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Costa Rica Horse Riding Vacations Costa Rica
Costa Rica Horse Riding Vacations are a combination of riding and activities in the Central American country of Costa Rica. Experience different terrain in this small, tropical country, an ideal place for viewing wildlife that include mammals, reptiles, and many species of birds. The county's stunning scenery unfolds in an ever changing panorama of steaming volcanoes, forested mountains, dramatic skies and pastoral countryside. Dark lowland jungles give way to rolling savannas. Pacific surf crashes against rocky headlands, in sharp contrast to the tranquility of palm-fringed Caribbean beaches.
Costa Rica helped launch the ecotourism trend some 25 years ago, so folks in charge of these trips have lots of experience leading travelers on adventure vacations. Costa Rica has preserved a higher portion of its territory for Wildlife Reserves and National Parks than any other nation in the world. This small country harbors an astounding amount of plant and animal life. Viewing it on horseback is a great way to unobtrusively get up close to nature!
Chose from a variety of riding vacation itineraries or let us help you customize your own!
Tailor-Made Equestrian Adventures are available. Whether you are riding on your own, with your family or a group of friends and are looking for a challenging ride through pristine and remote forests or simply want leisurely rides at your convenience and pace, a tailor made journey is a good choice. You may also wish to complement your riding holiday with other adventures (scuba diving, rafting, spas and more). Please contact us for more information.
Awards & Accolades
Featured in both Horse & Rider and Horse & Hound magazines in the United Kingdom
Packing for Horse Riding Costa Rica and Costa Rica Travel Adventures
Please see Equitrekking Travel’s General Packing List
Particularly in the Central Pacific coast, the weather is very hot and humid from January to April, when temperatures can range from 77°F to 95 °F (25 °C to 35 °C). If you are sensitive to the heat, it's best to travel from May through December.
About the Horses
The horses that Spanish explorers introduced to Costa Rica around the sixteenth century were smaller. These were sought for their surefootedness and ability to survive tough weather conditions. In the past 35 years many new breeds have been imported to Costa Rica, such as Andalusians, Peruvian Pasos, Quarter-horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Morgans. These breeds have improved the Criollo horses, making for calm, surefooted, strong and agile horses.
The horses for this equestrian vacation are all hand selected for their calm nature. The breed of horses is called Costa Rican Criollo or alternatively mixed breed (Spanish) and they range from 14 to 16 hands.There are around 20 horses at the first riding destination and 30 more at La Ensenada, the second destination. All of them are very responsive and surefooted. At both properties, there are specialized horse masters that take care of the horses. They are trained to be ridden with neck rein steering. From the working Criollo, to the elegant Costa Rican Paso Fino, there is a horse for every riding preference.
Special note on Gaited Horses: This outfitter has a few Gaited Horses (Paso Finos). Please ask us about riding gaited horses on this equestrian vacation!
The saddles used on the rides are Modified McClellan and Western Saddles. Both open and covered stirrups are commonly used. The majority of the horses are ridden in “Jaquima” with a "bozal" – a type of Bit-less bridles made of rope or leather. The horses are trained to this system, which is not only more comfortable for horses but practical for long-distance riding.
At the riding Center in Orotina, you will experience the rural Costa Rican lifestyle, staying next to horses in a peacefully atmosphere. The groups are small (4 to 6), with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 riders to provide personalized attention throughout. Small groups ensure personal attention. In the rare case, where there is a booking for a number of riders that exceeds our established maximums, we may choose to organize two separate groups and add a variation to the itinerary to prevent overlap.
While riding on the Costa Rica Equestrian Adventure, you'll have the opportunity to experience many non-riding adventures. In the different itineraries, packages include different activities for non-riding travelers like nature walks, hiking at Arenal Volcano National Park, enjoying the relaxing hot springs, hikes to the unique Monteverde Hanging Bridges and a trip to a typical cloud forest.
Adding on any of the additional adventures below is possible by contacting us for more information.
