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Perol Chico lies in the Sacred Valley at the heart of the Andes, about 65 km from Cusco.
On horseback you will journey past Inca ruins, cross wooden bridges spanning the Urubamba river and ride through rural villages where you are met with a chorus of, “hola”. See locals working their fields, often accompanied by a wealth of animal life in the form of donkeys, dogs, chickens, pigs, goats, llamas and cows.
The Sacred Valley and Pancho Fierro rides include a visit to the extraordinary Machu Picchu
You are sure of a warm welcome from your host Eduard van Brunschot and his Peruvian wife Maria. Eduard is of Peruvian and Dutch descent. He grew up in Holland, but returned to Peru in the mid-1990’s and bought some farmland in the Sacred Valley.
A highlight of this ride are the horses, which are purebred Peruvian Pasos.
You should be an experienced rider, balanced at all paces and capable of controlling a forward-going horse. You must be confident enough to try a new style of riding, although the demonstration of Peruvian equitation and introductory riding sessions at the start of the trip will help you adjust.
You ride the distinctive Peruvian Paso, which is known as the cadillac of horses for its famously smooth 'paso llano' gait. They stand between around 14hh and 15.3hh, are very willing and enjoy their work.
This is not a fast-paced ride and you will not do much, if any, canter work. Due to the very high altitude and difficult terrain, the horses cannot be expected to do fast work. You are asked never to push the horses and if they want to slow down, then this is fine.
There are some steep slopes to negotiate, so you should have a good head for heights and be fit enough to hike at altitudes of around 4,400 metres.
The horses are ridden in traditional Peruvian tack, handmade in the local area. It is designed for long hours of use, with the comfort of both horse and rider in mind.
The bridles, which can take up to a year to make, are made from woven rawhide. The saddles are made to distribute the body weight across a wide surface area and feel like a cross between a dressage and a Western saddle. The wooden box stirrups may feel unusual at first, but you will soon become used to them.
There is a strict rider weight limit of 85 kg including riding gear. There are scales at the stables and riders may be required to step on the scales. Anyone exceeding the weight limit may be excluded from the riding and no refund will be made.
There is no guest accommodation at the horses' base, so you stay at two comfortable hotels in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The guest rooms all have private bathroom facilities.
On The Sacred Valley ride you spend the first night in Cusco which will help you to become accustomed to the altitude. For the next four nights you stay in the Sacred Valley, followed by two nights in Cusco and you return to the Sacred Valley for the final three nights.
On the Pancho Fierro ride you spend all six nights in the Sacred Valley.
In Cusco you stay at either Costa del Sol Hotel or the Hilton Garden Inn. Both hotels are ideally located close to the city's historic centre. In the Sacred Valley you stay at Sonesta Posada del Inca Hotel, a former monastery set in pretty gardens.
During the ride you will have breakfast at your hotel. Lunch will either be a saddlebag picnic or be brought to you in the support vehicle. The evening meal will be at Perol Chico or a local restaurant.
Set departures for the Sacred Valley ride are listed below.
Outside of the set Sacred Valley ride dates, we can usually arrange a six night Pancho Fierro ride between April and October for private groups of two or more. Please enquire for details.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||19 Jul 2020 - 29 Jul 2020||10 nights 10 ngts||$4,950.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||2 Aug 2020 - 12 Aug 2020||10 nights 10 ngts||$4,950.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||16 Aug 2020 - 26 Aug 2020||10 nights 10 ngts||$4,950.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||6 Sep 2020 - 16 Sep 2020||10 nights 10 ngts||$4,950.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||27 Sep 2020 - 7 Oct 2020||10 nights 10 ngts||$4,950.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||4 Apr 2021 - 14 Apr 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||20 Apr 2021 - 30 Apr 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||2 May 2021 - 12 May 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||23 May 2021 - 2 Jun 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||18 Jul 2021 - 28 Jul 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||15 Aug 2021 - 25 Aug 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||5 Sep 2021 - 15 Sep 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||19 Sep 2021 - 29 Sep 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
|The Sacred Valley Ride||10 Oct 2021 - 20 Oct 2021||10 nights 10 ngts||$5,090.00||Book|
INCLUDES Accommodation; most meals; riding; entrance fees to ruins; train bus and entry to Machu Picchu; airport transfers.
SMALL GROUP SUPPLEMENT for the ride to confirm for 2-3 riders: $200.00
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT $877.78 which is refunded if we find you a sharer.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Meals at Machu Picchu and in Cusco; guide at Machu Picchu; drinks; tips.
NEAREST AIRPORT Cusco.
TRANSFERS Included on the first and last days of the ride from Cusco airport.
The collection point for the ride is Cusco, in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
There are no direct flights to Cusco, so you will likely have to travel via Lima. Although it is possible to avoid flying through Lima if you were to fly to Cusco via Bogota with Avianca.
Airport transfers are included on the first and last days of the Sacred Valley Ride itinerary. If you arrive in Cusco before the start day of the ride, then you will need to make your own way from the airport to your hotel.
On the first day of the ride, the earliest possible collection time from Cusco airport is 08:00am (any earlier than this and you will need to wait until after 08:00am or take a taxi to your hotel at your own expense).
Check-in at your hotel is from 11:00am, so we recommend a flight arriving mid-morning. If you arrive earlier than this, you will be able to make use of the hotel's main facilities until your room is ready. The first day is an opportunity for you to rest and become accustomed to the altitude.
On departure day, check-out is after breakfast and then you are transferred to Cusco airport, (a journey of c. 1.5 hours). Flights should ideally leave Cusco between 11:00 and 14:00.
If your route is via Lima, then we recommend that you do not to book a flight departing any later than 14:00. Your onward flight should then depart from Lima after 17.00. These guidelines for flights between Cusco and Lima are because strong winds can affect flights over the Andes late in the afternoon which can sometimes cause flight delays or cancellations (especially between mid-July and the end of August).
In the Sacred Valley which lies at the heart of the Peruvian Andes.
Peru's climate varies widely. But during the months in which the rides run, you should usually experience good weather.
Day-time temperatures are more or less the same year round, averaging around 19 or 20 °C. If the weather is cloudy and windy (usually in the afternoons) it can get a bit chillier. The temperatures in the evening and overnight are lowest during the winter months of June, July and August.
At all times you should dress in layers and be prepared for every eventuality.
This is more than a riding holiday. A culturally enriching experience which gives the opportunity to ride incredible Peruvian horses across epic landscapes, meet local people, observe the way of life in city, valley and mountains, sample delicious locally grown food and see the markets and farmers at work. I came back a more confident rider and more knowledgeable about Peru and South America. An experience not to be missed.
Charlotte, NorfolkOverall rating: 5/5
Explore the Sacred Valley from the back of a Peruvian Paso, hailed as the smoothest riding horse in the world. Time is also set aside to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu.
The ride is at altitude so take it easy whilst your body adjusts.