ARGENTINA - VIP

HORSES RIDING

 

Presentation in POWERPOINT

Riding the Inca’s trails over the Andes Mountains

 

Dinner is over. Guitars start playing as the campfire lightens up the darkness of the night. Long conversations recreate the incredible day gone by.

Some in the group play cards while others listen to the ancient tales of local herdsmen; others yet improvise some folklore dancing around the fire.

This is how our nights are..........This is how our riding vacations are.

 

The Andes Mountains and its ancient culture in the backcountry of Northwest Argentina set the stage. Ride its impressive landscapes and diversity of climates. Valleys with forests and crystal clear water streams followed by desserts with multicoloured mountains. We designed our cross-country rides to show this breathtaking contrast.

The ride starts at La Viña in the Lerma Valley. As we start the ride we pass along 60 feet tall trees and dense bush. We go up to 9000 feet where the forest changes to high altitude grassland. This is the homeland of the Andean condor. In just two days of ride we reach the desert of the Calchaquí Valleys. Here the monumental cacti (cardons) set the stage. Get ready for the multicoloured hills, the red soil and, as the sun sets, the spectacular stars of the southern hemisphere that cover the sky.

All along the trail, have a chance to absorb from the herdsmen, heirs of the ancient Incas, some of the local culture still alive high up in the mountains. It is an experience without comparison. Perhaps, the trip of a lifetime.

Following next is a description of our itineraries for which there is no minimum group size. We can also arrange tailor-made rides all year round depending on how long you wish to ride and your travel preferences. There is no minimum group size. Please ask for rates.

 

Warning: Whilst we always endeavor to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances.

 

4-day itinerary

Day 1: Leave Salta City early in the morning to La Viña (2hrs). Meet the horses. Last minute packing before riding into the mountainous forest of Valle de Lerma along the course of the Las Pircas stream. At sunset, arrive at El Churqui mountain refuge to spend the night where we will be awaited with an energizing homemade meal.

 

Day 2: As we ascend, the dense forest gradually gives way to grasslands. This is the land of the wild horses. Once we reach aprox. 9000 feet and have the chance to see some condors, we find the passage that leads to the desertic Calchaquí Valley. We head towards the town of Amblayo where we will spend the second night. It has only 150 dwellers. It is renowned for its goat cheese. Traditional lamb barbecue at dinner.

 

Day 3: We visit the town and its ancient chapel and ride all day through the Calchaquí Valley to our next stop at Isonza ranch.

 

Day 4: A long day ride across the Calchaquí Valley but heading back to the mountain range that divides both valleys. A day full of contrasts. When we reach the very steep slopes of Chilo at 9000 feet the view is awesome. We are forced to get off the horses and let them go down on their own. The forest landscape is back. We ride along the narrow gorges of the Chilo River. Its walls are as tall as 120 feet. We arrive at La Viña, say farewell to our horses and transfer to Salta City.

 

Rate: Ask for quotation

Days: 4 days/3 nights, 4 full riding days

Dates: Upon request all year round. No minimum group size

Horses: Mountain horses

Pace: Slow with few trots and canters. 6-7 hrs /day

Level: Suitable for novice to experienced riders. Wide selection of horses to suit all levels of riders

Weather: Summer Hi 86°F - Lo 50°F; Winter Hi 70°F - Lo 32°F

Meeting place: Salta city. Airport: Salta city (flight via Buenos Aires - Argentina)

Included: Transfers to/from Salta city, accommodations (3 nights refuge, all meals (pic-nic at lunch) and beverages. Hot shower second night. Not included are flights, travel insurance, gratuities.

7-day itinerary

Day 1: Check in at hotel. Rest of day at leisure for sightseeing in Salta city (founded 16th century). Meet your guide and leave for dinner at La Casona del Molino. Enjoy an Argentine barbecue and local cuisine.

Day 2: Leave for La Viña (2hrs). Meet the horses. Last minute packing before riding into the mountainous forest of Valle de Lerma along the course of the Las Pircas stream. At sunset, arrive at El Churqui mountain refuge where we will be awaited with an energizing homemade meal.

 

Day 3: The dense forest gradually gives way to grasslands. This is the land of the wild horses. Once we reach aprox. 9000 feet and have the chance to see some condors, we descend into the desertic Calchaquí Valley. We head towards the town of Amblayo where we will spend the night. It has only 150 dwellers. It is renowned for its goat cheese. Traditional lamb barbecue at dinner.

 

Day 4: We visit the town and its ancient chapel and ride all day through the Calchaquí Valley to our next stop at Isonza ranch.

 

Day 5: Isonza is a working ranch. During this morning you are welcome to join in with the everyday life of the ranch. After lunch we ride and hike to visit the archeological remains of ancient settlements and pictographs. Overnight at Isonza.

 

Day 6: A day full of contrasts. When we reach the very steep slopes of Chilo at 9000 feet, the view is awesome. Suddenly, the forest landscape is back. We ride along the narrow gorges of the Chilo River. Its walls are as tall as 120 feet. We arrive at La Viña where we spend the night. Say farewell to our horses.

 

Day 7: Leave to Cafayate, renowned for its wineries. Visit this old town. Trekking to the 7 Cascades. Back to Salta city. Farewell dinner at La Casona del Molino. Night in the hotel.

Rate: Ask for quotation

Days: 7 days/7 nights, 5 full riding days

Horses: Mountain horses

Dates: Upon request all year round. No minimum group size

Pace: Slow with few trots and canters - 6-7 hrs /day

Level: Suitable for novice to experienced riders. Wide selection of horses to suit all levels of riders.

Weather: Summer Hi 86°F - Lo 50°F; Winter Hi 70°F - Lo 32°F

Meeting place: Salta city. Airport: Salta city (flight via Buenos Aires - Argentina)

Included: Transfers to/from Salta city, accommodations (5 nights refuge, 2 in hotel, 4 nights w/ hot shower), meals and beverages. Not included: flights, travel insurance.

Following the footsteps of General Güemes – full day ride

 

At 9:30 AM we leave Salta city heading to the historic ranch built 1760 A.D. (10 miles). This former property of General Güemes is surrounded by dense forest, which served as the best protection for his troops during the Independence War against the Spanish Conquistadors.

Meet the horses. Last minute packing. We ride through the forest and pass along its peculiar trees (algarrobos, talas, caldenes, molles, etc.). There is plenty of wildlife in the area: wild boars, deer, foxes, hares, etc. We might have the chance to see some and, in the season, an amazing number of butterflies.

We pass small hidden valleys and water streams. At midday we reach the viewpoint were we stop for a barbecue and a refreshing after-lunch rest. From there we have the best view of Salta city and its surroundings. It was a key point for General Güemes from where he had the Spanish Army permanently on sight and could control its activities. 

The ride moves on along the hill tops, which are the region´s highest, from where we have a magnificent view of the whole of the Lerma Valley.

Back in the house and after saying farewell to the horses, we sit for tea. Visit the house and learn a bit about its history and illustrious dwellers: the living room, the armory, the chapel and the old photos gallery. They give a glimpse of the challenges of life in past times.

Transfer back to Salta city where we arrive at aprox. 6:30 PM.