Crocodile Boat Safari: This two-hour boat ride explores the Tarcoles river, home of one of largest colonies of crocodiles in
Sky Way Tour: This network of trails is located on a privately owned reserve adjacent to
Canopy Tour: The adventure of the “Canopy Tour” starts at Villa Lapas where you will meet your canopy guides, who will help you get geared up. Each person that goes on the tour will be carrying a harness, two Carabinners, a pair of welding gloves, a pulley and two strings (one for the pulley and the other one for safety on the cables and platforms).
Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling: After a brief introduction and demonstration, start your ocean adventure just a short drive to Playa Agujas, near Jaco beach. Paddle to Playa Limoncito, a beach where you can enjoy excellent snorkeling in the warm Pacific waters, followed by a picnic lunch. The beach is in a sheltered cove with a nearby coral reef where it is possible to view a wide variety of marine life. Continue exploring by kayak or relax on the beach before going back to Playa Agujas.
Whitewater Rafting: A White Water Rafting Adventure will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy one of the most amazing rainforest experiences possible - breathtaking beauty far removed from civilization's rush and heart-pounding excitement. It is certain to be a highlight of your stay in Costa Rica. The Pacuare River is one of the top five rafting rivers in the world, known for its scenery and rapids. Many have described rafting on this tropical river as pure magic.
Scuba Diving: Diving on the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica can be simply described as spectacular. Located at 12 miles west of Drake Bay, Caño Island offers several site for world-class diving. This island is protected as a biological reserve and its surrounding waters are extremely pristine and home to incredible marine life. Schools of mobula rays (devil rays), turtles, and white tip reef sharks can be seen on many dives. On almost every dive, large schools of fish swimming around and overhead can be breathtaking. Although not as common, the elusive whale shark and the giant bull shark are often spotted in the area. Water visibility is good and can range from 45-90 feet. Temperatures hover in the upper seventies to low eighties throughout the year and provide for an exquisite diving experience.
Rainforest Aerial Tram-Pacific: The Pacific Rain Forest Aerial Tram provides a unique perspective above a tropical rainforest, the modified ski lifts offer a bird's eye view of the rainforest canopy, which is home to an estimated 60 percent of rainforest species. During the 90-minute ride in a silent gondola that skims the rainforest floor and then soars above giant trees - this as a naturalist guides will tell you about the eco-tourism activities, ecology and why saving the rainforest is so important for our country's future. Lush vegetation and many endangered species inhabit the mountainous slopes between the dry Pacific lowlands and adjacent rainforest in Carara National Park. A 40 foot majestic waterfall shoots from the mountainside close to the tram as visitors enjoy a relaxing view of the seemingly endless sea from their gondolas.
Intermediate to Advanced rides require a minimum age of 12-years-old and novice to intermediate rides require a minimum age of 10-years-old. Every rider must be able to demonstrate the ability to safely control hir or her horse and follow instruction. If a child does not follow instruction or the guides are concerned for safety, the child will be returned to the stable and there will be no refund or exception. Riders under 18 years old must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Younger children can be part of any of our riding holidays for families, for whom special rides can be customised. Riding lessons and childcare-taker service can be provided for an extra cost.
Taste exotic tropical fruit and nuts harvested from the area, including cashews, sour sops, cas, guavas, oranges, coconuts, mandarines, avocados, papayas, sweet lemons and mangoes. Due to its location and climate, Costa Rica has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
The ingredients used by Costa Rican cooks include simple native foods, such as "chayote" (squash), avocados, and the ever present corn. Costa Rican cuisine is also characterized by its mildness, which comes as a surprise to many visitors who might have travelled through Mexico and expect to find the same spicy chillies in Costa Rican foods. Chillies are used to some degree, however, they are most commonly used in hot sauces with accompany broiled meats and poultry.
Tubers, such as sweet potatoes and cassava, commonly known as "yucca" frequently accompany lunch and dinner meals. In many dishes yucca is often substituted for potato, perhaps boiled and mashed or fried to exquisite crispness to accompany meat and sandwiches instead of fries, or simply boiled and served with butter and garlic. Plantains, a type of banana, are another Costa Rican favorite, and are most often boiled, mashed, stuffed with cheese, or fried to accompany meats or bean dishes. Unlike bananas, plantains are much larger and need to be cooked to be eaten.
There are plenty of meats including: poultry, fish, beef and pork. At the lodge at Maravilla, courtesy drinks and beer are provided after the rides and a glass of wine at dinner time. Clients are also welcome to bring their own alcohol.
