Horse riding holidays in Brazil (9 destinations) - Far and Ride
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Horse Riding Holidays, Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America with a beautifully diverse geography and a mostly tropical climate. The country houses many spectacular ecosystems such as the Amazon Rainforest which is known to have the greatest biological diversity in the world. This is an exotic place for a riding holiday and not only does it have a rich wildlife, stunning landscapes and warm weather but it's also home to a fascinating culture.

As a Portuguese colony from 1500 to 1822, the heart of Brazilian culture is based around some Portuguese foundations such as the language, Roman Catholicism and colonial architectural styles. Many other cultures, such as that of European immigrants, has also played a part in shaping the traditions of this beautiful country. Indigenous people influenced the style of cooking (and the language to an extent) and African influences are also apparent in the language, food, music, religion and styles of dance. Brazilian food features a variety of regional recipes and delicious candies, as well as coffee and cachaça, the native liquor used in the delicious Caipirinha cocktails. Brazilian music has many distinctive styles and football is the country's most popular sport.

The variety of natural habitats in Brazil is spectacular and much of the land remains undocumented. Many natural environments are threatened by development and preservation of the rainforests and other landscapes has become an environmental concern across the world. Aside from the Amazon Rainforest, the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado (a tropical savanna) possess such great biodiversity that it may be higher than anywhere else in the world. The various environments and the wonderful variety of climates make this country a captivating place to explore on horseback.

The “Gaucho do Brasil,” the legendary South American cowboy, refuses to break with tradition which makes the gaucho way of life the liveliest equestrian culture in the world. The Brazilian Gaucho lives in the southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and many are descended from Europe when large numbers of immigrants who arrived in the 18th & 19th centuries, pioneers mostly from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Holland and Belgium.

The national horse of Brazil is the Mangalarga, a wonderful breed which has since split into two - the general Mangalarga (also known as the Mangalarga Paulista) and the Mangalarga Marchador. The original Mangalargas (Paulista) were bred by a Baron in the early 1800s, when the topography and culture of the lands forced him and his family to search for different horses. He crossed Royal horses, a specific breed of Lusitano, with his own colonial mares (mostly Barbs) to create a horse with lovely smooth gaits. This was then crossed further with Thoroughbreds, Arabs, American Saddlebreds and a Lusitano to create the Mangalarga Marchador. Both these sorts of horses are excellent for trails and a variety of disciplines, though their gaits are slightly different.
Other native breed of Brazil are Campolino and the Pantaneiro horses

However, perhaps the most widely used by gauchos is the Criollo (Crioulo in Portuguese. The Criollo is a native horse from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. It may have the best endurance of any horse breed in the world next to the Arabian. In fact, due to the crioulo's low basal metabolism, it may be a better long-distance horse than the Arabian in prolonged races over a week in duration with no supplemental feed. The breed is most popular in its home countries, and is known for its hardiness and stamina.

The criollo is a hardy horse with a brawny and strong body. They have short, strong legs with good bone, resistant joints, low-set hocks, and sound, hard feet. The long-muzzled head is medium to large and has a straight or slightly convex profile with wide-set eyes. The croup is sloping and the haunches well-muscled, the back short with a strong loin. They have sloping, strong shoulders with muscular necks.The body is deep with a broad chest and well-sprung ribs. The criollo is tractable, intelligent, willing, and sensible. Criollo horses average 1,60m or 15 hands high.

For adventurous travellers, Brazil is a spectacular country to visit and offers numerous horse riding opportunities. There are many available activities besides trail rides and rainforest adventures - visitors can ride on cattle ranches as well as practising dressage and other riding disciplines. The landscapes are such that they never become tiresome and the high quality horses, tasty food, inviting culture and tropical climate mean that this is riding holiday paradise.

See our horse riding holidays in Brazil below.


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Amazon Delta, Brazil

The Amazon Delta horse riding holiday, in Brazil
The Amazon is a huge place, full of rich experiences and the locals say that it would take many lifetimes to experience it all. Discover this unique environment on the back of the local Marajoara horses. Live the life of the vaqueros (cowboys) and ride through pastures where water buffalo graze as well as discovering the native wildlife and birdlife of this biodiverse area.


