MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS

Argentina - Ampascachi Trails Nothern Region
Traverse the breathtaking Calchaqui Valley (Valles Calchaquíes in Spanish) on horseback, renowned for its striking contrasts in color and unique geography, ranging from mountain deserts to subtropical forests.

BOOK HOLIDAYS

We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £2,040 €2,395

Horse Riding Holidays Argentina – Ampascachi Trails Nothern Region

DATES & PRICES top

Ampascachi Trails Nothern Region: Prices 2024

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
Choose your currency

Salta & The Lerma Valley – 8 nights with 5 days of riding

  • $2,987
    • GBP: 2,340
    • EUR: 2,749
    per person sharing and based on a group size of 3 or more riders. For smaller groups, there is a supplementary cost.
  • Single Supplement – $268
    • GBP: 210
    • EUR: 247
    not always possible for a single room and subject to availability.

The Lerma Valley to Calchaquies Valley – 9 nights with 6 days of riding

  • $3,306
    • GBP: 2,590
    • EUR: 3,043
    per person sharing and based on a group size of 3 or more riders. For smaller groups, there is a supplementary cost.
  • Single Supplement – $325
    • GBP: 255
    • EUR: 299
    not always possible for a single room and subject to availability.

The Calchaqui Valley – 9 nights with 6 days of riding

  • $3,038
    • GBP: 2,380
    • EUR: 2,796
    per person sharing and based on a group size of 3 or more riders. For smaller groups, there is a supplementary cost.
  • Single Supplement – $325
    • GBP: 255
    • EUR: 299
    not always possible for a single room and subject to availability.

Quebrada de Humanhuaca – 7 nights with 5 days riding

  • $2,604
    • GBP: 2,040
    • EUR: 2,397
    per person sharing and based on a group size of 3 or more riders. For smaller groups, there is a supplementary cost.
  • Single Supplement – $377
    • GBP: 295
    • EUR: 347
    not always possible for a single room and subject to availability.

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our Terms & Conditions for full details.

Included – All riding, guiding, accommodation, meals, soft drinks and airport transfers.

Excluded – Flights, alcohol & tips.

Ampascachi Trails Nothern Region: Dates 2024

Every week arriving on a Sunday from 1st April to 31st December.

Getting There
Flight to Salta airport

Transfer
Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the ride are included.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

Salta & The Lerma Valley
Experience the charm of Salta, a province in northwestern Argentina, and its capital city of the same name. Your adventure begins in Chicoana, at an equestrian center where you will meet your companions for the tour: the elegant Peruvian Paso horses.
Ride through the Lerma Valley, traversing a variety of landscapes that offer wild scenery and a stunning array of natural colors. At the Estancia in La Junta, owned by the Diaz family, you will have the opportunity to help the gauchos with their daily rural tasks, visit historically significant cave paintings, observe condors, and enjoy the native flora and fauna.
One day is dedicated to venturing to a remote location accessible only by horse, where you will camp overnight in the wilderness, fully immersed in nature.
As the riding tour concludes, explore various destinations in the Calchaqui Valley, taking in the spectacular landscapes and visiting high-altitude vineyards and enchanting towns such as Cafayate and Cachi, where you will spend the night. The journey back to Salta via the mountains of Cuesta de Obispo offers out-of-this-world scenery.

The Lerma Valley to Calchaquies Valley
Discover the Valley of Lerma and the Calchaquies Valley on horseback. The Valley of Lerma is a vast, fertile area imbued with the scent of wild herbs and surrounded by charming old colonial houses. It features a mild, humid climate with a dry season from May to November, and sits at an average altitude of 1,100 metres.
At the northern end of the Valley of Lerma lies the city of Salta, while to the south stretches the breathtaking Calchaquies Valley. This valley is flanked by stunning mountain ranges and is renowned for its rich vineyards.

The Calchaqui Valley
The Calchaqui Valley is renowned for its striking contrasts in colour and unique geography, ranging from mountain deserts to lush vineyards. Located 90 km from Salta, this ravine is a region of remarkable scenic beauty, featuring striking reddish rock formations and designated as a managed natural reserve. This riding route takes you through the heart of the valley, from Cachi to Cafayate.

