Salta Trails riding holiday in Argentina - Far and Ride
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Salta Trails, Argentina





Horses



Type of horses:

Peruvian Paso

Nature of horses:

Comfortable and sure-footed. Wide range of personalities to suit all riders.

Height of horses:

c. 15hh

Weight limit:

100kg / 15 stone 7 lbs (Heavier riders up to 120kg may be possible on payment for a second horse).

Tack type:

Traditional Argentine/Peruvian saddles are used, which have a basic frame with a sheepskin over the top.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

The province of Salta is in northern Argentina and features an amazing landscape of mountains, rivers and valleys. These horseback trails explore the beautiful Calchaqui Valley (Valles Calcahquies in Spanish) which is best known for its contrast of colours and unique geography that ranges from mountain desert to subtropical forest.

There are a number of valleys and rivers within the Calchaqui valley that have their own names, such as Lerma Valley which is close to Salta city, and Quebrada de las Conchas (Gorge of the Conchas river) which is close to Cafayate (c. 90kms from Salta).

Our partners operate an estancia 45mins from Salta city which operates as their headquarters. The estancia is within the Lerma Valley and is surrounded by hills and tracks which are perfect for getting to know your horse before setting out on the longer trails. Both here, and at their sister estancia in Cordoba, they breed, raise and train their herd of Peruvian Paso horses. Over the two locations they have more than 150 well-loved horses. The Peruvian Paso is renowned for its extra gait - the paso llano - which is supremely comfortable and has earned them the nickname of the 'cadillac of horses'. Your hosts have been breeding these horses for over 20 years and have an immense experience with the breed as well as knowledge of their country.

There are four trails exploring this region, depending on how much time you have to spare and how much of the area you wish to discover.
- Salta and the Lerma Valley explores the area around Salta, and offers the chance to experience the gaucho life
- La Quebrada de Humahuaca takes you from Salta into the province of Jujuy, passing through Purmamarca with its hills of Seven Colours to reach the ancient town of Tilcara
- Entire Calchaqui Valley offers the highlights of the valley with some non-riding days too
- Valley of Lerma to Calchaqui Valley has the most riding days and visits Los Cardones national park with its red rocks en-route to the wine-producing region of Cafayate.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation varies depending on the route chosen.

Some nights will be in comfortable hotels, in double/twin rooms with private bathrooms.

Some trails include camping nights. Camps include dome tents with cot beds and sleeping bags. Dining tents are also erected with chairs and tables. There will be chemical toilets too although washing facilities may not be possible every night. You will likely be expected to share a tent with another rider unless you pay extra for a single.

All meals and drinks are included whilst on the riding trails.

Breakfasts whilst camping will include yoghurt, cereals, coffee, tea, breads and jams. At hotels you'll choose from their buffet selection.

Lunches are usually taken whilst riding and are generally light, picnic foods with water and soft drinks. Lunches are light so you can remain comfortably active during the afternoon ride.

Dinners are generally three courses, even when camping. Your camp chef will prepare the meals which may include regional specialities. In hotels the resident chef will prepare typical cuisine. Soft drinks and wine are included with the meals.

Some special diets can be accommodated with advance notice, such as vegetarian, vegan, coeliac.

 

Activities

Non-riders are welcomed and offered a simultaneous programme alongside the riders. Prices are the same as for riders.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Spanish

Health requirements: General good health (some of the rides are at high altitude)

Age limit: 16 years or older.

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, all meals and drinks, riding, transfers, camping equipment, guides, activities mentioned in the itineraries.

Not included: Flights, insurance, transfers/accommodation/meals/drinks outside the itinerary

 

Travel Information

There are no direct flights to Salta so you'll likely have to book a flight which connects through Buenos Aires. There are many airlines flying to Buenos Aires: Norwegian (Gatwick) and British Airways (Heathrow) fly direct from the UK. Other airlines (Air France, Lufthansa, KLM) route through European hub cities.

On arrival in Salta all airport transfers are included.

