In Search of Machu Picchu


From Cusco, in the Vilcanota Mountain range, part of the Andes, Peru and deep into the Vilcabamba.


After the fall of the Inca Empire to the Spanish adventurers, Manco Inca, grandson of the last great ruler Huayna Capac, led a rebellion against the Conquistadors. Much later in 1911,  renowned Yale archaeologist, Hiram Bingham was here and re-dicovered the now internationally designated UNESCO site, Machu Picchu – the rest, they say, is history.


This horse riding adventure trek with pack mules in Peru is an experience. Comfortable camps and saddle mounts take you on a trip focussing on Inca study and archaeological investigations as we travel – the expedition is like a nineteenth century safari using pack-stock to carry supplies, camp and amenities. Beyond Machu Picchu lies a remote wild region of cold uplands and hot tropical valleys known as the Vilcabamba. This is a steep mountainous area of extreme relief that served as a jungle border province, and later, a last refuge for the Inca resisting the Spanish colonization.

We plan our route along little known, seldom traveled routes that once were the main arteries of the highland Inca homeland. By utilizing sturdy mountain horses and mules, we are able to climb over high passes on steep trails that take us beyond the capabilities of most backpackers and trekking groups – away fromthe hordes. Elevations rise from 6,500 – 19,878 feet. Thick cloud forest covers much of the area up to 13,000 feet. Quecha speaking packers, supported by professional cooks ensure comfortable camps. Several hours of steep hiking is necessary on some days, to altitudes of 16,000 feet. Previous riding experience is not a  pre-requisite but due to terrain, prior familiarity with horses is recommended. You may ride and hike up to eight hours on some days – well, you wanted to be an adventurer. This ride featured in the Sunday Times newspaper on June 9, 2002


Accommodation: hotel & tents. Duration: tailored; Group size: 4-8, Departures: March-November; £ POA