Sample meals include:
- Breakfast: A traditional Costa Rican breakfast consists of "gallo pinto" (Pinto Rooster), eggs, tortillas and sour cream, with coffee and fresh fruit juice. Most restaurants will offer some international options.
- Lunch: Typically known as "casado" (Married), includes: rice and beans, one choice of meat (beef, chicken, pork, or fish), salad, fried plantain (a type of banana, very sweet and very tasty).
Dinner: Pretty much whatever you like. The seafood is excellent, well priced, and fresh, as are the fruits and vegetables. Of course Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world and it's not uncommon to see bumper stickers around proclaiming that "Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee
Your first night in Costa Rica will generally be at a comfortable hotel, not far from the airport. Throughout the riding vacations, you stay in the best accommodation available in the area; it tends to be simple rather than luxurious. Please see each individual itinerary for more on accommodations.
The Ideal Traveler
The Costa Rica Equestrian Adventures vacation has rides that will suite all riding ablilities. Famiies with small children are welcome. Many a honeymoon and wedding on horseback have been hosted here. There are also options for private rides for groups of friends.
Odyssey Riding Vacation
This Multi-base Costa Rica riding vacation is designed for those serious riders who want to discover the most diverse terrain and scenery. This is achieved by using vehicle transportation only when strictly necessary due only to the long distances involved between our three riding bases. Riders are required to have an Intermediate level of riding experience to join this ride. On this riding vacation, start at rustic Hacienda La Maravilla or Sol Pacifico from where you explore the coastal rain forest, mango plantations and mountain trails. Then you travel to the Arenal volcano and finish the trail riding over the rolling grasslands of coastal Guanacaste.
10 days/ 9 nights
2016: Nov 10-19, Nov 24-Dec 3
Christmas Ride! Dec 22-31
Spend New Years in the Saddle Dec 29, 2016- Jan 7, 2017
2017: Jan 12-21, Jan 19-28, Jan 26-Feb 4, Feb 9-18, Fev 11-20, Fev 23- March 4, March 9-18, March 28-April 6, April 6-15, April 20-29, May 18-27, June 15-24, June 29-July 8, July 20-29, Aug 17-26, Aug 31-Sept 9, Sept 14-23, Oct 12-21, Oct 19-28, Nov 9-18, Nov 24-Dec 3
Christmas Ride! Dec 21-30
Spend New Years in the Saddle Dec 28, 2017- Jan 6, 2018
$2065 USD* pp sharing with La Maravilla or Sol Pacifico Villa
Solo Rider Supplement (to confirm the ride for one person) $1226 USD*
You should be prepared to share at Maravilla (3 nights) due to the limited number of rooms. If you are in a single room on the other 6 nights, there is a single supplement of $243 USD*.
$2355 USD* pp sharing with Cerro Lodge
Solo Rider Supplement (to confirm the ride for one person) $1,321 USD*
You should be prepared to share at Maravilla (3 nights) due to the limited number of rooms. If you are in a single room on the other 6 nights, there is a single supplement of $361 USD*.
* Prices subject to changes based on currency conversions.
This itinerary can be shortened in two days to become an 8-day/7-night ride with 5-days riding. Please note that riders doing the 8-day Odyssey Ride version will skip days 8 & 9 (no nights at Ensenada) as their itinerary finishes 2 days earlier than the official set departure date.
• Travel throughout, including airport transfers as feature on this itinerary (To and from San Jose hotels).
• Luggage Transfers throughout the journey.
• Tack, horse-bags, ponchos & torches
• All rides as described in the itinerary, 7 days riding.
• 9 nights in Tourist Class, based on twin accommodation.
• Bilingual guiding service of a professional guiding from day 2 to 9 and local horse master during all rides.
• Meals as specified in the itinerary.
• Entrance fee to the Hot-water Springs.
• One liter of water a day (additional water is available for purchase at all locations)
• International Airport departure tax of $29 p/p. payable in San Jose upon exit.
• Extras at hotels (telephone calls, room service, porterage, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)
• Tips & Gratuities for Guide, Driver, local guides and service providers.
• Any additional/extra tours or park fees.
