Horseback expedition in the High Inca Trail

High Inca Trail - Short Programme

This incredible trail ride through Peru on Criollo horses takes you on on a trek of discovery through the Vilcanota mountain range. Explore Peru on tours of sites of great historical Inca significance and from the saddle, roam the wild open pampas with grazing llamas and alpacas; negotiate mountain passes at 5,000m and ride in the shadow of the glacial peak of Ausangate. This horseback ride through Peru combines the majesty of the Andes ; local interaction and history from the Inca Empire in one 12-day trip.
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Pack Trip
12 days / 5 days riding
From £1,870
  • Visit the famous sites of Peru on horseback
    Ride through the snowy Vilcanota mountain range
  • Discover the high Inca Trail on horseback
    A trip that offers you riding, sightseeing and hiking
  • Criollo horses on the High Inca trail ride
    Ride the sure-footed Criollo horses, bred in the mountains
  • Horseback expedition through Peru
    Explore the sacred valley of the Incas
  • Trail riding in Peru on horseback
    Blue skies and superb scenery!
  • Visit Macchu Picchu on trail ride in Peru
    Visit the famous sites of Peru, including Macchu Picchu
  • Horesback expedition across the High Inca Trail
    Ride into the heart of the Perusian mountain range
  • Visit Peru on horseback
    See the historical Inca sights from the saddle



- Visit the principal Inca sites of Peru including Cusco, Agua Calientes and Macchu Picchu
- Choose to add the option of a 3 day extension to explore Lake Titicaca, its islands and stay in the home of a local
- Enjoy a trip that offers you a mix of riding and sightseeing/hiking
- Revel in the magnificence of the Andes mountains and the Sacred Valley of the Incas
- Guided and supported by a Peruvian team who are local and familiar with the mountains
- As the expedition is an exclusive ride of EJ departure dates are flexible. Do not hesitate to send us your preferred dates and we will try to organise it.
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - LIMA

    Embajadores Best Western
    International flights are not included in the price. You should book a flight arriving late afternoon at the latest.

    On arrival at Lima airport, you will be met and transferred to your 3 star hotels for the night. The evening is free for you to rest and recover from the flight.
  • Day 2 2 : LIMA - CUSCO - No riding

    Midori hotel
    After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Lima airport for your short flight to Cusco (3400m). Upon your arrival, you will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel. Then free morning to get used to the altitude or just walk at your own in this amazing city.

    In the afternoon, you will be taken on a guided visit of the Inca capital Cusco with a shared guide and transport, Cusco. Modern day Cusco, built on the foundations of the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, is a true testament to ancient architecture and advanced town planning. After their conquest over the Inca Empire, the Spanish transformed Cusco in the belief that by building a bigger and more beautiful city they would be able to hide the city's Inca roots.

    You will explore the city centre through a maze of narrow streets lined with Inca walls and out into the main square, Plaza de Armas; you will visit the cathedral and the Santo-Domingo convent which was built on the remains of the Inca site Korincancha - the ancient temple of the Sun.
    Then you will be transferred up into the hills, which dominate the city. Then you will visit Tambomachay at 3,700 m. a beautiful Inca site called the Temple of Water; it is steeped in the glorious history of the Incas. Then you continue to Pucapucara, a fortress which guarded the entrance to the capital and offers a beautiful view out across the valley and Andean summits, as well as Quenqo, an important religious sanctuary and the site of altars where llamas and alpacas were sacrificed. Finally you will visit Sacsayhuaman with its cyclopean masonry symbolising the head of a puma - where Cusco is believed to represent its body. Our tour will end in Cusco where you will have some more time to explore.

    Lunch and dinner are yours to organise as you wish and are payable locally.
  • Day 3 3 : CUSCO - PISAQ - OLLANTAYTAMBO - No riding/ 4 hours walking

    Midori hotel
    An early morning departure will see you discovering the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas with a shared guide and transport. Your bus will first make a stop in the colonial village of Pisaq (2900m), where after visiting the craft market, you will ascend a twisting road to a lookout across the town with a breathtaking view of its terraces, fountains, watchtowers, rooftops and temples.

    Continuing on by road, you will cross the valley shadowed by the Urubamba mountains until arriving into the village of Ollantaytambo, where you can find Inca houses and streets dating back to the XV century. Late afternoon, you will catch the train to Agues Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, where you will enjoy your evening meal and spend the night in a hotel.

    Midori hotel
    Early in the morning, you will take the shuttle to Machu Picchu (2400m). This ancient lost city of the Incas is located in the middle of lush tropical vegetation and high above the Urubamba River, whose current is likely the only sound you'll hear in this world apart. Re-discovered on July 24th 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu remains a jewel of Inca architecture: brickwork, squares, royal houses, large agricultural zones, winding paths and observatories. After the visit, you will be able to climb Huayna Picchu for a fantastic view across this wonderful site (optional).

    In the afternoon, you will return to Ollantaytambo by train and then to Cusco by private transfer. Dinner is yours to organise as you wish and are payable locally.

