1. What is so special about riding tours?
On a riding tour you have the opportunity to actively participate in a sport rather than just passively sitting in a car or on a raft floating down a river. You have the control of the situation and must act according to it. Horses allow you in a wonderful way to reach the real heart of a country and most of local people love horses and their riders. In a horse riding tour you will also discover the pleasure of the unique partnership between a horse and rider.
2. What level of riding is required?
A specific riding skill is NOT necessary to realize the Andes´ crossing on horseback, you don't need any previous instruction or practice.
Our horseback riding trips have been designed for all members of the public (expert or beginner). Our horses are tame, calm and they are used to mountainous paths.
3. Physical conditions
It doesn't matter how athletic you are, you need to be in a good health condition, so that you can enjoy a 10-days expedition in direct contact with nature, far away from daily comfort or commodities (For example: It is necessary to mount and get off a horse many times a day, sleep in tents etc.)
The land we will cross shows permanent irregularities as for example crossing of rivers, ascents and descents through narrow and steep paths. This is not a difficulty for the horses, as theses same horses are mountain horses who are used to the mountains climbs.
The days vary between 4 and 9 hours on horseback. The maximum altitude above sea level reached 4500 meters. We put the Andes crossing in the category "moderate difficulty".
5. How can I prepare myself for a riding holiday?
This is not necessary, but if you want to, you can take some lessons near your home. Try to make the horse respond to your orders during trail riding or in the arena.
6. Climate and temperatures
Concerning the temperatures during summer time, you have to take into account that it is common to reach -5º C at an altitude higher than 3000 meters at night (even with good weather conditions).
It might happen during the horse riding trip that we have bad weather with strong winds, cold air mass, snow and rain storms.
During the sunny days, the maximum temperatures at an altitude under 3000 meters can reach 30ºC. It is necessary to carry solar protection and a hat with wide brims.
7. Will I feel out of place if I travel on my own?
Off course not. Many of our guests come alone and they soon find friends in the group (usually 8 to 15 people). After all, these are people who have common interests: they love horses and have a great spirit of adventure.
More over, our customers have the possibility to have a private expedition with their own private group.
8. What are the ages of participants?
Adults of any age can participate as long as they are fit. In general terms most riders are between 20 to 60 years old.
9. Can children participate?
To be able to take part in a ride, children need a certain weight, strength, physical and psychic endurance to handle a horse all day long. Some rides suit better young riders than others. The minimum age required is 12 years. The minors should be accompanied by their parents or a tutor during the whole expedition.
10. About the overweight
Maximum body weight admitted for the riders: 100kg.
11. Where do we sleep?
The accommodation will be in igloo shape tents. You will need a sleeping bag of minus 15ºC. You
don't need any insulating mattress as we will use the traditional saddle of the "gaucho" -the "recado" - made up of several layers of material, leather and skin of sheep which we use as a comfortable mattress.
Some people prefer sleeping outdoors, (outside the tent), which is a wonderful idea to enjoy the stars and serenity of the night.
There are two important conditions to choose a good place for camping. There must be water and pasture for the horses. We try to choose a nice place, protected from the wind, which often blows very strongly in open places, between the mountains. Every day all the participants of the expedition go and collect wood in the surroundings to make the fire which will warm us up and allow us to cook the dinner.
13. The night
At nightfall we start the fire. We sit around the campfire to warm us up, and we start telling anecdotes and urban legends typical from the region. We pass the mate around and soon the dinner will be served. We recommend you to carry warm clothes as temperatures at night can be very low.
Then it is time to sleep, peace falls slowly over the camp.
14. The meals
For breakfast we offer "mate", homemade bread and toasts, "dulce de leche"(caramel spread) and fruit jam, tea, coffee, milk, cookies and crackers.
Lunches are light, because we must continue riding after eating. We prepare cold cuts and cheese sandwiches; salami, ham and other cold meat nibbles. Tuna fish or mackerel, olives, homemade bread, mayonnaise, fruits, and juice.
Suppers are abundant and comforting, charcoal-grilled "asado" or chicken, pasta, rice, salads of lettuce and tomato, homemade bread, vegetable soups, fruits from the season, wine from Mendoza and juice.
