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Darwin's Rainforest

Overview

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. Rio de Janeiro state has some of the …

Highlights

  • Enjoy adventure & discovery through changing landscapes
  • Ride comfortable gaited Peruvian paso fino horses
  • Discover wild tropical rainforests & pristine beaches
  • Challenging long hours of riding over variable terrain
  • Taste delicious local food & ample local cachaça!

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

Description

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.

Rio de Janeiro state has some of the best preserved sections of the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil - thanks, in part, to the inaccessibility of some of the mountainous areas. Birdwatchers will delight at the enormous variety of birds but the Atlantic Rainforest is also rich in reptiles, amphibians and butterflies. The vegetation is lush, thick and spectacular to behold - many trees are dripping with epiphytes and there is a hugely varied display of orchids and bromeliads.

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.

You ride on pure Peruvian Paso horses which are gaited and offer an additional gait which is similar to a running walk - this paso llano can be as fast as trotting but much more comfortable!

Far and Ride team member Natalie has ridden this trail and will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the ride.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Brazilian trekking saddles which are comfortable for long hours of riding and simple snaffle bridles (although some curb bits are used).

Horses

Peruvian Paso Fino horses, as well as some lusitano and criollo crosses

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Rainforest to Coast Expedition is a trail ride

Ages

10 years or older

Health

No specific requirements except general good health.

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Brazilian food is a colourful mix of Portugese, African and native foods. There are always plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on offer, plus lots of stunning fish and meats.

Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice.

Accommodation

Your first night is in the refuge, where there are two rooms with bunk beds, a toilet and shower. You have the option to camp at the viewpoint if you prefer.

Subsequent nights are in farm guesthouses in comfortable en-suite rooms.

Itineraries

Rainforest to Coast Expedition Basic / Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

There are many opportunities for bird watching and observing the native flora and fauna of this spectacular ecosystem.

Weather permitting, there are waterfalls which can be bathed in whilst out riding too.

This a trail ride which moves on and so is not suited to non-riders.

Travel

There are direct flights to Rio de Janeiro from the UK although these are not daily all year round. Direct flights are possible with British Airways and LATAM.

Alternatively there are non-direct routes through Europe or the USA. Rio de Janeiro is easily accessed from other Brazilian airports if you wish to add two rides together - or from other South American cities.

Transfers from Rio de Janeiro airport are provided but are at extra cost - see individual itinerary.

Testimonials

Natalie Garner, Far and Ride, Dec. 11, 2018

"...By happy chance, this is the very sort of expedition that I had hoped to realise during my time in Brazil, without really appreciating how much I had needed it..."


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

You are transferred from Rio de Janeiro airport to the riding centre in Cachoeiras de Macacu, aiming to arrive in time for coffee. You are then introduced to your horse and will set out riding to Jequitiba Reserve, exploring trails that pass through the forest mountains. On arriving at the reserve, you have a tour of the beautiful waterfalls before dinner. The refuge is built from mud and wood and there is the option to stay in a comfortable tent on the Mountain Viewpoint next to the refuge, but with spectacular views.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast you set off on one of the most beautiful days of the ride, through trails inside primary forest with millenary trees. Cross the main mountain range that separates the mountainous region from the coast. The trails go up a thousand meters in altitude through thick forest until reaching Farm Pyrenees, where the horses will spend the night. You can take a waterfall dip near to the main house before being transferred by car 20 minutes to Pousada Tapinua to overnight.

Day 3

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

After breakfast, transfer back to the horses and set off into the hinterland of Bananeiras. Your route follows dirt roads and includes a stop at Vitoria Farm for a dip in the river, and perhaps swimming the horses, followed by a snack. Continue riding across farmland and climbing another 500m into the mountains to reach Pousada Tapinua for a late lunch. The rest of the day is free to relax in the natural pool and sauna, whilst sampling the homemade cachaca which is produced on site (drinks payable locally).

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Early departure in the direction of Aldeia Velha following a dirt road through two picturesque villages: Bananeiras, which belongs to the municipality of Silva Jardim, and Aldeia Velha, part of Casimiro de Abreu. This picturesque village is relatively hidden and still little known - it is part of the Sao Joao/Mico Leao Dourado Environmental Protection area. Dinner is a delicious pizza before overnighting at the farm hotel Acacias, with your horses grazing in front of the rooms.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After an early breakfast set off riding to Barra de Sao Joao. Leave the mountains behind you and cross flat paths which reveal wide rural landscapes, with streams, pastures and fields containing cattle and buffalo. Stop for lunch at a Fazenda in Casimiro de Abreu.

In the afternoon, ride around an old volcano (Sao Joao hill), arriving at Fazenda Sao Joao Pousada in time for a relaxing massage or sauna (payable locally).

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast, you are transferred by road through the alleys of Barra de Sao Joao and passing colonial houses en-route to the beach. After c. 30mins you meet your horses on the beach of Pero in Cabo Frio. Set off riding to one of the most beautiful beaches in Rio de Janeiro - Conchas. Continue riding towards Buzio, passing dunes and and making a stop to swim with the horses. Eventually you reach Caravelas in Buzios where you stop for lunch on the edge of the beach and toast your arrival. 

After lunch, continue riding along a dirt road through the Pau Brasil reserve to your final destination - Fazendinha Pousada Buzios. After dinner you can visit Buzio's famous stone streets and Brigitte Bardot waterfront.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred back to Rio de Janeiro for your flight or to continue your holiday.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to experienced riders will be best suited to this ride. You should be comfortable riding at all paces, relatively fit for long days in the saddle and have a good head for heights (there will be several very long and steep ascents and descents during this trail).

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 20, 2021 - June 26, 2021

Sept. 19, 2021 - Sept. 25, 2021

Pricing

2021
2 riders in group, sharing
£1785 $2485 €2095
2021
3-4 riders in group, sharing
£1635 $2275 €1915
2021
5-6 riders in group, sharing
£1460 $2035 €1715
2021
7-8 riders in group, sharing
£1365 $1900 €1600
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, 5 days riding, all meals from dinner on arrival day until breakfast on departure day.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, Rio de Janeiro airport transfers, drinks (other than water), tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Airport Transfer £180 $250 €210
Paid to Far and Ride
Transfers from Rio de Janeiro airport return (up to 3 passengers)
2021 - Single Supplement £240 $340 €285
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms not possible on the first night
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.