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On horseback, you can discover unique places, and this journey through the Lerma and the Calchaqui Valleys is no exception, with the contrast of valleys, deserts, and colorful mountains that represent unique natural landscapes. During the equestrian tour from the Lerma Valley to Cachi, discover spectacular landscapes. After visiting the picturesque village of Cachi, continue to ride through the valleys and get to know such beautiful places as Seclantás, Molinos, Angastaco, and Cafayate. This riding tour is a celebration for all the senses, as not only the natural landscapes amaze, but also the unique pre-Columbian buildings that are part of the cultural heritage today.
During this program, 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 will stay at the following accommodations:
A boutique hotel that leaves all visitors astonished, the original construction with its wooden floors and tall windows was 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 deep blue sky around Salta.
This is the best hotel in Cachi with its colonial architecture and delicate decoration. This hotel is located within beautiful scenery in incomparable surroundings at the foot of the mountain Cerro el Nevado only two kilometers away from Cachi’s historical center. Its cuisine offers regional Andean and international dishes.
This hotel is located in a region with a long tradition of wine production and offers wonderful views over the vineyards and mountains. It has 32 rooms, each of them beautifully decorated. The stunning beauty of the architecture and the surroundings makes your stay unique. Home-grown vegetables are used to prepare the meals and the wines are from their own wine cellar.
The Ampascachi’s logistics team prepares the camp for guests. The camp consists of dorm tents with small beds, sleeping bags, and pillows, a dining tent with chairs, tables, and silverware, a toilet tent with a chemical WC, and a shower tent with hot water. Ampascachi also provides you with a kit that includes all the necessary articles. In this type of accommodation, guests might have to share a tent with other people.
On horseback you can discover unique places and this is not an exception of the rule when visiting Valle de Lerma and Valles Calchaquíes. The amazing contrast among valleys, deserts, and colorful hills, nature depicts itself in curious pictures. When going on horseback from Valle de Lerma to Cachi, you will enjoy the view of magnificent landscapes.
Arrive in Cachi, a beautiful town, and continue discovering new places along the valleys such as Seclantás, Molinos, Angastaco, and Cafayate. This equestrian route is an immeasurable pleasure for your senses. nature contributes with its beauty and the human touch has filled the place with creativity clearly seen in its pre-Columbian constructions. Then, it has been the sense and sensibility of the people to conserve this heritage of the region
Every detail is planned and organized to live the adventure of your life! Welcome to the Salta airport and drive 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 of 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, meet the horses, the Peruvian Paso horses, your companions in this adventure.
After the breakfast buffet at the Solar de la Plaza hotel, head to Ampascachi’s equestrian center, the Casa de la Tradición, in Chicoana. Ampascachi introduces you to the team members who'll 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'll have the opportunity to ride on different horses and choose the one you feel comfortable and safe on.
Ampascachi introduces you 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!
Have breakfast at the hotel and afterward the transfer drives back to Chicoana. Start the riding trail and today, the horses carry you up to 2400 meters. Stop for a light lunch on the way. Enjoy the magnificent landscapes and the great performance of the horses while you continue the tour to the canyon Quebrada de Esoipe. The logistics team takes you back to Chicoana where you'll have dinner and spend the night at the Boutique hotel “Boo”.
Have breakfast at the hotel before you drive back to Escoipe where the horses have already been prepared to continue your ride. Ride through the heart of the canyon surrounded by multi-colored mountains. Ride on horse trails until you reach Isonza, a little village lost in time. The logistics team is waiting to take you to Cachi where you'll eat and spend the night at the Hotel La Merced del Alto.
Have breakfast at the hotel and head for the Tin Tin Line, where a dirt road begins. This perfect straight line was made by the Incas and it crosses Los Cardones National Park. At this point, the horses will be waiting for you to start the journey. Continue on the horses until you get to Amblayo, a very tiny, old, and traditional village, hidden, and almost forgotten in the Calchaqui Valley where the best goat cheese is produced.
In Amblayo, the few inhabitants live at a different pace, their houses are built around the small chapel and the central square. There is a small shop where you can buy all sorts of things and which includes a bar where the gauchos of the region stop by to have some drinks and chats.
The easiest way to reach Amblayo is by horse as it is very difficult to get there by car. Spend the night in Amblayo at the house of the descendants of the founder's family. The Viyadas lead a simple life just like all the people in this region, they are very friendly and hospitable and open their house for you to be able to sleep comfortably and have a hot shower. The logistics team prepares a delicious dinner for you.
Have breakfast at the family house and then continue riding towards the Calchaqui Valley. You are far away from civilization and feel like the only people in the world. The 360-degree view is absolutely stunning. In the evening, get to the Cuesta de Arena, it is probably a dry bed of a river that used to flow down there, today it is covered with sand.
