Costa Rica Ranch & Beach riding holiday in Costa Rica - Far and Ride
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Costa Rica Ranch & Beach, Costa Rica





Reviews



The ranch is lovely, the horses were excellent and there was some great riding. I got to ride at the tail end of a fiesta, and through the forest in the dark which was a bit creepy but lovely because the fireflies lit up the fields. One day Kay drove us to a beach where we rode horses which were used to the ocean which was great. I spent an afternoon on a catamaran where we saw a humped back whale and her baby. I also had a go on a zip wire over the jungle.

Debbie P-J.
Absolutely fabulous from start to finish. Great horses, great accommodation, great food, nothing too much trouble. Outstanding food especially breakfast - pancakes, omelettes, fruit, yoghurt, English muffins, eggs, etc. different every day. Other meals - great selection. Top class saddles and kit, horses very well cared for and fabulous temperaments. (Guides?) Excellent, Esteban has such a passion for horses and is so keen to involve people in natural horsemanship. Loved riding with him. (Favourite memory?) Beach ride and open-air bathroom. Bull riding trip, Criollo horses, zip lining! and watching Esteban mount a young horse for the first time.

Amanda S. (Jan 2018)
Relaxing - after a hectic week travelling around Costa Rica. Welcoming - at all times, plenty of good food and drink available. Surrounded by horses and horse knowledge. Varied - Lots of visits/activities, such as; watching bull riding, rode Criollo horses, zip line and visited the monkey rescue (and other animals). We were very comfortable and had lots of space in the "casa"; always welcome to gather and sit in the main house - which was lovely. Meals provided all home cooked and delicious (many local recipes). Estaban (guide) was great at all times - horse knowledge amazing and being local to the area very knowledgeable about the local culture and way of life. (Favourite memories?) Estaban's horse knowledge and skills, plus demonstrations of natural horsemanship (on 3 afternoons). Also, riding on the beach - lovely views and the horses (and riders) were so content and happy.

Gerry & Chris G. (Jan 2018)
So Relaxing, I felt so spoiled. Kay & Estaban are two very special people. Our room was huge, loved the outdoor shower. Meals were delicious, some were made at the ranch other at local restaurants. the horses were lovely - very responsive, they were so well cared for.

Suzanne & Shawn
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Spanish Criollo horses

Nature of horses:

Noble temperaments with comfortable gaits, trained with Natural Horsemanship.

Height of horses:

15 - 16hh

Weight limit:

97kg / 215lbs

Tack type:

Western, English & McClellan

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

With their own ranch and an exceptional getaway located just minutes from the famous white sand beaches of Guanacaste, your hosts are well known for their hospitality and fabulous riding. Kay is a wildlife artist with a PhD in Biology and Ecology and her husband is a Zotecnista (farm vet) born and raised in Guanacaste. They have developed the finca into one of the finest horse ranches in the area, breeding and training their own horses using Natural Horsemanship.

The horses are chosen for their noble temperament and comfortable gait, the Criollo horses here are used for cattle ranching, rodeo, pleasure riding, fiestas and low level dressage. Most of the horses were born on the ranch and they have an active breeding programme using their handsome paint stallions.

The ranch is located in an oasis of large Guanacaste trees and surrounded by green pastures. This central location takes advantage of Guanacaste's famous tourist attractions and is a haven for wildlife, especially howler monkeys and tropical birds. Your hosts can take you to visit and play in the local seasonal fiestas and truly involve you in authentic culture. Visit the nearby national park and its resident volcano, ride along the pretty beaches and experience the traditional sabanero cowboy culture of Guanacaste! This destination is suitable for non-riders as well as riders.

Whether you stay at the ranch or the beach, you will experience a taste of Guanacaste's traditional horse culture, learn about Natural Horsemanship, and enjoy riding comfortable Spanish Criollo horses. It is possible to arrange extension trips to the Volcano of Arenal or additional beach extensions for water sports.

From the end of November to the end of July it is Fiesta time in Costa Rica. Every weekend traditional small town fiestas feature bull riding, traditional foods and dance. Cattle farming is a major industry in Costa Rica and with this comes the standard rituals associated with every ranch and ranger, rodeos or Topes. Tope's (Rodeos) are very common in the Guanacaste region where the largest cattle farms in the country are located. Almost every small town host Rodeos in the summer months between February and April. Among the events are, the always popular Bull Riding Shows, bootless bull fighting, calf-roping, horse manoeuvring, and herding and milking competitions. Here is where you will meet true Sabaneros (cowboys). You may also encounter Cimarrona bands, which are traditional country bands.

Please note that October is monsoon season in this region of Costa Rica so our hosts prefer not to run any riding trips in this period.

Besides the programmes below we can also arrange Ride & Relax packages where you can mix riding with an overnight stay at a nearby Spa and Yoga retreat.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The accommodation is in spacious private casitas with queen beds, air conditioning, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, DVD and open sky shower in private bathroom. High speed internet and WIFI is available. Nights can also be added at beach or mountain accommodations.