Quebrada de Humanhuaca
Quebrada de Humahuaca is a narrow mountain valley celebrated for its dramatic rock formations, vibrant hills, and indigenous villages. The multi-colored slopes of the Seven Colours Hill (Cerro de los Siete Colores) rise majestically above the colonial village of Purmamarca. On this trail, you’ll explore sections of the valley accessible only on horseback or by foot, witnessing the stunning transformation of colors with the rising and setting sun.

THE RIDING top

Horses – Peruvian Paso – known for their unique gait, the paso llano, which is exceptionally comfortable and has earned the breed the nickname “Cadillac of Horses.” Similar to the Icelandic tölt, the paso llano is a running walk that is incredibly smooth. Most of the trail riding is conducted at a walk or paso llano to fully appreciate these remarkable horses. Your hosts have over 20 years of experience breeding Peruvian Pasos, bringing immense expertise and passion to their care and training.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to advanced riders.

Tack – Traditional Argentine and Peruvian saddles are used, featuring a basic frame topped with a sheepskin for comfort. The bridles are crafted from simple leather and equipped with short-shanked pelham bits, ensuring the horses respond easily to gentle cues.

Weight Restriction – 100 kg /15 stone 10 / 220 lbs

Group Size – 4 – 16

ACCOMMODATION top

Accommodation varies depending on the chosen route. Some nights will be spent in comfortable hotels, offering double or twin rooms with private bathrooms. These hotels range from 3 to 4 stars, with potential upgrade options available for an additional fee—please inquire for details.
Certain trails include camping nights. Camps are equipped with dome tents featuring cot beds and sleeping bags. Dining tents with chairs and tables are also provided, along with chemical toilets. However, washing facilities may not be available every night. You will likely share a tent with another rider unless you opt to pay extra for a single tent.
While camping, breakfasts will feature yogurt, cereals, coffee, tea, breads, and jams. At hotels, you’ll enjoy a variety of options from their buffet selection.
Lunches are typically light picnic-style meals, including water and soft drinks, designed to keep you comfortably active for the afternoon rides.
Dinners are usually three-course affairs, even when camping. Your camp chef will prepare meals that may include regional specialties. At hotels, the resident chef will serve typical local cuisine. Soft drinks and wine are included with the meals.

Horse Riding Holidays like Ampascachi Trails, are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays Argentiana.

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Salta & The Lerma Valley
Day 1
You will be met on arrival at Salta airport and transferred 30mins to your downtown 3-star hotel. If you arrive in the morning, you can rest a little before lunch and then walk through the city to discover the historical centre and museums with your guide. Dinner will be taken in one of the many Penas, the Pena Los Cardones which is a traditional place with folklore music playing whilst you dine. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 2
After breakfast you’re transferred to the equestrian centre to meet your horses. Matching horse and rider is important, so you’ll have the chance to try different horses and choose the one you feel most comfortable on. You’ll then head out for a 2-hour ride around the land belonging to the centre in which you can get used to your horse, tack and style of riding. After lunch at the equestrian centre, you’ll be transferred back to the city for a free afternoon to explore or rest. Dinner will be taken at your hotel.

Day 3
An early breakfast for your first full day of riding. You’ll be transferred to the little town of Guachipas to meet your horses and set out into the rugged landscape. Stop for lunch at Las Juntas, a dwelling with some important cave paintings. Continue riding to the estancia of the Diez family – a cattle establishment with amazing views, cave paintings and wild birds such as condors. Spend the night in cabins at the estancia with a home-cooked meal prepared by the family and listen to their stories.

Day 4
A day to explore the estancia on horseback and look for native fauna. Perhaps you’ll find condor nests or visit caves to view Pre-Colombian paintings. After lunch out on the trail you’ll return to the estancia for another evening with the family.

