Welcome to Argentina, a land of horses. These are ancient Inca trails. It is the ideal setting for an unforgettable trip. You will explore places you can only reach on horseback. The area has impressive landscapes and diversity of climates. From the tropical forests with crystal clear streams in the Lerma Valley, to the Calchaquí desert with its multicoloured mountains and the Cafayate Creek and its water and wind eroded hills, it’s all the home of the Andean condor.
Rate: $2,390.00-$2,885.00 USD per person in a shared room (Single Supplement: $195.00 USD)
***Rates are based on the size of the group: 6 Riders and more: $2,390.00 USD, 4-5 Riders: $2,640.00 USD, 2-3 Riders: $2,885.00 USD.
2023 Start dates include: March 19, May 21, July 2, Aug. 6, Sept. 17, Nov. 12
*Special date available year round based on request. Departures can easily be linked to other rides on offer in Argentina.
NOTE: Deduction for declining the Buenos Aires activities is $120.00 USD
- 8nights cabin/camping (some nights without toilet)
- 3 nights hotel
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary
- English speaking guide
- Horse and all tack
- Luggage transfer
- Camping equipment
- Extra day (Day 1) and visit to Buenos Aires, unless declined
- Salta airport transfers as well as BA hotel to local airport transfer
- Airfare (international and domestic)
- Airport transfers to BA Pistarini Airport
- Travel or Medical Insurance
- Drinks outside of meals
- Gratuities for the staff at the end of the stay
- Domestic airfare BA-Salta if taking the extra day
Day 1 - Arrive Buenos Aires (Optional - you may skip this portion and arrive on Day 2)
Arrive and check in midday to your hotel. Take some time to visit the city and learn about its icons: tango, Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada’s balcony, Eva Peron, etc. In the evening you might want to attend a tango show (optional) w/dinner and a tango lesson.
Night at hotel.
Day 2 - Arrive to Salta (this is Day 1 if you've opted out of a day to visit Buenos Aires)
After an early breakfast, you will transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Salta. Or, this is your arrival to Salta,
You will have a visit to the MAAM (Museum of High Altitude Archaeology) (closed Mondays). It recently opened to show the items found at an Incan human sacrifice site on top of the Llullaillaco volcano (18,000 ft). It holds the best preserved mummies worldwide.
Check in at your boutique hotel.
Welcome dinner with the group and your guide.
Day 3 - Start of the Ride
After breakfast, we will drive to meet the horses. The drive takes us along the Cuesta del Obispo with its breathtaking views and the Cardones National Park where you can usually spot guanacos (Andean camelidae). When we reach Piedra del Molino (11,000ft) the horses are waiting for us and we will rest with lunch nearby.
The ride begins from this high altitude location from which will ride down through a small range of hills to Penas Blancas (9,075 ft) before sunset to spend the night in a cabin with beds. On the way are herds of wild donkeys, descendants of the ones freed by the Spanish Conquistadors.
Overnight in a cabin with beds.
After breakfast we mount up - today we will ride the lifeline of this valley, as its' been for centuries. Along the way, we will see small houses made with mud as well as archeological remains of ancient settlements.
The ride takes us West until we reach the very steep Chilo slopes which divide two valleys. The view is magnificent and really magnifies the resplendence of nature. Lunch is in a dry river bed which is also a great place for canters - we will take full advantage!
We will stop to see ancient pictographs painted by local Indians centuries ago, as well as visit Isonza, a working ranch still living the ancient way. You learn firsthand the way they milk the goats, make cheese and grow their crops through centuries old techniques inherited from Inca times.
Today we ride toward Yaslaguala. Along the way this morning are the giant cactii. They surround us and set a spectacular stage as we explore and wind our way through this area.
After lunch, we ride to the town of Amblayo (8,085 ft) where will overnight. Along the way we will ride through archaeological areas where you can see pieces of painted pottery scattered around.
We have the unique agreement to be able to get off and view these items as long as we don't disturb, touch, or especially remove any of them. During the ride, you’ll marvel at the multicolored hills and giant cacti which are remarkable and are icons of the region.
Amblayo has only 150 citizens and its main means of transport is like your own for the ride - by horseback. It's a unique experience to have this level of intimacy of arriving on horseback to this tiny town with no motorized vehicles! It is renowned for its goat cheese.
Overnight in Amblayo in rooms with beds, bathrooms and hot water.
During this morning you have the chance to just relax and enjoy this picturesque town. Of particular interest might be a visit to its ancient chapel and its 17th century paintings brought from Peru.
In the afternoon, you will mount back up and ride toward the foothills of Sierra Pelada, the area where the “ancient ones” lived centuries ago.
Overnight at Amblayo again with a traditional goat barbecue dinner.
The riding today will provide a day full of contrasts. We will be crossing the Dead Lion range. This is an area where the desert gradually gives way to high altitude grasslands. It is the land of the magnificent condor!
When we reach approximately 6,600 ft, we will likely have the chance to see them!
We then begin our descent into the dense forest of the Lerma Valley and then and near sunset, you will arrive at El Churqui mountain camp with an energizing homemade meal.
Cabin accommodation with sleeping bags, toilet and cold running water.
Heading west today, we will cross the Dead Lion range again but now through narrow trails of the Enchanted Valley until we reach Ayuso at 8,250 ft. We will discover the home of a local family in a place that overlooks the Calchaqui Valley - truly unique and special!
The ancient mud bricks that make up the small house will take you back to a completely different time, a far cry from modern amenities and construction - but solidly built even to today.
Overnight in tents, toilet with cold running water available.
We’ve spent the last two days crossing the high mountains - today we will go around Cerro Bola (Ball Mountain). It is a perfect day for canters along the dry river beds of the Salado River!
Lunch will be in the shade of the ancient algarrobo trees before heading back to Ayuso.
Leaving Ayuso, we will ride through narrow creeks going far south into the Calchaqui Valleys toward our next stop at Rastrojitos (6,270 ft.). We have now moved into the Cafayate Creek which has rock formations that resemble the Grand Canyon, only on a smaller scale, and are the icon of the region.
At the Rastrojitos mountain shelter we will enjoy a typical meal of goat cooked in a mud oven - very traditional.
Overnight in tents, no bathroom available.
After breakfast, we will ride downhill towards the Las Conchas River. Some parts of our trail will be ridden very slowly as it is very steep - but very fun!
We have the chance today to see one of the best views in the Salta area - the termination of the Las Conchas River, where we end our ride and thank our horses before bidding them farewell at Puente Morales (4,290 ft).
Transfer to Salta, overnight at a boutique hotel and farewell dinner.
Transfer to Salta Airport