Horse riding in Ecuador
Description of Horse riding in Ecuador
An eight-day small group horse riding holiday across the altiplano, offering a unique way to experience the wide-open spaces and breathtaking views of Ecuador’s High Andes.
You set off from a farm nestled in the foothills near Quito, riding ancient Incan paths towards the snow-capped Antisana volcano. Cross some of Ecuador’s most spectacular landscapes, past the impressive Cayambe and Cotopaxi volcanoes to reach beautifully conserved, historic haciendas at the end of each day.
Your expert guide will also give you a chance to get to know more about local flora and fauna and introduce you to Ecuador’s colourful indigenous cultures along the way.
This specific trip is aimed at intermediate riders. However, tours can be designed for all levels of horse-riding ability from beginner to advanced. Families, small groups, individuals or couples can also be catered for if required.
The riding pace is governed by the landscape and riders’ experience. On tours catering for intermediate or more advanced riders, you will be able to canter across open fields and negotiate tricky terrain. For beginners, lessons can be arranged prior to departure.
The local partner for this small group holiday is English and has been running highly recommended horse riding tours in Ecuador since 1996. Locally-bred horses are ideally suited to the terrain.
Being set in the High Andes, riding takes place at altitudes up to over 4000m, so it is recommended that you arrive in Quito a few days prior to the start of the tour to ensure you can acclimatise.
Horses, guides, grooms, meals as listed in the itinerary, accommodation, park fees, transfers and transport of luggage are all included.
Planet and peopleWe have several Ecuadorian full time staff on contracts, with all the usual benefits (holidays, health insurance etc.) They also receive extra benefits such as above average working conditions (good treatment, respect and a place to stay if needed) and above average wages - our staff are paid 50% above average if contracted in on a daily basis.) Workers that are sick get special medical attention from our own doctor too.
We arrange free clinics for chagras (gauchos) on horse care and health. The horses are in excellent condition, and receive regular visits from vets. Sally is an experienced British horsewoman and personally keeps a close eye on them all year round. They are exercised daily to keep them fit and more so to prepare them for a trek and are monitored carefully for any problems.
On tour our policy is to be as low impact as possible on the environment - we always take great care where we ride, never leaving rubbish, not polluting local water sources and not starting fires. Haciendas are all owner managed and employ local staff so money goes straight into the local economy. Some of our haciendas are very aware of ecological issue and others are not so aware so we are trying to influence them, without being overbearing.
We also support, through donations of money, clothing and medicines, an orphanage and old peoples home in Quito. We also assist a doctor who treats patients that do not have the means of paying for medicines.
Since 2006 we have been able to support the Huchuy Yachaq community project in the marginalised neighbourhood of Hermanos Ayar, on the outskirts of Cusco, with the help of everybody who has travelled with us. We donate USD 3000 a year to this community project.
The project has been set up by volunteer social workers and teachers to provide much needed social and educational support to the children and families of this neighbourhood. Children are encouraged to attend study and games sessions held each afternoon and participate in holiday projects. Our contributions so far have paid for educational books and games, tables and chairs, improvements to the structure of the basic community owned building and the addition of functioning toilets, materials for the children to take to school, school books, holiday programmes.
And we are planting trees as part of a reforestation project in Peru.
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