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Mexico Horse Riding: Colonial Highlands


6YX12L
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
This horse riding holiday exploring the beautiful Colonial Highlands of Mexico. Starting from the charming town of Guanajuato, ride to Santa Rosa & historic Dolores Hildalgo, where the Mexican revolution started. Visit the Sanctuary of Atotonilco (the Sistine Chapel of Mexico) & magnificent San Miguel de Allende. All riding, meals & transfers included. Min 4 - Max 14. Intermediate and advance riders.
Photo Mexico Horse Riding Holiday Central Colonial Highlands
• 
Horse Riding Holiday
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Silver Route
• 
Guanajuato
• 
Christ the King
• 
Tequila Tasting
• 
Santa Rosa
• 
Dolores Hidalgo
• 
Sanctuary of Atotonilco
• 
San Miguel de Allende
• 
Indian Chapels
• 
Horse Riding Holiday
• 
Silver Route
• 
Guanajuato
• 
Christ the King
• 
Tequila Tasting
• 
Santa Rosa
• 
Dolores Hidalgo
• 
Sanctuary of Atotonilco
• 
San Miguel de Allende
• 
Indian Chapels
Day 1
You will be met at Guanajuato Airport and transferred to your riding ranch situated outside this charming city.
 
With its many narrow cobbled alleyways and shaded plazas dotted with sidewalk cafes, this former silver mining city is today a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is widely regarded as the most beautiful colonial city in Mexico.
 
Check in and relax at your ranch in the Colonial Highlands.
Day 2
At leisure to relax at your riding lodge outside Guanajuato.
 
In the late afternoon join your tour, with welcome cocktails on the terrace as you meet the staff and learn more about our exciting ride through the Colonial Highlands. Then enjoy an included welcome barbeque in the garden, with Mexican music around a campfire.
 
Note: This ride is suitable for confident intermediate and experienced riders, secure in all three paces (65% easy, 30% intermediate & 5% difficult). Horses are Azteca, American Quarter and Mexican Creole and saddles are Charro and Western (English on request - only 2 available). Saddlebag, picnic mat, water bottle, bandana and support vehicle for luggage provided. Maximum weight limit for riders 240 lbs (110 kg).
 
Packing List: Riding boots, riding helmet, water bottle, T shirts, long sleeved shirts, jodhpurs, leggings or full chaps, shorts, gloves, sun hat, sunglasses, sun screen, swimsuit, sweater, waterproof jacket, walking shoes, comfortable shoes for after riding, camera, pocket knife, mosquito repellant, chafing cream, toiletries & torch. Saddlebags, towels, bandanas and toilet paper are provided. Sleeping bags & water purifying tablets are NOT required.
Day 3
After a delicious breakfast at the ranch, horses are allocated to riders we set out on our exciting 13-mile (21 km) journey, riding through rural communities from Colomitos to Peñafiel.
 
When we reach the foothills of the Montecillo Mountains, we ascend from 6,200 ft (1,900 m) towards the old Cardones hacienda at 7,300 ft (2,200 m), crossing changing landscapes and the semi-desert terrain of the majestic central mountain range.
 
We will see old ruined mines and haciendas from Spanish colonial times, before reaching the remains of the old Peñafiel mine. Our horses will remain here tonight, while we transfer to our hotel in the heart of the historic centre of the old colonial city Guanajuato, viewing the pretty Presa de la Olla dam along the way.
 
Guanajuato has many beautiful buildings that showcase elements from both cultures that created this great city - indigenous and Hispanic. Enjoy dinner in the Union Garden Plaza where every night regional music groups, Mariachi bands and trios create a magical atmosphere with their 'ranchera' music.
Day 4
This morning we transfer back to our horses and start our ride from the old Peñafiel silver mine, heading towards the town of Santa Rosa, located at a height of 9,350 ft (2,850 m) in the heart of the Colonial Highlands.
 
Riding along the Old Royal Road used to transport gold and silver for over 500 years during Spanish colonial times, we pass former gold and silver mines, as well as the rural communities of Peñafiel, Monte San Nicolas and Peregrina and Santa Rosa. We also see the famous statue of Christ the King of the Mountain (Cristo de el Cubilete) that commemorates the 1926-29 Catholic uprising against the government, when it passed anti-religious laws that forbade public masses. This spot is considered to be the geographic centre of Mexico.
 
