Machu Picchu Mountains riding holiday in Peru - Far and Ride
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Machu Picchu Mountains, Peru





Reviews



An absolutely wonderful holiday, better than expected. Our guides were excellent, lodges were lovely, food great and the horses were super - in great condition, well looked after, incredibly good on the steep paths but also fun to ride. I was impressed with how much care and attention went in to safety and everyone's wellbeing.

Julie D.
The holiday was absolutely fantastic and I couldn't recommend it highly enough. The riding part of our trip was my favourite part of my holiday, it was amazing. The horses and staff were lovely. The lodges were great and the accommodation at all of them was second to none and was of a high standard (it definitely hit us hard when we left and were staying in huts in the amazon...). The horses were fantastic and well looked after and in really good condition and I must admit, I trusted them more than I did myself on the paths when we were hiking, they were definitely fitter and more used to the altitude than me! I will definitely be booking another riding and would definitely recommend yourselves and if anyone was going to Peru, I couldn't recommend the programme we did highly enough.

Suzanne G.
We had a wonderful time. Everything was well-organised and professional. It could not have been a better experience! The whole trip was perfect! I think we enjoyed being truly out in nature and away from anything urban the most. Our favourite specific memory was the offering by a local shaman. Food and accommodation were both great. They provided a perfect opportunity to try local foods and it seemed like the supply was never ending. Wonderful! Our horses were perfectly suited to our abilities, tack was well maintained and the staff always had safety in mind. Guido, our main guide, was fantastic. He was local, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and professional. Support staff were all great.

Erica and CB
Amazing! It was a challenging, stimulating, culturally interesting and luxurious experience. Fabulous horses, a great group of people all of a similar standard and outstanding guides. I've wanted to visit Machu Picchu for so long, but going by horse made this the most memorable experience of my life.

Nicki A.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Quarter Horses are used, Arabs and Thoroughbreds. Peruvian Pasos. All horses are picked from a pre-selected pool especially for each trip, according to their fitness at the time. The horses are specially trained for high altitudes and the rugged terrain. They are fitted with 'booties' to protect them and 'replacement' or back-up horses are taken on every trip. These horses are suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. Novices are welcome but they will have a specially selected type of horse and have direct assistance from a horseman.

Nature of horses:

Forward going, strong, reliable, good natured and sure footed.

Height of horses:

14 - 16 hh

Weight limit:

90 kg

Tack type:

Two types of saddles are offered: Firstly, Uruguayan Endurance Saddles (assimilates and English-type) leather saddles. Secondly, American Endurance saddles (assimilates to Western-type) synthetic saddle.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This breathtaking horse riding holiday takes you riding through stunning and varied scenery where you will experience riding along the foothills of the Salkantay Glacier, delight yourself with tasty 'Pachamanca' - a traditional Peruvian meal - and top it off by visiting the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu and the famous site of the Inca fortress.

This is the first and only operator of a Trans-Andean Lodge to Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu and provides an exciting trip for all horse lovers, whilst also maintaining the first-class service and accommodation that characterises this company. It creates adventures for the avid horseback rider and allows them to experience much that Peru has to offer with the best service and accommodation. It has been created to allow guests to explore areas of the country along with experiencing elements of culture, adventure, fun and relaxation.

Most of all, important to all horseback riders, it includes lots of riding on fantastically sure-footed and well cared for horses! Due to the terrain the majority of the riding is at a walking pace, though opportunities for trot and canter feature at the beginning and end of the ride. The horses will astound you with their mountain sense and provide the ideal means by which to explore this spectacular scenery. Machu Picchu is well known for its cultural and historical importance, as it remains relatively in tact, and it is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also listed as one of the 'New 7 Wonders of the World'!

**For 2016 the organisers of our Macchu Picchu Mountains trails have been honoured amongst the nominees for Travel + Leisure magazine's "World's Best Tour Operators" award. Recognising some of the highest standards of quality and experience on a global scale.

Please note that final balance payments for this ride will need to be paid 10 weeks before departure.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The accommodation includes various nights lodging as detailed by the individual programmes. The lodges are all very comfortable. Some of the accommodation is luxurious with outdoor Jacuzzis. The crown jewel is the Salkantay Lodge located in the high Andean valley of Soraypampa at 3,850m/12,705ft above sea level. In addition to high-quality “Andean Cuisine” the Lodge offers an outdoor hot tub, cosy reading rooms, a bar/lounge and twelve well-appointed private double (or twin) rooms with private bathrooms and hot showers.

We always recommend to stay at least two nights in Cusco (if your travel allows it) prior to your riding programme in order to acclimatise for your Lodge to Lodge ride. This also allows you to explore the city of Cusco and its surroundings, which have much to offer culturally and historically. Additionally, you can enjoy fine dining, traditional shows, shopping, night-life, amongst other entertainment.

It is now possible to stay at El Mercado Tunqui, the official hotel of the Lodge to Lodge ride. This luxurious, 4 star property is located in the heart of picturesque Cusco, a short walk from the main square and is where briefings will be held prior to the start of the trail. Occupying the premises of an old, disused market, it boasts 27 well-appointed rooms and 7 top-of-the-range suites. The hotel offers the very best breakfast in town and almost all of the hotel's guests will be like-minded, fellow Salkantay trekkers.

