Ever dreamed of galloping through the majestic Andean highlands or riding over pristine coastlines? If this has been your dream, look no more!: Horseback Riding in Ecuador is something you definitely want to do in this beautiful country.
Enjoy an incredible variety of mountain landscapes, jungles and deserts, warm valleys and chilly windy heights, volcanoes and lakes, culture land and tropical wilderness combined with captivating glances into Ecuador’s nature.
Mingle with friendly locals and expert horseman, fascinating historians, and even owners of beautiful “haciendas” while riding along the most beautiful highlands and regions in the country.
Horseback Riding In Ecuador: Exploring The Andes
Ecuador offers each visitor many different horseback riding experiences that can take you through the heart of the Ecuadorian Andes and their unbroken exquisiteness. There are many tours that go from 3 hours horseback rides to multi-day riding journeys. The mountains in the Andes create the best scenery to ride, hike and sightseeing, all at the same time.
You don’t need to be a very skilled horseback rider in order to book any tour you desire, you just need to be honest with yourself and know that if you are not an experienced rider and embark on a multi-day riding adventure your back and behind will be sore for a few days.
Among the most popular horseback riding tours in the Ecuadorian Andes you can find Colonial Haciendas Tours which takes you through spectacular scenery between Ecuador’s Historic country houses; another one is the Volcanoes horseback riding tour which takes you around the base of the Cotopaxi Volcano admiring its natural and savage beauty. Also, there is the option to ride, instead of hike, the Inca Trail.
Horseback Riding The Inca Trail: From Launag To Ingapirca
Launag is a beautiful and charming parish with 300 inhabitants in the Andean moors, at the south of the Chimborazo province, just half hour away from the little town of Chunchi. Launag is located at 3400 meters above sea level and is mainly dedicated to agricultural activity. Notable for its humid moors and windy highlands that combines natural scenic beauty with the ancient-world charm of the historic Inca Trail.
This incredible ride through the Ecuador Inca Trail on criollo horses, bred in the highlands, takes you on a path of discovery exploring Ecuador´s sites of great historical Inca significance from the saddle. The guide will be in charge of the saddle and unsaddle of the horses so you don’t worry about that difficult task while roaming the wild open moors with grazing llamas, alpacas, cows and bulls.
This horseback ride through Launag, and its neighboring parishes, combines the majesty of the Andes with local interaction and history from the Inca Empire in a 2-day 1-night journey.
The first day is a 3 hours ride with a zigzagging climb through a steep slope while crossing pristine water streams where you will wind through ancient paths which are nearly forgotten. These are only used by the few farmers who are still living around this remote area. The scenery is filled with enormous rocks formations that grow from the ground up; in fact there is one specific rock formation called the Padre Urcu before arriving to Yahuarcocha Lagoon. Legend says you need to ask Padre Urcu´s permission in order to advance through the path.
Once you reach Yahuarcocha Lagoon the guide will allow a quick break where you can get off the horse and stretch-up your legs. From here is a 2 hour ride to Tres Cruces Lagoon where first camp will be set up. Before going to sleep make sure you stretch your legs and back since you have one more day of horseback riding ahead of you.
The second day you will get from Tres Cruces Lagoon to the famous historic site of Ingapirca, this will be a long journey of 6 hours. The guide will allow quick breaks at certain points along the way like the Paredones Ruins.
With magnificent views of the Sinsahuin lagoon you will ride across the slopes of Yanahurco Hill. Then it is downhill – a 400-meter drop along a little pathway cutting down into the valley below. If you are not an experienced rider is best to get off the horse and hike all the way down. Once you make it to the base of the hill you will have to cross a little valley reaching the sacred Culebrillas Lagoon – the focus of many Inca legends. Crossing along the Culebrilla´s Lagoon it’s an even and plain terrain which allows some fast-pace riding. After Culebrillas lagoon you will get to the little town of San Jose and later you will arrive at Ingapirca.
More than a ride is an unforgettable memory. Horseback riding experience is not needed if you want to embrace the Inca Trail Ride but is preferable to have little preparation in order to be able to canter in open spaces and also to ride on steep slopes and tricky terrains. At various points guests may be leading their horses but not over long distances. Horseback riding is a different way to experience adventure trails in Ecuador where the only form of transportation during the trip will be this beautiful animal. Your horse will be your loyal partner throughout this unique adventure.