Horseback riding holidays are getting more and more popular among tourists and within the different activities that the equestrian tourism branch offers. Year after year, the number of people who decide to explore different places on horseback in their holidays is growing. So you can enjoy nature, animals, beautiful landscapes, live cultural experiences and meet the locals.
What is equestrian tourism?
Within the equestrian tourism, we differentiate two types: horseback riding and horse tourism. The first involves horseback riding on paths, trails, sidewalks or simply through the open green that riders ride along on their horses during their organised holidays. This group of activities offers a wide range of options for your vacations on horseback. The second, horse tourism, can be understood as scheduled visits to livestock facilities, equestrian shows and exhibitions.
In this article, we focus on riding tours that fulfil the desire to ride in nature and explore other cultures and new places in foreign countries.
Carrying out activities with a horse is what distinguishes equestrian tourism from any other type of tourism. The horse carries us to special and inhospitable places, we climb up mountains, cross rivers and valleys on horseback, in different seasons of the year.
It is important to explain that horseback riding for two or three hours one day is not considered to be a riding holiday; a riding holiday, to be considered as such must embrace at least two days with an overnight stay.
Another peculiarity is that it requires a specific organisation: safe and identified trails with previously organised stops where to rest, get hydrated and food and stay overnight in a comfortable place in good conditions.
Sustainability and benefits of equestrian tourism
Trail riding on horseback is a type of sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism and helps with the restoration of paths and trails and to improve the cultural and natural heritage in remote areas.
Equestrian tourism contributes to the development of rural areas and complements rural tourism in general. In addition, a wider range of touristic offers gives more opportunities to small businesses in the area, which is important for them to not depend solely on the high season in that area.
Argentina as a destination for horse riding holidays
One of the reasons why Argentina is a favourite destination to explore on horseback is the wide range of landscapes within the same country. You can find many interesting tourist destinations, among them: the seven-coloured hill, the Perito Moreno glacier, the Iguazu waterfalls, the mountain range in Cordoba, vineyards in Mendoza or the Andes mountain range. Wherever you go horseback riding, Argentina offers different scenery for your eyes.
Another important reason to go horseback riding in Argentina is the long equestrian culture in this country. Riding in Argentina allows you to discover the unwavering link between gauchos and horses and their customs that have remained intact for centuries. The way they dress has not gone out of style either: ponchos, boots, berets and loose trousers are still typical in the traditions of the Gauchos.
The comfort of riding a Peruvian Paso horse
Argentina has even more to offer than its spectacular scenery, especially for riders: The experience to ride a Peruvian Paso horse.
This horse breed is the result of evolution and the human-directed selection for the breeding during more than 500 years, with the aim to obtain a horse that is comfortable to ride on long distances. The background of the Peruvian horses is the Spanish horse (origen del PCC) that arrived on the American continent with the Spanish conquerors.
The result of this process is the Peruvian Paso horse that has developed certain mechanics of movement, its typical ambling gait is the ‘paso llano’, which allows it to cover long distances rapidly while other breeds need to move in the trot or canter to reach the same speed. This gait is smooth, it does not affect the rider’s back or pelvis and makes it possible for elderly people to get back into the saddle.
This smooth gait is the result of the “broken ambling gait”. The horse moves its lateral leg pairs at the same time and first sets back on the ground the hind leg and then the front leg of the same side and then repeats it on the other side so that always two or three legs are on the ground. This gait is the paso llano, an isochronic four-beat cadence, the centre of gravity does not move up and down but rocks smoothly from side to side.
This dynamic of movement of the Peruvian Paso horses makes it possible for riders to cover more than 50 km per day in a very comfortable way for horses and riders as they do not bounce in the saddle.
Destinations for your riding vacations in Argentina
If you are looking for a trail riding tour in Argentina on a Peruvian Paso horse, then Ampascachi Horse Riding Holidays will fulfil your expectations. They are professional tour operators with their own reliable logistics and excellent attention to their clients. They breed, start and train their own Peruvian Paso horses with love and professionalism applying the ISES principles to obtain the best results and to be able to provide special experiences to riders.
Their equestrian centres are in the Province of Cordoba in central Argentina and in the Province of Salta in the northern part of this marvellous country.
Riding programs in central Argentina
Ampascachi offers innovative and comfortable programs: one is to learn to ride and then explore the mountains in Cordoba on horseback while you stay at an old Estancia that still conserves its colonial beauty. It is the ideal place from where to discover the surrounding area or from where you start the outstanding trail ride that takes you from the Traslasierra Valley to the mountain range Los Gigantes within the province of Cordoba.
Trail riding in northern Argentina
The north offers a wider range of possibilities. Two of the tours invite you to explore one of the valleys in the Province of Salta (Lerma Valley and Calchaqui Valley). In the Calchaqui Valley we find high altitude vineyards and charming villages and small towns like Cafayate and Cachi. If you are an advanced rider, you can choose a longer tour that takes you from the Lerma Valley and through the Calchaqui Valley. The fourth tour gives you the opportunity to discover the imposing Quebrada de Humahuaca on horseback which was declared a World Heritage by the UNESCO. You will ride to Purmamarca where you can observe the amazing seven-coloured hill.
Trail riding tours for Ladies only
For all women who like the adventure and want to discover ancient rites and traditions of foreign cultures and travel the world on horseback, Ampascachi offers equestrian programs that focus on the cultural diversity in Argentina. The destination of these tours are Jujuy and Salta, two provinces in the north.
You can choose between the “Pachamama“ (Mother Earth) tour in August and the “Carnival in Tilcara” in February. Both involve discovering ancient rites and ritual of the native tribes in northern Argentina while you ride in a mountain scenery that seems to be a dream.
Ritual de Pachamama en Tilcara
For those riders who enjoy adventure and horses, Ampascachi designed horse expeditions where you sleep in tents and the entire luggage and equipment is carried by mules. These expeditions focus on teamwork, you carried out the tasks together with your fellow riders and the guides and you are given the opportunity to discover profoundly every region.
You are invited to discover the tours with Ampascachi in Argentina in your next riding holiday. Visit their website and find out more about the Equestrian Programs of Ampascachi Horse Riding Holidays.