Horseback riding in Argentina combines an assortment of riding terrain with a deep native connection with the horse. Riding trails cross wild remote areas, fertile pampas and high mountains. Horses have played an important part in the history, folklore and today’s economy. The gaucho (cowboy) plays an active role in ranch activities. A popular saying states when a gaucho is without his horse, he is without his legs. Polo is very popular. Riders can choose to spend a day with the gauchos or play polo. Argentine Criollo and Peruvian Pasos are the preferred trail horses. Traditional foods include Asado (BBQ), empanadas and stew. Argentines love their yerba mate drink and ice cream. Dulce de leche (caramelized milk) is their favorite. Lodging consists of traditional estancia (ranch houses), hotels or camping.
The Valle Calchaquí is a rugged landscape of striking red rock formations and high-altitude vineyards. The land is also the keeper of many pre-Colombian traditions. This horseback riding vacation begins in Salta know for its Spanish colonial architecture and Andean heritage. During this ride, riders will have time to visit crafts markets and excellent local wineries. Trails lead past the Diaguitas (people who live among the mountains) communties, the Seclantás, the spiritual home of the Salta poncho, the laid-back town of Molino, the tiny town of Angastaco (translation”Eagle of the Carob tree”) and the quaint San Carlos town. The lodging is primarily traditional hotels with one night camping.
Riders who desire to touch the skies will find the perfect ride in the Andes. Wilderness trails are flanked by the highest mountains in America, the Aconcagua (20,900 ft.) and the Mercedario (20,700 ft.). This uninhabited place can only be reached by horseback. The landscape varies from thick verdant shrubs to arid rugged stretches. You will ride to an altitude of 14,000 feet for breathtaking views. Riders have a choice of camping or country guesthouses.
Horseback Riding in Central Argentina
La Pampa region lies immediately west of Buenos Aires province. The landscape offers dunes, bushes, forests, plains and hills. The ride is based on a 7,000 acre ranch. Look for native deer, boars, rheas and birds. Riders can join gauchos with their herding. Argentine barbecues with wine and cheese tasting will be available.
Cordoba offers trails that combines tradition and incredible landscapes. Horseback riding occurs across wide open spaces. Riders stay in comfortable colonial estancia B & B’s. Capable Peruvian Paso are the trail horses. Meals are cooked by the estancia’s chef. In addition to trail riding, riders can enjoy folk music; visit a Peruvian Paso stud; and mingle with the local gauchos.
Riding across the Traslasierra Valley trail will take you across the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquía River. The region is located about 700 km (435 mi) northwest of the Buenos Aires. Inspired by Jesuits, the area boasts renown historic towns, wineries and olive oil plants. The region’s iconic buildings have provided inspiration to novelists.
Best months to ride in the North are November – March. Central: December, January and February. The evenings are chilly and rain is possible. South: December – March.