Airport: Salta City Airport

 

Programmes


Lerma Valley to Calchaquies Valley



Explore the Valley of Lerma and Calchaquies Valley on horseback. The Valley of Lerma is a large fertile area which smells of wild herbs - the welcoming landscape is surrounded by old colonial houses. The valley has a mild humid climate with a dry season from May until November, and an average altitude of 1,100m. At the northern extreme of the valley lies the city of Salta, and to the south the Valley of Calchaquies. The Calchaquies Valley has stunning mountain chains along both sides and is rich with vineyards.

Day One:

You will be met upon arrival at Salta airport and transferred to your hotel in downtown Salta. This afternoon you are free to rest or explore the town. In the evening you will have dinner at a restaurant where guitarists play traditional folklore music whilst you dine on regional food and wine. Overnight Solar de la Plaza hotel or similar

Day Two:

After breakfast you are taken to the equestrian centre to meet your Peruvian Paso horse and guides. You'll have the chance to get to know your horse and the style of riding on a two hour ride around the grounds of the equestrian centre. This is your chance to say if you aren't happy with your horse. A typical criollo lunch will be served at the centre and then in the afternoon you head into the city by bus to explore. Dinner and overnight at the same hotel.

Day Three:

You'll be taken by bus to the small, picturesque town of Chicoana which is 45km from Salta city. Here you will meet your horses to start your trail. Ride uphill to 2400m from where you will feel you can touch the clouds. Stop for a light 'campero' lunch whilst enjoying the view of contrasting landscapes and then continue your ride to Quebrada Escoipe. Here you will camp under a sky of bright stars. Camp is set up for you by the logistics team and dinner will be served whilst you enjoy the remote location.

Day Four:

After breakfast, you are transferred along with the horses, to the town of Isonza from where you start the trail to Cachi in the heart of the Valles Calchaquies. Lunch will be taken at Los Cardones national park where you may see huge cacti, paleontological remains (such as dinosaur tracks) and cave paintings. Continue riding to your campside near the Recta del Tin-Tin which is a perfect straight path across the park. Dinner and overnight at camp.

Day Five:

Continue your ride towards Cachi by following the Calchaqui river. You stop for lunch beside the river and should reach Cachi in the afternoon. Here you stay at La Merced del Alto country hotel on the outskirts of the town where you'll have delicious regional cuisine for dinner. 

Day Six:

Non-riding day as you explore Cachi. You'll see the colonial architecture of the main plaza, central church and cabildo, surrounded by cobbled streets. Visit the Pio Pablo Diaz archaeological museum to see important pieces of aboriginal culture, archaeological ruins and handicraft works. You will also visit a local winery at Finca la Paya and have lunch in their winery colome. Later dinner is served at a typical restaurant before returning to your hotel for a second night.

Day Seven:

Continue your riding trail to the town of Seclantas in the heart of the Vallee Calchaquies. Along the route you'll see Inca ruins which give testimony to the many inhabitants of these lands. Stop for lunch near the mythical national route 40 which journeys the length of Argentina from south to north along the Andean cordillera. After lunch you follow old craftsmen paths to reach Seclantas by sunset. Camp will be set up by the staff already and dinner will be taken in this rarely-visited place.

Day Eight:

Awaken in camp with the sounds of nature and set off riding again. Stop for lunch beside the Brealito river, a quiet place to relax and breathe in the clear pure altitude air. Afterwards you continue past Brealito lagoon to reach the town of Molinos and stay in a colonial country house which was once the house of the governor Nicolas Severo Isasmendi. You can visit the church of Molinos where his remains lie and sightsee around this charming town. Finally you'll enjoy dinner in your hotel before heading to bed.

Day Nine:

Ride along the course of the Calchaqui river, stopping for a brief lunch at a farm called La Angostura. Today is a long riding day and it will be late evening by the time you arrive in the town of Angostura which is known as 'Green, Sand and Wine' for its sharply contrasting landscapes of sandy soil and grapevines. Leave the horses and transfer by bus to Cafayate where you have dinner and overnight at the Patios de Cafayate hotel.

Day Ten:

Today you'll explore Cafayate which is renowned for wine production. Enjoy lunch at Piattelli winery and taste the special varieties of wine which flourish in this northern part of Argentina. After lunch you visit the city with its colonial architecture, church, museums and leafy plaza. Head back to your hotel for dinner and to rest. 

