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Machu Picchu Mountains

Overview

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 …

Highlights

  • Ride through the mighty mountains of the Sacred Valley
  • Visit Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world
  • Stay in a different luxurious lodge each night
  • Keep your eyes peeled for Andean condors over the peaks
  • Non-riders can follow a similar hiking trail each day

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 12 riders per group (18 in camp)
  • Average of 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

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 intact, and it is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also listed as one of the 'New 7 Wonders of the World'!

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

Horses & Riding

Tack

Two types of saddles are available: Uruguayan leather Endurance Saddles (similar to English-type) & American synthetic Endurance saddles (similar to Western-type).

Horses

Predominantly American Quarter horses, but some Arabian, thoroughbred and Paso horses are also used.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trail is a trail ride

Ages

65 years (if over we require a doctors letter)

Health

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

Weight

90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

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).

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.

Itineraries

Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trail Luxury accommodation.

Other 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.

There may be a visit to a craft market, the famous Inca fortress, 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. 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.

Travel

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

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

We always recommend staying at least two nights in Cusco prior to your riding programme, if your travel plans allow it. This is in order to acclimatise to the altitude in preparation for your Lodge to Lodge ride. We can help you with booking hotels in Cusco.

Connecting flights to Cusco start at 6 am. 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.

Testimonials

Nicki A., April 15, 2015

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.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 4 hours

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 Quillarumiyoc archaeological site before reaching the mountain village of Mollepata. Lunch is taken at El Pedregal, a beautiful farmhouse in the village where you will also have the chance to learn about local agriculture and livestock. After lunch you continue on a 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 day is gentle so that you can adjust to the altitude, taking advantage of the outdoor jacuzzi or just walking in the beautiful surroundings..

Type of Terrain: Open roads, some steep ascending trails. Walk, trot and canter possible.
Non-riders will be transferred directly to the Lodge or can hike to the lodge (c. 3 hour hike, easy to moderate)

Day 2

Riding: 4 hours

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. 

Type of Terrain: Open roads, some steep ascending trails and open fields. Walk, trot and canter possible.
Non-rider activity: Hike to Humantay Lake (c. 4 hour moderate hike)

Day 3

Riding: 4 hours

Today you will continue your ride 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 4638 metres (15,213 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 lives’), your destination for the evening. A hot lunch is taken en route. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

Type of Terrain: 80% steep trails and 20% open land. Walk and trot only.
Non-rider activity: Hike across the Salkantay Pass to Wayra Lodge. Hike is challenging and c. 6 hours.

Day 4

Riding: 3 hours

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.

Type of Terrain: Steep, narrow trails. Walk and possibly trot.
Non-rider activity: Hike down into the cloud forest, c, 3-4 hours, easy to moderate.

Day 5

Riding: 4 hours

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.

Type of Terrain: Steep trails and some open roads. Walk, trot and canter possible.
Non-rider activity: Hike through the valley to Lucma Lodge. Approx 5.5 hours, moderate to challenging.

Day 6

Riding: No riding.

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 Aobamba 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.

No riding option. Non-riding hike is c. 4-6 hours, moderate to challenging.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

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. You can choose to climb the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu if you have a good head for heights (subject to ticket availability).

Afterwards you will return to Aguas Calientes by bus 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

All nights are spent in high standard eco-lodges and hotels along the route.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

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.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 12
Accommodation for up to 18.
Departure windows

At any time during: March 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Rides can start on any day, subject to availability)

March 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2022  (Rides can start on any day, subject to availability and min of 2 pax)

Pricing

2021/2022
Green Season (1st - 31st March and 1st November - 14th December), sharing
£2260 $3125 €2680
Final balance payments for this ride need paying 10 weeks before departure
2021/2022
High Season (1st April - 31st October and 15th - 31st December), sharing
£2980 $4125 €3535
Final balance payments for this ride need paying 10 weeks before departure
Included 6 nights accommodation, meals from lunch on Day One to lunch on Day Seven, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks (soft drinks, water, tea, coffee and juice), riding, guides, ground transportation (including train) during trail, taxes.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, alcoholic drinks, bottled water, sports drinks, accommodation before/after the ride, mandatory entrance fee for Salkantay Trail (USD 50 per person), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Salkantay Trail entrance fee $50
Paid locally
Payable in cash on first day of the trail.
2021/2022 - Single Supplement 20.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable to request and guarantee a single room.
2021/2022 - Single Supplement 10.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable if you are willing to share a room, but do not have a roommate to share with. If a sharer is found then you can be refunded this amount.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.