    Early in the morning you will set off by bus towards Cusco’s southern valley. Your first stop will be at Urcos Capital in the province where you will also find Ausangate Lake. Next, you will ascend to the Pilluyo crest where you will have a beautiful view across the Vilcanota mountain range. You will arrive into Tayankani (3950m), a small hamlet where you will meet your guides and horses before setting off on your ride towards the Alabarunaccasa pass. It was here that the pilgrims of Qoylluritti travelled to do their sun salutations in the gaze of Apu Ausengate, the dominant peak in the region. During the ride you will have a breathtaking views across the Vilcanota mountain range and its peaks. You will continue the ride through the llama and alpaca grazing pastures and past small lakes known as Tantacocha before finally arriving at the Yanacancha (4860m) to then ride down to the Q’oylloritti sanctuary, site of the largest pilgrimage in Peru.

    Finally, you will follow the pilgrim trail to arrive at Mahuayani (4100m) where you will camp for the night.
  • Day 6 6 : MAHUYANI (4100m) – MARAMPAQUI (4190m) – PACCHANTA (4340m) - 6 hours riding

    Midori hotel
    Your day will start with an ascent towards the snowy summit of Ausangate - at 6,300m this mountain is considered the "guardian" of the region. Crossing the region of Marampaqui (4,190m) and then the river of the same name, you will reach the village of Pacchanta (4,340m) where you will set up the camp for the night. Here, you will be able to relax in the natural hot springs and bathe in view of impressive Ausangate.
  • Day 7 7 : PACCHANTA - UPIS - ARAPA - PUCACOCHA - 5-6 hour riding

    After breakfast, you will continue along a path running slightly uphill alongside and against the current of the Ausangate river. Today, you will most likely have the opportunity to catch a glimpse an indigenous and slightly odd animal: the "vizcacha", a kind of wild squirrel. Arriving at Azulcocha lake (4,600m), you will have a spectacular view of mountains towering at more than 6,000 metres in height.

    Riding down to Upis (4,400m) and then crossing the pass at Arapa (4,750m), you will ride to Pucacocha (4,700m) where you spend the night.
  • Day 8 8 : PUCHACOCHA - CHILCA - JAHUAYCATI - 5-6 hours riding

    Today you will ride up to the Pucapunta pass (5,010m), from where you will have an exceptional view over the Nevado Ausangate and the valley of Queshouno.

    Dropping down into the valley and passing through a number of small traditional villages, you will arrive into the village of Chilca, a place of huge commercial importance. Then, you will follow a path into the Jahuaycati valley (4,650m) where you will camp for the night.
  • Day 9 9 : JAHUAYCATI - CANCHAPAMPA - INCACANCHA - 5-6 hours riding

    Today, you will set out riding uphill to the pass at Jahuaycati (5,100m). From there, you should still be able to see Ausangate and Tucu. Riding downhill to the village of Canchapampa (4,770m), you will see a small school lost amongst the mountains.

    Ascend slightly to Chacata (4,930m) where you may be able to observe some vicunas again, before riding down to Incacancha (4,540m) where you will spend your last night under canvas.
  • Day 10 10 : INCACANCHA - SICUANI – CUSCO - No riding

    Midori hotel
    After breakfast, you will take the bus, on an unpaved road, to Sicuani (3,535m) where you will stop for lunch. You will then continue on to Cusco where you will spend the night at the hotel. You are free to make your own plans for dinner.
  • Day 11 11 : CUSCO - LIMA - No riding

    Depending on your flight times, you will be taken to the airport for your flight home

    There is also the possibility to do an extension in Puno:
    In the morning you would take the bus to Puno found on the banks of the famous Lake Titicaca. The road there is beautiful with varying countryside (approx. 6h30 by bus).

    - Day 11: Cusco - Puno
    - Day 12: Puno - Uros Island - Amantani Island
    - Day 13: Amantani Island - Taquile Island - Puno
    - Day 14: Puno - Juliaca - Lima
    - Day 15: Europe

    Contact us for more information on the itinerary and the pricing.
  • Day 12 12 : EUROPE

    You will arrive into Europe.

Dates & prices

Price details

IMPORTANT : As this trip is exclusive to Equus Journeys, we can be flexible with the dates, contact us if you are interested in doing this ride on different dates!

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates. 

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room/tent.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 6 international riders and a maximum of 10 riders, plus guides. 

- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 4-5 riders on payment of a supplement. Once the group has reached 6 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.
For three riders in the group, the supplement is c. $690/£550/€650 per person
For four riders in the group, the supplement is c. $320/£250/€295 per person
For five riders in the group, the supplement is c. $230/£185/€220 per person
On signing up for this ride, you are agreeing to pay this supplementary charge.

- There is a single supplement of c. $225/€205/£180 if you are not prepared to share your room/tent with another rider

- There is the possibility of adding an extension of 3 days to Puno to visit the different islands on Lake Titicaca. Please ask for more information. Prices start from $415/€350/£320 per person based on a minimum of two people.

- Young riders aged 12+ are welcome on this ride as long as they match the riding requirements.

