Silver Mines and Highlands riding holiday in Mexico - Far and Ride
Home  >  Riding Holidays  >  Mexico  >  Silver Mines and Highlands

Silver Mines and Highlands, 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.

 

Travel Advice



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

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: 7 nights in hotels (3 - 4*) and 1 night in mountain retreat.

Central Highlands Trail: 3 nights in 3* hotel, 4 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: 8 nights of accommodation (shared room), all meals (except lunch & dinner on day 8), drinks as indicated in the itinerary and horse riding as described (with specialised guides and equipment).

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, lunch on day 8, extra drinks or activities, tips, items of a personal nature.

 

Travel Information

Customers are met in Guanajuato city at 17:00 at a pre-arranged meeting point. Transfers in and out of the airport are not included or part of the programme, due to government regulations, but we can help you. Private taxis are available otherwise it's quite simple to take a normal taxi to the city centre,

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 arrivals and a charge will apply if there there has to be a special transfer - $110 USD for the Silver Route Trail and $185 USD for the Central Highland trails.

On departure day we recommend that your flights leave 11:00 or later as you will be approximately 2 hours from the airport.

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.

2019 Itinerary: 

Day 1 - Arrival and Rancho Colomitos:

You will be met at 17:00 at the pre-arranged meeting point in Guanajuato and transferred to Rancho Colomitos, a traditional Mexican ranch. On arrival at the ranch you will have a chance to meet the time and will receive an introduction with details of your upcoming journey. This reception includes a delicious welcome cocktail, served on the ranch's terrace. 

A welcome dinner is served, a ranchero barbecue prepared by the cooks, accompanied by soft Mexican music and the light of the terrace campfire. 

Overnight at Rancho Colomitos or similar. Dinner, welcome cocktail, soft drinks and drinking water included. 

Day 2 - Colomitos - Penafiel - Guanajuato City

After enjoying a delicious breakfast at the ranch, the horses will be ready and waiting to be allocated to you and your fellow riders. You will ride out from Colomitos towards Penafiel, passing through rural communities until you reach the foothills of the Montecillo Mountains. Here you started to ascend from 1900m to the old Cardones Hacienda at 2236m, crossing landscapes of changing nature which combine semi-desertic elements with the majesty of the central mountain range. You will have the chance to see several ancient ruins of mines and haciendas, some several hundreds years old, as you come to Santo Nino which is nestled in the mountains and dates back to the times of the Spanish colony. You will cross the Cardo River and if you wish you can swim in its clear waters which come from the sacred mountain spring. This is a small natural pool in the middle of the desert. 

Today is one of amazing landscapes and stunning natural sceneries which remind many guests of the great westerns featuring Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and Gary Cooper. This is real Mexico! You will ride all the way up the mountains until you reach the ancient remains of the Cardones Hacienda and its Lienzo Charro (Mexican horse arena) at Penafiel. Your horses will stay here tonight whilst you are transferred to a hotel located in the heart of Guanajuato's historic centre, having the chance to see the 'La Presa de la Olla', a beautiful and ancient dam which is accessible through a scenic passage. 

Guanajuato is a colonial city with impressive buildings combining the elements of the two main cultures that created the city, indigenous and Hispanic. Thus it marks the source of the Mexican nation and conserves fantastic architectural features and the original environment. Guanajuato was declared by UNESCO as the 'Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines' in December 1988, thanks to its protection by inhabitants and the government. Today it is considered the most beautiful colonial city of Mexico. 

Dinner tonight will be eaten in the garden of the Union where, every night, regional music groups like Mariachis, bands or trios delight visitors with traditional songs. The dim light and music creates a magical atmosphere and a feeling that you are in the past. 

Tonight you are accommodated in 4* Hotel Posada Santa Fe or similar. Riding: 21km, both flat and mountainous terrain. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 3 - Guanajuato - Santa Rosa:

Following a delicious breakfast you will be taken to meet your horses so that you can begin the day's 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, Peregrina and Santa Rosa. 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 27kms riding, primarily mountainous terrain. All meals including along with the tequila tasting, soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 4 - 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. There are huge mountains in one direction and semi-desert in another. You may also see the prints of coyote, puma and raccoon on your path! 

