Mexican Cultural Trails riding holiday in Mexico - Far and Ride
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Mexican Cultural Trails, Mexico





Reviews



We were very happy with our riding holiday, it was very well run. We enjoyed seeing rural Mexico from a horse and it made us feel like we were a part of Mexico. (Favourite memory?) The mountain and desert scenery with huge cacti, the Mexican food, historic churches and haciendas. (Accommodation and food?) Both were top-notch! The horses were excellent. Angel is the consummate host! He was organized, informative, attentive, inclusive and engaging. One could not ask for a better guide, along with assistants.

Margaret and Ronald
Everything went really well in Guanajuato. I got a lovely mare to ride, so was actually a bit sad to leave her. I liked both of my horses but the black mare was very characteristic so a piece of my heart was taken by her. Angel (and his staff) took excellent care of all and everything was really organised. Riding over all was really safe, very different views during the trail and a lot of culture, so trip was always interesting.

Anu S.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Quarter Horse, Criollo and some crosses.

Nature of horses:

Well-trained and sure-footed.

Height of horses:

14.2 - 16hh on average.

Weight limit:

110kg / 17 stone.

Tack type:

Traditional Mexican and Western tack (2 English saddles are available on request). Saddlebags provided.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This wonderful riding destination is based out of Guanajuato, a fascinating city in central Mexico renowned for its silver mines and narrow streets, many of which are too narrow for cars to pass through. It was one of the most influential Mexican cities during the colonial period and nowadays is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural and historical significance. It is the ideal place to start a horse riding tour and to get a true taste of Mexico!

The riding trails are organised by the owner, Ángel, a skilled horseman and knowledgeable local who trains his horses to be sure-footed and enjoyable rides. The routes are designed to show you a mixture of historical points of interest, beautiful countryside and the real people of Mexico and their rural ways of life. During the rides you may be joined by locals on their own horses and will receive a warm welcome. The horses are safe but fun and are suited to intermediate to experienced riders who are prepared for long hours in the saddle. Most horses belong to Ángel himself but he also partners with a local equestrian centre to ensure that extra horses are always available when required.

If you're looking for a chance to see real Mexico and to experience some great riding then have a read of the trails below and get in touch!

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is in various hotels, mountain retreats and camps (depending on programme). These range from old colonial houses to remote retreats in the heart of the mountains.

Silver Route Trail: 6 nights in hotels (5 nights in 4* and 1 night in 3*) and 1 night in mountain retreat.

Central Highlands Trail: 3 nights in 3* hotel, 3 nights camping and 1 night in mountain retreat.

Please see the itineraries below for more specific information.

The meals during these trails are based on regional Mexican cuisine, including key ingredients of beef, pork, chicken, eggs, fruit, vegetables, cereals, rice, milk, coffee, fruit juice and purified bottle water. Most of the food is prepared by the local people in the rural communities that you are visiting and is produced to a high standard of quality and hygiene. In many cases they use pre-hispanic ancestral recipes which offer unique and traditional flavours.

Vegetarian meals or other special diets can be catered for but please check with us prior to booking. Usually lunches are carried in saddlebags and are then enjoyed outside.

The prices include all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day EXCEPT for lunch on day 7 (you can choose a restaurant in Guanajuato on this day and buy your own). The prices also includes purified and bottled water, soft drinks and some cocktails as mentioned in the itineraries.

 

Activities

When not riding you can enjoy swimming, drinking good Mexican tequila and wine, reading, playing cards, listening to local music, walking in the villages or some shopping.

And to complete your riding stay, some extensions are available to discover the Mexican country :
Charros, Tequila and Mariachis (5 days stay) => a total immersion in the Mexican culture carried by the echo of the local music.

My sweet little Ranch ( 4 days stay) => in the middle of the forest, you will get in touch with nature and horses, enjoying this break in typical huts, relaxing completely.

The Mayann World & Beaches (8 or 11 days stay) => you will discover ancient pre-Columbian cities and the cultural importance of Mayan civilization and, at the same time, be amazed by the beautiful landscapes, the natural attributes and the region's exceptional sandy beaches bordered by turquoise sea...

