Horseback Riding and Trekking in Salta

Photo credit:  Fernando Escudero, Gaucho Trails

Photo credit: Fernando Escudero, Gaucho Trails

June 10, 2009

From our friends at Off the Radar

Venture next to Argentina’s Northwestern province of Salta to meet and travel with a wonderful group of like-minded friends and adventure travel tour operators who make up the members of ADOPTA, the local adventure travel trade association.

Begin in the provincial capital, a historic city with a mix of Hispanic and Creole roots, lodging at the convenient, simultaneously modern and classically designed Finca Valentina. Visit the light and sophisticated MAAM, the Museum of High Altitude and Archaeology, where you’ll be shocked by the 500 year old Incan children found mummified in 1999. Known as The Boy, The Maiden, and The Girl of Lightning, the three children were discovered atop the 22,000-foot, summit of Mount Llullaillaco, a volcano west of Salta near the Chilean border. Talk to Rafael Khul’s company EcoMountains about leading you trekking on Mount Llullaillaco and you can see for yourself where they were found: www.ecomountains.com.

Less strenuous trekking with Rafael in Alemania and the gorgeous Cafayate region is also possible, or try horseback riding with Fernando Escudero’s company, Gaucho Trails. Fernando’s rides, where local gauchos and evening guitar serenades are de rigueur, are available for novice and experienced riders and will guide you through Andean territory not accessible by other vehicles. Visit the mountain schools of Amblayo and Isonza and support the company’s school project undertaken in partnership with The Language Experience / Experiment Argentina by volunteering or through donations.

Perhaps the saving the best for last (we’ve always been partial to desert landscapes!) - don’t miss the chance to explore Argentina’s remote and breathtaking Puna, or “Antiplano.” The most extensive high plateau outside of Tibet, it stretches across portions of Chile, Boliva, Argentina and Peru and is dominated by active volcanoes. Fabricio Gilhardi’s company, Socompa has developed creative and original itineraries – offering a mix of strenuous trekking and camping trips to 4×4 journeys - to introduce you to this magical area. Enjoy the silence of this place that just one hundred years ago was unknown to western people, familiar only to the vicuñas, pumas and llamas, and a few nomadic families.

For More Information on the Companies We Met in Argentina:

Fabricio Ghilardi & Socompa: info@socompa.com
Finca Valentina: info@finca-valentina.com.ar
Fernando Escudero and Gaucho Trails: rides@gauchotrails.com
Rafael Khul and Eco Mountains: www.todowebhosting.com.ar
Quehumanque: infoargentina@quehumanque.com.ar
GrupoEpa and Pueblo Alto: www.grupoepa.com
Los Ciruelos: Alfredo Guzmán and Cristina Corte: losciruelos@patagoniaexpress.com