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1.- Is it necessary to know how to ride a horse?
2.- Are there special rides for experienced riders?
3.- Can I go on my own?
4.- Are there age limits to book a horseback tour? 
5.- How long will we be active each day?
6.- Can I bring my own saddle?
7.- Are the ridings all year long? 
8.- What is the weather like?  
9.- Are there baths during the tour?
10.- What are the standard accommodations on the trip?
11.- Tell me about the meals. Can special requests be handled?
12.- Which is the required luggage and gear?
13.- Making your booking and payment 
14.- What is included in the trip price? 
15.- Are airline or bus tickets included?
16.- Can I make changes to a tour I am interested in?
17.- How do I get to the start of the trip? 
18.- What safety measures are taken?
19.- Which documents are needed to travel to Argentina?
20.- May the prices indicated fluctuate?
21.- How much should I tip the guide, driver, etc.?
22.- Tell me a little bit more about Pioneros

 

Answers:

1.- Is it necessary to know how to ride a horse?

These rides are suitable for riders with little experience or even people who have never ridden before. 
We assign horses according to each rider's preference. We have plenty of horses, some are more challenging while others are very easy to handle. They are sure footed as they are all born and raised in the area and used to mountainous terrain. The pace is slow with few trots and canters during most of the trail due to the terrain and allows to enjoy the scenery, the conversation, take pictures, etc.
Note: We have rides which are particularly geared to experienced riders, where you will be given a demanding horse and will have the opportunity for plenty of fast riding.


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2.- Are there special rides for experienced riders? 
We have rides which are particularly geared to experienced riders. You will be given a demanding horse and will have the opportunity for plenty of fast riding where the terrain allows it. Traveled distances are longer. We match the horse that best suits each rider's expectations as we aim at providing unforgettable vacations.

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3.- Can I go on my own?

Yes, of course. All of our holidays with fixed departure dates are absolutely ideal for people traveling on their own. A horseback tour makes it most common to return home with a group of new friends. They are surely like minded people who love nature and horses.

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4.-   Are there age limits to book a horseback tour?

These rides are suitable for riders with little experience or even people who have never ridden before; thus, they are for anyone. Of course, you will get the most enjoyment from your trip if you are reasonably fit. We have hosted travelers ranging 9 to 72 years old. We ask those under 12 to be accompanied by their parents or grown ups.

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5.- How long will we be active each day?

It varies every day. The average riding is 3 hours in the morning and 3-4 in the afternoon with plenty of intermediate stops to take pictures, spend some time at specific points of interest, etc. 

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6.- Can I bring my own saddle?

Yes, in most cases this is possible. Check with us before. This is subject to the final decision of the guide who must check it does not hurt the horse. 

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7.- Are the ridings all year long?

The horseback tour "The Inca's trails" and "Following the footsteps of General Güemes" take place in Salta and run all year long. 

In Patagonia, where the weather is colder, the season runs December to March (summer and part of the spring).

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8.- What is the weather like? 

In Salta - Horseback tours "The Inca's trails" and "Following the footsteps of General Güemes" and Multiadventures in Salta: 
In this region the weather is mild and activities run all year long. 
SUMMER: Mild, not very warm even though we are far north in Argentina. This is because the Calchaquí Valleys are dry and we stay on average over 6000 feet. At noon the temperature reaches 29ºC (84F) but at night and during the morning it goes down to 10ºC (50F).
It might rain someday but these are short. Nevertheless, do not despair! The experience of riding under the rain is very special and provides close contact with nature, something we are looking for. This is why we ask everyone to bring a cloak. We can dry all that gets wet where we spend the night. 
WINTER: At noon the temperature reaches 20-25ºC (68-77F) but at night and during the morning it goes down to 5ºC (41F). This is the dry season so rains are unlikely. 