• Personal and/or medical expenses.
• Any incidentals out of pocket or medical expenses. Please ensure you carry appropriate insurance, which covers all the activities in this itinerary, inherited risks, luggage protection and holiday cancellation.
• Late check-out or early check-in.
Accommodations: 3-nights at an farm Lodge, 1 night at an Eco-lodge, 3 nights at a Ranch and 2 nights at a San Jose Hotel.
Sample Day by Day Costa Rica Riding Holiday Itinerary**
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José. Upon arrival you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel near the airport. Overnight in San Jose.
Day 2: Presentation & Build-up ride (Approx. 3 hours in the saddle)
Morning transfer to Cien Fuegos Eco-Ranch & Stables, located along the Trinidad river in the Dry Central Pacific Region, the starting point of your riding adventure. After horse assignment and our presentation, you will head towards Hacienda La Maravilla, riding along rolling hills and meadows into the Gallery Forest alongside the Cuarros river – an excellent spot for wildlife encounters! We meander across the river following a country lane passing en route farmland, rural homes and finally arriving at the hacienda grounds. This afternoon, there will be an exploratory ride following the private trails. The next three nights will be at Maravilla House lodge (shared bathrooms) which remote location and attractive scenery will no doubt gives a better feel of typical Costa Rican life and living than anywhere else on the locations you will be visiting. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 3: Coastal Ride (Approx. 4-5 hours in the saddle)
Today’s ride will take you to the Pacific coast following country roads to Guacalillo beach and then ride along the shoreline towards Bajamar beach. Depending on the tide you climb on horseback towards Cuevas Crag, enjoying unique views of the Pacific Ocean and finally visiting Tivives Crag – the very spot right where Spaniards first started their conquest of the Central Pacific around 1561! Depending on tide times, lunch may be served at a local venue, as a picnic on the beach or back at Maravilla.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 4: Hacienda Ride and Optional Countryside Ride (Approx. 3-6 hours in the saddle)
This morning you have an exploratory ride of the hacienda’s 1000 acres and its private reserve, riding through rolling hills and savannah’s towards the Transitional-Dry Forest and the lush Gallery Forest. Here, the terrain is picturesque, predominantly flat with gentle slopes and forested valleys. As you ride over the higher areas you will be able to gain views of the Pacific Ocean and perhaps spot some of the local area’s wildlife too. Back at the hacienda in time for lunch and relax. This afternoon there will be an optional ride to the nearby town of La Ceiba. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 5: Machuca River Canyon Ride (Approx. 4-5 hours in the saddle)
Your final ride in the Central Pacific will first take you to Cascajal Village riding on roads and through farmland. After this point you will ride on a private farm plains and forested slopes and then start to descend into the Machuca River Canyon basin. We will retun to Cascajal and then ride back to Eco-Ranch or a point en route where our transfer vehicle will be waiting. Afterwards, you will take a 3 1/2-hour transfer by vehicle to the Northern Region home to Arenal Volcano which last erupted in 1968 and remains one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Overnight in Arenal. Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, Dinner.