The logistics team has already set up the fully equipped camp, you can have a shower and then have dinner and spend the night under a fabulous sky full of stars.
After a delicious breakfast in the camp in the middle of these immense and vast landscapes, initiate the ride to San Carlos. San Carlos is one of the oldest and most important villages in the Calchaqui Valley with stone tiled streets full of Inca and pre-Columbine history and colonial constructions. The transfer brings you to Cafayate where you'll spend the night at the Patios de Cafayate hotel.
Wake up in this beautiful hotel, enjoy breakfast, and get prepared to discover Cafayate, where some of the best wines are produced and where the smell of grapes is in the air. Visit different wine cellars and try a variety of wines. Have lunch at the Bodega Piattelli, an extraordinary wine producer. The bodega is a beautiful building set in magnificent landscapes. After lunch, visit the church, main square, and some museums in Cafayate. At night, go back to the hotel where you'll have dinner and spend another night.
The transfer brings you back to San Carlos where the horses are waiting for you. On your way, stop in San Lucas, a tiny village of four houses, lost in time, where you can visit colorful places and cave paintings. After the lunch break, carry on to the destination, La Viñita.
The area seems to be a dry desert but you'll be are surprised when you suddenly discover spectacular wine yards in front of you; from these grapes, one of the best wines of the valley is produced.
This is another astonishing place where you best get to on a horse and not many have been to, the views are amazing in this desert-like place. Leave the horses here, they were wonderful companions during the trail! The transfer drives you to Cachi where you'll stay at the La Merced del Alto hotel.
Have breakfast at the hotel and then discover this beautiful place called Cachi. The ancient traditions, the pebble-stone streets, and the colonial houses built with materials from the region: cactus wood, thick mud bricks, wooden floors, etc. are fascinating. Have lunch with delicious regional food at the El Nevado de Cachi restaurant. Afterward, have more time to do sightseeing in and around Cachi and visit local manufacturers and craftspeople. Have dinner at the hotel where you'll spend another night.
Enjoy your last breakfast together in the hotel and then drive to the airport in Salta. Ampascachi is happy that you have chosen them for your once-in-a-lifetime adventure, thank you very much!
In this section, the topography is diverse, characterized by hills of varying heights and pampas or plains such as the emblematic “Los Cardones National Park”. You will go through bridle paths, river crossings, and dried riverbeds with large sandy beaches.
In this section, you will also come across a diverse topography, characterized by hills, gullies, and plains. You will go through bridle paths and cross rivers, streams, and the wide and dry Calchaquí riverbed.
The anatomic saddle that Ampascachi uses was specifically designed to give comfort to the rider and protect the horse’s back. Their look is aesthetical 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 the 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.
Ampascachi themselves breed the horses that they use for their riding holidays, they were specifically selected for that purpose by Ampascachi. The education of the horses is based on the principles of ethology which studies the brain and learning processes of horses and emphasizes on respectful and ethical treatment. It is a unique experience to meet their horses!
All the 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 km/h, it allows to move quite quickly over a long period of time. The horse moves both legs of 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, what 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.
The horses were bred and selected byAmpascachi themselves and have passed a process of education and training without aggressions. 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 Ampascachi asks you to be honest about your horse experiences and to follow the instructions on how to tread and ride the horses that guides give you during the whole duration of your holiday. They strongly recommend 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 on first aid.
A rider who is confident in the gallop and has the horse under control in all gaits and also during long rides.
A secure rider also in a fast gallop.
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 south-east 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 cities 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 south-east to the majestic Quebrada del Toro, and in the south to the Calchaquí Valleys.
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, Province of Salta.
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.
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 wine-growing 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 like the Pío Pablo Díaz museum, which shows important handicraft objects of the indigenous cultures. The landscapes offer stunning views on 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 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 along 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.
Cafayate is a small town located in the wonderful Valles Calchaquíes about 190 kilometers. south from the city of Salta. It is surrounded by attractive vineyards that have become famous for the high quality of their wines such as the varietal torrontés, which is a fruity, dry stylish white wine, as well as for the different red wines such as the cabernet sauvignon and the malbec.
It has a fantastic climate with sunny days and fresh evenings all year round that make this place the best option and the perfect climate for the cultivation of grapes.
Cafayate offers a wide range of tourist attractions which include memorable landscapes in the hills which can be admired perching as great protectors of the vineyards; then, the wine routes which are well-known visits treasured by all visitors; and finally, the various artistic and cultural options to be visited which include handicraft markets, museums, and various tastings of the regional cuisine.
