The Pancho Fierro Ride 7D/6N, Cusco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu-Cusco.
Starting from the heart of the historically rich and colourful Sacred Valley, the ride follows ancient cobblestone Inca roads and takes you along secluded mountain trails to access Peru's hidden marvels. The route passes through isolated villages of the Quechua communities with numerous visits to the finest Inca sites. This 7-day luxury riding adventure includes 6 overnights at the charming Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in the Sacred Valley, wonderful meals and a support team of grooms, cook, trail-guides plus a 4x4 back-up vehicle throughout the ride. A visit to the legendary Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is also part of the itinerary.
The Pancho Fierro Ride is a private tour and has no set departures (contact us for availability). With a minimum group size of only 2 riders this ride is very suitable for 'private parties' or couples (honeymoon) who can appreciate extra personal attention and a more intimate ambience.
Riding level: intermediate to advanced.
Note: If arriving from sea-level (Lima) we recommend you spend at least 1 day in Cusco prior to starting the ride to acclimate to the altitude.
The meeting point of the ride is in Cusco. You will be picked up at 9h00 from your hotel. From Cusco it is a 1hr15 drive to your accommodation in the Sacred Valley.
For the next 7 nights you will be staying in comfortable accommodation in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas; just a short drive from the stables. Once you have unpacked and refreshed yourself, you will be collected and transferred to the ranch. Today you will have an 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).
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 Pichingote, an old Andean hamlet built along the river and then riding onto Salinas up a narrow track where you will see salt pans from Inca times which are still being used by the locals to extract salt from the mountain spring water. The salt pans 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 with the horses to reach the Andean altiplano. This climb takes about two hours and will be at an easy pace because the change of altitude does not only affect the horses. 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.
From Maras, 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 until approximately 16:30 pm. The horses are left with the grooms and you will be returned to your hotel.
After some rest and a hot shower, we will take you 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.
After a sound and restful sleep, you will be picked up at 09h15 and transferred back to where we left the horses. Today is a day for following primitive trails across the altiplano, enjoying spectacular scenery along the way with snow-capped mountains, 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 we ride to Lake Piuray. From here we continue north in the direction of Cusco. At a small village we will meet a local family who will offer their hospitality. We will leave our horses and our grooms here for the next two nights. If time allows we take a short trip by car to visit Chinchero 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 back to your hotel by vehicle. Dinner will be at a local restaurant or at the ranch. Overnight at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in the Sacred Valley. (B,L,D).
Riding time: approximately 4,5 hours. Altitude: 3,550 - 3,700 m/11,650 - 12,140 ft.
You will be collected after breakfast and transferred back to Lake Piuray. From here, you crisscross through the rough Andean landscape, passing remote Quechua communities, herder's huts and small farms called ‘chacras’. Today is one of the most beautiful riding days.
The scenery today 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. We will bring a simple lunch (sandwiches) with us because there is no access for our back up vehicle. 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. You will be impressed with our horses and how they are able to handle the difficult terrain and 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 lunch.
From here we descend the high trail around the north end of the lake and ascend eastward to a small and remote mountain village, the village of Qencco. The people living at this high altitude are friendly, hard-working farmers who grow mainly potatoes. We end the day at Lake Q’oricocha where the horses will stay. From Lake Q’oricocha you will be transferred in our 4x4 vehicle to lower altitudes along spectacular mountain roads. Once at lower altitude our van will bring you to the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in the Sacred Valley.
Dinner at a local restaurant or at the ranch. (B,L,D)
Riding time: approximately 5 to 6 hours. Altitude: 3,700 - 4,350 m/12,140 - 14,270 ft.
An early start today (usually pick up is at 06:00 am!), as you catch the train from Urubamba to the ruins of Machu Picchu. 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. The Vistadome train brings you to Machu Picchu an hour before the main tourist train arrives from Cusco. Since its discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu has captivated the hearts and minds of the modern world.
In the afternoon take the train back to Ollantaytambo, arriving late afternoon. From Ollantaytambo a private car will bring you back to the ranch to have some dinner and then to the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay.
After breakfast, the riding expedition continues. 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 and taken to the horses - waiting where you left them, at Lake Q’oricocha. Pick up is at 09:30 am (yesterday’s visit to Machu Picchu was quite intensive so today we won’t start too early allowing you to rest well). The car ride to the lake is spectacular again. At around 10:45 we are on horseback again. We 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.
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 old and abounded church near Chinchero, where we will meet our back up team with our lunch.
After lunch we will ride to the village of Racchi where the horses will stay with our grooms for the night. Transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
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: 4.350 - 3,800 m./14.270 - 12,470 ft.
After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, you will be fetched and transferred back to Racchi, where the horses will be waiting for you. Much of the riding today is along trails that are part of the great Inca Empire’s road system, the Capac 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.
Today you follow a trail with great views of the Urquillos Valley arriving once more at the village of Maras. From Maras you continue the ride passing a deep gorge and farm land until you arrive at our lunch spot for today. Here Maria will be waiting for us with a delicious lunch and cold drinks. After lunch we continue the ride and the descent into the Sacred Valley arriving back at the ranch and journey’s end at around 16:00. A good time to celebrate your return with a traditional Pisco Sour.
At around 16:30 our car will transfer you back to Cusco (or any place in the Sacred Valley). It is an 1 hour + 15 minutes drive back to Cusco.
Riding time: approximately 3 to 3,5 hours. Altitude: 3,800 - 2,800 m/12,470 - 9,190 ft.
Optional extra overnight at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca, Yucay. We can arrange your hotel accommodation in the Sacred Valley for this evening. Transfer back to Cusco (or any other place in the Sacred Valley) the next morning after breakfast. Additional cost on request.
Dates & Pricing
- US$ 3950.00 (Trip price per person, group size: 4 - 7 participants)
- US$ 4150.00 (Trip price per person, group size: 2 or 3 participants)
- US$ 580.00 (Single supplement, if applicable)
- - 6 overnights at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay (based on double occupancy).
- - Visit to Machu Picchu on day 5. Includes all land transfers, train tickets, bus tickets, entrance fees.
- - All meals except lunch on day 5. Dinners at local restaurants include soft drinks (alcoholic beverages are not included). Dinners at the ranch include all drinks.
- - Experienced English speaking trail guide plus rear guide, grooms, driver and support team.
- - 4WD back up vehicle. All land transfers to and from Cusco or the Sacred Valley.
- - All tack including saddlebags, woolen poncho, snacks, water bottle.
Price does not include
- Single supplement (if applicable): US$ 580. The trip price is based on shared occupancy of hotel accommodation, the so called 'Double Room' for two persons. The single supplement fee covers the extra cost for a 'Single Room'. 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:
Flexible departure dates between mid March until end of October (please contact us for availability). A minimum group size of only 2 riders is required to run this ride. This ride is very suitable for private parties and couples (honeymoon).
The ride combines 6 nights in quaint hotels with private bathrooms. Depending on availability at the time we make our final reservations, we use the following hotels:
SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca
Plaza Manco II de Yucay 123, Urubamba, Cusco.
The hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay is only 5 miles from our stable, 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.
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.
Meeting PointClients will be met in Cusco or any other place in the Sacred Valley. You will be taken to the Perol Chico ranch by private transport. At the end of the ride (day 7) 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 five to six 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: 85 Kgs./190 pounds
Riders Weight LimitTo ensure the welfare of our horses there is a strict rider weight limit of 85 kgs / 13.5st / 190 pounds. There are scales at the stables and riders may 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.
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.
16 or older. No maximum age limit as we had very fit and experienced riders of 75+ years old!
Terms & Conditions
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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 rain poncho during the ride.