Day 6: Thermo-mineral Hot-water springs & Transfer to Abangaritos
Today is a relaxing day to explore Arenal. If the weather is clear, you may wish to join a walk to the surroundings of the volcano. Enjoy free time at the beautiful Arenal hot water springs and gardens - an excellent complementation to your riding adventure! These thermo-mineral waters, which some people claim to have healing powers, will help you to leave feeling relaxed! In the afternoon you have a transfer by vehicle to Abangaritos, enjoying a scenic drive down to the International highway and passing the Continental Division line - a location where the arid Pacific area greets the humid Cloud Forests. We will stay the next three nights at La Ensenada Lodge which is a his family run lodge located on a 1000-acre hacienda which offers guests the opportunity to participate in the typical farm activities such as cattle raising, horses and the production of salt and fruit. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 7: Exploratory Ride at Ensenada (Approx. 3-4 hours in the saddle)
This morning there will be a briefing about our new set of horses and after horses are allocated, we will do an exploratory ride of La Ensenada which will help us learn more about our horses and the terrain we will be discovering over the next few days. During today’s horseback adventure you will explore inner grounds at Hacienda Ensenada where the majority of the area is used for grazing beef and dairy cattle and it also includes a protected wetland area which has been declarated a "national refuge for fauna" including mangrove swamps, wetlands at the Abangares river delta. La Ensenda Wildlife refuge protects some of the remaining primary and secondary forests of the northern Puntarenas province - all this makes this place an ideal location for horse explorations and bird-watching! The afternoon will be free to enjoy the swimming pool. Overnight at La Ensenada Lodge. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 8: Ensenada Lodge (Salinas & Miradores Rides) (Approx. 4-5 hours in the saddle)
This morning we will head to towards the Eastern side of Ensenada where the Salinas and various lagoons are located including Laguna Augusta and Laguna Jacana-during high tide and with some luck, this could be a fantastic ride to do some bird-watch on horseback as these wetlands and lagoons are frequented by water-birds. Part of this ride develops over area neighbouring the Tropical Mangrove Swamps - The gulf of Nicoya, the mangroves and the Salinas (Salt Lagoons) offer bird lovers and photography enthusiasts alike the opportunity to see many different species of birds such as pelicans, herons, parrots, Montezuma oropendula, bellbird, white iris and great egret amongst others. Later this afternoon, you will follow "La Pizota" trail which develops over varied terrain including plaints, grassland, slopes and rolling hills which are natural lookout points that provide excellent opportunities to enjoy a full Ocean view and Golf of Nicoya. Depending on the time we leave it could be a great Sunset ride with Panoramic views of the Pacific ocean! Overnight at La Ensenada Lodge. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 9: Ensenada Lodge (Farms and Rural land trail) (Approx. 3-4 hours in the saddle)
This morning you take a further exploration of area, following a completely different route covering a wide range of terrain and countryside scenes - It starts bordering the coast line on the trails that skirt the mountain slopes that meet the Pacific Ocean towards the Eastern side of the Hacienda. Then continues on a rural road visiting the rural community of Manzanillo where life is rustic and simple and will give us get a better feel about the real rural Costa Rica. Then we will enter a sister property of Ensenada crossing the Cañamazo river and continuing on farm trails through reforestation plantations of Teakwood and Melina trees. Later on, you will cross Congo River and head back to the lodge crossing Abangares river and stopping at a local town for a drink. The ride back to Ensenda will provide a great opportunity to do some cantering! You will get back in time for lunch. Afternoon transfer back to your San Jose Hotel (3 1/2 hours) for your last night stay in Costa Rica. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 10: Departure / Flight Home.
Morning at your leisure and transferred to the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in time for your flight back home and we say our farewells. Meals included: Breakfast.
** This itinerary is a sample itinerary. Itineraries are subject to changes due to the weather, the trip guide's discretion and other factors. The ride can be operated in different order other than as described above. Arrangements (routes or facilities) are subject to variation by the outfitter depending on local conditions. All riding times contained in our itineraries are based upon riding at a slow/moderate pace throughout.
Ride & Rainforest Riding Vacation
Whether you are an advanced rider looking for a more varied holiday or a beginner rider who want to join a riding holiday while gaining more experience, this is a flexible and less intense riding vacation. This Rainforest Adventure will provide more freedom than the average riding holiday and the opportunity to enjoy miles of riding on nature, coastal and rural trails. All this whilst experiencing the local culture, way of life and identifying the local wildlife and forests - both on horseback and by participating on a variety of adventures such as Canopy (Zip-line), Hanging bridges, Ocean Kayaking and a Crocodile boat Safari. This ride is equally ideal for Families with small children, for whom we will provide a bilingual nanny who will look after the children whilst the parents are riding, and teach basic horse riding lessons.
8 days/ 7 nights
Saturday to Saturday
The Rainforest Adventure Riding Vacation is offered on any dates and with a minimum of 2 riders and for private groups and dates upon request.
2016/ 2017 Rates
$1,858 USD* pp sharing
No single supplement if you are prepared to share, otherwise $238 USD*
Child minding service may be provided for children under 11 years.
* Prices shown are subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
Who is it for?: Ideal for serious riders looking for a more varied holiday and less intense riding experience, or beginner riders who want to gain experience without being long hours in the saddle. This ride is also a great alternative for families where one of the parents does not ride at all or only want to ride a couple of days.
