Ride Overview - Calchaqui Valley
An amazing horseback riding vacation in northern Argentina! The region and particularly the Valle Calchaquí is the keeper of many secrets; pre-Colombian traditions still remain intact and native people who still practice traditional art and culture live there. Your vacation begins in Salta know for its Spanish colonial architecture and Andean heritage. Then a Peruvian Paso horse will carry you across one-of-a-kind landscapes to the home of the Gauchos for a chance to learn about their folklore and traditions. Your trails lead through the heart of the Valle Calchaquí known for rugged landscapes, striking red rock formations and high-altitude vineyards. Starting at the charming town of Cachi where the colonial architecture gives the feeling that time never passes by, you will have time to visit crafts markets and excellent local wineries. Your route continues those the communities called Diaguitas (people who live among the mountains)” – 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. In all of these towns, the Andean and colonial landscape boasts a captivating mark. The lodging is primarily traditional hotels with one night camping. Your equestrian vacation ends in the valley town of Cafayate, renown worldwide for its excellent wines. This horseback riding trip will leave you with an idea of the majestic beauty of the valley, the people and their ancestral traditions that you can only appreciate on horseback. An experience to stuff your mind with good memories and wonderful anecdotes to share!
“One of the trails we did was into the mountains, I would not even walk these trails and never ride on them on my own horses, but the Peruvian Pasos managed them like mountain goats, they were sure footed, fast and confident. I will remember that experience throughout my whole life!” R.N.
Ride Itinerary - Calchaqui Valley
You will be transferred from the Salta Airport to the downtown Solar de la Plaza Hotel. During your 30 minute drive, you will discover why Salta is called “The Pretty.” Upon arrival at the hotel, you may rest or walk around the city. After lunch at the Solar del Convento Restaurant, the guide can take you around the city until dinner at the traditional Peña Los Cardones Restaurant.
After a buffet breakfast at the Solar de la Plaza Hotel, your group will be transferred to the equestrian centre in La Casa de la Tradición. Your guides knows how important the connection between riders and horses is for making equestrian routes nicer so a good introduction to your horse is planned. First, your route will be reviewed. Then you will choose the horse that will be your trail companion. You will become acquainted with your mount by riding around La Casa de la Tradición. After lunch in the main country house of Estancia La Casa de la Tradición, you will return to Salta by bus and have the afternoon free to continue exploring Salta. Dinner and lodging will be at the Solar de la Plaza Hotel.
After breakfast, you will be transferred through the Cuesta del Obispo to the picturesque historic town of Cachi. You will spend the day riding around this town which boasts narrow cobbled streets and colonial style houses built entirely with native materials – cactus wood, adobe and rustic floors. A menu of northern Argentinian cuisine will be offered at the Molino de Cachi Restaurant. In the afternoon, you will go on a tour around Cachi in search of folklore, traditions and crafts. Afterwards, you will go to La Merced del Alto hotel located on the outskirts of town for dinner and lodging.
Almost surely, the day will be sunny as you are transferred across the moving landscape of the Nevado de Cachi Hill. Your group will then mount up to ride to Seclantás, a town in the centre of the Valles Calchaquíes. This is where the the fight for Argentine Independence took place and the Inca ruins bear witness to the ancient inhabitants of these lands. Your ride will stop to have lunch in the vicinity of the legendary National Highway 40, which connects the south to the north of Argentina along the Andean mountain range. The trail continues over the Camino de los Artesanos (Craftsmen Road) to arrive at Seclantás. Your ride’s logistics team will be waiting for your group with the camp set up. You will spend the night at the camp and share dinner. Here you will really feel part of nature!
Today’s breakfast will include homemade bread and jams prepared by the logistics team. After breakfast, you will continue your equestrian route through the Valles Calchaquíes. Along the way , you will marvel at the endless landscapes, rivers, valleys and hills; picture postcards that will be treasured in your memories. Mid-day, your group will stop on the Brealito River banks for a light lunch. Upon returning to the route, your sunset destination will be will Molinos. Your lodging will be the house of the last Realist Governor, Nicolás Severo Isasmendi. A big colonial house that maintains its spirit and remodeled with a respect of its essence. At dinner time, you will be lavished with traditional Spanish colonial food (criolla).
After breakfast, your Calchaquí River trial will head to the quaint town of Angastaco, well-known for green vegetation sprinkled across the sandy soil and great variety of vineyards. A picnic lunch will be served at the La Angostura Ranch. Your lodging will be near the town. A camp will be set up by the Logistics Team. Around the campfire, your group will be able to share stories and anecdotes before retiring for the night. Sharing rides and the camp strengthens ties!
After a breakfast of home-made bread and traditional jam, your trail will lead you across beautiful landscapes to lunch in La Viñita. With our energies renewed, you will continue crossing quebradas and hills to pass through a tiny town with very few inhabitants called San Lucas. Your route concludes in San Carlos. Your group will be transferred by bus to the Patios de Cafayate Hotel for a sunset dinner and lodging. Cafayate is the most important town in the Valles Calchaquíes. The climate is favorable for torrontés (fruity white wine) wine production. Here you will continue to discover nature’s mysteries through the light in your soul!
During breakfast at Patios de Cafayate Hotel, your group can enjoy the peace surrounding this place. After riding across the vineyards, you will have lunch in a well-known winery, visit its facilities and taste a popular wine. In the afternoon, you will continue to ride experiencing the people’s kindness with tourists, the beautiful colonial architecture and the predominantly green and red landscapes. At night, your group will be transferred to the hotel for dinner and lodging.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Salta City’s Airport.
*Itinerary can be changed due to unforeseen circumstances.
Ride Details - Calchaqui Valley
Dates: January 1st – 9th, February 2nd – 9th, March 1st – 8th, April 12th – 19th, May 17th – 24th, June 14th – 21st, July 12th – 19th, August 16th – 23rd, August 30th – September 6th, September 13th – 20th, October 4th – 12th, October 18th – 25th, November 1st – 8th, November 15th – 22nd, November 29th – December 6th, December 13th -20th
Riding ability: ADVANCED Able to trot and long canters in open spaces. Comfortable with narrow mountain trails and crossing rivers. Confident with leading your horse along mountain trails.
Daily Riding hours: 4 – 6
Horses: Peruvian Paso
Saddles: Gaucho Saddles
Group size: 4 – 10
Weight Restriction: 250 lbs/110 kg
Solar de la Plaza Hotel (2 nights),
La Merced del Alto Hotel,
Patios de Cafayate Hotel (2 nights)
Hotel Hacienda de Molinos
Campamento Ampascachi – Tents are set up and maintained by the Ampascachi logistics team. The campsite consists of dorm tents with cots and sleeping bags, dining shelters with chairs, tables and silverware, toilette tents with chemical toilets and hot water ers. At Ampascachi, you will provided you with body hygiene kits and the necessary equipment such as sleeping bags. In this type of accommodation, guests might have to share the tent with other people.
Price: $3,145.00 per person, double occupancy $297.00 single supplement
*Additional small group fees may apply.
**Prices are based on the USD/EURO exchange rate and will be fixed at your final payment.
Includes: 6 nights lodging, 5 riding days, horse, tack, guide, all meals
Not included: airfare, transfers to and from the airport to the hotel (150 euros round trip)
Calchaqui Valley: Gallery