From the horse’s mouth
Colca Canyon trail
- Beautiful Andean landscapes of volcanoes, blue skies and traditional villages
- Gentle acclimatisation and comfortable accommodation
- Ride the amazing Peruvian Paso horse with its unique gait - the paso llano
- Discover the treasures of the Inca culture in the heart of the Andes
- Visit Arequipa - the beautiful, white colonial city, and the world's highest lake, Lake Titicaca.
A shorter version of this ride (10 days, 5 on horseback) is also possible and runs from March to December. Please contact us for more information
Day 1 1: EUROPE - LIMAFly to Lima - final destination is Arequipa. There are no direct flights from the UK to Lima and so it is likely that you will fly via a hub city such as Madrid or Sao Paulo.
Flights are not included but can be booked upon request.
Day 2 2: LIMA - AREQUIPAFundador hotelIt is likely that you will arrive into Lima in the morning and connect directly onto an internal flight to Arequipa.
You will be met on arrival at Arequipa airport and transferred to your four star hotel. This afternoon is free for you to relax after the long flight or to take some time to explore the city. Arequipa has a splendid colonial style and there is an optional tour of the beautiful Santa Catalina convent. You may decide to take a tour of the city and visit the convent of “Santa Catalina” with an English-speaking private guide (optional and payable locally).
Lunch and dinner are to your own account today.
Day 3 3: AREQUIPA - YANQUE - 2 hours ridingTRADICION COLCAAfter breakfast depart at 8:00am to the Colca Valley. Your journey takes you through the “Salinas y Aguada Blanca” reserve where alpacas, llamas and vicuñas live. You will see the Mirador volcano and cross passes at 4,900 meters above sea level, and descend into valleys at 3,500m.
After lunch in your hotel you will visit the stables and meet your Peruvian “Paso” horses and specialized “chalanes” who are the peruvian grooms and horse guides. You will go for a first ride (2 hours riding) around the village until the Church dedicated to the Virgin of Chapi and the Colonial mill.
Return to the hotel or to use the sauna or jacuzzi (available from 6:00pm to 8:45pm).
Dinner and overnight at Tradicion Colca.
Day 4 4: YANQUE - COPORAQUE - UYO UYO - YANQUE - 5 hours ridingTRADICION COLCAAfter breakfast at the hotel depart for your horseback ride to Coporaque Village and its pre-Inca cemetery where the mummies of Collagua Lords were formerly safeguarded. You will have to dismount and climb a hill for 20min to reach the graves.
Continue on to the lost city of Uyo Uyo, the ancient capital city of the “Collagua” culture. These old houses, ancient irrigation ducts and a lot of other relics prove the co-existence between the “Collaguas” and Incas. From there you will continue on through the “amphitheater”- amazing Pre-Inca terraces carved into the mountain in circular form. Along the way, you will also see the “Colcas”, a kind of hidden granary that gave the name to the river, and the "amphitheater" (farming terraces highly valued by the Incas to improve cultivation of quinoa, corn...). Finally you will reach Coporaque Village, where you can see the Main square. The church has a fountain dedicated to the Inca.
You return to Yanque for lunch. In the afternoon, return to the hotel for a massage (included today) and free use of the indoor pool. In the evening have a go at star-gazing in the Observatory of Astronomy with a Dobson-type Ø18 inch Telescope and projection of a 12mn movie about the Solar System in the Planetarium.
Day 5 5: YANQUE - MADRIGAL - 4-5 hours ridingTRADICION COLCAAfter breakfast at the hotel you will depart at 08:00 am for a full day ride to the right side of the Colca Valley to explore the tranquillity and beauty of the landscape. On the way you pass wonderful Pre-inca terraces with their crops and have a picnic lunch.
Cross the villages of Ichupampa and Lari before arriving at Madrigal where the horses will spend the night with the chalan, while the group are transferred back to the hotel in Yanque (c. 1hour) for a late lunch. In the afternoon you will be taken to the Hot Springs for a relaxing swim. Before dinner, use the spa facilities at the hotel before dinner if you wish.
Day 6 6: MADRIGAL - CHIMPA - PINCHOLLO - 3-4 hours riding; 3 hours walkThis is the start of the itinerant ride, for which you will need 2 days of bare necessities. After an early breakfast at 5:30 am, you will be transferred to Madrigal.
