Type of horses:
Quarter Horses, Criollos and cross breds
Nature of horses:
All are sensible and sure footed, but each has personality - some like to go fast and others are happier at the back.
Height of horses:
14.2 - 16.2 hh
90 kg / 14 stone
English, Western, Icelandic or Australian saddles are available - some leather and some synthetic.
Think of the Dominican Republic and you immediately imagine white sandy beaches, clear blue seas and waving palm trees. And whilst this ride does offer that, you will also discover the rarely seen interior as well - crystal clear waterfalls and ancient forests, farmland and rural villages. On horseback you can explore the Dominican Republic that isn't featured in the glossy brochures and meet the friendly locals. Of course, you can also make the most of those stunning beaches as well, with exhilarating canters along the sands plus plenty of time to rest and swim or sunbathe.
For most of the week you stay in one hotel where you can unpack and relax, but there is a short trail as well, where you spend a night in the interior. The usual hotel is situated close to the beach and close to the town so you can venture out at night and try out the local bars or simply take it easy at the hotel restaurant.
There is a free day included in the itinerary, where the horses rest and you can experience the other highlights of the island. At certain times of year this could be whale watching, or you may prefer to go snorkelling or island hopping - the choice is yours.
The horses are a mixture of Criollo and Quarter Horses - some pure-breds and some cross-breds. They are well loved and well cared for. Whilst most wear shoes, some are barefoot and wear hoof boots to protect their feet - these hoof boots are also available for any horses that might lose a shoe whilst out on the trail.
Most nights are spent at the Hotel La Tortuga in Las Terrenas. You stay in bungalows in the tropical gardens and each bungalow has a double room downstairs and a twin/triple room upstairs. Each room has air conditioning and a ceiling fan, plus there is a safe and a refrigerator.
The hotel is only 200m from the beach and a similar distance from the town. There is a swimming pool with bar and restaurant facilities.
One night is spent at a B&B in La Barbacoa which also has a swimming pool.
All meals are included except for lunch on the final day. In the evenings you dine in restaurants, usually at your hotel, where you have free choice from the menu. Some lunches include lobster, shrimp or freshly grilled fish on the beach.
Bottled still water is provided but all other drinks can be paid for locally in the bar/restaurant.
A visit to Haitises National Park is included where you can discover ancient petroglyphs in the caves.
On the free rest day you can take a whale watching trip (in season) or visit the market or go snorkelling. This is included, but if you want a private boat trip to neighbouring beaches then this is at extra cost.
There is some free time when not riding where you can use the hotel pool or visit the beach. Your hotel also offers other beach-based activities, such as snorkelling or scuba diving (at extra cost).
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Health requirements: General good health
Age limit: Competent teenagers can be accepted but they must be capable riders
Included: Airport transfers; Accommodation; All meals (except lunch on final day); excursions as mentioned in itinerary; riding
Not included: Flights; tourist card; lunch on final day; drinks; tips; optional excursions/activities; travel insurance
Samana airport (El Catey) is the closest to the hotel (c. 25mins) but if you cannot find good flights to Samana than Santo Domingo is 1 hour 45 mins from the hotel. Transfers are possible from both airports and are included in the price.
There are no direct flights from the UK to these two airports, but there are options with 1 stop via Europe (Air Europa, Iberia, Air France), America (Delta, British Airways) or Mexico.
Alternative Airport: Santo Domingo - Las Americas
Explore the beautiful island of Dominican Republic on horseback, discovering inland forests, hidden waterfalls and stunning sandy beaches. Spend your nights in a comfortable hotel with a swimming pool and dine on delicious fresh fish and seafood. There is plenty of time to rest and relax and enjoy the pool and beach as well as adventurous riding on Criollo or Quarter Horses.
You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel Las Terrenas. After a welcome drink you will have dinner or a snack if you arrive late.
After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred to the hacienda to meet the team and horses. After being matched with a suitable horse you set out on a short morning ride called Small Waterfalls where you will have the chance to decide if you are happy with your horse. After c. 1 hour 15 mins you return to the hacienda for lunch. In the afternoon, set out riding for c. 2 hours into the hills where you will discover the amazing climbing abilities of your horses. At the end of the day, return to your hotel for dinner and to overnight.
After breakfast transfer back to the hacienda and set off riding towards the beach at Coson. Here you will find 10km of sand which is perfect for long canters (in single file). Take lunch at Luis' on the beach where the speciality is lobster (provided it's in season). After lunch, return to the hacienda on small paths along which you will discover many caves and small waterfalls. Return to the hotel for dinner and to overnight.
Today is a non-riding day as you set off on an excursion to the Los Haitises National Park. Taino Indians used to live here and you will discover petroglyphs and pictograms on the cave walls. Explore the mangroves and stop for lunch in either an eco-lodge or cantina. Return to the hotel for dinner and to overnight.
After breakfast and transferring to the hacienda, set off on a ride through the hills for c. 4 hours, to the Ranchito, your guides annex, where the horses will spend the night. Transfer back to the hotel by road and relax by the swimming pool in the afternoon.
Transfer up to the Ranchito and re-join your horses. Set off riding towards La Barbacoa through small forests and after c. 2 hours, stop for a light lunch. In the afternoon you reach the wild beaches of Limon which are perfect for a gallop! Dinner and overnight at Almaquia Lodge.
After breakfast, set off riding back towards the hacienda along the mythical Coffee Road. Here you will discover the real Dominican Republic, meeting friendly local people and perhaps seeing free-roaming cattle or horses. Stop for lunch at Elena where you can learn the secrets of making coffee and cocoa. After c. 4.5 hours of riding, you reach the hacienda where you leave the horses and transfer back to your hotel for dinner and to overnight.
Today is a rest day for the horses. Depending on the season you have the option to take a whale watching tour (Jan 20 - Mar 10) or a trip to Samana Market in the morning with snorkelling in the afternoon. You could choose to take a private boat trip to some remote beaches, or to simply relax at the hotel and do nothing!
Today offers a beautiful ride with fantastic views. A description will not do justice to the beauty and incredible silence, so you will have to wait and see! You arrive at the Ranchito for a late picnic lunch and the horses overnight here, whilst you transfer back to the hotel.
Transfer back to the ranchito after breakfast and set off through the forest to a spot where you may be able to swim with the horses! Don't forget your swimsuit! After lunch at Santi in Limon you set off for a 2hr walk to see the famous waterfalls. Return on horseback to Guagua and your hotel.
Depending on the time of your flight you may be able to relax and use the hotel pool or beaches, or even do some shopping before your transfer to the airport.
NB. Please note that the itinerary is a guide and may need to be altered due to local conditions, but always with your best interests at heart.
|Minimum group size:||1|
|Maximum group size:||6|
|Ability description:||You should be capable of riding in all paces across varied terrain. There are opportunities for fast riding on the two beach days.|
|Type of ride:||Centre based|
|Total riding time:||11 days/10 nights with 7 days of riding (3-5 hours riding each day)|
|Departure dates:||2017: Dates to suit except not available: 19 February - 5 March (FULL); April 10-16 (CLOSED); November (closed due to rains).|
£1752 per person sharing
£156 single supplement
£312 discount for three riders sharing one room
£467 supplement to confirm ride for one person
Private boat trip on rest day: £117 per person (minimum 2 pax)