Day 5
Today you can get involved in some of the rural tasks with the estancia staff – perhaps driving the cattle to other meadows or corralling them for vaccination. After a morning of new experiences and learning about country life you’ll have lunch with the family and gauchos. In the afternoon you set off on a trail to Sajama, riding through valleys and quebradas, leaving civilisation behind you. The route can only be accessed on horseback so your logistics team will follow a different route to ensure camp is set up for you when you arrive. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 6
Awake to a beautiful dawn in the Lerma Valley before riding a trail through magnificent landscapes back to the Diez family estancia. Arrive in time for a traditional asado (barbecue) lunch. The afternoon is free to enjoy walks, go swimming in the river or assist the gauchos. In the evening you are transferred to Cafayate to spend the night at a hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before heading to bed.

Day 7
After breakfast in the hotel, head out to visit a winery. Cafayate is renowned for its top quality wines and there are many vineyards. Stop for lunch at one of the wineries to taste the special varieties grown in the north. In the afternoon you explore Cafayate with its colonial architecture, main plaza and church. Dinner and overnight at the same hotel.

Day 8
After breakfast you have another day to discover new towns in the Valles Calchaquies, such as San Carlos, Angastaco and Molinos before eventually reaching Cachi. Cachi is an incredible town surrounded by hills with its adobe houses which are painted white to reflect the sun. Have lunch at the Aujero restaurant which serves traditional dishes of the Calchaqui valley. Dinner and overnight at a hotel.

Day 9
After breakfast you are transferred to Salta airport for your onward flight.

The Lerma Valley to Calchaquies Valley

Day 1
You will be met upon arrival at Salta airport and transferred to your 4 star hotel in downtown Salta. This afternoon you are free to rest or explore the town. In the evening you will have dinner at a typical Pena, where guitarists play traditional folklore music whilst you dine on regional food and wine. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 2
After breakfast you are taken to the equestrian centre to meet your Peruvian Paso horse and guides. The relationship between rider and horse is important so you’ll have the chance to try a few different horses so that you can choose the one which suits you best. Once everyone is happy you’ll set out to get to know your horse and the style of riding on a two hour ride around the grounds of the equestrian centre.
A typical criollo lunch will be served at the centre and then in the afternoon you are transferred to the town of Chicoana where you overnight in a charming boutique hotel. After checking-in, head out to visit the main square and grab a snack from the local bakery before meeting for dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 3
After breakfast you’ll be transferred to meet your horses, either at the equestrian centre or at San Pedro Chapel. Start your trail and ascend uphill to 2400m from where you will feel you can touch the clouds. Stop for a light ‘campero’ lunch whilst enjoying the view of contrasting landscapes and then continue your ride to Quebrada de Escoipe. Here you will leave the horses and transfer to Chicoana to overnight. Dinner will be taken in a traditional Criollo restaurant.

Day 4
After breakfast, you are transferred back to Quebrada de Escoipe to be reunited with your horses. Set off riding through the heart of the canyon, surrounded by multi-coloured mountains. Follow horse trails to reach Isonza, a little village lost in time. Stop for lunch and then continue riding along sandy rivers and ravines around Isonza. In the late afternoon you reach the house of the Tolaba family where your transfer vehicle is waiting to take you to Cachi. Dinner and overnight at a 3 star hotel.

Day 5
After breakfast you’re transferred to the Tin Tin Line where a dirt road begins. This perfect straight line was made by the Incas and crosses Los Cardones national park. Your horses will be waiting here for you. Follow that road for a few kilometres and then ride along a dried-up riverbed – one of many running through the Calchaqui Valley. At midday, stop for a light picnic lunch under a tree.
In the afternoon you continue riding across the Calchaqui river to reach the town of Cachi where you spend a second night at your hotel. Dinner will be taken at a restaurant that serves typical food.

Day 6
Non-riding day as you explore Cachi. Walk around the cobbled streets and admire the colonial architecture of the main plaza, central church and cabildo, with the mountains as a backdrop. Visit the Pio Pablo Diaz archaeological museum to see important pieces of aboriginal culture, archaeological ruins and handicraft works. You will also visit a local winery at Finca la Paya or Bodega Isasmendi where they make artisanal wines. Have lunch in a restaurant. In the afternoon continue to explore Cachi and visit Cachi Adentro – the rural area surrounding the town where you can see local communities of indigenous origin who still farm for a living. Later dinner is served at a typical Cachi restaurant, before returning to your hotel for another night.

