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Peru - The Sacred Valley Ride
A magical trip with plenty of comforts & amazing sights

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We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £3,825 or €4,460

Horse Riding Holidays Peru – The Sacred Valley Ride

PRICES & DATES top

The Sacred Valley Ride: Prices 2020

Suitable for intermediate plus riders. Rates are quoted per person sharing. Our rides in Peru are set departure dates.

£3,825/€4,420/$5,060 (Single supplement $790, small group supplement $200 if 2-3 riders)

Includes – All riding, full board (except excluded meals, see below), soft drinks, transfers, train ride and entrance fee to Machu Picchu.

Excludes – Flights, alcohol, dinner in Lima, lunch at Machu Picchu and meals in Cusco on free day & tips

The Sacred Valley Ride: Dates 2020

April 12 – April 22
May 3 – May 13
May 24 – June 3
July 19 – July 29
August 2 – August 12
August 16 – August 26
September 6 – September 16
September 27 – October 7

Getting There
An International flight to Cusco (either via Lima where you may have to overnight or via Bogota)

Transfer
Taxi to hotel in Cusco.

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our Terms & Conditions for full details.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

'National Geographic Magazine' voted this horse riding holiday in Peru as one of its 'Top Ten'.

Discover Peru on The Sacred Valley Ride and the magic of the Peruvian Paso horse in a way very few are privileged to experience. By day, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and by night enjoy fine hotels and gourmet food. This is a magical trip with plenty of comforts.

The Sacred Valley Ride ranch is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in the heart of the Andes, between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The dramatic scenery of snow-capped mountains, deep blue lagoons, and spectacular flora and fauna makes the Sacred Valley the prime base for adventure tourism in South America. Our rides include panoramic vistas from the altiplano, tours of remarkable Inca ruins, and visits to remote Andean villages.

Your Peru guide is Eduard Brunschot (Eddy) is a legend of a guide. He’s a true horseman and obsessed with the Peruvian Paso breed as you will experience visiting his stud farm which is in the heart of the Sacred Valley at about 8,500 feet (2,800m). Eddy brings you right off the beaten track across the Urubamba River, up through mountain pasture where smiling Quechua children herd sheep and cattle, to highland terraces and small, mountain villages, where the horses’ hooves echo on ancient cobblestone roads. Oxen pull wooden ploughs through the fields, travel is largely by foot and the native people speak Quechua, the language of the Incas. Of course the trip includes a visit to the legendary Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and a 2 night stay (mid-trip) in the ancient Inca capital of Cusco.
As you ride and are based in high altitude some down time is scheduled in the itinerary. This is often necessary for us humans but also the horses. They can only manage 4 hours a day in that altitude and also we take a break mid trip for some cultural stuff.

On The Sacred Valley Ride you will experience Peru away from mass tourism and see more amazing sights than your less privileged, tour operator peers. By day, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas on horses descended from the steeds of the Conquistadors. By night, enjoy the luxury and comfort of the finest hotels in Peru. The Sacred Valley Ride is more than just an unforgettable riding experience in the Andes. It combines culture, history and adventure with fine Peruvian cuisine, and first-class hotels.

Note - On this ride, whilst it is not absolutely necessary to be an experienced rider, you need to be physically fit and able to deal with the high altitude climate whilst riding.

THE RIDING top

The Sacred Valley Ride – Horses – Peruvian Pasos. These are beautiful gaited horses ranging from 14.2-15.2H so quite small but with plenty of bone.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced. A good level of fitness is required, because of the high altitudes of 9,000 – 13,000 ft. These horses are forward going so you must be balanced with good hands to be able to ride them. The pace is not fast due to the altitude but there are some opportunities to canter and also enjoy the gaited pace which is an art to ride but supremely comfortable.

Tack – Peruvian, similar to Western style.

Weight Restriction – 14 Stone / 90 kg / 198 lbs.

Group Size – Maximum 8.

ACCOMMODATION top

You will be based in two hotels throughout the trip and transported to our horses daily. The benefits are no discomforts. Both are 4 star-ish and super comfortable. The hotels normally used are below but subject to the season may be changed.

SACRED VALLEY:

The hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay is only 5 miles from the stables, has comfortable heated rooms with private bathrooms and plenty of ‘local colour’. The Sonesta Yucay Posada is a former 18th century colonial-style monastery and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The 69-room hotel is like a little village with plazas, gardens and a small chapel. The rooms, with tile floors, wood ceilings, and hand-carved headboards, have balconies that overlook the gardens or the terraced hillsides.

