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Salta Trails

Overview

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 moun…

Highlights

  • Ride through amazing mountains, rivers and valleys
  • Discover the wonderfully smooth Peruvian Paso horse
  • Ride past multi-coloured rocks and giant cacti
  • Sample the world-famous locally-produced wines
  • Camp under the stars in a beautifully remote location

Essential Facts

  • 4 itineraries available
  • Max 16 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100kg / 220 lbs / 15 st 10 lbs.
    more info Heavier riders may be accommodated on payment of a supplement for a second horse.

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.

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.

Horses & Riding

Tack

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

Horses

Peruvian Paso. 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.

Riding

There are 4 itineraries:

  • Lerma Valley to Calchaquies Valley is a trail ride
  • Calchaqui Valley is a trail ride
  • Salta and Lerma Valley is a trail ride
  • Quebrada de Humanhuaca is a trail ride

Ages

16 years or older.

Health

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

Weight

100kg / 220 lbs / 15 st 10 lbs. Heavier riders may be accommodated on payment of a supplement for a second horse.

Food & Accommodation

Food

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.

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.

Itineraries

Lerma Valley to Calchaquies Valley Tented / Standard accommodation.

Calchaqui Valley Tented / Standard accommodation.

Salta and Lerma Valley Tented / Standard accommodation.

Quebrada de Humanhuaca Tented / Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

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

Travel

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 - some fly direct from the UK, whilst others route through European or South American hub cities such as Sao Paolo.

On arrival in Salta all airport transfers are included.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

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 the restaurant Pena Los Cardones, where guitarists play traditional folklore music whilst you dine on regional food and wine. Overnight Solar de la Plaza hotel or similar

Day 2

Riding: 2 hours

After breakfast you are taken to the equestrian centre to meet your Peruvian Paso horse and guides. The relationship between rider and horse is important so you'll have the chance to try a few different horses so that you can choose the one which suits you best. Once everyone is happy you'll set out to get to know your horse and the style of riding on a two hour ride around the grounds of the equestrian centre. A typical criollo lunch will be served at the centre and then in the afternoon you head back to Salta. You are free to explore the city or rest before dinner and overnight at the same hotel.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast you'll be transferred 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 de Escoipe. Here you will leave the horses and transfer to Chicoana to overnight in the beautiful boutique Bo Hotel. Dinner will be taken in a traditional restaurant.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast, you are transferred back to Quebrada de Escoipe to be reunited with your horses. ,Set off riding through the heart of the canyon, surrounded by multi-coloured mountains. Follow horse trails to reach Isonza, a little village lost in time. Continue to the house of the Tolaba family where your transfer vehicle is waiting to take you to Cachi. Dinner and overnight at the hotel La Merced del Alto.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast you're transferred to the Tin Tin Lane where a dirt road begins. This perfect straight line was made by the Incas and crosses Los Cardones national park. Your horses will be waiting here for you. Follow that road for a few kilometres and then ride along a dried up riverbed - one of many running through the Calchaqui Valley. At midday, stop for a light picnic lunch under a tree.

In the afternoon you continue riding across the Calchaqui river to reach the town of Cachi where you spend a second night at the Merced del Alto hotel. Dinner will be taken at the Nevado de Cachi, a restaurant that serves typical food.

Day 6

Riding: No riding.

Non-riding day as you explore Cachi. Walk around the cobbled streets and admire the colonial architecture of the main plaza, central church and cabildo, with the mountains as a backdrop. 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 or Bodega Isasmendi where they make artisanal wines. Have lunch at the winery. In the afternoon continue to explore Cachi and visit Cachi Adentro - the rural area surrounding the town where you can see local communities of indigenous origin who still farm for a living. Later dinner is served at a typical restaurant, El Agujero, before returning to your hotel for another night.

Day 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, you 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 the Road of the Artisans to reach the town of Seclantas in the late afternoon. Visit this traditional village and head to Finca Montenieva, a lovely farm outside the town where you will stay and have a delicious homemade dinner with the farmers.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Awake in this beautiful hotel, enjoy breakfast and get prepared to discover Cafayate, where some of the best wines are produced and where the smell of grapes is in the air. Visit wine cellars and try a variety of wines before having lunch at the Bodega Piattelli, an extraordinary wine producer. The bodega is a beautiful building set in magnificent landscapes.

