Giddy Up in Peru: Exploring Machu Picchu on Horseback

With towering snow-capped peaks, lush alpine valleys, Amazonian jungle, and a pristine coastline, it is no wonder that Peru continues to draw adventure travelers from across the globe. Thrill seekers and outdoors enthusiasts flock to this South American nation for its wealth of adventure pursuits, from trekking and rock climbing to whitewater rafting and surfing. While the options are endless, one of the top spots for Peru travel is the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, located in the Andes Mountains above the spectacular Urubamba Valley.

Peru’s Machu Picchu region is a must-see for any adventurer for its natural beauty, rich ancient history, and vibrant culture. While most active travelers to this area choose to hike the Inca Trail from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, another adventurous way to explore this Peruvian region is a horseback riding vacation to this enchanting part of the Andes. Equestrian tours provide opportunities to explore the breathtaking terrain along paths carved out by the ancient Incas in a new and exciting manner.

Many operators running equestrian vacations in Peru use Peruvian Paso horses, specially bred for the Andes terrain. The Peruvian Paso, or Peruvian Horse, is known for its smooth ride and named for its four-beat lateral gait, called the “paso llano.” Descended from the horses of the Spanish Conquistadors, this breed of royal origin is also noted for its gentle nature, making it the perfect companion for a Peru adventure tour.

Similar to hiking and trekking adventures in the spectacular Machu Picchu region, equestrian tours also offer riders the chance to explore the natural wonders and ancient ruins of this stunning landscape, while staying in premier accommodations. These lodge-to-lodge horseback riding options are a great way to explore the wonders of this terrain – from the Salkantay peak, the second most sacred point in Inca mythology after Machu Picchu, to the Humantay Lake, a scenic body of water fed by glaciers on the slopes above.

After exploring these mesmerizing sites by day, lodge-to-lodge riders stay at one of the premier resorts in the region, such as Mountain Lodges of Peru’s Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort at Soraypampa. MLP, an award-winning Peru tour company, also offers equestrian vacations from its Vinak-Reichraming Lodge, nestled in Peru’s Sierra region. Horseback riding tour participants can take advantage of the lodges’ delicious cuisine, plush accommodations, first-class service, and premier horses and riding options. Travelers can also choose to combine a horseback riding excursion with a number of other activities, including hiking, cultural tours, and fishing, among others.

For a one-of-a-kind adventure tour to Machu Picchu, try a horseback riding vacation to experience the rich history, stunning vistas, and enchanting culture of this spectacular Peruvian region.

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