Cristo Rey Pilgrimage Ride

Central Mexico Mexico: (IT-MXIR06)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/mexico_guanajuato_cristo_rey.aspx

Introduction
Central Mexico Mexico
Be part in one of the most important equestrian pilgrimages in Mexico.

This is a tradition that is over 500 years old and which gathers thousands of Mexican riders at the foot of the monument of Cristo Rey (Christ the King), on the Cubilete mountain, considered the Geographical center of Mexico. 

This yearly event takes place every January, as a sign of faith and devotion to a tradition of equestrian pilgrimage. This exceptional event starts to attract the attention of riders from all over the world. Be part of this old tradition and be one of the first foreign riders to live it.

Share this ride with Mexicans, and learn about their traditions, gastronomy, music and beliefs, while riding beautiful horses through rural roads, mountains and villages.

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a progressive ride so nights are spent in different locations.

Description
All accommodations are chosen for authenticity and comfort. The variety allows you to appreciate the diversity of life in Mexico. The described accommodations, are used regularly and most of the time during our trips. However, if for reasons beyond our control, we have to use a different accommodation as the one described, we will use as a replacement a similar hotel, located as close as possible to the intended area.
Bathrooms are shared in most accommodations.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Jesuit Hacienda near Sierra de Lobos
Night 2: Camping near Nuevo Valle de Moreno
Night 3: Parador Sangre de Cristo 
Night 4 & 5: Hacienda Jesus Maria near Sangre de Cristo
Night 6: Camping near Valley of Blue Birds
Night 7 & 8: Hotel Posada Santa Fe in Guanajuato

Jesuit Hacienda
The hacienda is located in a mountainous area, surrounded by oak forests. The rooms are equipped with a cable TV with and a private bathroom with free toiletries.
There is Wi-Fi access at this property.

Parador Sangre de Cristo 
This hostel type accommodation offers spacious and comfortable shared rooms (separate room for men and women) with shared facilities.  
No Wi-Fi available.

Hacienda Jesus Maria
This charming hacienda is part of a sustainable tourist complex and offers panoramic views of Sangre de Cristo. All rooms include a flat-screen TV, a coffee machine, free Wi-Fi access and ensuite facilities.

Hotel Posada Santa Fe in Guanajuato
This beautiful colonial hotel is housed in a historic building, and first opened its doors to the public in 1892. It offers comfortable accommodations with cable TV and private bathroom in the historic center of Guanajuato. Free Wi-Fi is available at this property.

Camping
Our camps are safely mounted in strategic sites that allow our guests to enjoy the natural environment surrounding them. We install a tent with awning for rain and a capacity for up to 4 people (used only by two people). The tents are approx. 2 m high and come equipped wit cot beds. We also have a dining gazebo, chairs for each rider, led lighting for the perimeter of the camp, and cooking utensils. We build a campfire every night. A small tent with shower is installed and a small toilet service is enabled.

Room Occupancy
There are no single rooms available on this trip.


Meals
Meals are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the last day (except for lunch on Day 8).

Meals are based on regional Mexican food and include beef, pork, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, cereals, rice, milk, coffee, natural fruit juices, and purified bottled water. During the horse trail most of the food is prepared by the rural communities we visit, made with quality and hygiene, and in many cases with Prehispanic ancestral recipes so the flavors and textures are unique and can be very different.
Breakfast and dinners are eaten at the accommodations and lunches are eaten on the trail.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions if given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Required riding level:

Intermediate - A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces and can get on and off without help. 
Difficulty of terrain:  45% easy- 25% intermediate – 30% difficult
Physical effort required: 65% easy - 30% moderate - 5% intense
On the trail: 6 riding days

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: this program is directly linked to the pilgrimage organization and for reasons beyond our control may undergo changes.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Meet at 12h30 in the city of León Guanajuato, in the lobby of Hotsson Hotel (Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1102, Los Gavilanes, 37266 León, Gto.) and from there, visit a local saddlery shop with traditional clothing and equipment of the Mexican equestrian culture. It will be the perfect opportunity to buy clothing, for those who wish to dress up in the Mexican horseman style for the following days.
After the visit, we will be transferred by car (about 2-hour drive) to a former Jesuit Hacienda located between the mountainous area of Sierra de Lobos, where we will enjoy a welcome dinner and stay for the night.
Accommodation: Former Jesuit Hacienda or similar
Meals included: Welcome dinner


