Frequently Asked Questions:
Horse riding expedition in the Andes Mountain Range
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 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.
The difficult is given for the conditions that the mountain shows us. The path is irregular and narrow in some sections. The activity is hard for geographical and weather difficulties. It’s possible find high temperatures, winds, snow, sun, rain and other inclement weather. You must be strong to cross all this situations and the lack of everyday conveniences.
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, these conditions raise the difficulty to a «difficult level», but 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 6 and 8 hours on horseback. The maximum altitude above sea level reached 4500 meters. We put the Andes crossing in the category «moderate difficulty».
5. Departure dates
The departure dates are between January and March. Before or after of that period, the weather in the mountain is ruder. Winds are strongest and it’s possible find snow on path. These situations difficult the normal develop of the activity, so it isn’t possible to do this expedition outside the dates specified.
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: 110 kg.
11. Where do we sleep?
The accommodation will be in igloo shape tents. You will need a sleeping bag of minus 10ºC. 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 (river, streams or springs) 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. Some days of the expedition, all the expeditionaries go and collect wood in the surroundings to make the fire which will warm us up.
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.
Asado: charcoal – grilled bovine meat.
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 or 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. Preparation of luggage
It isn’t necessary bring backpacks or bags.
We recommend you don’t wear backpacks or other elements that can be uncomfortable during the ride.
All the baggage that you don’t carry in the horse riding expedition can be save in our office. We return it you when the activity finishes. You can save the bags in your hotel too.
We will give you:
SADDLE BAGS: Here you have to put your personal elements, things that you will use during the day (sun glasses, sun cream, water, gloves, warm clothes, personal hygiene items, etc.). The things that you will put in the saddle bags will be easy access.
RESISTANT PLASTIC BAG, WITH THE RIDER NAME: Here you have to put the rest of the equipment like clothes, shoes, etc. (until 10 kg. per person). After prepare all the luggage and save it in a big special waterproof bag, this equipment will be carry by mules. It’s important know that the rider won’t be able to have access at this bag until the end of the day on horses.
The sleeping bags and blanket are saved apart. You don’t have to put that in the saddle bags or plastic bag.
18. Required documentation
Valid passport for foreigners
Permission for participants who are under 18 years old, if parents are not present.
19. 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.
20. Prices and bookings
The booking is by e-mail. It’s possible to do it until 30 days before to the departure date, but it’s better make it with more advance. This permit us help you with the equipment, answer all your doubts and coordinate details.
To confirm the booking it’s necessary make a deposit the 30% of the total rate. If you are outside of Argentina, you have to send money by Western Union (shipping charges will be paid by the sender). You can pay the 70% leftover in Mendoza, before to start with the activity.
We don’t accept credit cards.