Day 7
After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, you continue your riding trail to the town of Seclantas in the heart of the Vallee Calchaquies. Along the route you’ll see Inca ruins which give testimony to the many inhabitants of these lands. Stop for lunch near the mythical national route 40 which journeys the length of Argentina from south to north along the Andean cordillera.
After lunch you follow the Road of the Artisans to reach the town of Seclantas in the late afternoon. Visit this traditional village and head to Finca Montenieva, a lovely farm outside the town where you will stay and have a delicious homemade dinner with the farmers.

Day 8
After breakfast you continue your tour through the Calchaqui valley with its unique landscapes. At midday stop for a light lunch at the Brealito river. Afterwards, ride along canyons until reaching the Brealito lagoon and then continue to Molinos. There is time to visit the church where the remains of Isasmendi (the last Spanish royal governor in Salta) lay before heading out for dinner.

Day 9
After breakfast you head off to explore the Calchaqui valley by vehicle. Head to San Carlos where you visit local farmers who raise animals and grow crops following ancient traditions. It was in San Carlos that the troops gathered to fight for independence. Continue your journey to Cafayate where you arrive around midday and visit some bodegas. The wines produced in Cafayate are internationally renowned for their quality and you can try different wines.
After lunch, explore the fascinating town of Cafayate including places like the canyons Quebrada de las Conchas and Garganta del Diablo, the amphitheatre and rock formations like El Sapo (the frog) that were shaped by the wind.
In the evening you head back to Salta and your hotel for a final dinner and overnight.

Day 10
After breakfast you’ll be transferred to Salta airport for your onward flight.

The Calchaqui Valley

Day 1
You will be met on arrival at Salta airport and driven c. 30mins to your 4-star hotel in the downtown area of the city. Depending on your arrival time you may have time for lunch, to rest or explore the city a little with your guide. Dinner will be at a traditional Pena restaurant (with live folk music and dances) before retiring to your hotel for the evening.

Day 2
After breakfast at the hotel, you are transferred to the equestrian centre to meet the horses. You will get the chance to try a few different horses to find the one that suits you best, before heading out on a short ride of c. 2 hours around the equestrian centre.
After lunch within the grounds, you’ll transfer to the town of Chioana to check into a boutique hotel. Visit the main square and sample a snack from the local bakery before heading for dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 3
After breakfast you will be transferred to the small town of Cachi and will have time to explore the cobbled streets and typical colonial houses which are built of cactus wood and adobe with rustic floors. Try local food at a typical Salta restaurant for lunch and then take a tour to discover the secrets, traditions and crafts of Cachi. Dinner and overnight at a 3-star hotel.

Day 4
Your horses will have been transported to the area the day before so that you can set off riding towards the town of Seclantas, in the centre of the Calchaquies valley. This town is where the fight for Argentine Independence took place and the Inca ruins bear witness to the inhabitants of these lands. Have lunch in the vicinity of the legendary National Highway 40 which connects the north and south of Argentina alongside the Andes Mountain range. Continue your ride over the Camino de los Artesanos (craftsmen road) to arrive at Seclantas where the team are waiting for you. You’ll have dinner and overnight in a comfortable mountain cabin.

Day 5
Continue your ride through the Calchaquies valley and appreciate the endless landscapes of rivers, valleys and hills. Stop for lunch beside the Brealito river and then continue to Molinos, arriving for sunset.
Spend the night in the house of the last elected governor by the Spanish crown, Nicolas Severo Isasmendi. It’s a big colonial house that was remodelled and converted into a hotel whilst still maintaining its spirit.

Day 6
Todays ride follows the Calchaqui river to Angastaco town, stopping for lunch at La Angostura ranch along the route. Angastaco town is renowned for its green vegetation which contrasts with the sandy soil, along with its wine production and great variety of vineyards. Continue riding until you reach Finca El Carmen just outside Angastaco – this finca produces delicious wines. Dinner and overnight at the finca.

Day 7
Continue your journey through the beautiful landscapes of the valley. Stop in Angastaco to visit the church and then ride deeper into the heart of Quebrada de Las Flechas until you reach La Vinita. The logistics team will have already set up camp for you so you can have dinner under the stars and head to your bed.