Day 2 (Monday): 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. Here, we will join a group of Mexican riders coming from “El Torreon” who will stop here to receive us and allow us to join them. Then, we all will depart on horseback, in the direction of Nuevo Valle de Moreno. Today's ride goes through ancient roads in the mountainous area of Santa Barbara, until we reach the community of Nuevo Valle de Moreno. Tonight, we set camp and enjoy dinner with a local family, who will open their home doors for us.
Accommodation: Camping  
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 3 (Tuesday): Nuevo Valle de Moreno to Cristo Rey
After a quick breakfast at our campsite, (before 5am), we get ready so we can be in the saddle before by 6am, long before dawn. We will ride by starlight until the sky turns grey-pink and the sun finally rises. With the light of a new day, we will be surprised by the immense number of riders going in the same direction, moved by their faith.
We will eventually reach “Tuna Mansa”, on the slopes of the Cubilete mountain, considered the geographical center of Mexico. There, we will stop for lunch, as hundreds of riders will do. Our support team will have prepared a delicious lunch with typical food just for us. After a delicious lunch and a short break, in our comfortable makeshift dining room, it is time to test our horses, since they will have to make an ascent of 657 meters on 7.6 kilometers, in order to reach the Cubilete mountain top, place where the monument to Cristo Rey is located.
At the top of the mountain, we will all gather. 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. In the evening, we will be transferred to our comfortable accommodation, just a few kilometers from there.
Accommodation: "Parador Sangre de Cristo" or similar
Meals included:
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 (Wednesday): Mass & Mexican Culture
After an exquisite breakfast, we will attend the celebration of Holy Mass with the presence of the Archbishop and with over 3,500 horses and riders. This is an experience, difficult to describe in words.
Today, we will spend most of the day witnessing and living the Mexican equestrian tradition, 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.
Accommodation: "Hacienda Jesús María" or similar
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5 (Thursday): Mystery Villages Ride
After breakfast at the hacienda, and having concluded the pilgrimage together with thousands of local riders, we now continue on our own journey. Today, we will explore the surrounding area on horseback.
We will ride through what is known as "The Mystery Villages”, three old communities (Sangre de Cristo, Mineral de la Luz, and San Ignacio) marked with historical aspects such as Chichimeca indigenous people, The Cristero región (The old Cristero War) and Silver mining.
At the end of the 19th century, the three villages became ghost towns. However, in the past, this was one of the most prosperous mining enclaves in the region. 
Accommodation: "Hacienda Jesús María" or similar
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 (Friday): Ride to Valley of the Blue Birds
After breakfast, it is time to continue our ride in the direction of "El Varal": a nature reserve that is located in the north of the state of Guanajuato, adjoining 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 the natural habitat for many mammals such as the white-tailed deer, wildcat, cacomixtle (ring tailed cat),  listed skunk and long-nosed bat, and over 170 species of birds including Cooper's hawk, the peregrine falcon and the cuckold owl.
Today´s journey takes us to the valley of the blue birds, where we will set up our camp and enjoy this magnificent natural setting.
We will spend the night in a safari style camp, and enjoy a night of barbecue ranchera with campfire and guitars.
Accommodations: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 (Saturday): Ride to Santa Rosa
After a lovely breakfast accompanied by the singing of the birds and with spectacular views, we will continue on our last day of trail ride, to the rural community of Santa Rosa.
We will ride along ancient path, that border a mountainous area and pass 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, home to hundreds of animal species, such as the puma, the coyote, raccoons, armadillos and many others. We eventually reach Santa Rosa, where we will enjoy lunch, and end our adventure on horseback.
Accommodations: Hotel Posada or similar
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 (Sunday): Guanajuato City (no riding)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will take a walking tour to discover Guanajuato 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.
Nowadays, 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. 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.
Farewell Dinner will be taken in a traditional thematic restaurant cantina, where the joy of music will make you enjoy an authentic Mexican party.
Accommodations: Hotel Posada or similar
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9 (Monday): Departure
Breakfast at the hotel and end of our services.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Cristo Rey Pilgrimage Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, Most meals, Soft Drinks, Riding with English speaking guide
Saddle bags, water bottle & bandana provided

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20219 day trip$2950

Rates Note:


Private trips possible with minimum of 10 riders and +15% to rate.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:


Private trips possible with minimum of 10 riders and +15% to rate.


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2021 Late transfer fee $150

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Some meals (lunch on Day 8), Airport transfers, Museum or any additional attractions entrances fees, Travel insurance, Gratuities & Alcoholic Beverages
Please, bring your own sleeping bag.

