echoing through a large bus with closed windows which flies past spots of stunning natural beauty that we would prefer to linger over. " Why am I here and not over there?" , we ask ourselves silently, while the tour guide spouts Indian folklore which he probably made up and points through the window at the vast mountainous landscapes, unbelievably colorful.
However, horse-trekking, led by local cowboys or baqueanos who know every inch of the land, is one of the very few activities which allows you to discover the side of Salta not on the tourist circuit. We recommend the horse rides organized by Hernán Uriburu which are famous in the province. Withal, they are never less than three days long -and sometimes as long as vine days. Depending on what you are looking for, you can choose one of the five areas in Salta covered by Mr Uriburu for your horse-trek, which is one of the original features of the way this baqueano works: he designs a ride especially for you, taking into account your expectations and objectives.
You may want to see condors, or visit craftsmen who live in the mountains, admire cave paintings or different ecosystems, or just take time out to relax and meditate. According to budget, age, the time available and your objectives, he puts together a plan of activities which is not limited by minimum or maximum numbers of participants.
For his horse-treks, Mr Uriburu uses horses and mules raised in the area to be visited which are familiar with every detail of the path to be followed. This leads along the age-old mountain tracks used by local inhabitants who are also hired to act as assistants on the ride.
Lodging is provided in the dwellings of the families who live and work in the mountains. The prices of the ride variate and includes horses and mules, tack and saddlebags, four meals a day, accommodation and transfer by car to and from the city of Salta . Sleeping bags are not included.
If all you want to do is just admire the view, the most attractive region Mr Uriburu covers is the Enchanted Valley , which lies in a stunningly beautiful National Park.
lts particularly unusual geological formations, rocks sculpted into strange shapes by erosion over time, are also home to many rare species of plants and animals, in some cases unique to the park. The giant bird of the Andean peaks, the condor, is just one of the many sights to be seen. There are also cave paintings and several caverns to be explored which you never find out about on official tours. In the Park you can also do a six-hour hike to El Maray.
Don't expect luxury or comfort on this trip - you won't even hear a telephone ring from start to finish! Mobile phones are left behind as many of the things people bring with them - all you need is what you can carry in the saddlebags; a change of clothes and a toothbrush. Being forced to abandon some of your personal possessions might seem a bit tough to begin with, but before the first day is over, you will understand that you need very little in order to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and simple lifestyle.