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The San José Ride

4 days/3 nights


Our 4-day San José Ride is a short version of our 8-day Humboldt ride and is suitable for those with limited time. Departure dates are flexible, year-round. Please inquire about availability. 

The ride offers three full riding days and a day at the secluded and exotic beach lodge Caleta San José, where you will embark on a private boat trip to explore the rich marine life along the Pacific coast. The ride includes visiting the Valle la Caldera, where we can admire ancient rock art along an old path connecting Arequipa with the Vitor and Sigas Valley. The petroglyphs represent geometric designs and anthropomorphous representations dating from long before the arrival of the Incas. On our last riding day, we will visit the Lagunas de Mejia, a national sanctuary for migratory and resident birds, followed by an afternoon ride along the beach. 




Day 1

After breakfast, at c. 6:00 am, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred c. 1 hour to a place called Uchumayo. Here you will meet the horses and grooms and start your 4-day coastal riding adventure. After some hours riding through desert landscapes, we arrive mid-day at the valley la Caldera. Along an old pathway that once connected Arequipa to the Vitor and Siguas valleys, we find ancient rock art with figures of animals, anthropomorphous representations and geometric designs dating from long before the arrival of the Inca. Some petroglyphs are even related to the Formative Period ( 1800 BCE-900 BCE).

In the afternoon, we arrive at the ranch of Don Claudio Cavallero in La Joya to enjoy a refreshing Pisco Sour. From here, it is a short drive to Campo Albergo Samambaia, owned by the Rivas family. 

For generations, the family has been a breeder of many prize-winning Peruvian Paso horses, and they would be happy to give a tour around their premises.  

Dinner and overnight at the Albergo. 

Riding c. 4 - 4,5 hours. (B,L,D.)


Day 2

After a hearty breakfast, transfer to the starting point of today’s ride

called ‘El desierto del Infiernillo’. Starting from this point in the desert, we ride to the coastal hills, part of Peru’s Coastal Lomas System. Lomas vegetation develops on the slopes facing the sea, favouring the condensation of mists brought by winds from the south and southwest. These slopes can reach up to 1.000 meters above sea level. During the winter, the relative humidity is above 80%, producing fogs called ‘neblina’ or ‘garúa’, usually between 400 and 600 meters above sea level.

The Lomas ecosystem is the habitat of many animals during the winters because, during July and October, there is a shortage of pasture in the mountains, forcing the animals to look for new sources of food in low areas. The Lomas are fragile ecosystems of high conservation value. They can absorb carbon year after year of the atmosphere, as well as a high endemism of its flora and fauna.

Around lunchtime, you arrive at the fishing port of Quilca where we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the picturesque harbour.

After lunch, we will meet the horses nearby for the afternoon ride along the Pacific coast. The ocean views and landscape are stunning, and the riding is exciting as we have to cross some sandy gorges at some points. The horses, however, can deal with this type of terrain and will impress you. We finish our riding day at a secluded cove along the Pacific Ocean, where we’ll find the exotic eco-lodge ‘La Caleta San José’ in the back of beyond.

After a refreshing shower, we gather around the campfire and enjoy a delicious barbecue and the breathtaking beauty of the ocean sunset.

Riding c. 4,5 to 5 hours. (B,L,D.)


Day 3

You will spend a wonderful day at the beach lodge - a perfect place to relax, disconnect from technology (there is a poor WIFI signal) and connect with nature. The eco-lodge is owned and managed by Don Mauricio and his son Esaias and was originally set up as a farming operation of Peruvian scallops.

The Peruvian scallop is a Pacific Ocean mollusc widely consumed in our country since ancient times. It is mainly consumed in ceviche, a seafood dish where diced cubes of raw fish, marinated in a lemon or lime juice mixture, react with the citrus juices to cure the fish protein and cause it to become opaque and firm while absorbing flavour. It is also the main ingredient in appetisers, such as Peruvian scallops a la Chalaca and Shellfish a la Parmesan.

The eco-lodge is electric powered by solar energy and constructed with light and ecological materials. It uses a bio-digester septic tank and water from subsoil extracted with a solar pump.

Sea conditions permitting, we’ll embark on a private boat trip to discover the

fascinating marine life and seabirds. The area is home to sea lions, marine otters, dolphins, seals, Humboldt Penguins, pelicans, cormorants, Inca Terns, and gulls, among others.

Overnight at the eco-lodge. (B,L,D.)


Day 4

After breakfast, our van will transfer you to a place near the village of Mejia where the horses are saddled up and ready to go. We will ride to the Lagunas de Mejia National Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a riparian woodland ecosystem with lakes, swamps, beaches, reed beds, scrublands, and the Tambo River. It is a sanctuary for migratory and resident birds, designated as a Ramsar site since 2015. The reserve covers an area of 690.6 hectares (1,707 acres) and was established on February 24, 1984, to protect local flora and fauna. A total of 200 species of resident and migratory birds live in the park, including gulls, cross skimmers, belcher’s gulls, kelp gulls and silver grebes. Grebes, pintails, teals, teals, rails, Virginia rails, Coconut herons, snowy egrets, grey herons, and Chilean flamingos have been in the area reported.

Some mammals are Molina swine skunk, red lemur, Sechuran fox, sea otter, Pallas long-tongued bat and montane guinea pig.

We will have lunch along the route, where we meet our backup team

with fresh water for the horses. Afternoon ride back to Mejia along the beach, arriving around 4:00 pm. Before departure to Arequipa, we have some drinks and an early farewell dinner. Our van will bring you back to  Arequipa, where you arrive at around 8:00 pm. Overnight at your comfortable hotel in Arequipa.

Trip Details:


Dates are flexible (year-round), min. 2 riders. 

Promotional price 2024:

2 riders: US$ 2.490 p.p./ 3 or more riders: US$ 2.250 p.p.

Single supplement: $ 280

  • 4 Days / 3 Nights / 3 Days of riding / 4 to 6 hours of riding per day. 

  • Nearest collection point: Arequipa

  • Weight limit: 90 KG./14 ST/198 Pounds).

  • Group size: Min. 2 - Max. 8 guests.

  • Riding ability: Intermediate - Advanced

  • Includes professional trail guide, grooms, horse truck and driver, private car and driver, all land transfers, and meals as reflected in the itinerary.

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Contact us for more information

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