This morning you walk for c. 2 hours to the “Chimpa” fortress, located at the top of the mountain. You will observe a miniature template of the area made of stone including the emperor’s throne. The panoramic view of the valley is splendid and unique because you are able to observe both sides of the Colca Canyon and the valley where condors fly freely. The “Chimpa” fortress is a strategic military facility of the “Collagua” culture made with mountain stones.
Return to Madrigal for lunch. In the afternoon set off riding to Pinchollo village. You will cross the Colca river again, passing over another beautiful bridge. On the way you can view the landscape of the Colca Valley, full of Pre-Inca terraces, mountains and animal life (cows, bulls, alpacas, llamas and sheep, attended by local people, wearing traditional clothes and costumes.) You may also see plantations being ploughed, irrigated or harvested, according to the season of your stay.
Dinner and night in Pinchollo village, in simple and basic accommodation within the community (possible upgrade to a 3 star hotel for a supplement of approx. USD 30 per person, booking must be made in advance).
Day 7 7: PINCHOLLO - GEYSER - CABANACONDE - 7-8 hours riding; 2 hours walkBreakfast in Pinchollo and then set off for a 7-8 hour ride to the geyser of Pinchollo and Cabanaconde. On the way you will pass through amazing landscapes composed of high, snow capped volcanoes, waterfalls and huge mountains. Following the river you will finally reach the active geyser « Hatun Infiernillo » (4,450m).
After lunch, continue riding to Cabanaconde village and your 3 star hotel. Please note that today you will have to ride on a paved road for c. 8kms - unfortunately there is no alternative.
You will change horses twice today to keep your horses fresh.
Overnight in a 3 star hotel.
Day 8 8: CABANACONDE - LLAHUAR - 3-4 hours ridingAfter breakfast you ride down the Colca Canyon to Llahuar village. You will experience a 3,800 foot descent to arrive into Llahua. The way down is difficult and steep (-1200 m), but incredibly beautiful. You will have to walk parts of the trail and lead your horse on foot before reach Llahua, where you spend the night in a rustic but comfortable cabin.
This afternoon is free for relaxation.
Day 9 9: LLAHUAR - SAN JUAN - 4-5 hours ridingAfter breakfast, your ride follows alongside the Colca River inside the Canyon, where you can admire huge and impressive landscapes. You’ll also cross little rivers and because of the difficulty of the landscape you will sometimes need to get off your horse and walk. You will discover the villages of Corsnirhua, Malata and San Juan de Chucho
Lunch at San Juan village. In the afternoon, you will discover the lifestyle of the local people and their activities which are mainly agricultural. Dinner and night in a rudimentary rural lodging.
Day 10 10: SANGALLE - SAN JUAN DE CHUCCHO - 3 hours ridingAfter breakfast, you will set out to the "Oasis", or Sangalle, on a 3-hour ride. The path will take you along the Canyon and you will have to cross the river on a bridge. Along the way, it may be possible to swim in the warm hot springs.
Lunch and dinner in Sangalle, where you will stay in rustic accommodation.
Day 11 11: SAN JUAN DE CHUCCHO - Riding and walkingTRADICION COLCAAn early morning start to get ready for the ascent of the canyon. For the safety and security of both riders and horses it will be a slow journey and you will have to dismount and lead your horse over some sections.
On arrival at Cabanaconde, you will say goodbye to the horses and be transferred by private vehicle back to the hotel in Yanque (approx. 2 hours drive).
Dinner and night at the hotel, with the option of stargazing if the weather conditions are right.
Day 12 12: LAKE TITICACA - No ridingThis morning is free to rest. After lunch at midday at the hotel, you are transferred at 12:30pm to Chivay to depart by tourist bus (in a group with an English-speaking guide) for the 6 hour road trip across the Andes and the Altiplano, to arrive into Puno at around 7:30pm. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your 3 star hotel in Puno (dinner is to your own account today).
Day 13 13: LAKE TITICACA - No ridingBreakfast at 7:00am and then depart by boat (in a group with an english-speaking guide) to cross Lake Titicaca and visit the magnificent Taquile island. After lunch (not included) continue your journey across the lake towards the Uros floating islands and return to Puno. Arrival in Puno around 4:00pm.