All accommodations have access to the splash pool, bar and maid service. Cool off in the splash pool after your ride or sip a cold drink while you watch the horses from the porch rockers.

NOTE: There are several dogs (some rescues) on the premises.

Full ranch breakfast, lunch and most dinners are served on the garden porch or by the poolside. The daily breakfast menu includes an array of fresh tropical fruits, cereal, eggs (from the ranch), meats, pancakes and fresh-baked bread. Most lunches are at typical restaurants on the rides. Dinners are at the ranch or at local restaurants.

Most traditional dishes in Costa Rica consist of rice and beans with other ingredients like chicken or fish and different sorts of vegetables included. As ingredients are simple, this mean that eating in Costa Rica is fairly inexpensive.

For lunch, you may enjoy Casados (beans, rice) served with an accompaniment of meat or fish and a salad, fried plantains, white cheese and corn tortilla.

There is no typical meal for dinner, but a typical main dish in Costa Rica is arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) which can be served with different vegetables from the area like camote, chayote and yuca. Seafood is also common thanks to the country’s proximity to both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans.

Special dietary requirements such as vegetarians can be catered for with a variety of menu options.

 

Activities

There are a lot of activities to engage in while you are in this beautiful part of Costa Rica. Guanacaste is all about beautiful beaches and pleasant weather. The place has a lot to offer to travellers by way of wonderful natural scenery and exciting water sports.

You can try your hand at water rafting in the many rivers that flow through the region. You can also try kayaking both in the river and the ocean. The Lake Arenal in Costa Rica has been ranked as one of the best wind surfing spots. You can enjoy the beach breaks, river mouth breaks, point breaks and reef breaks. Rafting is one of the best things to do in Guanacaste.

Guanacaste is also a great spot to go fishing. You will find some of the best waters and it is an excellent place for inshore fishing. Some of the common game fishes are: wahoo, tuna, mahi-mahi, sailfish, roosterfish and many more.

The area is also great to indulge in snorkeling or scuba diving. There is a beautiful marine life to see. The warm water supports a wide variety of flora and fauna. You can dive into the tranquil blue waters of the sea and view the exotic aquatic life.

One of the most important things to do in Guanacaste is visit the many parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the region such as the Rincon de la Vieja Park. You can go hiking here and travel through its landscape covered with waterfalls, volcanic craters, geysers and a lake.

Bird watching is also popular in the area, you can try to sight the quetzal, the colorful local bird. Besides this, there are a number of other exotic birds in the forests of the region.

The Arenal Volcano National Park is definitely worth a visit, famous for its fireworks at night.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and Spanish

Health requirements: Fit & Healthy

Age limit: None within reason

Tuition: Instruction is available on request, yes.

Included: Accommodation (twin/double room basis), meals according to your chosen programme and horse riding activities.

Not included: Flights, Transfer from/to Tamarindo or Liberia airports, travel insurance, drinks, extra activities, tips.

 

Travel Information

Your hosts are happy to help arrange transport from both Tamarindo (closer) or Liberia airports or hotels.

These are not included in the cost of your stay and will need to be paid for directly on arrival. Please contact us for a quote.

Airport: Tamarindo

Alternative Airport: Liberia

 

Programmes


Ranches, Mountains and Pacific Beaches



This is a relaxing programme where you will enjoy riding on the ranch and along the remote pacific beach of Junquillal. You can learn about and try your hand at some natural horsemanship techniques under Esteban's superb tutelage. For wildlife enthusiasts this is the place to go for monkeys, butterflies and the plethora of birdlife. 

* Please do note that the pace of riding is not fast here, the rides are designed to showcase the culture and relaxed nature of Costa Rica and allow time for ther activities between riding. The programme is flexible and the following itinerary is just an example of what you might do. The order of the days may be adjusted, depending on which days you arrive, local conditions and the avaialbility of certain activities too.

Sample Itinerary: 

Day 1: 

Arrive to Liberia Airport (LIR) or Tamarindo Regional Airport, your hosts can help to organise transport to the ranch, located just minutes from the beautiful Pacific beaches of Guanacaste. 

Accommodation in provided in modest, yet comfortable air-conditioned casitas onsite or in a private villa close-by if the ranch rooms are booked. 

Provided you arrive in good time, there may be an opportunity to have a Ranch Orientation and a Criollo Horse Demonstration in the late afternoon. Depending on the weather, you may also be able to take your first short relaxed ride to the town of Portegolpe. Here, you will tie up your horses and stop for a cold drink at a local Cantina in the village before returning to the ranch at sunset. Dinner at the ranch or a local restaurant. (LD) NB: Itinerary depends on arrival times.

