Exploratory Expedition 2019 10D/9N, (Ica Coastal Desert).
Eduard van Brunschot, the owner of Perol Chico, continually seeks more opportunities to develop, promote and improve equestrian travel in Peru. He and his friend Mariano Cabrera Ganoza, have been talking for years about the idea of setting up a ride on Mariano's property Ullujaya, a magical place along the Ica river and deep in the desert of Ica. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams so after many scouting trips both friends finally decided to organise the first exploratory ride in the coastal desert of Ica.
The starting point of the riding expedition is the town of Ica. From here we will depart to our basecamp in the desert where we will meet our horses. We have no idea what our final destination will be but one way or the other we will return to Ica within the set time frame of 10 days. On previous scouting tours we outlined the area on the map and marked the GPS-waypoints of the places we would like to visit during the ride. Part of the route will be along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, with miles and miles of empty beaches. Most days however will be spend in the open desert and along the valleys of the Ica and Nasca River. Among the places we want to visit are the lomas (fog meadow) to see some of the coastal vegetation and fauna. The lomas de Ullujaya or San Fernando in Nazca have some beautiful views and archaeological sites also. There are places within the area where we'll find fossils, pre-hispanic cemeteries and water channels as well as remains of ancient settlements.
The welfare of our horses will be our prime concern during the ride so we will have to go well prepared. A back up team and 4x4 vehicle(s) will support the expedition and provide water and food for the horses as well as other basic supplies and provisions.
For the expedition we will use the horses of Perol Chico as they will be in top shape after our riding season high in the Andes. They will be trucked to Ica from our ranch in the Sacred Valley, a 2 day journey. In the Ica desert we will set up our basecamp next to the Ica river and near the old hacienda house (under restoration) of the Cabrera family in Ullujaya. A huge corral for the horses has already been constructed. Our basecamp will be essential for the logistic support. Solar panels will be installed at basecamp to provide the necessary electricity for lighting and for the refrigeration of food (and drinks).
Distance and speed will be dictated by the riding abilities and fitness of the riders and the type of terrain. The ride leader decides the pace and distance covered during the ride, always having the welfare of the horses in mind. There will be enough opportunities to enjoy the smooth Paso Llano gait of our horses and some long gallops along the sandy and endless beaches of the Pacific coast, but we have no intentions to make this ride a race or a long distance competition.
In general the weather in the Ica desert during the month of November is good, but on some days it can get quite hot around mid day. On those days we just take a long siesta and ride a bit longer at the end of the day.
Water containers will be placed at strategic points in the desert before the ride. This way our support team will always be able to find water sources within reasonable distances. The trail accommodation is in 2 person tents out in wild nature.
The riding expedition starts on November 09 and ends on November 18 (10 days/9 nights). Ride leaders: Eduard van Brunschot & Mariano Cabrera Ganoza
Places to visit during the expedition:
Hacienda Ullujaya (basecamp), Fundo Samaca (ecological farming project of Don Albert Benavides), the Lomas de Ullujaya, Amara and San Fernando (ephemeral seasonal oases sustained by ocean fogs), fossil zones, various archaeological sites of pre-hispanic cultures, beaches and small fishing settlements along the Pacific coastline, rock-shelter site called El Abrigo, pre-ceramic archaeological sites Yerba II and III, riparian Prosopis woodlands in the Quebrada Usaca (with Nasca period cemeteries along its higher edges), Canon de los Perdidos ('The canyon of the lost', geological formation), Cahuachi ceremonial center of the Nazca culture, among others.
Exploratory rides require a certain kind of resilient, flexible, fit and independent horse-person who is also a team-player. If you are interested to participate, please contact Eduard van Brunschot at [email protected] or through our contact page.
Day 1 - Ica
Nov. 09. We have made a reservation for you at the Hotel Huarango in Ica. In the afternoon you will meet the trip leaders and discuss the plans for the coming days.
Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2 - Ica coastal desert. Hacienda Ullujaya
Nov. 10. After breakfast transport from your hotel in Ica to our basecamp in Ullujaya in the Ica desert, a 2 hour plus drive. Here is where our exploratory expedition starts and where you will meet the horses and our back up team. (B,L,D). The idea for the coming days is to ride from our basecamp to the Pacific Ocean and then southwards. On our way we will visit Samaca, an ecological farming project not far away from our basecamp. During the ride we will coordinate continuously with our support team responsible for the logistics and plan our expedition day by day.
Day 3 - Ica coastal desert
Nov. 11. No set itinerary due to the character of the ride. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Ica coastal desert
Nov. 12. No set itinerary due to the character of the ride. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Ica coastal desert
Nov. 13. No set itinerary due to the character of the ride. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Ica coastal desert
Nov. 14. No set itinerary due to the character of the ride. We might plan to escape the desert and spend the night at a comfortable hotel in Ica to enjoy a hot shower, a nice bed and some good food. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - Ica coastal desert
Nov. 15. No set itinerary due to the character of the ride. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - Ica coastal desert
Nov. 16. No set itinerary due to the character of the ride. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - Ica coastal desert
Nov. 17. Ideal would be to get close to or reach Carhuachi on horseback. No set itinerary due to the character of the ride. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - Ica coastal desert. Ica.
Nov. 18. Last riding day. Visit Cahuachi.Cahuachi is a major ceremonial center of the Nazca culture and a sacred destination of Nazca pelgrims. The Nazca flourished between 200 BCE and 600 CE, and Cahuachi covers a similar time period. The site, which was used for harvest festivals, ancestor worship, and burials, is dominated by a series of huge ceremonial mounds and plazas. These have been a rich source of Nazca artefacts ranging from mummies to textiles, all well-preserved in the arid climate. Cahuachi was abandoned from the mid-6th century CE, perhaps due to climate change as the local environment became more arid. Earthquakes, too, may have been a contributing factor to the centre’s decline. It is interesting to note that the number of geoglyphs created at this time increased, perhaps indicating the urgent need for divine help to meet the crisis. The mounds were systematically covered with earth and so the abandonment of Cahuachi was both planned and deliberate.
Afternoon ride to some place where we can truck the horses to bring them back to our basecamp in Ullujaya. Late afternoon transport to your hotel in the town of Ica.
Dates & Pricing
- US$ 2950.00 (Price per person, 4-6 participants)
- US$ 400.00 (Small group surplus, 2-3 participants)
- US$ 280.00 (Single supplement, if applicable)
- The trip price per person to participate in the 10 days/9 nights exploratory expedition is USD 2.950 per person, based on a group size of 4-6 participants. For smaller groups a surplus will be charged.
- Price includes all meals as indicated in the itinereray (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), land transport with private car, support team, 4x4 vehicle(s) and camping equipment.
Price does not include
- Alcoholic beverages during meals at restaurants, gratuities, optional activities, personal expenditures and travel insurance.
- Single supplement: the price for each ride is based on shared occupancy. If you are traveling solo and wish to share accommodation, we will make every effort to find a roommate (always of the same gender). If you are willing to share and no roommate materializes, then the customary single supplement will apply. A single supplement is always applicable for participants who specifically request single accommodation.
Dates and availability:
Scheduled departure dates 2019:
November 9 - November 18
More information will be published soon
Terms & Conditions
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