Green Horse Ranch

...your horseback operator in Ecuador since 1995

Sacred Valley Ride -  (3 to 4 days)

The most popular part of our Cloudforest-Highland Ride, combined with a new trek along the Pululahua crater edge leads us on hidden trails towards, along and above the beautiful and magical Guayllabamba river valley, that was visited and settled by ancient Ecuadorian cultures longtime even before the arrival of the Incas. Therefore, the Sacred Valley. Ancient paths, nearly forgotten nowadays, traced and used by over 1000 year old cultures, some of who's many different testimonies weshall encounter and admire on our ride:

Pre-historical fortresses, ceremonial places, grave hillocks, terraces and stone carvings in midst a pleasant climate and lush vegeta- tion, are an experience to enjoy in three interesting riding days.

This trip addresses to rather experienced riders, as it is a greatcombination of steep adventurous climbs through dense vegeta- tion, and gallop stretches on mountain ridges with wide open views. On top of it all, we'll come across the oldest Arrayan forest of South America, mystical mossy trees where elves and fairies have their home.

Day 1:

Along cloud-forest covered mountain slopes, we'll be passing by deep gorges, carved by lava streams thousands of years ago. Through the narrow passage of the Rio Blanco canyon, we finally reach the valley of the Rio Guayllabamba, a sacred valley for prehispanic cultures, with its warm and tropical climate, where we shall find coffee trees, fields of sugar cane and a lot of tropical fruits. Legendary historical sites can be observed along the way. When the afternoon light breaks through the clouds over the pre-Inca-fortress Portalanza, this mountain-valley looks most certainly like taken from a fairy tale. "Aguacatal" is the name of the very remote (no electricity!) and beautiful farm that offers us beds for tonight in cozy wooden cabañas (alternatively ancient Jesuit Hacienda Niebli de la Compañia, depending on availability). Welcome drink and great home-made hot meal.

Day 2:

Having found this unique place at the end of the world, we will explore the stunning surroundings refilling our energies with Doña Hildas Austrian Kaiserschmarrn in the middle of nowhere. In the morning we invite you for a 3 hours ride, to take a look at mysterious 1300 years old stone-carvings from the Yumbo-culture. The visit of a nearby Hacienda that was ruled by the Jesuit-community during colonial time and shows interesting historical evidences, is another option. Those, who'd like to change activity for a while, can go for a walk, collecting tropical fruit, head for a shower under a natural waterfall or just hang out for a day, enjoying the enchanted and unique scenery of our rest place. Home-made lunch at Doña Hildas place, overnight at the same place.

Day 3:

Another day for the adventurous and nature lovers! Following the course of the furious and turbulent river Guayllabamba upstream for several hours, we shall enjoy some really breathtaking views. From the back of our horses, we're overlooking the steep and winding gorges, a comprised version of the Grand Canyon. This valley has been settled long before the arrival of the Incas, by cultures who were farming the steep difficult land, building temples for their gods and knowing the exact position of the equator line.

Today’s 6-8 hours ride along the river and up Pululahua´s outer crater walls, combines steep adventurous climbs through dense vegetation with gallop stretches on mountain ridges with wide open views. Towards the end of the day, we’ll be crossing an old Arrayan forest, winding downhill amongst mystical mossy trees, back into the crater valley. Hiking parts necessary. Arrival at the Green Horse Ranch and transport back to Quito. Arrival between 6 and 7 pm.

Optional: Day 4

As a "warm-up" ride to this outstanding experience, we strongly recommend the Pululahua Exploration Trail A one day earlier, with an extra overnight in Pululahua, which will make this ride a  4-day-package.

3 Days Price/ person:   575,- USD

4 Days Price/ person:   730,- USD

Requirements: 2 to 8 participants with outdoor riding experience