Your flight can depart this evening or we can book an additional hotel in Puno for you (or an extension to visit other parts of Peru). Transfer to the airport is not included.
Day 14 14: RETURN HOME OR EXTENSIONFrom Puno you will need to schedule a transfer to Juliaca Inca Manco Capac Airport, fly home via Lima and a hub city such as Madrid.
Alternatively, you could extend your holiday to visit other sites in Peru, such as Cusco. There are many opportunities please enquire.
We can provide an extension in Cusco to include Macchu Picchu on request - please enquire. Approx. 6 days/5 nights.
Dates & prices
- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room/tent during the ride.
- The group is composed of 1 - 6 riders plus an English speaking guide
- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room/tent with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room/tent there is a single supplement of c. £200.
- Children from 10 years and older are welcome as long as they are accompanied by adults. They must be capable riders and happy on horses as there are no ponies. From 16 years old the teenagers can come without being accompanied. There is a discount of c. £390 for children from 10-18 years old (2020-2021)
- Accompanying non-riders are welcome and there is a discount of c. £1100 (2020-2021)
- Maximum weight limit: 90 kg/200 lbs/14.7 st
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.
1 English speaking tour leader for the visit to Puno
1 local horse guide assistant
Pack mules to carry the baggage. Baggage is limited to 5-8 kg per rider
Private bus from Arequipa to Colca and from Colca to Puno
TITICACA : Sightseeing bus Chivay-Puno
Boat transfer from Llachon lake to Uros islands in Puno
Nights in a 3* hotel in Yanque, Cabanaconde and Puno
Nights in guest houses in Pinchollo, Llahuar, Sangalle and San Juan of Chuccho
Water included during the horse ride except at restaurants (drinks not included).
Entry to the Observatory of Astronomy home to a Dobson-type 18 inch Telescope at Tradicion Colca Hotel in Yanque
Tourist site fees described in the itinerary: Tourist entrance fees to Colca Valley and Titicaca Lake Islands; entrance to Yanque Hot Springs
Price doesn't include
Meals are not included in Arequipa and Puno. Your meals are also not included if you choose the extension
Airport return transfer from Puno to the Airport of Juliaca or Cuzco
Tips to the local team
Room supplement 3*hotel in Pinchollo
Extension to Cusco and Machu Pichu (tailor made itinerary)
Additional massages and activities at Tradicion Colca. Massages can be booked with prior notice.
May - June 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 06/06/2020 19/06/2020 £2,090
Guaranteed departure Book now 20/06/2020 03/07/2020 £2,090
Guaranteed departure Book now
July - August 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 04/07/2020 17/07/2020 £2,090
Guaranteed departure Book now 18/07/2020 31/07/2020 £2,090
Guaranteed departure Book now 15/08/2020 28/08/2020 £2,090
Guaranteed departure Book now 29/08/2020 11/09/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
September - October 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 12/09/2020 25/09/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 26/09/2020 09/10/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 10/10/2020 23/10/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 24/10/2020 06/11/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
November - December 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 07/11/2020 20/11/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 21/11/2020 04/12/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 05/12/2020 18/12/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 12/12/2020 25/12/2020 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 26/12/2020 08/01/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
January - February 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 09/01/2021 22/01/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 23/01/2021 05/02/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 06/02/2021 19/02/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 20/02/2021 05/03/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
March - April 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 06/03/2021 19/03/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 20/03/2021 02/04/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 03/04/2021 16/04/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 17/04/2021 30/04/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
May - June 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 08/05/2021 21/05/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 22/05/2021 04/06/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 05/06/2021 18/06/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 19/06/2021 02/07/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
July - August 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 03/07/2021 16/07/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 17/07/2021 30/07/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 07/08/2021 20/08/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 14/08/2021 27/08/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
September - October 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 04/09/2021 17/09/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 18/09/2021 01/10/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 09/10/2021 22/10/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 23/10/2021 05/11/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
November - December 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 06/11/2021 19/11/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 20/11/2021 03/12/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 04/12/2021 17/12/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now 18/12/2021 31/12/2021 £2,090 Guaranteed departure Book now
The horses are all shod due to the rough terrain.
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Maximum weight limit: 90 kg/200 lbs/14.7 st
You will be expected to dismount and lead your horse on occasion.
Tacking ability and participation
Pack mules are used for the day you ride through the canyon and these will be tacked by the horse team.
