This full-day tour of the Sacred Valley on horseback takes you through Spanish colonial villages and across a majestic Andean landscape crowned by ice-peaked Apu mountain ranges. The horseback adventure includes a picnic lunch and culminates at the plateau overlooking the ancient Inca Muyus of Moray. It finishes with a guided tour of the Salterns of Maras, an eye-popping patchwork of some 3,000 “salt pans” that date back to well before the Inca Empire.
Prices available upon request
Before embarking on the tour, we will meet early in the morning at your hotel for a quick informative briefing about the day’s program. If you haven’t already done so beforehand with Fertur’s Inbound office, we will go over the conditions of the service. which must be signed before starting the equestrian tour. Then we will set out on our journey across the breathtaking plateau of Chinchero to the Maras district.
Maras is located at 11,368 feet above sea level (3,465 m.a.s.l), 29 miles (46 km) from the city of Cusco. The town was originally known as the Villa of San Francisco de Maras, founded in 1556 by Captain Pedro Ortiz de Orué, corregidor of Peru and encomendero of the town. During the 17th and 18th centuries the community was an important agricultural producer and distributor of wheat, barley and corn from the Urubamba Valley, as well as the salt produced in the nearby salt flats, which had been in operation since well before the Inca Empire. Maras was also a major transit point for convoys of muleteers carrying tropical products, especially coca leaves, from the high cloud forest. The town is now famous for the lithic doorways on the facades of houses and public buildings, featuring religious motifs and Spanish colonial coats of arms, a testament to its historic past.
In Maras you will enjoy a panoramic and impressive view of the Urubamba mountain range. There are massive ice peaks of the “Waqaq Willka” (“Sacred Mountain that Weeps” in Quechua) renamed La Verónica by the Spanish. Also Mount Chicón, the “guardian” Apu deity of the Sacred Valley of the Inca.
Our horses will be waiting for you at the Plaza de Armas de Maras where you will be introduced to your Peruvian Paso horse, and receive a brief explanation and demonstration on the handling of this exquisite animal during the horseback riding tour.
The guides are expert equestrians and Caballo de Paso Peruano specialists. Their passion is to impart to you their knowledge of this noble breed, world renowned for its harmonic amble, gentle nature and strength.
From Maras, we will start our journey on horseback through beautiful landscapes, surrounded by mountains and marked by the agricultural and livestock activity of the local farmers until arriving at the archaeological complex of Moray located at 11,106 meters above sea level (3,385 m.a.s.l.).
Located 24 miles (38 km) northwest of the Inca Empire’s capital city of Cusco, Moray was rediscovered in 1931 by American geologist Robert Shippee and U.S. Navy pilot Lt. George Johnson during an aerial photographic expedition of the Andes. It has since been dubbed by archaeologists the “Inca agricultural experimentation center” because of the way in which Inca are to believed to have used the site to adapt different agricultural species and preserved the crops.
After visiting Moray, we’ll head with our horses to a spot to serve a picnic lunch, choosing a tranquil setting where the horses can rest and you can enjoy an amazing view of the white capped mountains Chicón, Puma Huanca, Sahuasiray and Pitusiray. After this break, we will leave the horses and continue on foot to Salineras.
About 25 miles (40 kms) northwest of Cusco — about halfway to Machu Picchu — lies this vast patchwork of some 3,000 terraced pools filled with mineral-rich water that cascades down the side of the Qaqawiñay mountain. The local inhabitants have tended the ancient Salterns of Maras. The Maras “salt pans” have an average area of about 5 m² each. Every family in the town of Maras is responsible for maintaining their own pool. The deliciously distinctive salt is shipped to markets in the region, and exported abroad as a gourmet spice.
At the end of the visit to Salineras, we will return to Maras. From here, as pre-arranged, you will be taken by vehicle back to Cusco or other pre-arranged destination.
|Altitude||9843 – 11339 f.a.s.l. / 3000 – 3456 m.a.s.l.|
|Level of Difficulty||Easy|
- It is important in the booking process for you to indicate your riding level to match you with the right horse.
- Before starting the ride, there will be a basic explanation of riding, a demonstration of how to handle a Peruvian Paso horse and familiarization with it, all of which will last approximately half an hour.
- The duration of the tour is all day with approximately 4 hours on horseback, weather permitting.
- Informative meeting (Briefing) at the respective hotel.
- Pick up at the hotel and private transportation throughout the entire tour.
- Professional English-Spanish bilingual guide (a supplement will apply for other languages).
- Entrance to all the attractions to visit.
- Lunch – Picnic (Box lunch).
- Peruvian Paso Horses duly equipped with comfortable mounts.
- Chalán (Horse Manager) and a chalán assistant for more than 4 participants in the tour.
- First aid kit.
- Extras drinks and beverages
WHAT TO BRING:
- Rain jacket or poncho
- trekking or sport shoes
- Light jacket, fleece or sweater
- Camera, with large memory card and/or extra batteries
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain or cold
- Sun block
- Insect repellent
- Water bottle or Water bladder