Archeological Mexico (7 days stay) => take advantage of this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the heady atmosphere of the Mexican capital, its old town, the state of the Mexican culture and traditions, admire its colorful houses, contemplate its magnificent scenery and discover its historical richness, ...

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Spanish and French.

Health requirements: Good fitness recommended.

Age limit: 14+

Tuition: No.

Included: Transfers from and to BJX airport, 7 nights of accommodation (shared room), all meals (except lunch on day 7), drinks as indicated in the itinerary and horse riding as described (with specialised guides and equipment).

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers outside of normal times, lunch on day 7, extra drinks or activities, tips, items of a personal nature.

 

Travel Information

Guests are met and transferred from and to Del Bajio (BJX) airport (Guanajuato) or from the bus station in Léon or Guanajuato. There are regular flights into Del Bajio from the US or Mexico City so most travellers will need to fly via these places. There are five airlines which fly into the airport:

- Aeromexico
- Magni Charters
- Volaris
- Viva Aerobus
- United Airlines

Their origins/destinations are:

- Dallas
- Houston
- Los Angeles
- Monterey
- Cancun
- Tijuana
- Mexico City

Transfers are included when you arrive between 07:30 and 22:30 on arrival day.

For departure you should book a flight departing from BJX after 09:00 (between 09:00 and 13:00 is best).

We recommend that you arrive a day early because if your flight is delayed, it is difficult to join the trail. It is not possible for Angel to wait for late flights and a charge will apply if there there has to be a special transfer - #95EUR# for the Silver Route Trail and #165EUR# for the Central Highland trails

Airport: Del Bajio (BJX)

 

Programmes


Silver Route Trail



A fascinating trail following the old Silver Route - the Mexican President awarded Angel and his team for this trail, suggesting it is the most original itinerary in Mexico! It starts in Guanajuato and takes riders between wonderful old towns and cities, exploring the lives of rural people in between stop off points. The trail is suitable for intermediate riders and above and involves walk, trot and some canters/gallops. Some days have some more challenging terrain and there are long hours in the saddle.

Day 1 - Arrival in Guanajuato:

Guests are met at Del Bajio (BJX) airport (or the train station) and are transferred to their hotel, situated in the heart of Guanajuato's historic centre. This colonial city features a variety of beautiful buildings whose design contains elements of the two prominent cultures who created the city-  Indian and Hispanic. Their traditional architectural features and surroundings have been conserved by the locals and the government, the area being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 ('Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines'). Guanajuato is considered by many to be the most impressive colonial city in Mexico.

On arrival at the hotel guests will have a chance to meet the staff and the rest of the group. They will be given further details of the programme whilst enjoying a welcome cocktail on the hotel terrace. Tonight there is a welcome dinner at a nice restaurant where, every night, regional music groups (such as Mariachi bands) play for the enjoyment of guests. The setting, evening light and traditional music combine to create a magical atmosphere and a feeling of times gone by. 

Tonight you are accommodated in 4* Hotel Posada Santa Fe.

Day 2 - Guanajuato - Santa Rosa:

Following a delicious breakfast you will begin your adventure! You are matched with a suitable horse and begin the journey towards the town of Santa Rosa which lies in the central highlands. You will climb up to 2850m, enjoying a beautiful day along an old royal road which was used during the Spanish colonial era to transport minerals (mainly gold and silver) for 500 years. 

Today the ride will pass by some old gold and silver mines, as well as the charming rural communities of Peñafiel, Monte San Nicolas and Peregrina. Watching over your route is the Christ of the Cubilete mountain which is considered to be the geographic centre of Mexico. 

Later in the afternoon you will enjoy a delicious cocktail and tequila tasting at the mountain retreat saloon, by the fireplace, accompanied by atmospheric Mexican music. In the evening you will enjoy a rich dinner of typical Mexican cuisine, a true taste of part of the area's heritage.

Tonight you will stay overnight in the mountain retreat.

Approximately 23kms riding, primarily mountainous terrain.