You will ride on to old hacienda stables where your horses will stay for the night, then you will be transferred to your hotel located in the heart of the historical city of Dolores Hidalgo. 

Overnight at 3* Hotel Amber or similar. Approximately 37kms riding, primarily mountainous terrain. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 5 - Riding through Dolores Hidalgo:

Today you will have the good fortune to visit one of Mexico's most important historical cities on horseback. It is known as the 'Cradle of Mexican Independence' as the parish court witness the famous cry for freedom (Grito de Libertad), the initial call to take up arms against the colonial regime and Spanish crown. It was initiated by Priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla at daybreak on 16th September 1810. You will take a brief tour of the historic city centre on your horses, visiting some of the most emblematic buildings from Mexico's war of independence.

In the evening you will visit the 'Wine Museum', enter into a real Mexican cantina or you can simple walk around and enjoy the stores which supply local handicrafts. Later on you will dine in a typical and unique Mexican restaurant, located in the city's main garden. It is an old house which dates back to the 18th century and is well known for its traditional dishes, served amongst the flitting fireflies and scent of fresh flowers. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the culinary arts of the region - the ingredients are primarily natural, simple products designed to excite the senses. 

Overnight in Hotel Amber 3* or similar. Approximately 12km on horseback today, flat terrain. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 6 - 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 Mexico.

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. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 7 - 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. 

The path today is on old roads which were used 200 years ago during the War of Independence and the Mexican Revolution, passing through traditional Mexican landscapes and discovering Indian chapels. It's a chance to explore the religion of the region's indigenous groups who have left testimony to their beliefs in their temples and chapels lying along the banks of the Laja River. The land is home to coyote, opossum, huizache (acacia) and mesquite, truly the territory of the pre-Columbian tribes. 

These unique landscapes combining semi-desert and wetlands make for an authentic and interesting journey, definitely a day full of rural life and tranquility. You will ride the last steps with your horses today as you ride on to San Miguel de Allende. 

Overnight Hotel Acuarela or similar. Approximately 23kms riding today, primarily flat terrain. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. Lunch today is a picnic in San Isidro Labrador, served by local women. 

Day 8 - San Miguel de Allende:

It's time to leave your horses behind and explore San Miguel de Allende on foot! This city is known for its rich traditions with events and festivals playing an important role all year long. It is a town full of magic and mysticism, culture and art, preserving ancient traditions which can no longer be found elsewhere. It is described by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity and titled as the 'fortified town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco'. This distinction was given by UNESCO due to the city's cultural and architectural contribution to Mexican Baroque style and to its importance in the country's fight for independence. 

You 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. In the evening you will enjoy a farewell cocktail with your fellow riders. 

Overnight 4* Hotel Acuarela or similar. Breakfast included and also a farewell cocktail.

Day 9 - San Miguel de Allende - End of Programme:

Breakfast served at the hotel. Services end at 12:00. 

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: 7 nights in hotels (3* on average) 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: 14
Ability description: Intermediate and above. Riders should be confident and in control at walk, trot and canter. 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: 2019: 22-30 January, 1-9 March (provisional date), 9-17 July, 6-14 August, 3-11 September, 22-30 October, 3-11 December.

Private dates available for groups of 4 or more (subject to availability).
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1766 per person
Single supplement: £344 per person
Non Riders £1386

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 and Rancho Colomitos:

You will be met at 17:00 at the pre-arranged meeting point in Guanajuato and transferred to Rancho Colomitos, a traditional Mexican ranch. On arrival at the ranch you will have a chance to meet the time and will receive an introduction with details of your upcoming journey. This reception includes a delicious welcome cocktail, served on the ranch's terrace. 

A welcome dinner is served, a ranchero barbecue prepared by the cooks, accompanied by soft Mexican music and the light of the terrace campfire. 

Overnight at Rancho Colomitos or similar. Dinner, welcome cocktail, soft drinks and drinking water included. 

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. 