Trip conditions and Requested experience
for the stirrups and cinch are covered with rawhide flaps. The back of the horse is protected by a woollen blanket and another leather
blanket above ("carona"). Stirrups are made of wood or leather, wooden ones in pyramid shapes and often decorated with nickel,
both with a closed front.
Saddle bags are provided for small items such as sunblock or an extra layer of clothing.
Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit
In Yanque you stay in a 3 star spa hotel with sauna, jacuzzi and one massage included.
In Pinchollo, Llahuar, Sangalle and San Juan you stay in rustic homestay cottages and must bring your own sleeping bag liner.
In Cabanaconde and Puno you stay in a 3 star hotel.
You do not need to bring a sleeping bag but a sleeping bag liner is recommended for extra warmth.
Please note that it is possible that on two nights there will be no hot shower - view it as an adventure!
Lunches are picnics and evenings meals are provided by the hotels.
Drinks are at an extra cost when dining out in hotels/restaurants.
Please contact us in advance should you have any dietary requirements or allergies.
In the heart of the Andes, the wet season runs from October to April, and the dry season from May to September. To make the most of the view and the atmosphere, the dry season is the best time to visit.
In Cusco (3,250m) temperatures can drop to as low as zero celsius in July/August, and as high as 23c in November.
In Arequipa (2,525m) temperatures can drop as low as 6c in July/August and as high as 23c in November. There is very little rainfall in this area.
Generally there are cold nights and mornings because of the altitude, but the days can be sunny and pleasant.
Guide and local team
the entire duration of the Horse ride, with a support vehicle between Yanque, Madrigal and Pinchollo.
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers
- Lightweight, comfortable trousers for non-riding days
Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend hiking boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged. Short riding boots are not recommended as they may not provide enough traction on steep/rocky paths.
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful
- Sleeping bag liner
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar. Remember that you are supported by pack horses/mules for part of the ride so please pack light.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
Other useful items
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it with
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor. This is really important as the sun is really strong!
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
You may wish to ask your doctor for some specific medication for travelling at High Altitudes. We recommend that you discuss this directly with your doctor who is best placed to advise on your personal medical history.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Please take your rubbish home with you. There are no recycling facilities in Peru, so take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling
Visa & Health
Visas are not required by nationals referred to above travelling as tourists for stays of up to 183 days.
Nationals not referred to above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.
While it is not required by the immigration authorities, some airlines require passengers to show proof of onward travel (e.g. an airline ticket) in order to travel to Peru.
See more: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/peru/entry-requirements
Addresses of consulates
- Paris | Ambassade du Pérou
50, avenue Kléber
Tél. : 01.53.70.42.00
- Embassy of Peru
52 Sloane Street
SW1X 9SP London
Tél. : +44 (0) 20 7235 1917
Fax : +44 (0) 20 7235 4463
- Ambassade de France au Pérou
Avenida Arequipa 3415 San Isidro
Tél. : +51 (1) 215 84 00
Malaria is prevalent in the country, but only below 2,000 metres in the east of the country and along the border with Ecuador. It is recommended to take malaria pills and take other normal anti-mosquito precautions as well. Dengue sometimes occurs as well. There is no vaccination, so buy mosquito repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net. Also wear long sleeves if possible.
If you have any medical problems you can visit a pharmacy (farmacia) in most towns and cities who will be able to give you tablets for many problems, eg cipro for a badly upset stomach, or antibiotics for chest infections. Medicine is cheap and the pharmacist will give advice for free. If you need stitching up or want to seek proper medical attention even the smallest of villages will usually have a clinic where you can be seen by a doctor for next to nothing.
Budget and money
Telephone and jetlag
Peru's time zone is GMT -5 hours
Did you know?
Did you know?
The Colca Canyon is almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA. At its deepest point, the canyon falls 4,160 metres from its rim to the floor. That's an incredible 4 kilometres!
From the sides of the canyon it is possible to watch condors cruising on thermals at the same height as you, allowing for some spectacular sightings. Condors are seen almost year-round from the viewpoint at Cruz del Condor, where the canyon is 1,200m deep. These enormous South American vultures have a wingspan of 3.2 metres, which is exceeded only by seabirds such as the albatross.
Discover this spectacular canyon and view these amazing birds on a horseback riding trail in Peru.