Day 3 - Santa Rosa - Dolores Hidalgo:

After breakfast it's time to saddle up again, ready for a day of riding through the central highlands. This area is the most bio-diverse in the state and the route will pass by mountains and through forests of oak, pine and arbutus. Your journey will be accompanied by the sound of birdsong and riders can enjoy the wonderful natural surroundings as they head for the town of Dolores Hidalgo. 

This town is considered the 'Cradle of Independence' in Mexico due to Father Miguel Hidalgo's famous cry for freedom (16th September 1810), the initial call to take up arms against the colonial regime. The group will take a short tour of the historic centre and visit some of the most symbolic buildings from Mexico's war of independence. 

In the evening you will have dinner in a typical Mexican restaurant which is an 18th century house located in the main garden. It is known for serving delicious dishes at dinner lit by fireflies as you sit in the gardens amongst the fresh scent of the flowers. The meal is created using local, natural ingredients and its simplicity makes it all the more delicious. 

Overnight at 3* Hotel Hidalgo.

Approximately 37kms riding, primarily mountainous terrain.

Day 4 - Dolores Hidalgo - Atotonilco:

Time for breakfast accompanied by a typical Mexican coffee called 'café de la olla'. The journey today continues towards the town of Atotonilco, passing through the valley of the cactus and by the historic hacienda 'La Erre' - this interesting property played an important role during the war for independence from Spain. 

Lunch will be a picnic in the picturesque town and on the outskirts of the old chapel of the community of Barron. From there it is on to Atotonilco and you will see the imposing walls of the 18th century church which is a living shrine and still in regular use. This architectural treasure is known as the Sistine Chapel of Mexico and consists of the nave, sacristy and six adjoining chapels with dressing rooms and areas illustrated with murals and easel paintings, altars and sculptures. This wonderful shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Overnight tonight at 4* Parador del Cortijo & Spa. 

Approximately 27kms riding, primarily flat terrain.

Day 5 - Atotonilco - San Miguel de Allende:

This morning there will be a pleasant breakfast served by the pool before you saddle up and continue on your route towards San Miguel de Allende. 

This town is famous for its traditions and for the variety of events and festivals which take place there all year long. There is a strong cultural heritage and guests can experience the local customs and way of life. UNESCO describes San Miguel de Allende as a 'Cultural Heritage of Humanity' and is officially titled the 'Fortified Town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco.' It was awarded this distinction due to it's significant contribution to the Mexican Baroque style and because of its importance during the Mexican war of independence. 

During this riding day you will follow along the old paths which were used during the war and the Mexican Revolution more than 200 years ago. It follows through distinctive Mexican landscapes, fields of agave (used for making tequila!), corn and unique areas where semi-desert and wetland countryside combine. 

Today's ride is full of rural life and you will experience the tranquility of the region, enjoying the steps of the horses as you make your way to San Miguel de Allende. Overnight tonight in 4* Hotel Real de Minas.

Approximately 23kms riding today, primarily open plains. 

Day 6 - San Miguel de Allende:

Today is spent enjoying San Miguel de Allende, riding your horses around the magical area and visiting some of the most important sites of the area, such as the Indian chapels where different cultural and religious views were amalgamated. These are considered Mexican treasures. Riders can explore this historic city which was found in 1542 and has since become a truly cosmopolitan destination, attracting tourists from the Mexican upper classes and from abroad. 

The accommodation tonight is in the centrally located hotel from last night, lying in the main city with just a few steps to the garden and main tourist attractions such as museums, restaurants and bars. Overnight 4* Hotel Real de Minas. 

Approximately 17kms, mostly open plains with some mountains. 

Day 7 - San Miguel de Allende - Guanajuato:

Today it's time to leave your horses behind and to continue the adventure on to Guanajuato where your adventure first started. This is a free day to enjoy the wonderful city and explore the small squares, cafés, restaurants, bars, shops, museums and unique attractions. 

In the evening you will enjoy a fun farewell dinner, accompanied by traditional Mariachi music.

Overnight 4* Hotel Posada Santa Fe. 

Non-riding day. Lunch not included today. 