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Cristo Rey Pilgrimage Ride (IT-MXIR06):

We want to provide our clients with as much flexibility as we can during the pandemic. This is why we allow clients, to change to their travel date if their travel plans were affected for the following reasons:
A. The client becomes infected with the Covid-19 virus*.
B. Some direct relatives, who contract the Covid-19 virus infection. (Father, Mother, Son, Wife or Husband)*
C. When there are “last minute changes” in the travel policy established by the authorities of Mexico, or the client's country of origin and due to those last minute changes the trip cannot be carried out, as planned.
D. Due to force majeure attributable to our company, which does not allow us to provide the necessary services to be able to carry out the trip on horseback as planned.
E. When there are last minute changes at the travel policy of the airline, which prevent the client from arriving on the day and time scheduled.
The change in dates of booking, is subject to availability and will be agreed upon by mutual agreement.

*: In all cases, relative to subsections A & B, the infection must have been contracted within twenty days, prior to the trip, and it is necessary to present a valid medical certificate stating the name of the patient and clearly indicating the positive result for the Covid-19 disease, and contact details of the medical entity who issued the certificate.

Our 2021 Covid-19 policy keeps us constantly aligned with the health authorities and we are constantly updated, in order to fully comply with the requirements, new practices and recommendations.
Our health protocols are directly related to the protocols issued by the competent international authorities such as the World Health Organization and the health department of our country.
The hotels, restaurants and other service providers during our trips are governed by the regulations of different certifications "free of covid" for the tourism sector. Like Safe Travel, among others.
These certifications indicate that the service providers that we use in our travel plan adhere to a series of recommendations, issued and standardized at international, national and local level, to carry out good prevention practices.

Safety protocols:

  • Use of masks is mandatory in closed spaces: hotels, cars, etc. (each guest must bring his/her own)
  • Keep a healthy distance at all the time
  • Wash hands with water and soap every time possible
  • Use antibacterial gel frequently (provided)

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: León
Airport: Guanajuato International Airport (BJX)
Transfer: --

Climate:
                                            Guanajuato area
 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

73

76

81

86

88

86

82

82

80

79

77

74

Average Low Temperature (°F)

44

46

49

54

57

59

58

57

57

53

48

45

Average High Temperature (°C)

23

25

27

30

31

30

28

28

27

26

25

23

Average Low Temperature (°C)

7

8

10

12

14

15

14

14

14

12

9

7

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

1

1

1

1

4

8

10

9

7

3

1

1









Source
: NOAA


Seasons
The climate in the area corresponds to the center of Mexico. Usually, this is an area with a pleasant climate, which will permit to enjoy a mild climate and a wonderful outdoors life, but we strongly recommend, before traveling, checking on the weather in order to make sure you are taking with you the appropriate gear and clothes.

Spring
This time of year is sunny and warm with low humidity.

Summer
Summertime is pleasant with rain usually in the afternoon.

Autumn
This season is sunny and pleasant with cool temperatures and some rain until early December.

Winter
Winters are cold with isolated rains in January, and strong winds in February and March, some snow and ice above 2,200 meters, normally in the mountains of the area. The coldest days are in January and early February.

The rainy season coincides with the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, which is from May to October. The largest rainfalls happen in the month of July. On average, the area records 600 mm of rain per year.

What To Bring:
In the mornings and in the evenings it is good to have some long sleeved shirts or sweaters to take on the rides. It is always good to pack something of both so you can’t get wrong. Don’t forget your swimming trunks. For riding we recommend jodhpurs or jeans and short boots with half chaps. Training shoes are not really apt for riding as you may not be comfortable and get stuck in the stirrups. In any case you may buy short leather boots in the markets for about US$ 25.- to US$ 35.- depending on the size. We do not provide riding helmets, if you want to use one (recommended) you will have to bring it along. In any case we recommend a hat shielding against the sun. We highly recommend a sun cream with high protection factor which you should use daily. The hotel is fumigated against mosquitoes and there are normally not many around. For the Horse Expedition, you need to bring your own sleeping bag (Comfort Zone -10 ° to 10 ° C), towel, torch, waterproof rain jacket and gloves.
 
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
 
riding pants/ jodhpurs:
Light weight, stretchy pants that are cool but protect from rubs work best.
Short riding boots/ narrow hiking boots and half chaps (boots should be comfortable for walking)
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
A hat with brim for sun protection
Long sleeves in your shirt or blouse
A light jacket + waterproof jacket
A bandana is very useful against the dust

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Another thick jacket or a sweater
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjama
Bag for dirty clothes
Bathing suit (optional)
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for the emergency)
Adapter for electric appliances if you come from Europe
Camera and enough extra films and batteries
Sun glasses with strap
Sun Block