Eduard van Brunschot (better known as Eddy) is the founder of Perol Chico and is of Dutch and Peruvian descent. In 1996 he purchased some land (named Perol Chico) in the historic and mythical Sacred Valley of the Incas. He also bought a couple of Peruvian Paso horses for his own enjoyment and started to explore the wonderful trails high in the surrounding mountains.
Eddy soon discovered that the Peruvian horse was the ultimate riding horse: unrivalled in terms of endurance and comfort. He realised that there was no established or professional horse-riding operation offered in Peru at the time, so he founded a company for this purpose and became the pioneer of equestrian tourism in Peru.
It was not long before Perol Chico’s riding activities were discovered internationally, and they now appear in reputable guidebooks and in the brochures and websites of the best specialist equestrian travel agencies. Accounts of Perol Chico’s exceptional riding expeditions high in the Andes have also been published in many prestigious horse magazines worldwide. National Geographic selected Perol Chico’s 11day Sacred Valley Ride as one of the top 10 horseback rides in the world.
Eddy continually seeks more opportunities to develop, promote and improve equestrian travel in Peru. His motivation lies in the preservation of the traditional characteristics and virtues of the magnificent Peruvian Paso breed, whilst fostering a deep appreciation and respect for these beautiful horses amongst locals and tourists alike.
Maria Zans Gamarra joined the company in 2004 and is now in charge of the organisation and administration of all equestrian and non-equestrian activities at the Perol Chico ranch. Maria is the founder and managing director of Maria Zans Gia E.i.r.l., a Peruvian-based travel company. Perol Chico Equestrian Travel Co. opened its office in the Netherlands to further improve brand marketing, promotion and global sales.
Quality over Quantity
The ranch is a small riding operation with a family like company culture. It can accommodate a herd of 16 to 18 horses. The location of the ranch high in the Peruvian Andes offers stunning riding opportunities but it is not the most ideal place to keep a large number of working horses. During the 7 months of the dry season, which is also the riding season, good pasture for the horses is hardly available. During these months high quality alfalfa is purchased and trucked in from Arequipa, about 600km/370miles away. The horses at the Perol Chico ranch receive premium food, professional care and their welfare always comes first. They are continuously trained in the Classic Peruvian Equitation and kept in excellent shape by some of the finest horsemen. Nothing is spared to offer only the very best for the horses. For Perol Chico it is quality rather than quantity that really matters.
Reinventing an old Equestrian Tradition
The days that extensive land travel was done on horseback are long gone. More and more people moved to urban areas and heartless motorised vehicles replaced the use of horses. Our noble and loyal travel companion became redundant and equestrian romanticism went out of the window.
Perol Chico is convinced that traveling on horseback is, and has always been, the only way to discover the true colours, the ‘heart and soul’, of a country. It is not the manufactured kind of tourism that doesn’t feel real but a way to experience new places to the fullest by making a real connection - a genuine, local, and authentic connection.
Perol Chico managed to reinvent equestrian travel while preserving its authenticity and charm. The company offers exhilarating riding holidays and expeditions with the very best horses, delicious local food, comfortable accommodation and knowledgable staff and horsemen to provide logistic support, guidance and safety along the journey. Perol Chico has converted an old equestrian tradition into the ultimate and most authentic travel experience for the modern traveler.
Image on the top of this page:
Portrait of our horse Patron by the artist and graphic designer Micheline Hess