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Argentina Horse Riding Holiday

Get to know the beautiful city of Salta in northern Argentina, which is also called La Linda (the pretty). It has magnificent colonial architecture, reflecting the history of the Spanish Viceroyalty, which can also be found in museums and monuments. Ride through the Quebrada de Humahuaca, starting from el Volcan then continue to Purmamarca, where you can admire the famous seven-colored hill (Cerro de los Siete Colores) and the typical handicrafts. The tour takes you on to Tilcara, a small town where ancient customs and pre-Columbian traditions are still alive. On foot, explore this peaceful place and learn about the life of the locals!

Key information

  • Tack Type: Esthetical and similar to the Argentine gaucho saddles
  • Horse Breed: Peruvian Paso Horse

Highlights

  • 5 horse riding days
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 to 6 hours
  • Explore the region mounted on Ampascachi’s Peruvian Paso horses
  • Ride with Ampascachi’s guides and gauchos baquianos
  • All meals and drinks will be provided daily
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


5 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport
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Accommodation

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:

Solar de la Plaza hotel

  • Type of accommodation: Hotel
  • Location: Salta, Province of Salta
  • Nights: 3

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.

Las Marías de Tilcara hotel

  • Type of accommodation: Hotel
  • Location: Tilcara, Quebrada de Humahuaca, Province of Jujuy
  • Nights: 1

This is a magical boutique hotel located in Tilcara, three blocks away from the main square. Its architecture combines regional cultures; the decoration has an Andean style and captures the colors of the landscape.

Manantial del Silencio Hotel

  • Type of accommodation: Hotel
  • Location: Purmamarca, Quebrada de Humahuaca, Province of Jujuy
  • Nights: 1

This hotel was built at the beginning of the 19th century in a neocolonial Spanish style mixed with the architecture of the region. Local materials such as adobe for the walls (thick mud bricks) and canes for the roof give the place its particular charm. This hotel has eighteen spacious and light rooms equipped with private bathrooms, TV, and Wi-Fi, they are decorated in an Andean style and have precious views over the magnificent landscapes.

Ampascachi Camp

  • Type of accommodation: Camp
  • Location: During horse trail - Different locations
  • Nights: 2

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.

Program

The Quebrada de Humahuaca on Peruvian Paso horseback is a unique experience, as the entire region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit remote places, some of which can only be reached on foot or on horseback. For two nights, stay in the fully equipped camp, which the Ampascachi logistics team set up for you. This gives the opportunity to experience intense nature, sunsets, and sunrises in the impressive mountains of the Puna, the Andean Highlands.

In this trip, you will know the city of Salta, “The Pretty”, as everybody calls this beautiful northern city in Argentina, full of colonial architecture and viceregal history, as in by its museums and monuments. You will go all over the Quebrada de Humahuaca on horseback, from El Volcán, crossing Purmamarca with its Cerro de los Siete Colores and crats until you arrive at Tilcara, an ancient town with pre-hispanic customs, that you can visit after dismounting our horses.

These towns are natural emblems offering wonderful horizons that feed the traveler’s spirit. You will able to share life stories with local people, the chance to cross these fascinating places in the Quebrada on Peruvian Paso horseback; an experience worth enjoying. Not in vain, the Quebrada de Humahuaca has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

Day 1

Arrive at Salta airport where the logistics team welcomes you and drives you to the Solar de la Plaza Hotel which is located in the city center. During the trip, you will already discover why Salta is called “The Pretty”. Depending on the time of arrival at the hotel, have lunch at the El Solar del Convento, a traditional restaurant with a great variety of local food.

Afterward, you can either rest or discover the city with the guide, go to the main square, the Archaeological Museum, and the historical “Cabildo” (former head office of the political authorities during the Spanish occupation, today a museum). Dinner is at the Peña Los Cardones. The “Peñas” are typical restaurants with traditional folk music. Go back to the hotel and get a good night’s sleep to be fit for the next day.

Day 2

After the breakfast buffet at the Solar de la Plaza hotel, head to Ampascachi’s Equestrian Centre, the Casa de la Tradición, in Chicoana. Ampascachi will introduce you to the team members who will guide 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 mount different horses and choose the one you feel comfortable and safe on.

Ampascachi will introduce 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. When you come back from the ride, have lunch, a delicious barbecue and “empanadas” (stuffed pasty) at the Equestrian Centre, in the old part of the Estancia. In the evening, drive back to the hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, you can either rest or continue the city tour with the guide. Dinner is at the hotel.

Day 3

After an early breakfast at the hotel, the logistics team drives you to El Volcán where the horses are waiting for you and from where the trail tour starts today. Ride in wonderful landscapes full of colors and geographical diversity. Around midday, arrive in Tumbaya where you'll have a light lunch and then continue the tour.

You will be amazed by the views over the famous seven-colored rainbow hill, “Cerro de los Siete Colores” and the mountains of the Los Colorados pass that reflect the sunlight in all shades of red. In the evening, reach El Porvenir, where the logistics team has already set up the fully equipped camp. Have dinner and then go to bed under a sky full of stars.

Day 4

Wake up in the middle of these magical landscapes, have a hearty breakfast, and continue on your horses enjoying the great variety of colors, green, grey, brown, ochre, etc. Around midday, arrive in Purmamarca where you'll enjoy regional food for lunch and have the opportunity to walk around this beautiful place. Purmamarca means "Town of the Virgin Land" in the Aimara language.

This pre-historic little town was declared a "National Historic Site". Visit the main square and the church, also a protected national monument with its particular architecture and the Cuzco paintings on the inside.

Walk around the handicrafts market where you'll find traditional fabrics, ceramics, and music instruments. At night, have dinner at the Manantial del Silencio hotel, an outstanding colonial building, and go to rest to recover energies for the next day.

