Day 1 - Arrival and Rancho Colomitos:
Riding: No riding.
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
Riding: 21 kilometres
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.
Day 3 - Guanajuato - Santa Rosa:
Riding: 27 kilometres
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.
Day 4 - Santa Rosa - Dolores Hidalgo:
Riding: 37 kilometres
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 Hotel Hidalgo **** or similar.
Day 5 - Riding through Dolores Hidalgo:
Riding: 12 kilometres
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 Hidalgo **** or similar.
Day 6 - Dolores Hidalgo - Atotonilco:
Riding: 27 kilometres
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 Nirvana Hotel & Spa ***** or similar.
Day 7 - Atotonilco - San Miguel de Allende:
Riding: 23 kilometres
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.
Day 8 - San Miguel de Allende:
Riding: No riding.
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 itinerary ends here. Breakfast is included and the day is free to either explore San Miguel de Allende and all it has to offer or to return to the airport.
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.