Day Eleven:

After breakfast you are transferred to Salta airport for your flight.



Accommodation: 2 nights hotel in Salta
3 nights camping
2 nights hotel in Cachi
1 night hotel in Molinos
2 nights hotel in Cafayate
Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 16
Ability description: Confident intermediate and experienced riders only. You must be confident and in control in canter for long stretches.
Type of ride: Mobile trail
Total riding time: Eleven days/Ten nights / Seven days riding (4-6 hours per day)
Departure dates: 2019:
9-19 June, 7-17 July, 11-21 August, 8-18 September, 15-25 September, 13-23 October, 20-30 October, 10-20 November, 17-27 November, 1-11 December, 8-18 December.
 
Pricing: 2019:

£2494 per person sharing

Price is based on there being 6+ riders in the group. For smaller groups the following supplements apply:
4-5 riders: £178 per person
2-3 riders: £534 per person
Just 1 rider: £1069 per person

Single supplement (to guarantee single room/tent): £187



Quebrada de Humanhuaca



Quebrada de Humanhuaca is a narrow mountain valley which is famed for its dramatic rock formations, hills and indigenous villages. The rocky, multi-coloured slopes of the Seven Colours Hills (Cerro de los Siete Colores) rise above the colonial village of Purmamarca. On this trail you will explore parts of the valley that can only be reached on horseback or foot and can marvel as the colours change with the rising and setting sun.

Day One:

On arrival at Salta airport you are transferred to your hotel. Time allowing you can explore the city a little or take some time to rest. In the evening you will have dinner in Pena Los Cardones where local musicians will play classical guitars whilst you dine on regional produce. 

Day Two: 

After breakfast you are transferred to the equestrian centre to meet your horses and enjoy a two hour introductory ride. This is your chance to get to know the horses and style of riding. After your ride there's a barbecue lunch at the equestrian centre and then you are transferred back to Salta. The afternoon is free to either relax or ask your guide to show you around the city. Dinner and overnight in your hotel.

Day Three:

After an early breakfast you are transferred to El Volcan where the horses are waiting for you. Ride through the Quebrada with landscapes full of colours. By midday you arrive at Tumbaya for a light lunch and then continue your ride to El Porvenir. You'll ride past the Cerro de los Siete Colores and the red hills of Paseo de los Colorados and the reflection of the sun on the hillsides will reveal all the marvellous colours. Camp will be set up when you arrive and you can watch the hillside colours change as the sun sets.

Day Four:

Breakfast in camp and then set off to Purmamarca. Your route takes you through the green, grey and brown colours of the mountains. You'll arrive by midday and have a regional lunch before setting off to explore the town on foot. Purmamarca means Town of the Virgin Land in the native Aimara language and is a National Historical Site. Dinner and overnight in the El Manantial del Silencio hotel.

Day Five:

After breakfast at the hotel, travel by bus to Tumbaya, an old town from the 18th century where the horses are waiting. Ride from there to the Virgin of Copacabana shrine in Punta Corral which is 3,000m above sea level. Stop for lunch and then continue riding to Punte Corral where camp is set up for you.

Day Six:

Continue your journey to Tilcara, following historical paths through landscapes which leave you breathless. Have lunch at an abandoned estancia on the banks of the Punta Corral river before riding to Tilcara. There is time to visit the Pucara de Tilcara (fortress) before dinner and overnight in Las Marias de Tilcara hotel.

Day Seven:

Spend the morning exploring the town where traditional aborigines monuments intertwine with Colonial churches. Have lunch in a local restaurant and then journey by bus to Humahuaca. At sunset, you will be transferred back to Salta for a farewell dinner at Pena Balcarce. Overnight at Solar de la Plaza as on the first night.

Day Eight:

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight. 