In Patagonia - Riding tour "Pioneers of Patagonia":
SUMMER: This is the only season this tour runs. The weather is dry and raining is unlikely. We will be riding on an altitude range of 3000 - 7500 feet so expect high mountain weather. This means that it can change abruptly and it might even rain, but these are short. Nevertheless, do not despair! The experience of riding under the rain is very special and provides close contact with nature, something we are looking for. This is why we ask everyone to bring a cloak. Temperature average at noon is 25ºC (77F). At night and during the morning it can go as low as 0ºC (32F). 

In Mendoza - Riding tour "The Ceiling of America": 
SUMMER: This is the only season this tour runs. The weather is awesome because it is dry and raining is very unlikely. We will be riding always above 8000 feet and up to 12500 feet. The weather is high mountain typical. This means that nights are cold (30F) but days are sunny and warm (70-80F). You will need at least a 15F sleeping bag at night and polar sweaters or jackets to wear on. For the case it rains, which is rare, we ask everyone to bring a cloak. 

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9.- Are there baths during the tour?

Our rides should be regarded as camping expeditions but we will enjoy a few "upgrades". Remember we will be riding the backcountry of Argentina almost all the time above 6000- 9000 feet. You will find no infrastructure at all!! This is why we have to wipe out the standard urban life comforts.

In "The Inca's Trails" ride we stop at mountain refuges and a very small town. Three of the stops have baths with shower (one with hot water and two with cold water). Only on the first outdoors night there is no bath but there is water to wash oneself.

In "Multiadventures in Salta", on night 3 there is no bath but there is water to wash oneself and on nights 2 and 4 there are baths with cold shower. 

In "Pioneers of Patagonia", on the first and last night there are baths with hot shower. On the rest of the camping sites (nights 2, 3, 4 and 5) there are no baths but as we stop close to rivers or lakes there is no problem to wash oneself. 

In "The Ceiling of América", on the first and last night there are baths with hot shower. On the rest of the camping sites (nights 2, 3, 4 and 5) there are no baths but water is available to wash oneself.

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10.-What are the standard accommodations on the trip?

Our rides should be regarded as camping expeditions but we will enjoy a few "upgrades". Remember we will be riding the backcountry of Argentina almost all the time above 6000- 9000 feet. You will find no infrastructure at all!! This is why we have to wipe out the standard urban life comforts.

In "The Inca's Trails", we stop at mountain refuges. In all of them but the first there are beds with no linen. We use sleeping bags. Three of the stops have baths with shower (one with hot water and two with cold water). Only on the first outdoors night there is no bath but there is water to wash oneself.

In "Multiadventures in Salta" we stop at a guest house hotel in Salta city on nights 1, 5, 6 and 7. The hotel is on a 4 guest per room basis but you may ask for a single or double room for a supplementary fee. We stop at mountain refuges on nights 2, 3 and 4. In all of them but the first there are beds with no linen. We use sleeping bags. Two of the three stops have baths with cold shower.

In "Pioneers of Patagonia" we set up camp and use sleeping bags. Tents are provided, but many prefer to sleep under the stars. On the first and last night there are baths with hot shower. On the rest of the camping sites (nights 2, 3, 4 and 5) there are no baths but as we stop close to rivers or lakes there is no problem to wash oneself. 

In "The Ceiling of America" we set up camp and use sleeping bags. Tents are provided, but many prefer to sleep under the stars. On the first and last night there are baths with hot shower. On the rest of the camping sites (nights 2, 3, 4 and 5) there are no baths but water is available to wash oneself. 

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11.-Tell me about the meals. Can special requests be handled?

Our meals on the trail are made the old fashioned way on the campfire: simple, home made and abundant. In the exact manner that life is in those far away places. It is this which makes them unforgettable. Al lunch we stop for a pic-nic. We will be happy to handle special requests if informed to us in advance. 