Day 2: 

After a tasty Costa Rican breakfast, you will have a short introduction to riding the beautiful Spanish Criollo horses of Costa Rica known for their noble temperament and smooth ride. Once comfortable, you will set off towards the small cattle town of Tempate following the Old Spanish Trail. These trails were traveled by the early Spanish Conquistadors and will take you through many large haciendas (local farms). Keep an eye out for monkeys, tropical birds and dry tropical vegetation on this back country trail. You will have the opportunity to stop for cold drinks in Tempate, before riding on to the village of Cartagena where you will have lunch at a typical restaurant. Afterwards you will return to the ranch by truck and will have the afternoon free to enjoy a dip in the pool and relax before dinner is served later that evening. (BLD)

Day 3: Non-Riding Day. 

After breakfast, you will be picked up for a tour to one of Costa Rica's famous volcanic mountain rainforests. You can either spend the day at the Hacienda Guachipelin resort for zip-lining, a visit the the thermal pools and mud baths, horseback riding to the waterfalls (with another outfitter) as well as a selection of other activities. Tours will need to be arranged in advance and please do note that some may not be available at the time of your visit, depending on the season and weather conditions. 

An Arenal Mountains Day Tour is also available but please do note that this requires a long bus ride each way. (BL, Dinner by arrangement). NB. Extra activities/tours are not included in the package and are avaialble at an additional cost. 

Day 4: 

This morning, you will be given the choice between a natural horsemanship lesson with Esteban or your may choose to forego riding and instead visit Flamingo Beach to swim or just relax under the shade trees. (Option for a massage on the beach, at extra cost.) 

Later that afternoon, you will mount your horses for a short and relaxed ride through the ranch property and to a small village where you will find one of the most popular cantina stops in Guanacaste. "Chilito’s", in the small town of El Llano, is famous for their fried chicken and chips - a local delicacy and a real "Taste of Guanacaste". You will return to the ranch at sunset or by truck if it is too dark. (BLD) 

Day 5: 

After breakfast you will have the opportunity to visit the nearby beautiful Hacienda Roble. This is a working cattle ranch where the cowboys will take you exploring through the wetlands to see a variety of birds and crocs on horseback. For the adventurous there is an option of taking an exciting canopy zipline tour. 

The afternoon is then free to organise other activities. You may want to visit one of the beautiful local beaches or take part in another organised tour if you are feeling more active. River Tours, a visit the Monkey Park, or to Coco Beach are all well worth considering.

A visit to Tamarindo Beach is highly recommended, offering shopping, swimming & surfing lessons. You can enjoy sunset on the beach and your choice of where you will like to have dinner that evening. Your hosts will come to collect you from Tamarindo at an arranged time. 

Regardless of your chosen activity, dinner is to your own account this evening (BL)

Day 6: 

Today you can grab a cup of Costa Rican coffee or juice before your Breakfast Ride through local ranches and along oxcart trails. You will be passing through beautiful wooded countryside, small ranches and typical Costa Rican villages. Along the way you may spot (or hear the wooping of) Howler Monkeys in the trees above you. 

Once you have returned back to the ranch, you will tie up your horse and enjoy a typical "Tico" breakfast, cooked the traditional way, over firewood. 

Afternoon free to relax at the ranch, explore the local area or try out a different local activity. 

Dinner to your own account again this evening. (BL)

Day 7: 

Today's ride will depend very much on the tide times at the local beaches. The ride wil be scheduled to tie in with the low tides and so may take place in the monring or the afternoon. In either case, you will begin by loading the horses on the truck and driving to meet them at the small village of La Garita. Your adventurous ride today will take you along secluded back roads, through giant trees in the dry tropical forest reserve and looking for more howler monkeys along the way. Eventually, you will reach the beautiful beach and can enjoy a stop at Puerto Viejo for a cold drink and a rest. Mounting up once more, you will ride along the pristine white sand Pacific beaches of Pt. Viejo, Conchal and Brasilito. There will be time to play in the water and have photos taken once you reach the end of the beach. You may which to take a swim in the sea or a walk on the beach before lunch or dinner at Don Brasilitos. (BLD) *Times depend on low tide.

Day 8: 

After breakfast take your last photos before you return to the airport or next destination. (Breakfast or snack bag for the plane will be made up for you by arrangement). 

Depending on your flight time, there may be an option for a last horse activity before you set-off today.

** Although this is an example of a week long itinerary, we are also able to tailor make shorter and longer stays for our geusts. Please do get in touch to discuss your requirements with us and we will be happy to put together a tailored itinerary for your stay.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Recommended for riders who can walk, trot and canter, but the itinerary can be tailored to accommodate less experienced riders too.
Type of ride: Ranch-based stay.
Total riding time: Typically short half-day rides.
Departure dates: 2020 and 2021: please contact us to enquire about dates - late September through to early November is generally rainy and best avoided but please contact us to discuss.
 
Pricing: 2020 and 2021:

£1666 per person

Price includes 7 nights accommodation, meals as detailed in the programme, as well as riding and local visits (depending on availability).

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.