Accommodation: 3 nights hotel in Salta
2 nights camping
1 night hotel in Purmamarca
1 night hotel in Tilcara
Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 16
Ability description: You need to be at least a strong novice or intermediate rider who is comfortable at a steady canter on a safe horse.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights / 5 days riding (4-6 hours per day)
Departure dates: 2019:
2-9 June, 7-14 July, 11-18 August, 1-8 September, 15-22 September, 6-13 October, 20-27 October, 3-10 November, 17-24 November, 1-8 December, 8-15 December.
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1746 per person sharing

This price is based on a group size of 6+ riders. For smaller groups, the following supplements apply:
4-5 riders: £125 per person
2-3 riders: £374 per person
1 rider: £748

Single supplement of £187 for those not prepared to share.



Calchaqui Valley



The Calchaqui Valley is best known for its contrast of colours and unique geography that ranges from mountain desert to vineyards. Located 90km from Salta, the ravine is an area of great scenic beauty with striking rock formations with reddish colourations which is now a managed natural reserve. This riding route journeys through the heart of the valley, from Cachi to Cafayate.

Day One:

You will be met on arrival at Salta airport and driven c. 30mins to your hotel in the downtown area of the city. Depending on your arrival time you may have time to rest or explore the city a little with your guide. Dinner will be at Pena Los Cardones, a traditional restaurant, before retiring to your hotel for the evening.

Day Two:

After breakfast at the hotel you are transferred to the equestrian centre to meet the horses. You will have time to get to know your horse on a short ride of c. 2 hours before having lunch at the equestrian centre. You'll then transfer to the city for a free afternoon to visit some of the sites. Dinner will be taken at your hotel.

Day Three:

You will be transferred to the small town of Cachi and will have time to explore the cobbled streets and typical colonial houses which are built of cactus wood and adobe with rustic floors. Try local food at the Molino de Cachi restaurant for lunch and then take a tour to discover the secrets, traditions and crafts of Cachi. Dinner and overnight at La Merced del Alto hotel in Cachi.

Day Four:

Your horses will have been transported to the area so that you can set off riding towards the town of Seclantas, in the centre of the Calchaquies valley. This town is where the fight for Argentina Independence took place and the Inca ruins bear witness to the inhabitants of these lands. Have lunch in the vicinity of the legendary National Highway 40 which connects the north and south of Argentina alongside the Andes mountain range. Continue your ride over the Camino de los Artesanos (craftsmen road) to arrive at your camp which is already set up and waiting for you. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day Five:

Continue your ride through the Calchaquies valley and appreciate the endless landscapes of rivers, valleys and hills. Stop for lunch beside the Brealito river and then continue to Molino, arriving for sunset. You stay in the house of the last Realist Governor, Nicolas Severo Isasmendi - a big, colonial house which maintains its spirit despite being converted into a picturesque hotel.

Day Six:

Todays ride follows the Calchaqui river to Angastaco town, stopping for lunch at La Angostura ranch along the route. Angastaco town is renowned for its green vegetation which contrasts with the sandy soil, along with its wine production and great variety of vineyards. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day Seven:

Continue your journey through the beautiful landscapes of the valley until stopping for lunch at La Vinita. Ride across hills and through a small town with few inhabitants called San Lucas until reaching San Carlos. Here you leave the horses and are transferred to Cafayate, arriving at your hotel, Patios de Cafayate for sunset.

Day Eight:

After breakfast you will discover Cafayate which is the most important town in Valles Calchaquies. The climate is favourable for the torrontes grape which produces a fruity white wine. After crossing the vineyards you'll have lunch at a well-known winery and taste this wine. Continue exploring the town in the afternoon, with its beautiful colonial architecture and green and red landscapes. Dinner and overnight in your hotel.

Day Nine:

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.



Accommodation: 2 nights hotel in Salta
1 night hotel in Cachi
2 nights camping
1 night hotel in Molinos
2 nights hotel in Cafayate
Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 16
Ability description: You need to be at least a strong novice rider who is comfortable in canter on an easy horse.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 9 days / 8 nights / 5 days riding (4-6 hours per day)
Departure dates: 2019:
16-23 June, 14-21 July, 18-25 August, 1-8 September, 15-22 September, 6-13 October, 20-27 October, 3-10 November, 17-24 November, 1-8 December, 15-22 December.
 
