The thrilling gaited Peruvian Paso horse is at the heart of a desert crossing expedition that we can offer you in close collaboration with two top local breeders, members of the National Association of Peruvian Paso Horse Owners and Breeders, who provide the horses and tack for the expedition.
Over a century ago, a visitor to South America wrote: "Horseback riding is a vigorous form of exercise except in Peru, where breeders have managed a triumph over nature. They have created a horse which moves by means of a very smooth amble. These horses are greatly sought-after, for to ride one is much the same as being seated in a chair." This is, in short, the horse with the smoothest of all gaits, as you will find out when you join this riding expedition exploring a remote and seldom visited part of Peru.
During this trip you also get to learn about the ancient civilizations that occupied these areas by visiting many of the most important archaeological sites that lie along a route that starts in the middle of wild and deserted grasslands. We ride from one oasis to the next and through fertile valleys and on to the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
From Ica to Nasca, you explore the South Peruvian coast, with its amazing and wonderful landscape and discover a universe full of archaeological treasures that include the famous NASCA LINES.
During seven days, you ride along a specially selected route from Ocucaje to Cahuachi, the biggest mud brick archaeological site on the South coast of Peru. From 16th century Haciendas to our comfortable camps, you can enjoy the local Chalane traditions and Peru's finest gastronomy. This special trip allows you to become totally immerse in the authentic Peru and share in its traditions.
ITINERARY Day 1 * Ica - Hacienda Cantoral - Ica
We collect you during the morning in Ica city located 300 Kms south of Lima. Drive to the Hacienda Cantoral for lunch and meet to all the support crew. This Hacienda is home to the Criadero Santa Vicenta de Propiedad, the property of Don Hugo Nieto Suarez who has been breeding Peruvian Paso horses since 1946. Don Hugo is famous all over Peru for his well-known stallions such Iqueno, Aurio, Conquistador and Domingo that are well renowned in the US. You spend the afternoon at the stud where you have the opportunity to become familiar with the horses from this ranch and also those from the ranch of the Criadero Santa Cecilia of Senor Rafael Castro Barreda, known for its stallions Oscar and Armando that have won several championships on the basis of their "brio", a combination of arrogance of manner, and fluidity of movement. The whole day, including a Pachamanca (traditional Inca meal) will be dedicated to the Peruvian Paso horse and its traditions. You learn how to harness your horse according to ancestral custom. You try out the stallions, mares and geldings in order for you to find the horse that best suits your level and personality. Professional "chalanes" or local horsemen, introduce you to Peruvian horsemanship and the local style of riding.
In short, you get to join a family who have been dedicated to the Peruvian Paso horse for four generations. In the evening, we go back to a hostel bed in Ica before the ride starts the next morning.
Day 2 * Callango - Chiquerillo 5-6 hour ride
After breakfast, we leave for our first day of the desert ride, following the Ica valley southwards. After crossing the Chiquerillo canyon and its amazing pinkish, bluish and golden sands, we arrive at La Bruja hill to discover Miocene (12 million year old) vertebrate fossils of gigantic size. These paleontological treasures are located up on the hills in the middle of the desert and thus are out of reach for most travellers to Peru. After the visit we spend the night in camp.
Day 3 *Callango - Samaca Chico 5-6 hour ride
After breakfast, we ride down to Ullujaya along the Ica river through wonderful pampas and sandy areas. We spend the night in camp placed in an oasis near Samaca Chico.
Day 4 * Samaca Chico - Boca del rio 3-4 hour ride
We ride from Samaca Chico to Boca del Rio, where the Ica River discharges it's waters into the Pacific Ocean. After having crossed steep mountain lined sandy areas and having ridden through huarangos, espinos and other coastal forest, we reach a long and wide beach, home to thousands of sea birds. The afternoon allows you to enjoy the beach and its diversified fauna. Night in camp.
Day 5 * Boca del Rio - Montegrande, 5-6 hour ride
After breakfast, we ride 10 kms of yellow dune beach to reach Puerto Caballa, a fishing village and an old harbor. Once we leave the ocean behind and pass over high pampas, we get to an escarpment overlooking the verdant valley of the Rio Grande, here we spend the night in camp.
Day 6 * Montegrande - Coyungo, 4-5 hour ride
We ride up north east of the Rio Grande valley to enter into the depths of a huge canyon, surrounded by multi-coloured rocks. After lunch, we follow the river along old Inca, Paracas and Nasca cemeteries to Coyungo where the camp awaits.
