Just outside of Lima, in the Valley of Lurin, we were privileged to experience a private visit to the Hacienda Los Ficus who is devoted to the breeding of the Peruvian Paso Horse. During our visit, our hosts allowed us to experience the Marinera Norteña of Trujillo.  This graceful and romantic courtship dance is a derivative of an ancient Peruvian dance.

The Marinera is performed by a couple dressed in elegant clothing with the woman typically wearing a long skirt and the gentleman in a straw hat and elegant jacket. The unique opportunity at Los Ficus was to witness the male dancer expertly guiding the steps of a Paso Horse as a part of the dance.   It was incredible to see the dainty female dancer and large Paso Horse expertly gliding around one another – without a single hoof on toe event!

The steps of the dance started slowly and increased in intensity to a mesmerizing and highly intricate speed. The dancer and horse never actually touched, but communicated a sense of yearning and sensuality.  The dance concludes with the female and male coming together in romantic conquest.

The music was provided by a traditional group of guitarists and a cajón player (a Peruvian boxlike drum) all sitting on Paso Horses.  Hand clapping by the dancers and audience alike provided additional percussion for the steps of the dance. 

The Peruvian Paso Horse originated from horses brought to Peru by the Spanish conquistadors.  The Paso is known for its smooth, lateral gait.  If you’ve ever seen or ridden a Tennessee Walking Horse, you’re close in understanding the stride.  At Los Ficus, we were able to admire newborns and horses being trained as well as cowboys showing off all of the horses’ qualities while dressed in their luxurious “apero” outfits.

We concluded our visit with a lovely lunch on the terrace followed by a ride astride one of the beautiful and elegant Paso Horses.  

Read Planning a Trip to Peru for our travel tips.

Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.

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