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The colourful horse riding pilgrimage to CRISTO REY 

9 days

Date: January 3 - 11 January 2023

Price: 2350 euro
Price based on a shared double room
Not included: flight to and from Guanajuato, Mexico

Day 1/Tuesday 3 January

León

The meeting point will be in the city of León, Guanajuato in the lobby of Hotsson Hotel (Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1102, Los Gavilán's, 37266 León, Gto) at 12.30h. From there we will visit a local saddlery shop, with traditional clothing and equipment of the Mexican equestrian culture. For those who wish to dress up in the Mexican horseman style this will be  the perfect opportunity to buy local gear so you will fit right in once on your horse the following days!

After the visit, we all will be transferred by car (about 2-hour drive) to a former Jesuit Hacienda located between the mountainous area of Sierra de Lobos. It is currently composed of 2,650 hectares of beautiful landscapes and more than 3 million native oak trees, some more than 500 years old. In this hacienda we will enjoy a rich welcome dinner and stay for the night. 
Our Accommodation: former Jesuit Hacienda (or similar).

Private transfer included.

Meals included: dinner

 

Day 2/Wednesday 4 January

¨El Salto del Ahogado¨ to Nuevo Valle de Moreno

After breakfast at our accommodation, we will be transferred to the community of ¨El Salto del Ahogado¨, where our horses await us, and where we will will join the group of riders coming from ¨El Torreón¨, who will stop here to receive us and allow us to join their contingent of pilgrims. Then we all will depart on horseback, from this community in the direction of Nuevo Valle de Moreno. A horseback ride through ancient roads in the mountainous area of Santa Barbara until we reach the community of Nuevo Valle de Moreno, where we will stay overnight, and enjoy dinner with a local family, who will open their home for us.  
Our Accommodation: Camping 

Private transfer included.

Meals included: breakfast,  lunch, dinner

Day 3/Thursday 5 January

Nuevo Valle de Moreno to ¨Tuna Mansa¨

After a quick breakfast at our campsite (before 5 o'clock) we have to be ready so we can be in the saddle before six, long before dawn to ride out together glinted on the spurs and accoutrements of hundreds of Mexican riders. 

We will ride by starlight until the sky turns grey and pink and continue riding Tull a flare of cerise draws over the hills as the sun rises. Then, with the light of a new day we will be surprised by the immense number of horses and their riders who will be going in the same direction as us, moved by their faith. Until we reach ¨Tuna Mansa¨, on the slopes of the Cubilete mountain, considered the geographical center of Mexico.

There we will stop for lunch and a short break, as hundreds of riders will do. Our support team will have ready for us a delicious lunch of typical food just prepared by local cooks. After a delicious lunch and a short break, in our comfortable makeshift dining room, it is time to do the maximum resistance test for our horses, since they will have to make an ascent of 657 meters on 7.6 kilometers. Until we reach the Cubilete mountain top, place where the monument to Cristo Rey is located. There at the top of the mountain we will be all gathered, melee of hundreds of horseman and horses. We will be received by the hundreds of groups of riders, who travel from different parts of Mexico, to meet as year after year for several decades on the top of the mountain. Thus, we will witness the hospitality of Mexicans, since we will receive various invitations to each of the different campsites to enjoy food and drinks. Most of local riders will remain there the whole night before the big celebration. We will be transferred to our comfortable accommodation just a few kilometers from there.

Our Accommodation: ¨Parador Sangre de Cristo¨(or similar/shared occupation room, separate rooms for men and women) 

Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4/Friday 6 January

¨Tuna Mans-a to ¨Sangre de Cristo¨

After an exquisite breakfast at the Parador, we will attend the celebration of Holy Mass with the presence of the Archbishop and with more than 3,500 horses and riders. This is an experience, difficult to describe in words. The possibility of being able to share with hundreds of charros, riding their horses in the local traditional ´Ranchera´ way, and participating with great devotion in this unique event. Today we will spend much of the day witnessing and living the equestrian tradition wrapped in their faith and discovering Mexican culture from its deepest bowels, sharing this wonderful experience with hundreds of riders from different parts of Mexico. At lunch time. we will enjoy a delicious typical food of the region, served by one of the most recognized traditional cooks, from the area of “Sangre de Cristo”.

After lunch we will be transferred to Hacienda Jesus Maria, a charming hotel located in a historic place and part of a sustainable tourist complex of the Sangre de Cristo community along with the “Caminos D’vinos” vineyard. The perfect place to relax after long days on horseback.

Our Accommodation: Hacienda Jesus Maria, a charming hotel located in a historic place and part of a sustainable tourist complex of the Sangre de Cristo community along with the ¨Caminos d´vinos¨ vineyard. The perfect place to relax after a long day on horseback. 

Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5/Saturday 7 January

Hacienda Jesus Maria to Hacienda Jesus Maria 

After breakfast at the hacienda, and having concluded the pilgrimage together with thousands of local riders, we now continue on our own, with our ´private adventure group´. Today we will carry out a radial exploration of the area.

A round-trip on horseback through what is known as "The Mystery Villages” It is about three old communities where historical aspects such as: 1.- Chichimeca indigenous people, 2.-The Cristero región (The old Cristero War) That has inspired Hollywood. 3.- And Silver mining. This 3 historical aspects are gathered in one day. The communities of Sangre de Cristo, Mineral de la Luz, and San Ignacio. The three oldest communities of the state of Guanajuato, containing great historical and cultural value. this was one of the most prosperous mining enclaves in the region.

At the end of the 19th century, this three villages; Sangre de Cristo and Mineral La Luz, and San Ignacio became ghost towns, however this was one of the most prosperous mining enclaves in the region. Even in the ancestor century, the inhabitants of the Mineral de la Luz were counted by thousands and had, for example, their own bullring, tobacco factory, sugar plantations and profit haciendas. In 1929 this territory was reincorporated to the municipality of Guanajuato and today has only about 300 inhabitants.

Our Accommodation: Hacienda Jesus Maria, a charming hotel located in a historic place and part of a sustainable tourist complex of the Sangre de Cristo community along with the ¨Caminos d´vinos¨ vineyard. The perfect place to relax after a long day on horseback. 

Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6/Sunday 8 January

Hacienda Jesus Maria to nature reserve ¨El Varal¨

After breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to continue the journey and ride our horses in the direction of "El Varal" a nature reserve that is located in the north of the state of Guanajuato; adjoins the rural communities of Joya de Lobos, Santa Rosa, La Concepción and Los Mexicans.

The predominant type of vegetation is the Encino Forest, combined with native species such as Madroño and Pinguica. It is also natural habitat for mammalian species such as the white-tailed deer, wildcat, cacomixtle (ring tailed cat), listed skunk and long-nosed bat, also reporting more than 170 species of birds, pointing to Cooper's hawk, the peregrine falcon and the cuckold owl, among many more. Today ́s horse journey takes us to the valley of the blue birds, where we will set up our camp and enjoy our night camp in this magnificent natural setting. A true natural paradise where we will have the opportunity to spend the night in a safari style camp, and where we can enjoy a night of barbecue ranchera, campfire and guitars.

Our Accommodation: Camping. 

Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner

 

Day 7/Monday 9 January

Nature reserve ¨El Varal¨ to Santa Rosa

After breakfast in the camp, accompanied by the singing of the birds and with spectacular views of this magnificent natural setting, we will continue on our last day on horseback, to the rural community of Santa Rosa.

We will ride along the springs ancient path, that borders a mountainous area and passes through a cavern that houses a spring of crystalline water that filters through the Santa Rosa mountains. We continue ascending and descending through natural landscapes, interned in the forest, home to hundreds of animal species, such as the puma, the coyote, raccoons, armadillos and many others. Until we reach Santa Rosa, where we will enjoy Lunch, and end our adventure on horseback.

Our Accommodation: Hotel Posada, Guanujuato

Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8/Tuesday 10 January

Guanajuato

 

After breakfast at the hotel we will take a walking tour to discover Guanajuato City, ...you will be amazed by this unique city. The first known inhabitants of the area were the prehispanic indigenous groups Otomi, who were then displaced by the Chichimeca. There was Purépecha presence as well due mostly to ancient trading routes. The oldest known name for the area is “Mo-o-ti,” which means “place of metals.” Later, it was called "Paxtitlán" by the Aztecs, which means ´place of straw´. The current name of Guanajuato comes from Purépecha ´Quanax huato´, which means ´hilly place of frogs´.

Mining had been done in this area long before the Spanish arrived. Late in the pre-Hispanic period the Aztecs had a presence here, specifically to look for metals to make ornamental objects for their political and religious elite. Some stories from this time state that the area was so rich in minerals that nuggets of gold could be picked up from the ground.

Currently, the city of Guanajuato is a colonial city with beautiful buildings, that contain the elements from the two main cultures that created the city, ~ indigenous and Hispanic~, and marking the source of our Mexican nation, conserves its architectural features and environment. Protected by its inhabitants and government, state and municipal, Guanajuato was declared by UNESCO as the “Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines” in December 1988.

Today Guanajuato it is considered the most beautiful colonial city of Mexico”. We will enjoy a fare well dinner in a thematic restaurant cantina, accompanied by traditional music to end your trip in style, with an authentic Mexican party! 

Our Accommodation: Hotel Posada, Guanujuato

Meals included:  breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9/Tuesday 11 January

Guanajuato

After breakfast at the hotel we will say goodbye.

Our Accommodation: Hotel Posada, Guanujuato

Meals included:  breakfast