Day 5

Have breakfast at the hotel and enjoy the wonderful views. The transfer brings you to Tumbaya, founded in the 18th century, where the horses are waiting for you. From there, start the trail into the mountains to the shrine of the Copacabana Virgin at over 3000 meters above sea level.

Rest and have a light lunch and keep riding until you reach Punta Corral, where the logistics team has already set up the camp. After dinner, go to sleep in tents.

Day 6

Have breakfast at the camp and continue the riding tour through dazzling landscapes breathing the clean mountain air. Ride on your Peruvian Paso horses on traditional trails that were part of important historic events. The scenery leaves you speechless. Have lunch at an abandoned ranch on the Punta Corral river banks where you can feel the wind and listen to the sounds of nature.

After a break, continue until you reach the beautiful town Tilcara in the evening. Visit Pucará de Tilcara, an ancient fortress that was built in this strategic place 900 years ago. Have dinner and stay for the night at the Las Marias de Tilcara hotel.

Day 7

Enjoy breakfast at the beautiful hotel surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Afterward, walk around Tilcara, an ancient town where the inhabitants still maintain old traditions alive and where the natives and Hispanic cultures coexisted for many years. It is not unusual to find a monument to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth) set up next to colonial churches.

Have lunch at a typical restaurant and afterward, the logistics team drives you to Humahuaca, another beautiful town in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. In the evening, the transfer takes you back to Salta city where you'll visit the famous Balcarce Street and have dinner with regional food and good wine at the restaurant Peña Balcarce. Spend the last night at the Solar de la Plaza hotel.

Day 8

Ampascachi had the opportunity to share wonderful days during this amazing horse tours with you. It has been a pleasure and they hope you enjoyed the landscapes, traditions, and culture of northern Argentina. They are grateful for your confidence and hope to see you again soon!

Topography of the trails: Quebrada de Humahuaca

In that region, you'll find high hills and mountains and dry riverbeds or rivers with a very low water level and wide beaches. Ride on steep trails and paths, in canyons, valleys, and in the mountains up to nearly 4000 meters above sea level. The special gait of the Peruvian Paso horses allows you to ride comfortably at an average speed of 10 to 12 km/h. Whenever the guides think it is suitable, you can canter.

Description of the saddle, bridle, and bit

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.

Education and training of the horses at Ampascachi

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!

About the 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.

Your safety while riding

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.

Companions

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 they offer 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.

Location

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, Province of Salta.

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 south-east border, you can find the second biggest artificial lake in Argentina, the Cabra Corral.

In the extreme north of the valley, 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 south-east 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.

Quebrada de Humahuaca

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.

El Volcán

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).

Tumbaya

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.

Purmamarca

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 around Purmamarca, visitors can enjoy the view over the amazing landscapes, the Purmamarca river, and the “Los Colorados” pass with its impressive stone formations.

Punta corral (Riders only)

Punta corral is a small and very old town which is known for being the place where the annual religious pilgrimage to the Virgin of Punta corral finishes.

The surprising aspect of this town is that it has only one square, the chapel, and some abandoned scattered houses where pilgrims stay during their visits. The dwelling has only one inhabitant who is known as the “slave”, as he is the person in charge of accompanying and taking care of the "Virgin". This tradition and duty are passed generation after generation to another member of the congregation.

Tilcara (Companions only)

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 preHispanic 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, 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.

Humahuaca (Companions only)

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 cobblestone 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. The old fort Pucará de Tilcara with its high altitude botanical gardens is another highlight. Tilcara is a place that amazes every visitor!

Food

All meals and drinks are included in the package.

  • 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 afterwards.
  • Dinner in camp: Food cooked on an open fire and grilled meat like lamb, beef, goat; stews or empanadas.
  • Lunch and dinner in restaurants and hotels: Depends on the menu of each

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

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda

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

Things to do (optional)

Extension program

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!

  • IMPORTANT: You can only book this program as an extension to the main programs.

What's included

  • 5 horse riding days
  • All riding and non-riding activities
  • Services of Ampascachi’s guides and gauchos baquianos (they have profound knowledge of the region)
  • Use of Ampascachi’s Peruvian Paso horses for all the equestrian routes of this program
  • All meals and drinks
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Equipment to ride, camp, and kit for personal hygiene
  • All land and airport transfers
  • Transport of baggage
  • 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 transfers not included in the itinerary (Additional transfers, also for delayed flights, will be paid by the guest)
  • Additional activities or tourist packages (Ampascachi will be happy to help with recommendations)
  • Laundry service

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

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.

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.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Pricing information

If the final number of participants on your traveling date is between one and five people, a supplement will be charged depending on the number of participants. In this case, you are notified 31 days before the start of the program and you have the option to accept and pay the supplement or cancel your reservation and receive a full refund of the payment already made for the program. You agree to this price policy at the moment of booking.

The supplements for small groups are:

  • For 1 person: Please ask for availability
  • 1092 EUR per person if the group is 2 riders
  • 742 EUR per person if the group is 3 riders
  • 392 EUR per person if the group is 4-5 riders
  • For groups of 6 or more, there are no supplements

These prices are valid with the knowledge of sharing rooms in the hotels. In case you do not want to share a room, a single supplement of 210 EUR will be charged, apart from the small group supplement.

Special discount

If at the time of booking your trip you do it for four or more people, including yourself, you can obtain the following benefits:

  • If you book for 4 or 5 people: The price of the program per person is: 2328 EUR without extra supplements
  • If you book for 6 or more people: The price of the program per person is: 1852 EUR without extra supplements

For more information, please send Ampascachi an inquiry.

Sunday November 7, 2021
(8 days / 7 nights)

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