The Sacred Valley at the heartland of the Inca Empire cannot only be enjoyed on foot but also on a unique Sacred Valley horseback riding experience through the stunning valleys and alongside tranquil rivers. Enjoy trotting your way through one of Peru’s most beautiful landscapes while riding along ancient Inca routes in the valleys around Cusco.
Experience the culture and nature of Peru while riding through thousands of hectares of pure open wilderness where the only limit is as far as your eyes can see to the horizon.
According to National Geographic, the Sacred Valley is one of the top 10 horseback riding locations in the world with its dramatic Andean setting of cliffs and lush flourishing valleys. Join us on this exclusive insight into our journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas on the prized Peruvian Paso horse.
♦ From the Sacred Valley Plateaus to Moray Maras
At the foot of the Apus of Urubamba in the heart of the Sacred Valley, a line of beautiful Peruvian Paso horses await to take you through this spectacular valley. The Apus are not just mountains but are believed to be the guardian gods of the Sacred Valley.
As you stare up at the impressive mountains, you won’t be able to help yourself from feeling their majesty and why the local population reveres them.
Traveling through the peaceful, traffic-free area you will follow a charming narrow path winding between small farms of the Rumichaca community towards a place known as Tarabamba. The views that the surrounding area treats you to will keep you occupied as you cross the town of Yanahuara, the green fields of Pichingoto to the salt mines of Moray Maras. Along the way aside from the open countryside, you’ll be able to see old colonial estates left by the Spanish as well as more diverse landscapes as you pass the Andes producing views of glaciers on the eastern cordillera.
♦ The Colonial Beauty of Moray Maras
The land you cross is only occasionally traveled on by the few shepherds who cultivate the surrounding land and grains on the Sacred Valley Plateau. Upon arrival to the archaeologically fascinating site of Moray, you’ll be able to admire the crisscrossed landscape with its natural depressions and agricultural terraces that have served the local population for more than 100 years.
These agricultural amphitheaters were constructed to experiment with the development of different crops so that the Incas could decide where is best to grow certain crops in the surrounding Sacred Valley.
Having explored the interesting site of Moray, your graceful Peruvian Paso horse will lead you to the charming colonial town of Maras. Known for its nearby Inca salt mines which is to this day, used by the local communities, the small town of Maras is so much more than just the town near the salt mines. With original remains of its glorious past shown through the impressive building facades and nostalgia in this town frozen in time; Maras which is located on a plateau has unrestricted views of the mighty Andes Mountains. Looking above the elaborate beams and sills of the buildings leading into the main square of Maras, pay attention to the coasts of arms and symbols of their former inhabitants from the time of the colonials. The importance of Maras during the colonial era can be seen with a visit to the San Francisco de Maras church which is one of the oldest outside of Cusco and has beautiful Cusco school paintings and architecture.
♦ Exquisite landscapes from Maras to the Salinas
Leaving the once regal colonial town of Maras, the descent to the valley begins traveling along a path used for thousands of years by the salt pan workers. Feel the confidence of the Peruvian Paso horses which having been bred in the Sacred Valley tackle the rocky, narrow and steep terrain like a walk in the park.
These powerful horses which are protected by the Peruvian government and declared a Cultural Heritage of Peru are known for their smooth ride, so you should have no fear in walking like John Wayne the following day!
Passing by cacti similar to the ones found in Mexico from which tequila is extracted, and facing the high winds of the valley, you’ll arrive at the Kachiracay gorge with its small gullies and breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys and farms of the Sacred Valley. The famous salt flats of Maras will come into view and offer the perfect opportunity to learn about the process of extracting salt, the origin of the place and simply admire the colors and magnificence of the scenery. Crossing more than 18 miles of the dazzling Sacred Valley with a change of altitude from almost 3280ft a.s.l. to over 11480ft a.s.l. over an 8 hour riding period; you’ll experience the unrivalled beauty of the Sacred Valley of the Incas no matter which way you look!
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