The Monasterio Ride 3D/2N, Cusco-Sacred Valley-Cusco
This is a wonderful 3-day riding adventure in the Peruvian Andes. Ponchos, sombreros, wonderful meals, Pisco Sours, excellent accommodation, combined with spirited purebred Peruvian Paso horses and the good company of passionate and experienced Peruvian horsemen makes this ride an experience hard to forget. You will visit the saltpans of Salinas and other impressive Inca sites, pass through picturesque mountain villages, enjoy delicious picnics and ride through miles and miles of stunning Andean landscapes. The ride includes a visit to the village of Maras, Chinchero and Racchi, the Inca store houses at Cheqoc and the agricultural terraces of Moray. A 4WD vehicle will be used as a back up to the ride. The Monasterio Ride is a private tour and has no set departures (contact us for availability).
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 our ranch in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our 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 the opportunity to become familiar with our beautiful Peruvian Paso horses and the traditional Peruvian riding gear. To enjoy the journey you should be a competent and experienced rider and above all be happy to ride a forward-going horse and try out a new way of riding, Peruvian style. Upon first arrival at the ranch you will be given a display of Peruvian Equitation by your host, Eduard (you will soon get to know him as Eddy), and also by his Peruvian chalan (horse trainer). After a short riding course in the Classic Peruvian Equitation we will evaluate your riding ability (and take into account your horse preference) and match riders to their mounts. You will also be briefed on our safety instructions on the trails.
Around 12:30 pm, we will 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 is impressive. On our way up we pass Salinas, the saltpans from Inca times, 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 channelled through an impressive irrigation system and left to evaporate in the sun. Take plenty of film to capture this unique sight. We will ride to Maras, a typical Andean village, where we will meet our back up car and staff. We will leave our horses with our grooms for the night at a safe place near Maras and our car will bring you back to the valley. You will spend the night at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay or a hotel of your choice. After some rest and a hot shower in your hotel we’ll enjoy dinner at one of Urubamba’s local restaurant.
- Riding time: 4 hours approximately, including riding course.
Today we depart at approx. 9:30 am to return to our horses who have spent the night with our grooms. We ride along mountain paths that were once part of the old Inca road and reach the village of Racchi around midday. The scenery atop the mountain trails is spectacular, but as we climb ever higher we keep a slow pace to safe our horses energy. We will meet our back up team with a wonderful picnic lunch at the village of Chinchero. If you want you may explore the Inca ruins at Chinchero and visit the beautiful old church that was built at the end of the XVI century using as foundations the finely carved stones that once belonged to a great Incan palace. After lunch we continue our ride and cross the plains of Chinchero to Lake Huaypo. Because of the flat terrain here we 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 horse that equals the speed of a canter. At Lake Huaypo we climb again with the horses, pass some small mountain villages and see the lake from high above. We descend and ride along the lakeside to reach today's final destination, a small farmer's community where we will leave our horses in the caring hands of our grooms. Our back up vehicle will bring you to your hotel where you can fresh up and relax a bit before we take you out for dinner in one of Urubamba's delicious restaurants.
- Riding time: 5-6 hours approx.
After breakfast, we will transfer you back to where you left the horses on the previous day. Today we ride again along some beautiful trails high up in the mountains and pass agricultural lands and some 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 usually speak Quechua and though they have a hard life they are very friendly and smile when they see us. We ride towards the agricultural terraces of Moray where we meet our back up team again with our picnic lunch and food and water for the horses. Moray is an enigmatic Inca site where hundreds of years ago, people in this region took four huge natural depressions in the landscape and sculpted them into levels of agricultural terraces that served as an experimental agricultural station for the development of different crop strains. This was possible due to a fascinating phenomenon: the climates of many different ecological zones were present at a single site. In the thirty or so metres of altitude between the bottom and top levels of Moray's main depression, scientist John Earls has recorded a full 15 degrees Celsius (59 deg. F) difference in temperature. That is equal to the difference between the mean annual temperatures of London and Bombay. It is likely that Moray played a key role in the original transformation of maize into a high-altitude crop. There are no great ruined structures in Moray to impress; it is more for the contemplative traveler or farmers!
From Moray we continue our ride and descend to the valley floor arriving at the ranch before it gets dark to enjoy a refreshing Pisco Sour or cold beer together.