Day 7 * Coyungo - Cahuachi - Nasca, 6-7 hour ride
In the morning, we reach the Rio Nasca valley, one of the Rio Grande's ten tributaries. This is the territory of the ancient Nasca civilization. We cross the mountains that part both valleys following an old Inca path that links the ocean to the hinterland. This path was used in the past by the chaskis - the Inca empire runners. We ride along Nasca valley, through its small-holdings, across its grasslands, its huarango forests until we get to Cahuachi, Nascas great ceremonial site, the biggest on the Southern coast that was entirely built with mud bricks.
Thanks to the ongoing excavation project, you can enjoy the restored Great Pyramid and, depending on the moment, you may have the chance to see archaeologists at work. After the visit, we ride another hour to the camp where we leave the horses. You then drive to the Hacienda Majoro de Nasca, now a hostel, for your dinner and overnight accommodation.
Day 8 * Nasca
In the morning, we do a flight over the famous NASCA LINES. After lunch, the tour is over and you continue your travels. End of itinerary.
About this trip
* We reserve the right to change the illustrated itinerary as required. This is a trip established on Fair Tourism principles with local partnerships and products.
* 8 days/ 7 nights in total
* 6 days riding or with riding part of the day. 4 - 7 hours of riding per day on average. Approximately 190km in total.
* Meeting point: Ica, Peru.
* Tack: Peruvian
* English, French and Spanish speaking guides.
* Pace: Moderate speed paso gait.
* Level: B
* Weight Limit: 95kg
* We provide Peruvian Paso pedigree stallions, mares and geldings trained for the ride.
* A flight over the famous NASCA LINES
* Includes all accommodation in hostels, haciendas and tented camps. Full board catering.
* All transfers from Ica, and to Nasca. Includes museum and archaeological site visits and entrance payments to the fossil hill La Bruja, the archaeological site of Cahuachi, and the flight over the Nasca Lines.
Please note that water is in limited supply due to the desert location.
* Also note that you need to bring your own sleeping bag.
* A minimum of 4 riders need to confirm for a scheduled trip to go. Custom dates can also be requested for 4+ riders.
The climate in the South coast is desert sub tropical: hot and dry with temperatures between 18C and 33C from December to March, and between 10C and 26C with mist and light rains from April to November, mainly in the Ica Valley and the littoral. Because of the distance to the ocean, Rio Grande, Nasca and Palpa valleys are hotter. Generally speaking, mornings and nights are quite cool (from 8 to 15C) and afternoons rather hot (from 20 to 30C). Each valley has its own climate; the humidity being higher closer to the ocean and the heat more intense inland. Because of the difference between day and night temperatures, we recommend you bring: - an anorak, a warm jacket for the evening and one or two polar jumpers; - a good sleeping bag, those indicating -10C resistant are fine; - a hat with a thin cord, sunglasses and sun screen; - a pair of jeans with small stitches and leather boots or mini-chaps to ride; - Cotton clothes and underwear; - walking shoes; To be avoided: clothes made out of lycra or any kind of material that makes you sweat, tight jeans, city shoes and classic horse riding shoes or boots. In Peru, it is not usual or mandatory to wear a helmet. If you want to wear a helmet, please bring your own. To protect your photographic material or any other electrical device from the sand, we recommend you to use plastic bags (the ones used to keep food in the freezer are fine).
* No vaccination is mandatory in Peru. For this particular region though, DT Polio, Hepatitis B and Tetanus are recommended.
* Alcoholic drinks are extra.
* International airfare is NOT included with this ride.
* INSURANCE is not included, but is strongly recommended in respect of riding injuries and medical cover. Participation is at your own risk.
* No visa entry fees into Peru are in force for European or USA residents.
* A trip deposit will be required to hold a place; with the balance paid in full 8 weeks prior to trip departure.
* Day 0: transfer Lima airport - Lima hotel + Lima dinner with guide + visit of Las Fuentes + hotel: $260
* Day 1: transfer Lima-Ica: $70
* Day 8: transfer Nasca-Lima: $100
* Day 8: transfer Nasca-Lima hotel + Lima dinner with guide + hotel + day 9 transfer Lima hotel-Lima airport: $350
* Single supplement for hotel room in Lima: $60 for 2 nights.
|Riding expedition||Peru||8 Days||All year||Level B||4 - 8|
Group price guide per person from 8-2 riders
|8 riders||7 riders||6 riders||5 riders||4 riders||3 riders||2 riders|
Fast riding pace
For more trip dates go to the list of proposed riding dates
, please feel free to request a closed group booking of this ride.