Exploratory Expedition 2022 - The Ica coastal desert

Scheduled departure date: mid-November 2022 

Perol Chico is organising a unique exploratory expedition in the Ica desert, one of the most fascinating places on the Peruvian central coast. The riding expedition will be all about adventure and exploring unknown places. In contrast to a riding holiday, where everything is arranged in advance, this ride has a more flexible day-to-day itinerary due to the many unforeseen elements and the character of the ride. The coastal desert of Ica is of captivating beauty and its fascinating geological features and mysterious archaeological remains makes this remote region one of the most interesting places in Peru for equestrian exploration.


The lower Ica Valley on the hyperacid south coast of Peru was once the homeland of ancient and highly civilised cultures. The riverine oases that cross the arid desert of the south coast of Peru were host to a rich history of cultural change. Over more than 2 millennia before the Spanish conquest (about 750 BC to AD 1536), at least six major cultural changes occurred here. The Paracas (or Ocucaje) culture emerged in the Early Horizon, later evolving into Nasca. Nasca’s fragmentation and collapse were followed by domination of the region by the highland Wari Empire during the Middle Horizon before, in turn, it waned and the more regionally focused Ica–Chincha society flourished before being incorporated into the Inca Empire (David G Beresford-Jones).

Places to visit during the expedition

Museo Paleontológico de Ocucaje, Hacienda Ullujaya (basecamp), Fundo Samaca (a stunning ecological farming project in the desert, owned by Don Alberto Benavides), the Lomas de Ullujaya, Amara and San Fernando (ephemeral seasonal oases sustained by ocean fogs), fossil zones, beaches and small fishing settlements along the Pacific coastline, a 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), Cañon de Los Perdidos ('The canyon of the lost', geological formation) and other archaeological sites of pre-hispanic cultures such as Cahuachi, an important ceremonial centre of the Nazca culture.



Exploratory rides require a certain kind of resilient, flexible, fit and independent horse person who is also a team player. If you are interested in participating, please contact Eduard van Brunschot at info@perolchico.com or through our contact page.


note:  some photos are from past coastal exploratory expeditions (Arequipa) 

Horse riding expeditions, Pacific coastal desert, Peru