All land transfers
  • Transport of baggage
  • Equipment to ride, camp, and kit for personal hygiene
  • Satellite telephone and mobile phones for emergencies

What's not included

  • International flights (Ampascachi will be happy to help if required)
  • Additional meals and drinks in accommodations, restaurants, or shops
  • Accommodation and transfer not included in the itinerary
  • Additional transfer (also for delayed flights)
  • Additional activities or tourist packages (Ampascachi will be happy to help with recommendations)
  • Laundry service

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport (SLA).

Flights need to be booked apart, and dates of arrival and departure depend on the dates of the beginning and end of the chosen program. You need to book your flights yourself and choose an airline that you think is best for you.

Ampascachi will be happy to help with information and recommendations if required. Ampascachi has special agreements with travel agencies and airlines that fly from Europe to Argentina, they can offer flight prices that you can either accept or not. If you wish to receive recommendations, please send Ampascachi an inquiry.

Airport: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport Airport transfer included: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
10 days / 9 nights
from --
Availability information

The Entire Calchaqui Valley on Horseback is available all year around with arrival every Sunday, please select an arrival date below.


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