In Salta - Horseback tours "The Inca's trails" and Multiadventures in Salta: 
Breakfast and tea at the refuges: at the refuges we have tea, coffee or hot chocolate, home made bread with jam.
Lunches on the trail: pic-nic style. Roast beef, ham, cheese sandwiches. Salami and home made cheese, etc. Fruits, pies for dessert. Water and wine to drink.
Dinner at the refuges: local traditional meals like lamb barbecue, stew or "empanadas". Fruits, pies for dessert. Wine, water, soft drinks. 

In Patagonia - Riding tour "Pioneers of Patagonia":
In Mendoza - Riding tour "The Ceiling of America":
Breakfast and tea: at the refuges we have tea, coffee or hot chocolate, home made bread, jam.
Lunches on the trail: pic-nic style. Roast beef, ham, cheese sandwiches. Salami and home made cheese, etc. Fruits, pies for dessert. Water and wine to drink.
Dinner: local traditional meals like lamb barbecue, stew or "empanadas". Fruits, pies for dessert. Wine, water, soft drinks. 

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12.-Which is the required luggage and gear?

During the ride it is much better to keep your personal clothing and items light! Normally, you only use half of what you take along. As these are pack trips we provide saddlebags to place your personal items. You can leave everything you will not need at the starting point and pick it back upon return. 

In case you do not have some of the items, we will be happy to help get them. 

For Salta - Horseback tour "The Inca's trails" and Multiadventures in Salta: 
· Two changes of clothes: loose pants, long sleeve shirts which protect better from the sun than polo T-shirts. For the cold weather it is better to carry along a few thin warm clothes rather than just one thick one. Polar sweaters do well both in summer and winter. 
· In winter: undershirts and underpants
· Sleeping bag
· Knife, mug and water bottle
· Jacket and/or poncho
· Hat (not a cap)
· Scarf, neckerchief, gloves
· Rain cape 
· Swimsuit
· Sneakers (the ones that can get wet) and riding boots (optional)
· Personal medicine
· No specific vaccine is mandatory in this region but as for any outdoors activity we recommend tetanus vaccine
· Personal hygiene items and a small towel
· Sunscreen
· Sunglasses (optional)
· Small lantern and batteries
· Camera, batteries and film for at least 100 snapshots

For Patagonia - Riding tour "Pioneers of Patagonia":
For Mendoza - Riding tour "The Ceiling of America": 
· Two changes of clothes: loose pants, long sleeve shirts which protect better from the sun than polo T-shirts. For the cold weather it is better to carry along some but thin warm clothes rather than just one thick one. Polar sweaters do well both in summer and winter. 
· Undershirt and underpants
· Sleeping bag
· Fork and knife, camping soup dish and mug and water bottle
· Jacket and/or poncho
· Hat (not a cap)
· Scarf, neckerchief, gloves
· Rain cape 
· Swimsuit
· Insect repellent
· Sneakers (the ones that can get wet) and riding boots (optional)
· Personal medicine
· No specific vaccine is mandatory in this region but as for any outdoors activity we recommend tetanus vaccine
· Personal hygiene items and a small towel
· Sunglasses (optional)
· Sunscreen
· Small lantern and batteries
· Binoculars (optional)
· Camera, batteries and film for at least 100 snapshots

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13.-Making your booking and payment 
It is very easy to sign up. Please send us an e-mail through the "Contact us" section in our website www.pioneros.com.ar once you have decided the tour of your choice. We will confirm availability within 24hs. To confirm a reservation, a deposit of 30% of the trip cost is required. The balance of the trip cost is due 3 days before departure. This period could be longer if additional hotel and air tickets are included in the package. If final payment is not received when due, we reserve the right to treat the reservation as canceled.

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14.- What is included in the trip price? 
Our rides are designed to include most costs in order to simplify the trip arrangements and reservations process to the most. Our horseback tours include transfers to/from meeting place, accommodations, meals and beverages and, on special dates, English speaking guides. Not included are flights, pick up from the airport, travel insurance, gratuities. We are very flexible, so we can quote any special arrangement you may desire. Bring along pocket money for small personal needs like cigarettes, candies, etc.