We can also help you with booking alternative hotels in Cusco should you prefer.

The food is excellent and includes plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. You will have the opportunity to try out local Peruvian dishes. Lunch is often a picnic en route and dinners taken at the lodges are delicious. Peru is said to produce the best organic coffee in the world.

You will be able to try the traditional Pachamanca, which is famous for its cooking method. It consists of layering meat with hot stones and then covering the whole thing up to bake. The Pachamanca consists of a variety of meats (chicken, lamb, beef, pork and guinea pig) and vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes and yucca).

 

Activities

There are many activities you can enjoy depending on the programme you have booked. The culture and history of this wonderful country make this is a very exciting trip on and off the horse. There are many excursions and visits not to be missed.

A visit to a craft market, the famous Inca fortress, and guided City tour of Cusco, including Temple of the Sun, the main Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the bohemian district of San Blas can be arranged at an additional cost. Sightseeing at Machu Picchu is definitely not to be missed and a tour of Sacsayhuaman is another wonderful trip.

On the trails you may get a chance to go swimming in glacial lakes and hiking to Humantay Lake, there are many optional hikes. This is a great place for bird watchers but even those less enthusiastic may be excited to see the wonderful Andean Condors soaring above them.

At some of the lodges you may relax a little and take advantage of a soothing massage.

 

Further Details

Languages: Spanish and English

Health requirements: You need to be very fit and healthy due to the high altitude and demands of the terrain

Age limit: 65 (if over we require a doctors letter)

Tuition: No

Included: As detailed by individual programmes

Not included: Flights, insurance, arrival night hotels (night before trail date to make early morning pick up), airport transfers.

 

Travel Information

International flights are to Lima, most international flights arrive into Lima airport either late at night (11pm) or early in the morning (5am).

Connecting flights to Cusco start at 6am. Mostly, booking a night at a Lima hotel (even for a few hours) makes all the difference in feeling rested for enjoying your trip. We can assist with hotel booking services in Lima in an array of 3 to 5 star hotels.

An internal flight is needed to Cusco airport from Lima for the Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge ride.

Hotels in Cusco:
We always recommend to stay at least two nights in Cusco (if your travel allows it) prior to your riding programme in order to acclimatise for your Lodge to Lodge ride. We can help you with booking hotels in Cusco.

Airport: Lima

Alternative Airport: Cusco

 

Programmes


Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trail



Experience the history and culture of the Machu Picchu lodge to lodge ride. Please note services start from collection from hotel at 7 am on day one. You will need to arrive a day before your trip start date and arrange a hotel. You will also need to spend a night in Cusco on the last day of your trail (dependent on flight times). Please ask the office for advice.

Day 1:

After an early breakfast, guests will be picked up at 7am from their hotel in Cusco by a guide, and taken to the Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort (SLAR) in Soraypampa. On route you will take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, you will pass through the mountain village of Mollepata. There will be a brief stop where you will have the chance to buy jam or clothing, produced by the Mollepata people. You will then continue on an winding, ascending mountain road to the Coronilla Ranch.

Here after a short period of familiarisation, you will begin your ride to Soraypampa. This is a good opportunity for guests to acclimatise and enjoy a calm and beautiful 3-4hr trek on their first day. The SLAR takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley - the "Salkantay", the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 20,600 ft, the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by the friendly staff, guests will be shown to their rooms and have time to wash and relax. The first afternoon will be spent at leisure to adjust to the altitude, taking advantage of the outdoor jacuzzi or just walking in the beautiful surroundings. An evening briefing by the fireplace is followed by aperitifs and dinner.

Riding Hours: Approximately four hours. Type of Terrain: Open roads, some steep ascending trails. Non-riders will be transferred directly to the Lodge.

Day 2:

Today's excursion takes you first to Humantay Lake, fed by glaciers far above the slopes of the impressive Mt. Humantay. The one hour ride there will be followed by a short 20 minute walk, which is necessary in order to reach the lake. The view is well worth it and those brave enough can go for a swim! After a short snack break you will hike back down to where you left the horses, from where you will begin a 30 minute ride to your next dismount spot; the gateway to the "Chakana" (the mystical Cross of the Incas, located on a view point high above Soraypampa). 

From here, you will begin a one hour excursion by foot to your destination, the actual "Chakana". This excursion allows you to enjoy the best views of the Soraypampa Valley, Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Humantay, and is truly one of the high points of the journey which cannot be missed! A mystical offering to Mother Earth (or "Pachamama:) at the Chakana, performed by a local Shaman, in full view of the awe inspiring Mt. Salkantay, tops off this unique experience. 

You will return to the lodge for lunch, after which there will be the option of riding out again for a couple of hours in the surrounding area, or you can choose to follow up on the glacial swim with a relaxing soak in the outdoor hot tub instead. In the evening, the guides will brief you on gear and the itinerary for the following day. 