A private car will bring you back to Cusco late in the afternoon.
The itinerary is flexible. Changes may occur due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.
- Riding time: 5 hours approx.
Dates & Pricing
- US$ 1050.00 (Price per person, 2 or more participants)
- Two nights at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay (based on double occupancy) with breakfast
- Lunch on day 1, 2 and 3. Dinner on day 1 and 2. Dinner ‘a la carta’ includes soft drinks (alcoholic beverages are not included)
- Experienced trail guides, grooms and support team & 4WD back up vehicle
- All land transfers, including to and from your hotel in Cusco
- All tack including saddlebags, poncho, snacks and water bottle
- Entrance fees to the ruins.
Price does not include
- Single supplement (if applicable): US$ 190. The trip price is based on shared occupancy of the hotel room, the so called 'Double Room' (two persons). The single supplement fee covers the extra cost for a 'Single Room' (one person). 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:
Private tour, no set departures (contact us for availability).
The Monasterio ride includes two nights hotel accommodation at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay.
The Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca is only 5 miles from our stables, has comfortable 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.
Clients will be met in Cusco or any other place in the Sacred Valley. You will be taken to the Perol Chico ranch by private vehicle. At the end of the ride (day 3) our car will bring you back to Cusco or any other place in the Sacred Valley.
Riders RequirementsRiders must
Be comfortable in the saddle for four to five hours
Be comfortable at the walk, trot and short canters
Be able to ride up and down steep hills
Be physically able to hike at high altitudes (9,000 - 12,000 ft)
Weight limit: 90 kg / 15st / 200 pounds
Weight LimitThere is a strict rider weight limit of 90 kg / 15st / 200 pounds. There are scales at the stables and riders will be weighed prior to the ride setting off. Riders exceeding our weight limit may be excluded from the ride and no refund will be made.
Age Limit16 or older. No maximum age limit as we had very fit and experienced riders of 75+ years old!
Horses and Tack
The horses are locally bred Peruvian Pasos. This breed dates back to the colonial era of Peru and originates from the Spanish Andalusians. Peruvian Paso horses are bred for their grace, spirit, and intelligence and are a symbol of their historic and noble past. These horses like to amble, moving fore and hind limbs on the same side at the same time, unlike other equine races that typically move diagonal limbs at the same time. During the ride you will experience traveling on horseback at the smooth Paso Llano gait (4-beat lateral gait, between 8 to 10 Km. per hour). The horses are well cared for, strong, and even-tempered.
The tack utilized is very traditional and demonstrates refined Peruvian craftsmanship. The hardwood hex stirrup and the guarnición, or tailpiece, are unique elements of the Peruvian tack. The saddle is a box saddle and has a deep seat.
All care will be taken, but we assume no responsibility for injury, loss or damage in any way. Guests are responsible for having an adequate, valid insurance policy including coverage for all the sporting activities that they are likely to participate in. Appropriate medical insurance is obligatory.
It is understood by Maria Zans Gia EIRL that guests are in a suitable condition to partake in a riding tour, are not riding against any medical advice, and that guests know of no reason why they should not be participating in such a tour.
Guests will be required to sign a waiver of liability at the start of the tour.
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.
Terms & Conditions
Read how to make a deposit on a trip, about cancellations and refunds, our participant expectations and more. Click here
Suggested Packing List
- Comfortable riding trousers
- T- shirts
- Long sleeved cotton shirts.
- Wind-bloc Fleece or jacket (for cold evenings especially at these high altitudes).
- Hat. We recommend a hard hat for riding and something with a wide brim is advisable as protection against the sun (baseball caps work well). Your hard hat must be secure on your head.
- Good sunglasses with a neck cord. Your eyes will become bloodshot if you do not wear sunglasses.
- Sunscreen and Lip Balm, essential because of the altitude and dry air. Suggest at least Factor 30, if not total block.
- Scarf/bandana, useful for protection against the sun.
Leather saddlebags are provided for you. Each person has a set of saddlebags and carries what they need for the day. Jackets and ponchos can be tied behind the saddle so it is easy to put them on and take them off. We provide each rider with a warm Alpaca poncho and also a rain poncho for during the ride.