- The rider weight limit is 90kgs/14.1 st/ 198 lbs, contact us if you weigh more than this and wish to ride
Please Note
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.

Price includes

Support Team

1 tour leader
1 local horse guide


1 cook
1 assistant cook
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
Pack horses, pack mules and one team in charge of them

Inland transport

Private bus
Airport transfers except if your travel dates are different from the rest of the group
Train + bus to Machu Picchu


2 people in a 3-man tent and foam mattresses
Double rooms in a 2 or 3* hotel


Full board except while you are in Lima and Cuzco (see ride itinerary)

Additional equipment

First aid kit


Tourist site fees

Price doesn't include


Beverages and personal extras
Lunch and Dinner are not included in Lima and Cuzco (breakfast is included). Lunch on day 2 and 11. Dinners on days 1, 2, 4, 10 and 11.


International and internal flights
Airport local fees from Lima (international and domestic flights)


Tips to the local team
Small group supplement. For price list see the note above in price details


Cancellation and travel insurance are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked in case of cancellation.



Single room supplement
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    20/07/2024 31/07/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    27/07/2024 07/08/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    03/08/2024 14/08/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    10/08/2024 21/08/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    17/08/2024 28/08/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    24/08/2024 04/09/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    31/08/2024 11/09/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    07/09/2024 18/09/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    14/09/2024 25/09/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    21/09/2024 02/10/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    28/09/2024 09/10/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    05/10/2024 16/10/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    12/10/2024 23/10/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    19/10/2024 30/10/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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    26/10/2024 06/11/2024 £1,870 €2,151 $2,319
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Equestrian info


You will ride Criollo horses which have been bred in the mountains. They are small, docile and ideally suited to the terrain and harsh conditions.

Guide & local team

You are escorted by a guide and accompanied by a cook and a team of mules and mule herdsmen. Your guide is a Spanish speaker and although they are not fluent in English, they know enough to provide information and help throughout the trip.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must feel comfortable on horseback and secure in the saddle as the terrain is very hilly and variable.

An experience of trail rides over several days is mandatory.

The rider weight limit is 90kgs, contact us if you weigh more than this and wish to ride


The riding pace is slow and at a walk due to the difficult terrain.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be asked to assist with tacking, untacking and grooming your horse. You are also welcome to assist with feeding and watering the horses and mules, if you wish.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Your need to be physically fit and active with experience of outdoor living. You should also have experience riding for a number of consecutive days on a trail. The terrain is difficult and there are significant elevation changes - you will be asked to dismount and lead your horse at times.

The ride is at an altitude of 3,000m - 5,000m and requires you to be in good health. The weather in the mountains can be variable with cold nights (down to -10c) possible at the high altitude camps.

Visiting a new country offers the opportunity to meet other cultures with different mentalities, therefore it is important to accept these differences and respect the local way of life.

Equestrian equipment

Tack will be local with simple snaffle bridles. You are supported by mules for the entire riding trip and all your belongings will be carried with you.

Travel info


In Cusco and Lima you stay in 3 star standard hotels. In Punto and Aguas Calientes the hotels are simpler, yet still clean and comfortable.

On the trail, you will camp in spacious two man tents with mattresses provided. There will be a central mess tent for the kitchen/dining complete with small table and chairs.

If you choose to add the extension to Lake Titicaca on the island of Taquile, you will stay in homestay accommodation with the locals.

The hotels you stay in may differ to those shown in the itinerary depending on availability at the time of booking. All alternative hotels will be of the same standard as those listed in the itinerary.


On the trail all meals will be prepared by your cook using fresh local produce. In the cities, you will eat in restaurants with a focus on traditional Peruvian cooking. Make sure to bring purification tablets such as Micropur.


Peru has two seasons - one wet and one dry.

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.


Tips are not expected but are very welcome. You should tip what you feel is appropriate given the level of service you receive. We recommend c. £5 - £10 per person to be split between your team.

Packing list

Throughout the ride, all of your luggage will be transported by mules "travelling light" in order to minimise the load is something to consider.

- 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

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper
- 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
- Thermals
- 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 short 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
- 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. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 15 Celsius, or minus 20 if you feel the cold.
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers
- 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)

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- 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.

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

Our Recommendations
- 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 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!
- Even if foam/floor mattress is provided, we recommend to take your own inflatable mattress.
- 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

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Ausangate mountain (also known as "Apu" in the Quechua language)  lies 100km south-east of Cusco in the impressive cordillera Vilcanota. The mountain range has several peaks over 6000 metres, including the sacred Ausangate (6372m) - the highest mountain in the Cusco region.

This mountain is considered a holy mountain by local Peruvians and is the deity of Cusco. Even since pre-Inca times, the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings, a tradition that still continues today. The region is inhabited by Llama and Alpaca herding communities that constitute one of the few remaining pastoralist societies in the world.

Unlike most other trail rides in the region, Ausangate is not about Inca ruins. This ride will focus in the beautiful scenery: snow peaks, glaciers and colourful mountains and lakes. It is a perfect location for those who love nature and are looking to get off the beaten track.