Riding Hours: Approximately four hours. Type of Terrain: Open roads, some steep ascending trails and open fields. Non-rider activity: Hike to Humantay Lake.

Day 3:

Today you will continue your ride (about four - five hours) towards Machu Picchu, riding up the Rio Blanco valley and circling Humantay opposite Salkantay. In the process you will reach the highest part of the ride, a pass at 4500 metres (14,800 ft). Keep your eyes open for Andean condors, common to the area.  At the pass you will stop to take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the south face of Salkantay towering above you. From the pass you will continue your descent toward the Wayra Lodge (“Wayra”: wind; ‘the place where the wind livesÂ’), your destination for the evening. A hot lunch is taken en route. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

Riding Hours: Approximately four hours. Type of Terrain: 80% steep trails and 20% open land. Non-rider activity: Transfer to Ollantaytambo.

Day 4:

Today you will continue downhill above the Salkantay River, descending into the cloud forest, through increasingly verdant scenery. Upon arrival at Collpa Lodge you will be greeted with a Pachamanca (subject to availability; traditional underground stone cooking). This traditional meal is famous for its cooking method, which consists of layering meat with hot stones and then covering the whole thing up to bake. Collpa Lodge is located on an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has almost panoramic views of lush green mountains. You may spend the afternoon relaxing or walking in the surrounding area. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Riding Hours: Approximately three hours. Type of Terrain: Steep trails. Non-rider activity: Day free in Ollantaytambo.

Day 5:

Today you will head down the Santa Teresa river valley, through banana and passion fruit orchards and coffee plantations. The coffee grown here is said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world. Along the way you will stop for a picnic lunch.  Afterwards, you will continue your ride to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail, which is where you will say goodbye to your horse. A short thirty-minute walk through an avocado orchard will bring you to Lucma Lodge. You will arrive in time to allow for exploration of the small village of Lucmabamba and possibly meeting with members of the local community.

Riding Hours: Approximately four hours. Type of Terrain: Steep trails and some open roads. Non-rider activity: Transfer by train and vehicle to Lucma Lodge.

Day 6:

Today you will be transferred to the train station in order to catch the train to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town. Those who wish to can hike this distance instead. (The guide confirms guests' preferences the night before.)

Description of optional hike:

You will leave the lodge around 9am and head uphill for around two hours towards Llactapata pass (2600 metres/8500 feet). After heading downhill for about ten minutes you will come upon the recently restored Llactapata Ruins from where you will have a distant but very special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest, a perspective that few tourists get to enjoy. You will walk another ten minutes or so to your lunch spot where you can enjoy a picnic lunch with the same view of Machu Picchu.

You will then descend to the Vilcanota River through bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations, a descent of between two and three hours. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short train ride away and you will check into your hotel for dinner and a well-earned rest.

The whole group spends the night in Aguas Calientes.

Day 7:

Today you will have a very early start in order to make the thirty-minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu to arrive before sunrise. You will then enjoy a private guided tour of the city, followed by several hours in which you will be free to explore the ruins by yourselves. Afterwards you will return to Aguas Calientes by bus for lunch and then take the afternoon Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo (about an hour and a half), where you will be transferred by car to Cusco (about one hour), to your hotel of choice. You will spend the night here (not included in the price).

Please note it is strongly recommended that you bring your own safety equipment, although helmets can be provided.



Accommodation: Varies from private lodges to hotels, all to a high standard.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 18
Ability description: Strong novice to advanced (some trail experience recommended). You need to be very fit and healthy, due to the high altitude, demanding terrain and optional hike on day six.
Type of ride: 5 days riding ranging from three to five hours.
Total riding time: Trail
Departure dates: 2017: 24-30 March, 19-25 April, 26 May-1 June, 14-20 June, 13-19 July, 23-29 August, 15-21 September, 25-31 October, 22-28 November, 30 December-5 January 2018
 
Pricing: 2017:

Low Season (1-31 March 2017 & 1 November-14 December 2017)
£2725 per person based on shared accommodation

High Season (1 April-31 October 2017 & 15-31 December 2017)
£3115 per person based on shared accommodation

There is a single supplement of 20% (10% if you are willing to share but a roommate cannot be found).

Programme includes: Six nights accommodation (5 nights in MLP lodges and 1 night in Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel or similar in Aguas Calientes), meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages included are: Lunch and dinner on day 1, all meals day 2 to day 7 except dinner on day 7, guides, all ground transportation, including trains, gratuities for staff (excluding guides) and taxes. At the lodges filtered and sparkling water, tea, coffee, juice and soft drinks are included. **Alcoholic beverages, bottled water, and sports drinks are an additional charge. Rate does NOT include a mandatory entrance fee of US $50 per person to ride on the Salkantay Trail. Please note that this must be paid in cash on Day 1 of the ride.

Please note services start from collection from hotel @ 7 am on day one. You will need to arrive a day before your trip start date and arrange a hotel. Please ask the office for advice.

Price does not include flights or travel insurance.

Final balance payments for this ride will need to be paid 10 weeks before departure.