The Posada del Inca Ride 2D/1N, Cusco-Sacred Valley-Cusco
The Posada del Inca Ride is Perol Chico’s shortest multi-day riding tour especially designed for guests with little time available. On the first day a demonstration of the Classic Peruvian Equitation and an introduction to the Peruvian Paso horse will be offered prior to the start of the ride. During this two-day ride we will visit the famous saltpans of Salinas, the village of Maras “Ciudad de Las Portadas (City of doorframes)”, the Inca store houses at Checoq and the amazing agricultural terraces of Moray. Hundreds of years ago the terraces at Moray served as an experimental agricultural station for the development of different crop strains.
The ride includes one overnight at the beautiful Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca, an English-speaking trail guide, lunch and dinner on day 1 and lunch on day 2. A 4WD vehicle will be used as a back up to the ride. The Posada del Inca Ride is a private tour and has no set departures (contact us for availability). Minimum group size: 2 riders
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 (or collection from Urubamba at 9:30 am is also possible). From here, it is a one-hour drive to our ranch in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our riding stables are perfectly located in the heart of the Sacred Valley, between Cusco and Machu Picchu, the famous Lost City of the Incas. In the morning you will be given a display of Peruvian Equitation, learn some of the history of the Peruvian Paso breed and become familiar with our beautiful Peruvian Paso horses and their traditional tack. After the demonstration you will then be invited to have a go yourself. You will be forgiven for feeling a little apprehensive prior to mounting these beautiful, forward-going horses. After an evaluation of your riding ability and in accordance with your horse preference, we will match you with your horse and take you through our safety guidelines for the ride.
For lunch, we will enjoy a typical Peruvian barbecue at the ranch. A Pisco Sour, our national cocktail, is part of the Peruvian tradition and you will have the chance to try what we think is the best pisco sour this side of the jungle! After lunch we set out with the horses - climbing almost 800m with the horses (2,600 ft) to the reach the Andean altiplano. The climb takes about two hours, and will be at an easy pace with frequent stops along the way to allow the horses to catch their breath. Once at 3550 m / 11,700 ft, the stunning scenery and the snow-capped mountains of Chicon, Veronica and Pumahuanca are awe-inspiring. 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 channeled through an impressive irrigation system and left to evaporate in the sun. We will ride to Maras, a typical Andean village known for its intricately carved doorframes, then we will ride on to visit the ruins of Cheqoq. At Cheqoq, the Incas constructed fascinating cold-storage depots (pre-Hispanic refrigerators) to conserve the agricultural products of the region. Cooling of the products was achieved by using a genius system of underground air-circulation.
From Checoq it is approximately a half-hour ride to the church at Tiobamba where we meet our back-up car, leave the horses with our grooms for the night and drive back down to the valley. The night is spent at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay. After a welcome hot shower and a rest we will pick you up from your hotel at around 19h30 and take you for dinner at one of Urubamba’s good local restaurants.
Riding time: 3-4 hours.
After breakfast in your hotel, we will collect you and your luggage, drop your luggage off at the ranch for pick up later and then you will go with your guide back to where you left the horses the previous night. From Tiobamba we make a loop across community farmland and follow primitive trails across the altiplano towards Mahuapampa to reach the agricultural terraces of Moray.
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 several 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 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 traveller with an affinity for such phenomena as the Nazca Lines, Stonehenge in England and the menhirs of Brittany.
From Moray we continue our ride back to Maras which will take about two hours. We will be surrounded by chacra mosaics, perfect rectangles of potato, corn, and wheat crops planted right into the sides of the mountains. We will likely meet smiling Quechua children with their herds of sheep or cattle and see campesinos ploughing their fields in the traditional way, with oxen hitched to a wooden plough.
From Maras we make our way down to the base of the valley and back to our ranch. After a Pisco Sour or a cold beer at the ranch, we will take you back to Cusco late in the afternoon.
Riding time: 5 hours.
Altitude: from 2.800 to 3.600 m / 9,200 – 11,800 ft.
The itinerary is flexible. Changes may occur due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.
Dates & Pricing
- US$ 650.00 (Price per person, 2 or more participants)
- One overnight at the comfortable Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay (based on double occupancy) with breakfast
- Delicious BBQ lunch and Pisco Sours at the ranch on day 1. Gourmet picnic lunch with plenty of liquids on day 2
- Dinner at a local restaurant on day 1 (alcoholic beverages not included)
- Experienced trail guides, grooms and support team & 4WD back up vehicle
- All land transfers to and from Cusco
- Entrance ticket to the salt pans of Salinas
- All tack including leather saddlebags, woolen poncho and water bottle.
Price does not include
- Entrance ticket to the archeological site of Moray is not included.
- Single supplement (if applicable): US$ 95. 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:
The Posada del Inca Ride is a private tour and has no set departures (contact us for availability). Minimum group size: 2 riders
The Posada del Inca ride includes one-night hotel accommodation at the Hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay.
The hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca is only 5 miles from our stable, 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.
Riders' RequirementRiders’ requirement:
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)
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 years 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 rain poncho during the ride.