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Horse riding in Peru
Horseback riding in Peru

Frequently Asked Questions

(Andes Rides)



Why choose Perol Chico?

At Perol Chico the horse always comes first. Our horses are our most valuable assets and their well-being and good health are vital. 

Feeding and taking good care of horses in this part of the Andes is an expensive undertaking. There is little or no rainfall for seven months of the year, during which time good grazing and quality forage are scarce. We buy tons of high-quality alfalfa to ensure a nourishing and continuous food supply for our horses during the dry season. Aside from feeding the horses the best quality food available, they are continuously being trained and cared for. During the wet season (mid-Nov. through mid-March), the trails high in the Andes can become too slippery and dangerous, limiting our riding season in the mountains to only 7 to 8 months a year.

Due to the limitations mentioned above, we keep our equestrian business and the size of our herd small, as this is paramount to providing only the best possible care for our horses. 

Our continuous striving for quality and excellence has earned us the reputation of being the best horseback riding operation in Peru and one of the best in South America.

Why Peruvian Paso horses?

Because they are superb trail horses and the cultural heritage of our country. Our horses are strong and agile, not too big - not too small, have stamina, are warmbloods and offer an incredibly smooth ride. For centuries, they have been bred and selected in Peru to perform as exceptional travel horses, able to cover long distances year after year. 

Perol Chico is proud to have some of the finest Peruvian Paso horses from carefully selected bloodlines. All our horses are registered at the National Peruvian Paso Horse Studbook Association (ANCPCPP).

What is the rider's weight limit?

To ensure the welfare of our horses, there is a strict rider weight limit of 85 kg / 13.5st / 187 pounds (dressed for riding).

Can we gallop on your rides?

Rides in the Sacred Valley are at high altitudes where little oxygen is in the air. Our horses are in excellent shape and well adapted to high altitudes, but their lungs and heart still have to work very hard to recover after a gallop. More speed means that the horse requires more oxygen. If you were to run up a hill at these altitudes, you would experience how hard work that is and the recovery time needed after only short distances.

Gallops are fun on flat terrain, but high in the Andes, nothing is flat. There will be moments where we speed up just for fun, but overall, the terrain and altitude do not offer good conditions for long and fast gallops. Riding high in the mountains on challenging terrain requires more technical riding skills.

In our blog 'High Altitude Rides', we explain in more detail the impact of high altitude on horses. 

What level of riding skills should I have for your rides?

Our rides are suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. However, this is not always set in stone. On some rides, we have had less experienced riders who did amazingly well and very experienced riders who found it hard to adapt to a different riding style. What is important is that participants feel confident on a forward-going horse and that they are in control at all paces in the open countryside; that they can ride with a straight, deep and balanced seat (flexible in the hips) and that they are able and willing to ride and control a horse with subtle riding aids. No yanking on the reins but riding from your seat, always with soft, gentle guiding hands. 

Contact us if you are not sure about your riding level - we are happy to arrange some private riding lessons before the ride to boost your confidence. 

How big are the groups on your rides?

Safety is crucial, so the maximum group size for all our rides is kept small, at only 6 riders. Two experienced trail guides always accompany the rides for extra safety. We also have a backup team and a 4x4 vehicle to support the ride.

Our most popular ride, the 11-day Sacred Valley ride has scheduled departure dates and is usually booked well in advance. Other rides have flexible departure dates and are subject to availability. Bookings are placed with shorter notice, so they often have smaller groups.

Can you ride a horse to Machu Picchu?

No, you can not. The state-owned Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is integral to a National protected areas system. The boundaries of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu are clearly defined within the protected area (several thousand acres). Horses and pack animals are not allowed on the Inca trails in this area.

When is your riding season?

During the rainy season in the Andes, from mid-November until mid-March, no multi-day rides are offered because the trails high in the mountains can become too slippery and dangerous. The safety of horses and guests always comes first at Perol Chico. December and January are usually the wettest months in the Andes. The seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. Summer in Peru is from December to February. Winter is from July to September. During the daytime, the temperature hardly fluctuates in summer or winter. Only at night, the temperature drops significantly, depending on the altitude, in wintertime.

Contact us if you have any questions or want to know more. We are happy to answer all your questions.

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