The north-eastern Brazilian state of Alagoas is the greatest producer of coconuts in the country and its coastline comprises palm-lined, white sand beaches, clear lagoons and coral reefs.
You explore this tropical paradise from the back of a Mangalarga Marchador - these beautiful horses are native to Brazil but the breed originates from Portuguese Lusitanos crossed with Barbs. They are valued for their beauty, intelligence, disposition and smooth gaits. The Mangalarga Marchador's have four paces - walk, canter and then two Marcha gaits - the Marcha batida, where the feet move diagonally like in a trot, but in an ambling gait - and the Marcha picada, which is a four-beat lateral gait. The Marcha picada creates little vertical movement and is smooth and comfortable, being similar to the paso llano of the Peruvian Paso, or the tolt of the Icelandic 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.
This ride is offered by the same man who guides our Gaucho Experience ride. Paul was born in Flanders and in a previous life was a farrier. He has travelled the world leading trails and shoeing horses in many countries including Singapore, Australia and South America. Paul has ridden horses in fifty two different countries and is perhaps one of the most experienced trail riders in the world. Paul first came to Brazil in 1989 and it was love at first sight. The beauty of the country, the great horse culture and the hospitality of the Brazilians proved too great a draw and he now lives and works Brazil. After years of experience in organising and guiding equestrian holidays and riding expeditions around the world, he now concentrates on his own Brazilian trail rides. He usually guides the riding trips himself, ably supported by his trusty gauchos, and assures you of the best horse treks in South America. Paul speaks six languages and has a great sense of humour, his love for life is evident if you take up one of these trails.