The "Asado": Asado is cuts of meat, usually beef, which are cooked on a grill (parrilla) or open fire.
Asado is quite popular in the Pampa region of South America, and it is the traditional dish of Argentina.
Sometimes these are served on a coal-heated brasero. Then costillas or asado de tira (ribs) are served. Next comes vacío (flank steak), matambre and possibly chicken and chivito (baby goat). An asado also includes bread, a simple mixed salad of, for instance, lettuce, tomato and onions, or it could be accompanied with verdurajo (grilled vegetables), a mixture made of potatoes, corn, onion and eggplant cooked on the parrilla and seasoned with olive oil and salt. Wine, soda and other beverages are common. Dessert is usually fresh fruit.
15. I have a special diet.. Can I participate to the horse riding trip?
During our trip we prepare meals which are varied. If you are vegetarian, just let us know and we will prepare meals without meat. If you have any other special diets, you will have to advise us in advance.
16. Facilities during the horseback riding trip
The places we go through are inhabited and wild, far from any kind of civilization. During the trip we
won't find any bathrooms nor refuges.
The campsites will be set up in place protected by the wind and where we will find streams from melted snow and crystalline water, pure and very cold and small springs called "vertientes".
17. Suitable clothes I need to take
- Wide-brimmed hat1 wind stopper jacket
- Warm clothes, 1 sweater/ 1 polar jacket Thermal underwear, long underwear or cotton leggings
- Wool Cap and gloves (like ski gloves)
- Leather gloves to mount
- Warm Sleeping bag (-15ºC)
- 2 Trousers (comfortable for riding) like the gaucho bombacha and if the weather is cold you can carry warm underwear.
Don't use jeans as they are hard and in low temperatures they make you feel cold
- 2 long-sleeve shirts
- 5 o 6 pairs of socks 2 t-shirts
- Trekking shoes or sneakers (riding boots preferable)
- Comfy shoes for after riding
- Gaiters to moun
- A blanket which you will use to pad the saddle and to warm you up during the night
Suggested personal gear:
- Personal medicine
- 1 plastic bottle or a water bottle
- Flashlight and batteries
- Sun glasses. Eye drops (for persons who are sensitive or allergic to the dust)
- Sun protective cream (factor 30 or more), moisturizing cream, protective lipstick, milking cream in case of chapped
- Elements for personal hygiene (hand towel, soap, toothbrush, towelettes, etc.)
- Camera photos!!
- Do Not bring a watch
18. What should I take with me on the horse?
You should not wear a backpack or hanging things since you can feel uncomfortable throughout the trip.
Each person will be provided with saddle bags to keep personal belongings, a poncho made of vinyl material, which has two main functions: to protect you in case of rain storms and as blanket to cover up the sleeping bag at night. It is important to take a bag to leave in storage with clean clothes for the return and another bag (preferable duffel bag) to keep the personal gear transported by mule. (15 kilos per person). The bag must be resistant as the packsaddle can damage it. You will also have to be careful with sharp or fragile elements that will be transported in those bags.
19. Required Documentation
- ID Card.
- Valid passport for foreigners
- Permission for participants who are under 18 years old, If parents are not present
20. Are there any additional costs?
The expedition includes horses, saddle, guide, accommodation, all meals and services specified in the program, so that there
won't be any not additional costs during the horseback riding. The traveling costs to and from Mendoza are not included.
21. Accommodation in hotels and tents
Accommodation will be in refuge, hotel or tents. The first night will be in refuge and the last one in a mountain hostel. Rooms will be shared among the people of the expedition. The refuge and the hostel are provided with bathrooms with hot water and only the hostel will provide you with sheets and towels. The other nights of the expedition will be spent in igloo tents or outdoors. These are 3 to 4 men tents. We
don't have any double or single tents.
22. Prices and bookings
The booking will take effect with a deposit of 30% of the total price; you will pay the rest once you arrive in Mendoza. The price is expressed in Argentinean pesos. The cheaper price is reached with a group of 8 or more, but with a smaller group, you can do the same trip but the fees will change. Please consult the fees