Horseback Riding in Peru

Monasterio Ride in the Sacred Valley

Overview

This is a wonderful three-day riding adventure in the Peruvian Andes. A glimpse into the mainstays of Peruvian culture, combined with spirited purebred Peruvian Paso horses and the good company of experienced  horsemen make this ride an experience hard to forget. You will visit Incan saltpans, storehouses, terraces, and other impressive sites, as well as pass through picturesque mountain villages, enjoy delicious picnics and ride through miles of breathtaking Andean landscapes.

Two nights hotel accommodation only five miles from the stables. This includes comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and plenty of ‘local color.’ It is a former 18th century colonial-style monastery and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

You will be treated to wonderful meals representing tasty regional cuisine. Dishes are made from fresh vegetables, dairy products, and local meats and fish.

  • Overview:
    The horses are locally bred Peruvian Pasos. This breed dates back to the colonial era of Peru and originates from the Spanish Andalusians. A symbol of their historic and noble past, Peruvian Paso horses are known for their comfortable gaits. These horses like to amble, moving fore and hind limbs on the same side at the same time, unlike other equine breeds who typically move diagonal legs at the same time. During the ride you will experience traveling on horseback at the Paso gait. The horses are well cared for, strong, and even-tempered.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Peruvian Pasos
  • Trip Pace:
    Moderate
  • Tack:
    Peruvian
  • Weight limit:
    187lbs

While riders are on horseback, there are no separate activities planned for non-riders, who can enjoy the accommodations and region independently.

Ride out each day to and from a different location, a four-wheel-drive backup vehicle returning you to your hotel.

Cusco

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You will be collected from your hotel in the ancient Inca capital of Cusco (altitude 3.338 m / 10,952 ft) at 9:00 am. From here, it is a one-hour drive to the ranch in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This base is perfectly located in the heart of the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu, the famous lost city of the Incas.
Today you will have a chance to familiarize yourself with the beautiful Peruvian Paso horses and the traditional Peruvian riding gear. Upon arrival at the ranch you will be given a demonstration of Peruvian equitation by your host, a Peruvian chalan (horse trainer). After a short riding course in the Classic Peruvian Equitation and safety briefing we will evaluate your riding ability (and take into account your horse preference) and match you with a suitable mount.
Around 12:30 pm enjoy a typical Peruvian barbecue at the ranch. A Pisco Sour (our national cocktail) is part of the Peruvian tradition and, of course, included. After lunch we will mount our horses and climb with the horses almost 800 m (2,600 ft.) to the reach the Andean high plateau. The climb takes about two hours, and will be at an easy pace. Once at 3600 m / 11,800 ft., the stunning scenery and the snow-capped mountains of Chicon, Veronica and Pumahuanca are impressive. On our way up we pass the saltpans from Inca times which are still being used by the locals to extract salt from the mountain spring water. Ride to the typical Andean village of Maras, where you will meet the back up staff and car. The horses stay with the grooms for the night and the car will bring you back to the valley where you will spend the night in a quaint hotel. After refreshing with a hot shower and a rest enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants.

Day 2

After breakfast depart from the hotel at 9:30 am to return to where the horses spent the night outside of Maras. From there ride along mountain paths that were once part of the old Inca road and reach the village Racchi around midday. The scenery is spectacular and as you climb higher and higher the pace will be slow to save the horses’ energy. Meet the back up team with a wonderful picnic lunch at the next village which is Chinchero. If you want, you have the option to explore the Inca ruins and visit the beautiful old church that was built at the end of the sixteenth century, using as foundations the finely carved stones that once belonged to a great Incan palace. After lunch follow a path across the plains to a lake. Because of the flat terrain here you will have the opportunity to enjoy a faster pace of riding. You will be surprised how much ground can be covered in the Paso Llano gait, the smooth and natural gait of the Peruvian Paso which equals the speed of a canter. At Lake Huaypo you will climb again with the horses passing small mountain villages to see the lake from high above. From there you descend and ride along the lakeside to reach today’s final destination, a small farmer’s community where the horses will be left with the grooms. The backup vehicle will bring you to your hotel where you can freshen up and relax a bit before going out for dinner in one of the quaint local restaurants.

Day 3

After breakfast transfer back to where the horses were left the previous day. Today you ride again along some beautiful trails high up in the mountains and pass agricultural lands and a few very small farming communities. You will see women with their children herding their sheep and enjoy a glimpse of real Andean country life. The locals here speak Quechua and though they have a hard life they are very friendly and smile a lot. Follow the trail towards the agricultural terraces of Moray where the backup team will meet you again with a picnic lunch and food and water for the horses.
From here continue riding until you descend back into the Sacred Valley arriving at the ranch before it gets dark to enjoy a refreshing Pisco Sour or cold beer. A private car will bring you back to Cusco late in the afternoon.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be modified at the guide's discretion due to unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Flexible departure dates between March until the end of October. Contact the ride consultant for availability.

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $1,150
  • Single Supplement
  • $215

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $1,350

  • Single Supplement
  • $215

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Contact Biggi Hayes

The opportunity to visit Peru in the hands of these hosts is an incredible trip of a lifetime. The trip is even more exciting than described - I should have been warned that I would want to move to Peru! It is one of the most beautiful countries I've visited, but I think these hosts could make any ride fun.

Melissa and Addie York, 2011