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Bahia Beach, Brazil

The Bahia Beach horse riding holiday, in Brazil
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil and is located in the north-east of the country. The turquoise Atlantic ocean laps at its sandy shores, whilst palm trees dot the horizon. This beautiful land of beaches and quaint fishing villages is just waiting for be explored on horseback.


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Canyons and Waterfalls, Brazil

The Canyons and Waterfalls horse riding holiday, in Brazil
Imagine a huge Canyon covered in lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls and thriving biodiversity. You will ride along these steep mountains and canyons, sometimes in sight of the Atlantic coastline, whilst staying in authentic fazenda accommodations. Eat typical home cooked meals and ride with Gaucho guides and their intelligent Criollo horses which have plenty of stamina and agility.


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Coconut Trail, Brazil

The Coconut Trail horse riding holiday, in Brazil
Explore the tropical paradise of Alagoas state, with its palm-lined, white sand beaches, clear lagoons and coral reefs from the back of a beautiful Mangalarga Marchador horse. The itinerary takes you past coloured sea cliffs, across rivers, through sand dunes and mangrove swamps as well as into the Atlantic rain forest and down the many pristine, deserted beaches. There are typical local fishing villages to explore and delicious seafood to sample - as well as lots of coconut water to quench your thirst after pacey canters along the endless beaches.


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Coffee Highlands, Brazil

The Coffee Highlands horse riding holiday, in Brazil
Riding in the coffee highlands takes you through the coffee-growing regions northeast of Sao Paulo, visiting some of the great historical plantation homes and passing through surprisingly well-preserved natural landscapes. This diversified terrain takes you from plains to mountains, up and down escarpments and onto plateaus punctuated with springs and waterfalls. Since the mid 19th century some of the finest coffee produced in Brazil has come from this region which boasts a perfect combination of altitude (800-1,300 metres) and climate (dry winters and wet summers) as well as fertile, well-drained soil.


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Darwin's Rainforest, Brazil

The Darwin
In 1832 the Atlantic Rainforest overwhelmed Charles Darwin with its spectacular beauty and biological diversity. On this trail you ride through these exuberant forests of ancient trees and see a little of what enchanted the young Darwin all those years ago. During the week you ride on narrow tracks through the rainforest, over pastures, crossing rivers and following winding mountain trails. The dramatic mountains of this area can be seen all the way from the city of Rio de Janeiro, but you will feel a million miles away.


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Gaucho Experience, Brazil

The Gaucho Experience horse riding holiday, in Brazil
Brazil offers diverse landscapes and makes for a beautiful backdrop to these horse riding adventures. This is a rare chance to sample the real gaucho world, and make no mistake, these trails are the ultimate in authentic gaucho experiences. If you are dreaming of a unique equestrian adventure and a thoroughly exhilarating riding holiday... well this is it! Thousands of acres of rolling hills are the ideal playground to test the temperament of your Criollo horse.


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Lagoa do Peixe National Park, Brazil

The Lagoa do Peixe National Park horse riding holiday, in Brazil
Lagoa do Peixe national park is a tempting mix of salt marshes, lagoons, sand dunes and the ocean. A haven for migrating birds, this area is best explored on horseback and the majestic Lusitano horse is the perfect companion. Bird watchers and wildlife supporters will enjoy watching the migrating birds and whales from horseback, whilst the sandy tracks and beaches are also perfect terrain for canters for those riders with experience. Everyone can ride here though and there are horses for all abilities.


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Pantanal Safari, Brazil

The Pantanal Safari horse riding holiday, in Brazil
The Pantanal of South America is one of the most immense, pristine and biologically rich environments on the planet. Often referred to as the world’s largest freshwater wetland system, it extends through millions of hectares of central-western Brazil, eastern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay. With its extraordinarily concentrated and diverse flora and fauna, and a landscape spanning a variety of ecological sub-regions, the Pantanal stands as one of the world’s great natural wonders.


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