CUSCO:

The Hotel Costa del Sol (former Hotel Picoaga, was originally the old mansion of the Spanish noble, the Marquis of Picoaga (century XVII). It has now been converted into a comfortable real gem of a hotel. The public areas are beautifully decorated in colonial style, framed by fine stone archways on two levels and the beautiful columns and Spanish patio complete an authentic sample of 17th Century architecture.

The food is a highlight on this trip all our past riders agree; regional cuisine made up of hot magnificent breakfast buffets in your hotel, picnic lunches created by Maria and her team…you are in for a treat as Maria can whip up a delicious steak, onion and fresh potato lunch for 8 on a tiny camp stove. Evening meals are either taken at Eddy and Maria’s beautiful ranch house or in a local restaurant, always delicious. If it’s been a super long day Maria might get in a takeaway pizza or bring you to the local “Fried chicken” café. 

We have travelled the world testing a huge variety of horse riding holidays to make sure we offer you, our client, the best horse riding holiday experience possible.

Our horse riding holidays are thoroughly researched – we consider all the elements that go towards making our horse riding holidays collection the best in the world. We check the quality of the horses, if they are fit for the job, well produced and looked after. We make sure the riding terrain is good going, the countryside is interesting and, for example, on Classic Dressage horse riding holidays, the arenas are in good condition. We make sure the accommodation, whether it’s a five star hotel, a farmhouse or camping, is clean and comfortable, and offers a great night’s sleep. The food is all important too – we take the time to make sure we tell you if it’s cordon bleu, home cooked, or regional and locally sourced – above all it has to be delicious, plentiful and nourishing. Last but not least, we choose the horse riding holidays that have the best hosts, who are friendly, warm and welcoming.

It’s only when all these elements come together that we add a horse riding holiday into our hand-picked collection of horse riding holidays.

Horse Riding Holidays at The Sacred Valley Ride are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays Peru.

Please Ask About

  • Sightseeing tours in Lima & Cusco

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

DAY 1

Arrival and check into our hotel in Cusco. Today we relax, rest and get acclimatized to the high altitude, before we start our exciting riding expedition high in the Andes. Meals on our own account today.

DAY 2

After a delicious breakfast we take a 1.5hour drive to our accommodation in the Sacred Valley. For the next three nights we stay in comfortable accommodation in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas; just a short drive from Eduard’s stables. We spend the day at Eduard’s stud farm which is a treat itself and also have the opportunity to become familiar with the beautiful Peruvian Paso horses and the traditional Peruvian riding gear. Enjoy a delicious barbeque lunch at the ranch, some good wine and of course Maria’s famous Pisco Sours. In the afternoon, there will be a demonstration of classic Peruvian equitation, followed by an introductory Peruvian riding lesson, during which your riding ability will be evaluated. We will then match you with a mount in accordance with your riding ability, preference, personality and weight class. All horses are forward going, very well trained and a pleasure to ride. Dinner will be at the ranch or at a local restaurant. Overnight at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in the Sacred Valley. (B, L, D).

DAY 3

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel we head off to the horses and today we will ride along an old and forgotten path, not far behind the ranch that leads to a breathtaking place on top of the Cordillera Vilcanota, and close to heaven. Todays ride will take you along hidden trails, unspoiled landscapes and is absolutely off the beaten track. We’ll lose sight of other tourists!

DAY 4

Today you will visit Machu Picchu by train. Since its discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu has captivated the hearts and minds of the modern world. The experience of visiting Machu Picchu is not limited to the ruins themselves; the train journey is one of the most spectacular in the world. Take lots of film, this is every bit as magnificent as you have imagined. As per July 2017 the Peruvian government has established new regulations to keep intact and preserve the facilities of this Wonder of the World. There are two entrance times: Morning: From 06:00 to 12:00 hrs and Afternoon: 12:00 to 17:30 hrs. The capacity of the Citadel is limited to 2,500 visitors per day, which will be distributed in the 2 shifts mentioned. As to the increase of tourism in Peru it is essential that we book your visit to Machu Picchu in due advance. We will do our utmost to book you for the afternoon shift and with the most convenient train schedule. Depending on availability at the time of booking you will be travelling with the luxurious Vistadome train service leaving from the train station in Ollantaytambo in the morning (a 30 minute drive from your hotel) and return to the same station around 7 or 8 pm where Eduard’s car will pick you up. On your way to your hotel you will stop at the ranch for dinner. Overnight at the Hotel Posada del Inca in the Sacred Valley (B,D).