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15.-Are airline or bus tickets included? 
None of our rates include transportation tickets to the meeting place. We will be happy to make a special quotation which includes those. 

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16.-Can I make changes to a tour I am interested in? 

Yes, we will be happy to tailor make your tour according to your needs and preferences. These may include: specific departure dates, length of ride, guide or translator in the language of your choice, etc. We can also arrange a door to door vacation plan for you, which includes airline tickets, transfers, car rental, additional activities to follow on your trip, pre and post horseback riding hotels, etc. 

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17.-How do I get to the start of the trip? How will I get to the airport at the trip´s end?

For Salta - Horseback tour "The Inca's trails" and Multiadventures in Salta: 
Usually, the meeting and ending place is La Casa del Peregrino Hotel, Alvarado 351 phone (54) (387) 432-0423, Salta city. In some rides we can fetch you at your hotel or the airport. You can get there by bus or plane (flight via Buenos Aires - Argentina).

For Patagonia - Riding tour "Pioneers of Patagonia":
The pick up place is San Martín de los Andes city. From there we leave to the "estancia", starting point of the horseback ride. You can get there by bus or plane (flight via Buenos Aires- Argentina). 

For Mendoza - Riding tour "The Ceiling of America":
The pick up place is Uspallata city. From there we leave to the "estancia", starting point of the horseback ride. You can get there easily from Mendoza city by bus and to Mendoza by bus or plane (flight via Buenos Aires- Argentina). 

We include specific information regarding your trip meeting and ending times in your confirmation package. If you need this information in advance, please e-mail us. 

We do not include pick up from the airport. It is very easy to take a taxi. It is a short ride to the meeting point. We will be happy to give you instructions on how to do that. If you wish, we can pick you up and leave you back at the airport at a small extra charge.

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18.-What safety measures are taken?

Safety is our primary concern. We assign horses according to each rider's preference. Some are more challenging while others are very easy to handle. They are sure footed as they are all born and raised in the area and used to mountainous terrain. The trails are well known by our guides. In those places we believe risky, we step down the horse and walk. In case of need, our guides are trained and know what to do: there are predetermined evacuation points, we carry radio equipment in case of emergency (although reception is sometimes a problem). We consider a must that all our guests follow our guide's instructions. 

When rafting, everyone receives safety instructions, a life vest and helmet. During the sailing, a kayak follows the raft monitoring everything is OK. The river is rated grade III which allows a perfect blend between adventure and safety. 

We will however insist that you have adequate insurance cover before you go on any of our rides.

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19.-Which documents are needed to travel to Argentina?

To enter Argentina most travelers need a passport, although there are exceptions to this rule. Depending on which country you are citizen of you may need immigration visa. Please check with your local embassy to find out current requirements. Should you encounter any problems figuring this out, we will be happy to help you find out. 

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20.-May the prices indicated fluctuate?

Whilst we always endeavor to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances.

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21.-How much should I tip the guide, driver, etc.?

There is no obligation at all for tipping, but a small amount is always welcome. 

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22.-Tell me a little bit more about Pioneros

· Chosen as one of the world's "Exemplary Practices in Ecotourism - 2003" by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the only one that is horse riding focused
· We are solely focused on riding tours
· We have long experience operating horse rides in several locations in Argentina (Salta, Mendoza, Patagonia)
· We have grown because we are passionate about what we do
· Our rides have been rated as "among the best landscapes in the world" by our clients from Europe and USA
· In Salta you spend the night in mountain refuges run by local herdsmen and ranchers, heirs of a pre-hispanic tradition, and have a glimpse of a way of life so different from your own. It is an experience without comparison. In Patagonia we make camp
· Our rides are designed to include most costs in order to simplify the trip arrangements and reservations process to the most
· In Salta, due to the mild weather, we have fixed dates all year round. In Patagonia the season stretches from December to March. No minimum group size
· Our perfectly trained guides are fluent English speakers (other languages also available)
· Standard and tailor-made rides.

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