Horseback riding in the Andes

The highlight of my trip was horseback riding in the Andean mountains.  It is not everyday that a lady can say that she went horseback riding in the Andes. This range, which stretches over 7,000 kilometers (4,300 miles) along the western coast of South America from Venezuela in the north to Chile and Argentina in the south, is one of the world’s longest and most diversified mountain ranges. Aconcagua, Chimborazo, and Huascarán are a few of the highest peaks in the range that are not part of the Himalayas.

The bond between horses and humans is often based on mutual trust and respect, as both parties rely on each other for companionship, recreation, and work. Horses have been shown to have a calming and therapeutic effect on humans, making them popular subjects for equine-assisted therapy programs for people with physical, emotional, and developmental challenges.

Thousands of plant species as well as hundreds of bird and animal species, many of which are specific to the Andes, can be found in abundance in the Andes. In addition to providing freshwater and affecting weather patterns and ecosystems throughout South America, the Andes have a significant impact on the climate and ecology of the region.