After lunch, visit the church, main square and some museums in Cafayate before heading back to your hotel for another dinner and good nights sleep.

Day 9

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you head off to explore the Calchaqui valley by vehicle. The ancient traditions, pebble-stone streets and colonial houses built from cactus wood, thick mud bricks and wooden floors are fascinating. Stop for lunch at the El Nevado de Cachi restaurant for delicious regional food. In the afternoon you continue your sightseeing around Cachi and visit local manufacturers and craftspeople. Return to your hotel for a farewell dinner and overnight.

Day 10

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you'll be transferred to Salta airport for your onward flight.

Accommodation

2 nights hotel in Salta
1 night hotel in Chicoana
3 nights hotel in Cachi
3 nights hotel outside Cafayate

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and Experienced riders only. You must be confident and in control in canter for long stretches.

Minimum group size 3
Maximum group size 16
Departure windows

At any time during: April 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2023  (Any week possible (subject to availability), arriving on a Sunday)

Pricing

2023
Sharing
£2710 $3280 €3050
Price is based on groups of 3+ riders. For smaller groups, supplementary costs are payable.
Included 9 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals and drinks, 6 days of riding, transfers from/to Salta airport on arrival and departure day, all activities mentioned in the itinerary.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, services outside of the programme, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £265 $320 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Small Group Supplement (2 in a group) £430 $520 €485
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Sole Rider Supplement £710 $860 €800
Paid to Far and Ride
To confirm the ride for one person. Includes the single supplement.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

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 2

Riding: 2 hours

After breakfast at the hotel you are transferred to the equestrian centre to meet the horses. You will get the chance to try a few different horses to find the one that suits you best, before heading out on a short ride of c. 2 hours. After lunch at the equestrian centre you'll transfer back to the city for a free afternoon to visit some of the sites. Dinner will be taken at your hotel.

Day 3

Riding: No riding.

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 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 Seclantas where the team are waiting for you. You'll have dinner and overnight in a comfortable mountain cabin.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 Molinos, 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 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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. Continue riding until you reach Finca El Carmen just outside Angastaco where you'll have dinner and overnight. This finca produces delicious wines.

Day 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Continue your journey through the beautiful landscapes of the valley. Stop in Angastaco to visit the church and then ride deeper into the heart of Quebrada de La Fleches until you reach La Vinita. The logistics team will have already set up camp for you so you can have dinner under the stars and head to your bed.

Day 8

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast in camp you remount and head to San Carlos, riding past canyons and mountains, and a tiny village called San Lucas where only a few inhabitants now live. Your trail ends in San Carlos and you say farewell to your horses. Transfer to Cafayate to check into your hotel Patios de Cafayate for a delicious dinner and overnight.

Day 9

Riding: No riding.

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 visiting the vineyards you'll have lunch at a well-known winery and taste this wine. Continue exploring the area in and around Cafayate in the afternoon, with its beautiful colonial architecture and green and red landscapes. Visit the ampitheatre, canyons of Quebrada de las Conchas and Garganta del Diablo as well as different rock formations like the Piedra del Sapo. At sunset return to your hotel for a farewell dinner and overnight.

Day 10

Riding: No riding.

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

Accommodation

2 nights hotel in Salta
1 night hotel in Cachi
1 night mountain cabin at Seclantas
1 night hotel in Molinos
1 night hotel in Angastaco
1 night camping
2 nights hotel in Cafayate

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You need to be at least a strong novice rider who is comfortable in canter on an easy horse.

Minimum group size 3
Maximum group size 16
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2023  (Any week possible (subject to availability), arriving on a Sunday)

Pricing

2023
Sharing
£2435 $2945 €2740
Price is based on groups of 3+ riders. For smaller groups, supplementary costs are payable.
Included 9 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals and drinks, 5 days of riding, transfers from/to Salta airport on arrival and departure day, all camping equipment and activities mentioned in the itinerary.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, services outside of the programme, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £240 $290 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Small Group Supplement (2 riders in group) £310 $375 €350
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Sole Rider Supplement £620 $750 €700
Paid to Far and Ride
To confirm the ride for one person. Includes single supplement.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

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. Dinner will be taken in one of the many Penas, the Pena Los Cardones which is a traditional place with folklore music playing whilst you dine. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 2