Day 8 - Departure:

Prior to 12:00 you will be transferred back to BJX airport or station in accordance with your departure. 

NB. Please note that the accommodation specified in the tour may sometimes need to change due to availability. In this case then you will stay somewhere of a similar standard. 



Accommodation: 6 nights in hotels (5 nights in 4* and 1 night in 3*) and 1 night in mountain retreat.

NB. Sometimes different accommodation has to be used for reasons beyond the organisers' control. In this case they will use the most similar alternative possible.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 12
Ability description: Intermediate and above. Riders should be confident and in control at all paces. Good fitness is recommended as ride involves very long hours. Some days there is some difficult terrain (steep ups and downs).
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 6 - 8 hours per day for 5 days.
Departure dates: 2017: 16-23 January (CONFIRMED), 12-19 February (CONFIRMED), 12-19 March, 17-24 June, 15-22 July, 2-9 September (CONFIRMED), 7-14 October, 16-23 November, 8-15 December.

Private dates available for groups of 6 or more (subject to availability).
 
Pricing: 2017:

£1728 per person
Single supplement: £337 per person
Non Riders £1356


If the minimum number of participants is not reached, we can still guarantee the trip. In this case, an additional cost, as described below, is asked to participants in order to organize the programme. If all participants agree to pay the fee, the trip is guaranteed.
1 person : +45%
2 persons : +35% (per person)
3 persons : +25% (per person)



Central Highlands Trail



An adventurous trail ride into the central highlands of Mexico. You start in Guanajuato and ride up into the mountains, exploring mining towns, rural communities and interesting landscapes. Some nights in hotels and others spent camping.

Day 1 - Arrival in Guanajuato:

Guests are met at Del Bajio (BJX) airport (or the train station) and are transferred to their hotel, situated in the heart of Guanajuato's historic centre. This colonial city features a variety of beautiful buildings whose design contains elements of the two prominent cultures who created the city-  Indian and Hispanic. Their traditional architectural features and surroundings have been conserved by the locals and the government, the area being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 ('Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines'). Guanajuato is considered by many to be the most impressive colonial city in Mexico.

On arrival at the hotel guests will have a chance to meet the staff and the rest of the group. They will be given further details of the programme whilst enjoying a welcome cocktail on the hotel terrace. Tonight there is a welcome dinner at a nice restaurant where, every night, regional music groups (such as Mariachi bands) play for the enjoyment of guests. The setting, evening light and traditional music combine to create a magical atmosphere and a feeling of times gone by. 

Tonight you are accommodated in 3* Hotel Socavon. 

Day 2 - Guanajuato - Mountain of Peregrina:

After breakfast it is time to meet the horses and start your adventure towards the mountain range of Peregrina, part of the massif of the Central Sierra where you will find a small mining town rich in local legends. As you ride through this unique town you may see some silver veins in the ground. 

The ride follows an old trail which borders an area of mountains and then passes through a cave with a spring of clear water which seeps through the mountains of Peregrina. You will continue climbing into the woodland, home to hundreds of animal species including mountain lions, coyotes, raccoons, armadillos and more. 

Tonight you will camp in the "valley of the blue birds", your first night in this magnificent natural environment. Your guides will prepare a ranch style roast dinner for your enjoyment. 

Approximately 23kms riding, mostly mountainous terrain. 

Day 3 - Peregrina - Santa Rosa:

Experience sunrise in this majestic setting whilst listening to the sound of the birds and enjoying the smell of fresh coffee. The guides will have prepared you a delicious country breakfast to give you energy for another day in the saddle. 

The ride today continues on through impressive countryside, a highlight being as you approach Santa Rosa Mountains with heights of 2800m asl. You will pass old buildings dating from the colonial era which have since been reduced to ruins, largely due to the treasure hunters who have been scouring the area in the last centuries for items of value. You will see ancient haciendas, abandoned mine shafts and intriguing rock formations. 

Your journey is taking you to the village of Santa Rosa which is a small settlement in the heart of the sierra. It has the typical landscape of a Mexican village and is renowned for its cuisine which uses natural produce. To complete the day you will enjoy a delicious cocktail based on different kinds of tequila before a tasty dinner and overnight in the modest mountain retreat. 