Day 8
After breakfast in camp you remount and head to San Carlos, riding past canyons and mountains, and a tiny village called San Lucas where only a few inhabitants now live. Your trail ends in San Carlos and you say farewell to your horses. Transfer to Cafayate to check into your 3-star hotel for a delicious dinner and overnight.

Day 9
After breakfast you will discover Cafayate which is the most important town in Valles Calchaquies. The climate is favourable for the torrontes grape which produces a fruity white wine. After visiting the vineyards you’ll have lunch at a well-known winery and taste this wine. Continue exploring the area in and around Cafayate in the afternoon, with its beautiful colonial architecture and green and red landscapes. Visit the ampitheatre, canyons of Quebrada de las Conchas and Garganta del Diablo as well as different rock formations like the Piedra del Sapo. At sunset you transfer back to Salta for a farewell dinner and overnight in a hotel.

Day 10
After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Quebrada de Humanhuaca

Day 1
On arrival at Salta airport you are transferred to your 4 star hotel. Time allowing you can explore the city a little or take some time to rest. If you arrive in time for lunch then your guide will take you to a typical restaurant with a varied menu.
In the evening you will have dinner at a typical Pena where local musicians will play classical guitars whilst you dine on regional produce.

Day 2
After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, you are transferred to the equestrian centre to meet your horses. The connection between riders and horses is important so there’ll be a chance to try different horses to choose the one you feel most comfortable with. Once everyone is happy you’ll head out on a two hour introductory ride around the equestrian centre to give you a chance to get to know your horse and the style of riding.
After your ride there’s a barbecue lunch (asado) at the equestrian centre and then you are transferred back to Salta. The rest of the afternoon is free to either relax or ask your guide to show you around the city. Dinner and overnight in your hotel.

Day 3
After an early breakfast you are transferred to El Volcan where the horses are waiting for you. Ride through the Quebrada with landscapes full of colours and geographical diversity. By midday stop for a light lunch and then continue your ride to Tumbaya where you can enjoy stunning views of the red-coloured mountains.
On arrival at Tumbaya the logistics team will transfer you and your horses to the town of Purmamarca to check into your hotel. Purmamarca, meaning desert town in the Aymara language, is a quaint pre-Hispanic town with a main square, town hall and church as well as an artisan market where you can shop for local crafts.
Dinner at your hotel in the evening.

Day 4
Today you’ll ride from Purmamarca past the Cerro de los Siete Colores (seven-coloured rainbow hill) and the red hills of Paseo de los Colorados which reflect the sunlight in all shades of red. In the evening you reach Tumbaya and will be transferred back to Purmamarca for dinner and to overnight.

Day 5
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer back to Tumbaya where the horses are waiting. Ride from there to El Porvenir to visit a local farmers market where they sell their agricultural products. Most people in this area are descended from indigenous ethnic groups. After a light lunch you ride back to Tumbaya on a different route and transfer back to Purmamarca for dinner.

Day 6
After breakfast at your hotel, you transfer back to the horses to ride to Tilcara, following historical paths through dazzling landscapes which leave you breathless. Ride up into the mountains to the Virgin of Copacabana shrine which is 3,000m above sea level. Stop for a light lunch and then continue riding to Tilcara. This is your longest day in the saddle.
In Tilcara you stay in a boutique four star hotel where you also have dinner.

Day 7
Spend the morning exploring the town where traditional native monuments intertwine with Hispanic cultures. It is not unusual to find monuments to honour Pachamama (Mother Earth) set up next to colonial churches. Have lunch in a local restaurant and then transfer to the beautiful town of Humahuaca. At sunset, you will be transferred back to Salta where you can visit the famous Balcarce Street for a farewell dinner at a typical restaurant. Overnight at a hotel.

Day 8
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

DESTINATION MAP top


Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

CHECK AVAILABILITY top

    Please use the message box below to provide additional and any other relevant information like your riding experience and for how many people.

    Also, if the above Holiday describes few different options for your Horse Riding Holiday in the area - please add a note on which choice you are referring to. Thank you.