DAY 5

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel you will be taken to the ranch and the ride will set off. You cross the Urubamba River via a bridge, pass a tiny village called Pichingote along the river and then riding onto Salinas up a narrow track where you will see the salt pans from Inca times which are still being used by the locals to extract salt from the mountain spring water. The saltpans consist of a series of platforms where the salty water is channeled through an impressive irrigation system and left to evaporate in the sun. Today you climb nearly 850 m/ 2800 ft. with the horses to reach the Andean altiplano. The climb takes about two hours and will be at an easy pace. Once at 3,550 m (over 11,400 ft.), you will be surrounded by stunning scenery and the snow-capped mountains of Chicon, Veronica and Pitusuray. Continue your ride to Maras, a typical Andean village with a beautiful 400-year-old colonial church, where a picnic lunch will be waiting for you nearby. The church at Maras was built just after the Conquest and is one of the ten oldest churches in South America. After a delicious picnic lunch you will visit the ruins of Cheqoq. Here the Incas constructed fascinating cold-storage areas (pre-Hispanic refrigerators) to conserve the agricultural produce of the region. Cooling of the products was achieved by using a system of wind tunnels to circulate the air and a network of water channels to circulate the cold water from a nearby mountain spring. Continue riding to the beautiful churchyard of Tiobamba. The horses are left at a nearby village with the grooms and you will be returned to your hotel. After some rest and a hot shower, we will take you out to enjoy dinner at one of Urubamba's local restaurants or at the ranch. Overnight at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in the Sacred Valley. (B,L,D). Riding time: approximately 4 hours. Altitude: 2,800 - 3,550 m/9,190 - 11,650 ft.

DAY 6

After a sound and restful sleep, you will be picked up at 09h15 and transferred back to the village near Tiobamba where the horses will be waiting for you. Today is a day for following primitive trails across the altiplano, enjoying spectacular scenery along the way with views of snow-capped mountains, farmland, wildflowers and beautiful mountain lakes. Meet smiling Quechua children with their herds of sheep or cattle and see campesinos ploughing their fields in the traditional way; oxen hitched to a wooden plough. You may even share a chicha (a traditional maize drink) with them. Just before Chinchero a delicious picnic lunch and our back up team awaits you. On a clear day the views from Chinchero are tremendous; to the west and northwest stretches a vista of rolling altiplano, ringed in the distance by the dramatic snow- capped peaks of the Cordilleras Vilcabamba and Urubamba. After lunch the ride continues to Lake Piuray. From here we ride in the direction of Cusco and pass some small villages. At one of the villages we end today’s ride and leave the horses with our grooms at a farm of a local family. If time allows we will visit Chinchero (if not, we will schedule this visit in the morning of day 8). At Chinchero you have the chance to visit a textiles workshop and see a demonstration of ancient techniques of spinning, dying and weaving wool. The beautiful fabrics are still made in the same way as they would have been made in Inca times. Take some money as you may want to buy some souvenirs (although please do not feel obliged to buy anything). Transfer to the historic city of Cusco, the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America and the former capital of the great Inca Empire. For the next two nights you will stay at the very comfortable Hotel Costa del Sol located near the Plaza de Armas, the heart of Cusco's archaeological centre. Enjoy dinner in Cusco (on your own account) and let us know if we can recommend a restaurant for you. If you still have the energy you can explore Cusco's legendary nightlife! (B,L). Riding time: approximately 4-5 hours. Altitude: 3,550 - 3,800 m/11,650 - 12,470 ft.

DAY 7

Relax; today is yours to spend as you wish. I (Zara) will be visit the numerous ruins, churches, cathedrals and museums of Cusco, enjoy some shopping, or just sit in one of the many coffee shops, restaurants, or bars and watch the world go by, you can decide if you want to join me or do your own thing. According to Inca legend, Cusco was founded around 1200 AD by Manco Capac and Mama Occlo. Manco Capac selected the site when the golden staff given to him by his father, the Sun, sank into the earth and disappeared. Each Inca emperor built his own palace and compound during his reign. The Spanish initially tried to raise the Inca buildings to the ground, but soon realised that because of their quality construction, it was easier to reuse the Inca foundations for their own buildings. For this reason, you can still see many of the original Inca walls throughout Cusco. Cusco is now a vibrant city of some three hundred thousand inhabitants, the vast majority of whom are native Quechua Indians. Despite being a major tourist destination, both for its own treasures and as a base point for the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, Cusco has managed to hold onto its own distinct flavour. It is great place to be for a day. Overnight at the comfortable Hotel Costa del Sol in Cusco. (B).