Approximately 31kms riding, mostly mountainous terrain. 

Day 4 - Santa Rosa - Mountains of Guamares:

After breakfast in the mountain retreat you will continue for another day of riding through the highlands, the most bio-diverse area in the state, following a path through mountains, forests of oak, pine and arbutus. Gentle birdsong accompanies you as you ride towards your next destination, the mountain of Guamares, which owes its name to one of the Chichimeca tribes who inhabited the area hundreds of years ago. 

The group will ride by the old mine "Down" which was a very important silver mine during the colonial era. 

Tonight you will camp and enjoy a delicious "cena ranchera" prepared by your guides and accompanied by red wine and a glass of tequila. 

Approximately 25kms riding, primarily mountainous terrain. 

Day 5 - Mountains of Guamares - Mountains of the Otomis:

After a hearty ranch style breakfast the horseback expedition will continue on through the mountains. The riding today is along mountainside paths, through valleys and across the countryside crossing the territories of Puma, Coyote and Wildcat. 

During the ride you will observe sites which acted as hidden barracks for 'Pancho Villa' and his brave soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

Tonight you will return to camp for dinner and overnight. 

Approximately 18kms riding over mountainous terrain. 

Day 6 - Mountains of Otomis - Dolores Hidalgo:

Today the horse journey goes to the heroic city of Dolores Hidalgo. 

This town is considered the 'Cradle of Independence' in Mexico due to Father Miguel Hidalgo's famous cry for freedom (16th September 1810), the initial call to take up arms against the colonial regime. The group will take a short tour of the historic centre and visit some of the most symbolic buildings from Mexico's war of independence. 

In the evening you will have dinner in a typical Mexican restaurant which is an 18th century house located in the main garden. It is known for serving delicious dishes at dinner lit by fireflies as you sit in the gardens amongst the fresh scent of the flowers. The meal is created using local, natural ingredients and its simplicity makes it all the more delicious. 

Overnight at 3* Hotel Hidalgo.

Approximately 32kms riding, mountainous and valley terrain. 

Day 7 - Dolores Hidalgo - San Miguel de Allende:

Another delicious breakfast accompanied by typical Mexican coffee starts your day. This is a non-riding day during which you will take a tour of the city, visiting some of its most significant buildings. Later you will be transferred to San Miguel de Allende.

This town is famous for its traditions and for the variety of events and festivals which take place there all year long. There is a strong cultural heritage and guests can experience the local customs and way of life. UNESCO describes San Miguel de Allende as a 'Cultural Heritage of Humanity' and is officially titled the 'Fortified Town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco.' It was awarded this distinction due to it's significant contribution to the Mexican Baroque style and because of its importance during the Mexican war of independence. 

Overnight 3* Hotel Guadiana.

Non-riding day. Lunch not included today. 

Day 8 - Departure:

Prior to 12:00 you will be transferred back to BJX airport or station in accordance with your departure. 

NB. Please note that the accommodation specified in the tour may sometimes need to change due to availability. In this case then you will stay somewhere of a similar standard. 



Accommodation: 3 nights in 3* hotels, 3 nights camping and 1 night in mountain retreat. During camping days you are in standard tents and it is possible to have a shower with temperate water.

NB. Sometimes different accommodation has to be used for reasons beyond the organisers' control. In this case they will use the most similar alternative possible.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 18
Ability description: Intermediate and above. Riders should be confident and in control at all paces. Good fitness is recommended as ride involves very long hours. Some days there is some difficult terrain (steep ups and downs).
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 6 - 8 hours per day for 5 days.
Departure dates: 2017; 5-12 May (CONFIRMED), 1-8 July, 11-18 August, 20-27 October (CONFIRMED).
 
Pricing: 2017:
£1453
Single supplement: £163

If the minimum number of participants is not reached (only 2 in 2017), we can still guarantee the trip. In this case, an additional cost, as described below, is asked to participants in order to organize the program.
1 person : +35%