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During this riding holiday, discover parts of the province of Salta and its provincial capital city with the same name. In Chicoana, in the equestrian center, meet your companions for this tour, the Peruvian Paso horses. Ride in the Lerma valley through a variety of landscapes, wild scenery with a wide range of natural colors. At the Estancia in La Junta, owned by the Diaz family, help the gauchos with their daily rural tasks, visit historically significant cave paintings, observe condors, and enjoy native flora and fauna.
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:
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 profound 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.
Description: 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 thirty-two 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 cabins are at the estancia of the Diaz family. They were built in a traditional way, they are basic but comfortable with three bedrooms, one bathroom, a living area, and a kitchen.
Tents are set up by the Ampascachi team members. The camp consists of high-altitude igloo tents for three, four, or five people, equipped with sleeping bags and inflatable camping mattresses, diner tent with a camping table and seats, tableware, chemical WC, and shower. Ampascachi provides you with a kit for your personal hygiene.
On one day, you'll ride to a remote place on a trail that is suitable for horses only and camp one night in the wilderness. When the riding tour finishes, visit various places in the Calchaqui Valley, enjoy the spectacular landscapes, visit high-altitude vineyards, and enchanting towns like Cafayate and Cachi where you'll spend the night.
Drive along the mountains Cuesta de Obispo back to Salta and this scenery is out of this world. You will make a lot of new experiences and learn plenty of history, culture, and traditions of the gauchos and the inhabitants of this region in the northwest of Argentina.
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, you are going to 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 centre, the Casa de la Tradición, in Chicoana. Be introduced to the team members who will 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.
Be introduced to riding techniques, explain the specific features of the horses and then practice what you have learned during a two hours 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!
After breakfast at the “Solar de la Plaza” hotel, the logistics team drives to Guachipas where you'll start your equestrian tour. Guachipas is a beautiful little town of colonial architecture and surrounded by many hills and rugged landscapes. Stop for lunch at las Juntas, a small place where you'll visit the caves with paintings of native tribes inside.
Continue the trail until you get to the cattle estancia of the Diaz family in the middle of outstanding landscapes. You are able to observe wild birds such as the Andean condors. The Ampascachi team along with the Diaz family will serve you homemade food and you'll spend the night in cabins
Start in the morning to ride around the estancia. According to the time of year, you'll be able to observe native animals and birds like the Condor. Visit caves with paintings inside that witness the existence of pre-Columbian civilizations that used to live there. Have lunch and in the evening, ride back to the estancia. At dinner, have the opportunity to talk with the family and gauchos at the estancia and learn more about their daily life.
Enjoy breakfast and get on your horses. Today, participate in different rural tasks like driving cattle to other meadows or catch animals for vaccination or controls, etc. After a whole morning of new experiences that you'll share with the gauchos, enjoy a delicious meal with your hosts, the Diez family.
In the afternoon, start the trail through valleys and canyons to Sajama, a remote place far away from civilization where you are in close contact to nature. The trail is only suitable for horses and only few people have come along. The logistics team from Ampascachi takes another way Sajama, where they set up the camp and prepare dinner for you. Spend the night under a sky full of stars.
It is hard to describe with words the beauty of dawn in the Lerma Valley and you have the pleasure to experience it today. After breakfast, ride back to the estancia of the Diez family in La Junta. Ride through magnificent landscapes until you arrive at the estancia around midday.
Have a typical asado (grilled meat) for lunch and in the afternoon, you can either rest, take a walk or a bath in the river, or help the gauchos with their work. In the evening, the transfer drives you to Cafayate where you'll stay at the Patios de Cafayate, a fantastic colonial hotel located inside the Finca of the Esteco Winery. Have dinner at the hotel and rest after these wonderful days full of interesting new experiences.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Esteco Winery and some more wineries in Cafayate. Cafayate is located in the southeast of the Province of Salta, in the Calchaquí Valleys, and it is internationally known for the outstanding quality of its wines. Visit various wineries and stop for lunch at the Piattelli winery where you'll taste special wines from the north.
In the afternoon, go sightseeing in Cafayate, a wonderful town of colonial architecture with a main square where the inhabitants meet. Have dinner and stay for the night at the Patios de Cafayate hotel.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Today, drive to San Carlos, Angastaco, Molinos, and Cachi, wonderful places in the Calchaqui Valley. Cachi is a small, traditional village with colonial, white houses built with mud bricks surrounded by mountains and a bright blue sky. Have lunch at the “Aujero” restaurant that serves traditional dishes of the Calchaqui Valley. Have dinner at the Merced del Alto hotel where you'll also spend the night.
Have breakfast at the “La Merced del Alto” hotel and afterward, the transfer takes you to the airport in Salta. On your way, enjoy the scenery before you say goodbye to each other at the airport. Thank you for your confidence and the entire team at Ampascachi, they hope to welcome you again soon!
You'll ride on trails through maintains, flat land, and valleys with rivers and brooks. The special gait of the Peruvian Paso horses allows riding comfortably at an average speed of 10 to 12 kilometers per hour. Whenever the guides think it is suitable, you can canter.
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.
They themselves breed the horses that are used for the riding holidays, they were specifically selected for that purpose by Ampascachi. The education of the horses is based on the principles of the ethology which studies the brain and learning processes of horses and emphasizes on the respectful and ethical treatment.
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 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 by Ampascachi 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 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 on first aid.
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.
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 m 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.
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.
To the south of the Valle de Lerma, in the province of Salta you'll go to the town of Guachipas. Its main economic activity is the cultivation of tobacco and one of its attractions is its wonderful landscape. This town of colonial architecture has its old church called Inmaculada Concepción built by the Jesuits in order to evangelize the original people of the Valles Calchaquíes.
The main tourist attractions are the cave paintings in the dwelling called “Las Juntas” and the local museum which shows objects belonging to the different aborigine cultures which lived in the region.
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 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.
Cafayate is a small town located in the wonderful Calchaquí Valley about 190 km south of Salta city. It is surrounded by attractive vineyards which 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 the year-round what 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 which protect the vineyards; fantastic wine bodegas which no tourist should miss to visit, artistically and culturally interesting places, arts & crafts markets, museums, and the regional cuisine.
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 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.
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 the 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 who is celebrated every 4th of November when the villagers carry the statue around San Carlos.
The surroundings are mountainous with altitudes that reach 5.000 meters in the southeast, south, and southwest and various valleys with rivers that run across them.
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 10000 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 10000 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 surround 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 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 e.g. 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.
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 the 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.
If you have specific requirements for your diet (celiac, diabetes, food allergies, vegetarian, etc.) please let Ampascachi know upon booking.
Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport
Please arrange your flight to arrive at Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport (SLA). You can book your holiday program at Ampascachi with or without international flights. Flights need to be booked apart, 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.
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