Overnight in camp. Approximately 23kms riding, mostly mountainous terrain. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 3 - Peregrina - Guanajuato:

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. 

After breakfast at the campsite you will ride on to Guanajuato. This is a colonial city with impressive buildings combining the elements of the two main cultures that created the city, indigenous and Hispanic. Thus it marks the source of the Mexican nation and conserves fantastic architectural features and the original environment. Guanajuato was declared by UNESCO as the 'Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines' in December 1988, thanks to its protection by inhabitants and the government. Today it is considered the most beautiful colonial city of Mexico. 

Dinner tonight will be eaten in the garden of the Union where, every night, regional music groups like Mariachis, bands or trios delight visitors with traditional songs. The dim light and music creates a magical atmosphere and a feeling that you are in the past. 

Overnight Hotel Socavon 3* or similar. Approximately 27kms riding today. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 4 - Guanajuato - Santa Rosa: 

After breakfast at the hotel you will mount up and ride for the Santa Rosa Mountains which reach heights of 2800m. You will ride past old buildings which date from the colonial era and these days have been reduced to ruins, largely because of treasure hunters! Along the way there are ancient haciendas, abandoned mine shafts and fascinating rock formations. 

Your destination today is the village of Santa Rosa, a small settlement nestled in the heart of the Sierra. The typical Mexican landscapes are home to several mountain villages and the area is famous for its cuisine based on natural produce. 

In the afternoon there is a tequila tasting in the saloon of the mountain retreat 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 25kms riding. All meals including along with the tequila tasting, soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 5 - Santa Rosa - Los Guamares Mountain:

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 "El Molino" which was a very important silver mine during the colonial era. 

Tonight you will camp and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by your guides.

Overnight in camp. Approximately 31kms riding. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 6 - Los Guamares - Otomi Mountain:

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. Telling tales of your day by the campfire is a wonderful way to end the evening. 

Overnight in camp. Approximately 27kms riding. All meals included with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 7 - Otomi Mountain - Spring Waters Ranch:

Breakfast is served surrounded by majestic views of the mountains and then it's time to continue your riding adventure. You will descend from the mountains into a semi-desert region surrounded by cacti and desert trees, passing through small typical Mexican villages. The ride today takes you to the thermal waters of El Gallinero Ranch where you will spent the night. 

On arrival you can enjoy a leisurely bath in the spring's thermal waters and this is a great way to relax before dinner in this special place. 

Overnight in camp on ranch. Approximately 35kms riding. All meals included today with soft drinks and drinking water. 

Day 8 - Spring Waters Ranch - Dolores Hidalgo:

After breakfast there is time for another dip in the exquisite hot springs of the ranch before transfer by car to the city of Dolores Hidalgo. 

Today you will have the good fortune to visit one of Mexico's most important historical cities on horseback. It is known as the 'Cradle of Mexican Independence' as the parish court witness the famous cry for freedom (Grito de Libertad), the initial call to take up arms against the colonial regime and Spanish crown. It was initiated by Priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla at daybreak on 16th September 1810. You will take a brief tour of the historic city centre, visiting some of the most emblematic buildings from Mexico's war of independence.

In the evening you will visit the 'Wine Museum', enter into a real Mexican cantina or you can simple walk around and enjoy the stores which supply local handicrafts. Later on you will dine in a typical and unique Mexican restaurant, located in the city's main garden. It is an old house which dates back to the 18th century and is well known for its traditional dishes, served amongst the flitting fireflies and scent of fresh flowers. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the culinary arts of the region - the ingredients are primarily natural, simple products designed to excite the senses. 

Overnight in Hotel Amber 3* or similar. Only breakfast included today. 

Day 9 - Departure:

Breakfast served in the hotel. Services end at 12:00. 

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, 4 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: 2
Maximum group size: 10
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: 2019: 22-30 July, 19-27 August, 16-24 September, 14-22 October.

Other dates can be arranged for a minimum of 4 people. Making a private group is possible for 6 or more with a surcharge or groups of 8 or more will be made a private group at no extra cost.
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1485
Single supplement: £166

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 program.
1 person : +35%