After riding through the mountains for 17 miles (27 km), we enjoy cocktail and tequila tasting at our mountain retreat and in the evening tuck into a hearty dinner of typical Mexican cuisine.
Day 5
This morning we ride through the oak, pine and arbutus forests of the Colonial Highlands, surrounded by bird song and majestic natural beauty. This is one of the most bio-diversified regions in the state and we will have amazing views, with huge mountains on one side and semi-desert on the other.
 
We may even see coyote, puma or raccoon footprints on the path, as we ride for 23 miles (37 km) towards Dolores Hildago.
 
In the evening enjoy dinner in the garden of a typical Mexican restaurant, an old house dating back to the 18th century. See fireflies flitting through the garden and smell the scent of fresh flowers.
Day 6
Today we explore the historic town of Dolores Hidalgo - the cradle of Mexican independence, a flat ride of 7.5-miles (12 km).
 
It was here, at daybreak on 16 September 1810, that the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla famously initiated the call to take up arms against the colonial Spanish. We tour the historic centre and visit some of the most significant buildings used during the Mexican War of Independence.
 
Afterwards you can visit the Wine Museum (pay entrance locally) or browse for crafts, before enjoy dinner in the garden of a typical Mexican restaurant. See fireflies flitting through the garden and smell the scent of fresh flowers, whilst dining in this old house that dates back to the 18th century.
Day 7
After a typical Mexican coffee called 'café de la olla', today's journey takes us through the Cactus Valley on a relatively flat 16 mile (27 km) ride to the town of Atotonilco.
 
Along the way we visit the historic Hacienda La Erre, an interesting property which played an important role during the Mexican War of Independence. We also enjoy a picnic lunch on the outskirts of the old chapel of Barron community.
 
We continue to Atotonilco, where we visit the majestic 18th century Sanctuary of Atotonilco - a church complex known as the "Sistine Chapel of Mexico" with imposing walls, nave, sacristy, over six adjoining chapels and dressing rooms. Decorated with murals, easel paintings, altars and sculptures this majestic shrine has been declared a World Heritage site.
Day 8
In the morning we have another relatively flat 14 mile (23 km) ride to the art and cultural centre of San Miguel de Allende.
 
We ride along 200-year old roads used during the War of Independence and the Mexican Revolution, travelling through rural landscapes of corn and agave fields (used for making tequila), with vistas ranging from semi-desert to wetlands. You will also see several authentic Indian chapels today.
 
We arrive in San Miguel de Allende, a town known for its rich traditions in which events and festivals play an important role. It is a town of magic and mysticism, which has preserved its ancient culture.
Day 9
Its time to leave our horses today and explore the fortified town of San Miguel de Allende, founded in 1521 and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its unique Mexican Baroque architecture.
 
This is a town that manages to be both quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time. Once an important stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City, its historic centre is filled with well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Admire the facades of buildings such as the Institute of Arts and Culture, the Municipal Palace (formerly the Inquisition Palace), Mayorazgo House and the Church of San Miguel Archangel.
 
With its narrow cobblestone streets, leafy courtyards, fine architectural details and sumptuous interiors, San Miguel de Allende is one of the prettiest towns in Mexico - with many museums, galleries, restaurants and coffee shops. There are also over 240 old Indian chapels in this municipality, some of which have been restored by the local government.
Day 10
Transfer 2-hours to Guanajuato Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Cancun Airport and transferred 1.5-hours to your beach resort at Playa del Carmen on the spectacular Riviera Maya.
 
Check into your hotel and relax on the shores of the Caribbean Sea with its warm turquoise waters, sandy beaches and wonderful snorkelling and diving.
 
Note: Your driver will be Spanish-speaking.
Days 11 To 12
At leisure to relax at your tropical resort on the spectacular Riviera Maya, lapped by the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
 
The Great Mayan Reef (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef) stretches from the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula to the islands off the coast of Honduras and is the largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere. Hundreds of species of fish and many endangered and protected marine animals are found here – including Loggerhead, Leatherback, Green, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley sea turtles, and West Indian manatees – making this a paradise for snorkelling and diving. It is possible to swim with Whale sharks from April to September.
 
There are many optional activities in this holiday town, including day visits to snorkel at Xel-Ha waterpark (the largest natural aquarium in the world); zip lining at Xplor adventure park; visits to the famous archaeological sites at Chichen Itza or Tulum; the Mayan caves in Aktun Chen; Sian Ka'anor biosphere reserve and the Xcaret cultural theme park.
 
Try a Mayan spa treatment or simply stroll along the beach and absorb the holiday atmosphere of this town with its wide variety of bars, restaurants and shops.
Day 13
Transfer 1.5-hours to Cancun Airport for your flight home.
 
Note: Your driver will be Spanish-speaking.

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