Pricing: 2019:

£2245 per person sharing

Prices are based on a group size of 6+. For smaller groups the following supplements apply:
4-5 riders in group: £143 per person
2-3 riders in group: £428 per person
Only 1 rider: £855

Single supplement to request own room/tent: £187



Salta and Lerma Valley



This trip has less riding days but still shows you the highlights of Salta and the Lerma Valley, with visits to Salta, Cafayate and Cachi. You spend a few nights at an estancia where you can spend time with the family and learn about rural traditions as well as getting involved in some estancia tasks. There is a two day/one night camping trail from the estancia to experience the wildness of the valley.

Day One:

You will be met on arrival at Salta airport and transferred c. 30mins to your downtown hotel. If you arrive in the morning then you can rest a little before taking lunch and then walking through the city to discover the historical centre and museums with your guide. Later you'll have dinner at your hotel before retiring to bed.

Day Two:

After breakfast you're transferred to the equestrian centre to meet your horses. Take a 2 hour ride around the land belonging to the centre in which you can get used to your horse, tack and style of riding. After lunch at the equestrian centre you'll be transferred back to the city for a few afternoon to explore. Dinner will be taken at the pena Balderrama with local folkloric music entertaining you.

Day Three:

An early breakfast for your first full day of riding. You'll be transferred to Guachipas to meet your horses and set out into the rugged landscape. Stop for lunch at Las Juntas, a dwelling with some important cave paintings. Continue riding to the estancia of the Diez family - a cattle establishment with amazing views, cave paintings and wild birds such as condors. Spend the night at the estancia with a home-cooked meal prepared by the family and listen to their stories.

Day Four:

A day to explore the estancia on horseback and look for native fauna. Perhaps you'll find condor nests or visit caves to view Pre-Colombian paintings. After lunch out on the trail you'll return to the estancia for another evening with the family.

Day Five:

Today you can get involved in some of the rural tasks with the estancia staff - perhaps driving the cattle or corralling them for vaccination. After a morning of new experiences and learning about country life you'll have lunch with the family and gauchos. In the afternoon you set off on a trail to Sajama, riding through valleys and quebradas, leaving civilisation behind you. The route can only be accessed on horseback so your logistics team will follow a different route to ensure camp is set up for you when you arrive. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day Six:

Awake to a beautiful dawn in the Lerma Valley before riding a trail back to the Diez family estancia. Arrive in time for a traditional asado (barbecue) lunch. The afternoon is free to enjoy walks, go swimming in the river or assist the gauchos. In the evening you are transferred to Cafayate to spend the night in the colonial style hotel Patios de Cafayate.

Day Seven:

After breakfast in the hotel, head out to visit the Esteco winery. Cafayate is renowned for its top quality wines and there are many vineyards. Stop for lunch at Winery Piattelli to taste the special varieties grown in the north. In the afternoon you explore Cafayate with its colonial architecture, main plaza and church. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day Eight:

After breakfast you have another day to discover new towns in the Valles Calchaquies, such as San Carlos, Angastaco and Molinos before eventually reaching Cachi. Stop for lunch at a well-known winery and enjoy the incredible town surrounded by hills with its adobe houses which are painted white to reflect the sun. Dinner and overnight at La Merced del Alto hotel.

Day Nine:

After breakfast you are transferred via Cuesta del Obispo to Salta airport for your onward flight. 



Accommodation: 2 nights boutique hotel in Salta
2 nights in comfortable cabins at estancia (shared bathrooms)
1 night camping
2 nights Cafayate hotel
1 night Cachi hotel
Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 16
Ability description: You should be at least a strong novice rider who is happy to canter on a safe horse.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 9 days / 8 nights / 5 days riding (4-6 hours per day)
Departure dates: 2019:
23 June-1 July, 28 July-5 August, 25 August-2 September, 1-9 September, 22-30 September, 6-14 October, 27 October-4 November, 3-11 November, 24 November-2 December, 1-9 December, 15-23 December
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1995 per person sharing

The above price is based on a group size of 6+ riders. For smaller groups the following supplements apply:
4-5 riders in group: £143 per person
2-3 riders in group: £428
Only 1 rider: £855

Single supplement, if not prepared to share: £214