DAY 8

After breakfast, the riding expedition continues. Pick up is at 09:15 am from your hotel in Cusco. Today's ride will pass along old Inca trails and through open country with spectacular views providing another memorable riding day in the Andes. You will be collected from your hotel with your luggage and taken to the horses - waiting where you left them on day 5. Your luggage will be brought to your hotel in the Sacred Valley while you are riding. Today is one of the most beautiful riding days. The scenery is breathtaking (quite literally), with impressive views of the many snow- capped mountains and the altiplano. Herds of llamas and alpacas are usually seen grazing. Sometimes we have to ride along non-existing mountain trails which means that we will have to improvise and find the best way to get from one side of the mountain to the other. We are in a very remote area that is not easily accessible. You will be impressed with our horses and how they are able to handle the difficult terrain and steep climbs. At one point we will reach a pass at 4,350 m (14,275 ft.) and see the small, shallow Lake Quellacocha; the highest point of the ride. At the lake you will stop for a simple lunch. After lunch we continue the ride to Lake Qqoricocha while we’ll pass large extensions of potato fields, all ploughed by hand. After a while we start to descend with our horses from the altiplano into the valley of Umaspampa on a zig-zag trail for about two hours. During the descent you have to lead your horse for a short while (15 minutes or so) to cross some rocky terrain. Close to the village of Umasbamba we leave the horses in the caring hands of our grooms and you will be transported to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas by car. Dinner at a local restaurant or at the ranch. (B,L,D) . Riding time: approximately 5 to 6 hours. Altitude: 3,300 - 4,350 m/10,820 - 14,275 ft.

DAY 9

Today is another stunningly scenic day and you will enjoy plenty of breaks and photo-stops. From the village of Umaspampa we ride to the villages of Cuper Alto and Cuper Bajo, arriving in the afternoon at an abounded church near the village of Chinchero where we have lunch. To reach this place we have to take a trail that used to be a beautiful paved side road from Inca times. Some parts of this road are still intact and have sub terrain water channels for irrigation and drainage with paved grades to get to higher levels. Much of the riding today is along trails that are part of the great Inca Empire’s road system, the Qhapaq Ñan. The Inca road network was one the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken in the New World, rivaling the Roman road system in the Old World. The 30,000 km network linked Cusco, the Inca capital, to the empire’s far-flung domains. The road system reached almost all of the Andean territories, including Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Chile and was formed by four main roads clearly recognisable, plus many secondary roads. The Qhapaq Ñan is part of the ‘World Heritage List’ of Unesco. For more information about the Qhapaq Ñan: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1459. After another beautiful ride with stunning scenery you arrive to the village of Huaynacolca, high on top of the mountains that surround the Sacred Valley of the Inca’s. Here is where the horses will stay with our grooms for the night. Transfer by car to your hotel in the Sacred Valley where you can fresh up for dinner. Dinner at a local restaurant or at the ranch. Overnight at a comfortable Hotel Posada del Inca in Yucay. (B,L,D) Riding time: approx. 5-6 hours. Altitude: 3,800 - 3,550 m/12,470 - 11,650 ft.

DAY 10

You will be collected after breakfast for your last riding day. Before we meet the horses at Huaynacolca we stop at the pottery shop of the renowned ceramicist and artist Pablo Seminario. Pablo Seminario is a local legend amongst Cusqueños. He invented a new form of ceramic artwork that integrates abstract modern styles with traditional Incan and pre-Incan ceramic techniques and designs. After our short visit to the pottery shop we drive back to where we left the horses the day before and continue our ride along the old Inca road high above the Sacred Valley. We pass farmland and the small village of Santana before we return to the village of Maras. From Maras we continue inland until we arrive to a beautiful courtyard of an old house, that according locals is bewitched, where we can enjoy our lunch. Maria and our back up team will be waiting for us with drinks and a delicious lunch. After lunch we mount our horses again and follow a trail with great views of the Urquillos Valley arriving once more at the village of Maras. From Maras you continue the descent into the Sacred Valley, passing the salt mines again, arriving back at the ranch and journey’s end at around 16:00. It is a good time to celebrate your safe return with a traditional Pisco Sour. Tonight you will enjoy your last dinner at the ranch or at a local restaurant. Overnight at the Hotel Posada del Inca in Yucay. (B,L,D) Riding time: approximately 4-4,5 hours. Altitude: 3,550 - 2,800 m/11,650 - 9,190 ft.

DAY 11

We will transfer to Cusco airport for our return flight homes. The itinerary is flexible. Changes may occur due to weather and if Eddy our guide decides to change routes or Maria changes dinner arrangements etc; it’s a guideline. Your hosts will take good care of you and give you a wonderful Peruvian experience.

The itinerary is flexible. Changes may occur due to weather and other unforeseeable circumstances.

DESTINATION MAP top

 

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

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Peru Holidays Testimonials

Joules & Duncan on Sacred Valley Ride, Peru

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you Jill for organising what you described as a trip of a lifetime. I will forever remember the Peruvian hospitality, Eduards gorgeous horses, the stunning scenery and the genuine camaraderie in our group.

Joules & Duncan Forsyth from Edinburgh