Riding: 2 hours

After breakfast you're transferred to the equestrian centre to meet your horses. Matching horse and rider is important so you'll have the chance to try different horses and choose the one you feel most comfortable on. You'll then head out for 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 free afternoon to explore or rest. Dinner will be taken at your hotel.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

An early breakfast for your first full day of riding. You'll be transferred to the little town of 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 in cabins at the estancia with a home-cooked meal prepared by the family and listen to their stories.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 5

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

Today you can get involved in some of the rural tasks with the estancia staff - perhaps driving the cattle to other meadows 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 6

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Awake to a beautiful dawn in the Lerma Valley before riding a trail through magnificent landscapes 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, which is located inside the Finca of the Esteco Winery. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before heading to bed.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

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 8

Riding: No riding.

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. Cachi is an incredible town surrounded by hills with its adobe houses which are painted white to reflect the sun. Have lunch at the Aujero restaurant which serves traditional dishes of the Calchaqui valley. Dinner and overnight at La Merced del Alto hotel.

Day 9

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred 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

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be at least a strong novice rider who is happy to canter on a safe horse.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 16
Departure windows

At any time during: April 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2023  (Any week possible (subject to availability), arriving on a Sunday)

Pricing

2023
Sharing.
£2165 $2625 €2440
Price is based on groups of 3+ riders. For smaller groups, supplementary costs are payable.
Included 8 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals and drinks, 5 days of riding, transfers from/to Salta airport on arrival and departure day, all camping equipment and activities mentioned in the itinerary.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, services outside of the programme, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £210 $255 €235
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Small Group Supplement (2 riders in group) £515 $620 €580
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Sole Rider Supplement £620 $750 €700
Paid to Far and Ride
To confirm the ride for one person. Includes single room supplement.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

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 2

Riding: 2 hours

After breakfast you are transferred to the equestrian centre to meet your horses. The connection between riders and horses is important so there'll be a chance to try different horses to choose the one you feel most comfortable with. Once everyone is happy you'll head out on a two hour introductory ride around the ranch to give you a chance to get to know your horse and the 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 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 (seven-coloured rainbow hill) and the red hills of Paseo de los Colorados which reflect the sunlight in all shades of red. Camp will be set up when you arrive and you can watch the hillside colours change as the sun sets. After dinner you'll head to bed under a canopy of stars

Day 4

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Awake in the midst of this magical landscape and have breakfast in camp before setting off to ride 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. Visit the main square and church which is also a protected monument with its particular architecture and paintings inside. Walk around the handicrafts market where you can find traditional fabrics, ceramics and musical instruments. Dinner and overnight in the El Manantial del Silencio hotel.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Continue your journey to Tilcara, following historical paths through dazzling landscapes which leave you breathless. Have lunch at an abandoned estancia on the banks of the Punta Corral river before riding to the beautiful town of Tilcara. There is time to visit the Pucara de Tilcara (900 year old fortress) before dinner and overnight in Las Marias de Tilcara hotel.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

Spend the morning exploring the town where traditional native monuments intertwine with Hispanic cultures. It is not unusual to find monuments to honour Pachamama (Mother Earth) set up next to Colonial churches. Have lunch in a local restaurant and then transfer to the beautiful town of Humahuaca. At sunset, you will be transferred back to Salta where you can visit the famous Balcarce Street for a farewell dinner at Pena Balcarce. Overnight at Solar de la Plaza as on the first night.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

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

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You need to be at least a strong novice or intermediate rider who is comfortable at a steady canter on a safe horse.

Minimum group size 3
Maximum group size 16
Departure windows

At any time during: April 1, 2023 - Dec. 31, 2023  (Any week possible (subject to availability), arriving on a Sunday)

Pricing

2023
Sharing.
£1890 $2290 €2130
Price is based on groups of 4+ riders. For smaller groups, supplementary costs are payable.
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms/tents, all meals and drinks, 5 days of riding, transfers from/to Salta airport on arrival and departure day, all camping equipment and activities mentioned in the itinerary.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, services outside of the programme, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £187 $225 €210
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Small Group Supplement (2-3 riders in group) £705 $855 €795
Paid to Far and Ride
2023 - Sole Rider Supplement £665 $805 €750
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable to confirm the ride for one person.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.