The Quebrada de Humahuaca is an extensive mountain valley located in the northwest of the country which is, from its northern to its southern end, 155 kilometers long. The Quebrada has an exceptional history; for more than 10,000 years, this Andean valley has been the scenario of important cultural developments that have influenced the region but also neighboring countries.
You can still find traces of the first hunting civilizations that used to live here 10,000 years ago. This valley has been a central connecting point of different regions, countries, and cultures from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Andes to the southern plains. In 2003, the Quebrada de Humahuaca was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The national route 9 runs along the Quebrada de Humahuaca and the first location it passes by is El Volcán, a small village with approximately 1000 inhabitants. The main activities are cattle and crops and the commercialization of the produces from the Salinas Grandes (great salt dessert).
About 48 kilometers from San Salvador de Jujuy, the capital of the Province, lays Tumbaya in the middle of the colorful Quebrada de Humahuaca. Tumbaya is a very special place for visitors with its streets paved with cobble-sized stones, small houses, the simplicity of the inhabitants, the amazing landscapes, and the peace and quiet you find here.
The colors of the mountains range from different shapes of red, green, and ochre, and along with the cactuses and the variety of fruit trees make the surroundings outstanding and colorful. The local church was built in 1796. The walls are made of thick mud bricks, the bell tower is on one side of the nave and it is surrounded by a wall with a front arch where the visitors can get in.
Another place worth visiting is the central square with its green areas, a fountain, and a statue of Francisco de Solano, a well-known priest who used to evangelize in this region.
At the foot of the “Cerro de los Siete Colores” (seven-colored hill), this small town was founded at the beginning of the 17th century. The native tribe Aimará had named this area Purmamarca which means "virgin land". The houses are made of adobe (thick mud bricks), cactus wood, and mud roofs and stand around the church which was built in 1648.
It was declared as a national monument for its architectural richness and the Cuzco-style paintings inside. Visitors can visit the main square and the handicrafts market with regional pottery, woven carpets, and ponchos, and other typical clothes, and also traditional music instruments. The locals are friendly and visitors are welcomed to discover their town, traditions, and culture that around Purmamarca, visitors can enjoy the view over the amazing landscapes, the Purmamarca river, and the “Los Colorados” pass with its impressive stone formations.
Tilcara received its name from the tribe that used to live there a long time ago. Today, the visitors find a place with a mixture of pre-Hispanic and colonial houses, ritual sites of the natives lay next to Christian churches and even the spiritual beliefs are a mix of both cultures. There are patronal festivities of their saints as well as native festivities like the misachicos, a worship to members of the population who have passed away.
One important festivity is to honor the Pachamama (Mother Earth) during ancient rituals or the Carnival where religious and indigenous traditions mix up. Music is an important part of the lives of the inhabitants, they play regional instruments like the sikuris, quenas, drums, erques, erquenchos, and charangos. The old fort Pucará de Tilcara with its high altitude botanical gardens is another highlight. Tilcara is a place that amazes every visitor!
Humahuaca is situated east of the national route 9 and north of the Cerro Verde (green hill) at 3,012 meters above sea level. This town has narrow cobble-stone streets and magnificent colonial houses built with adobe (thick mud bricks). It is beautiful to walk around Humahuaca which used to be a commercially important place during Upper Peru until the end of the 19th century.
You can visit the monument of Independence or the archaeological museum among other attractions. Humahuaca lays within the canyon Quebrada de Humahuaca, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The surrounding landscapes are unique with shades of different colors, the Grande river that flows through the canyon, and various archaeological sites that you can visit.
All meals and drinks are included in the package.
If you have specific requirements for your diet (celiac, diabetes, food allergies, vegetarian, etc.) please let Ampascachi know when booking.
You can extend your holiday with the extension program and travel to the province of Buenos Aires, where you'll stay in the cosmopolitan and vibrant city of the same name. Take a sightseeing tour and discover historical and modern architecture, the port, the longest avenue in the world, Boca, Caminito, and other emblematic places, the Río de la Plata, tango, etc.
Ampascachi will also take you to rural places where you'll learn about the life of the gauchos in the Pampa, stay at a beautiful Estancia where you'll see how diverse this Argentine province is where history and modernism coexist. Feel the passion of Buenos Aires!
Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport
You can book your holiday program at Ampascachi with or without international flights. The prices published do not include the cost of international and or domestic flights or transport, only the transfers that are required as specified in each program. Flights need to be booked apart; dates of arrival and departure depend on the dates of beginning and ending of the chosen program.
You need to book your flights yourself and choose an airline that you think is best for you. Ampascachi is happy to help with information and recommendations if required. As 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 an inquiry.
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