Riding: 4 Days, with an average of 3-5 hours a day with special programme for children.
Riding Level: Beginner to Advanced
Meeting point: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
Weight Limits: 243 lbs. / 110 Kilograms
Group size: 2 to 12 people.
Departures: Private departures starting any day/time available upon request.
Guides: Bilingual Equestrian-Naturalist Guide day 2 to 7.
Accommodations: 5-nights at Rustic but comfortable hacienda house with 4 rooms and private shared bathrooms & 2-nights at a San Jose Hotel.
Activities Included: All riding from day 2-4 and 6-7; Crocodile Boat Safari; Ocean Kayaking & Snorkelling; Tram & Canopy Tour.
Transportation: Private on minibus or 4X4 vehicle.
Arrival & Departure Transfers: Included (see note in tariff)
Day 1: Arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, where you will be met by one of our representatives at the ramp, assisted and transferred to San Jose Hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 2: Morning transfer to Eco-Safari Ranch & Stables, located along the Trinidad river in the Dry Central Pacific Region, the starting point of your riding adventure. On arrival you will be introduced to your riding horse, the ranch and its facilities, guides and an opportunity for you to fully acquaint yourself with tack and Costa Rican riding style. After horse assignment, we will head towards Hacienda La Maravilla, riding along rolling hills and meadows into the Gallery Forest alongside the Cuarros river – an excellent spot for wildlife encounters! We meander across the river following a country lane passing en route farmland, rural homes and finally arriving at the hacienda grounds. Later you will be transferred to your hotel. Meals: B, L, D. (BG) (LG)
Day 3: Today’s ride will take you to the Machuca River basin, passing Cascajal village, you will ride into the area where this river canyon broadens onto the plains. Heading towards the Jesús María River basin, allowing exploration of the plains and forested valleys along the Machuca River Canyon, where the land is very fertile and most commonly used to cultivate melons. We finish the ride at a local hacienda and transferred back to your lodge. Included: B, L,D. (BG) (LG)
Day 4: Today you will have a break from riding and be filled with some of Costa Rica's best Tropical Adventures including a sightseeing Crocodile Boat Safari tour down the Tarcoles River and a visit to the the Rainforest where you will do the Aerial Tram and and the Zipline Canopy Tour - See detail descriptions below. Overnight at the Countryside hotel B,L&D. (BG) (LG)
Day 5: Today takes you into the center of rural communities, where you can visit and meet with the people of the communities that have helped play host to you during your week with us. Nothing is ‘staged’ about this event, what occurs is the natural exchange between peoples. On your way you will pass through Santa Rita village, then travel along old railroad tracks, now overgrown and returning to nature, finally arriving La Ceiba town – we will stop at a local venue for a short break and having a drink at John Wayne’s style!! Meals Included: B, L, & D. (BG) (LG)
Day 6: Today’s rides take you on a splendid journey (approximately 5 hours riding), following a route which was first used by the Spaniards as they began exploring and settling along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica nearly 500 years ago. Sights to be experienced include rivers, jungles, Gallery Forests and by following a rural road, Tivives Crag, (which before a land slip into the sea was formerly known as the Port of Landecho). From here you have unforgettable views of the Pacific. Indeed, from this historic site the Spaniards first started their conquest of the Central Pacific in the late 16th century. With a really satisfying day’s riding safely behind you, there will be plenty to talk and share over dinner and well beyond. Meals Included: B, S, D. (EG & LG) (BG) (LG)
Day 7: Today’s a non riding day, you will enjoy an Ocean and Kayaking experience on the Central Pacific coast warm waters and will be transferred back to your hotel in San Jose. Meals: B, L. (BG) (LG) Non-riding Activity: Ocean Kayaking & Snorkelling.
Day 8: Morning at your leisure and transfer to the Airport in time for your flight and our farewells. ($29 dollar departure tax is payable at the airport) Meals included: B.
KEYS: (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (S) Snack/Picnic Lunch, (D) Dinner, (TG) Transfer Guide, (EG) Equestrian Guide, (LG) Local Cowboy Guide.
• All travel as per itinerary, including airport transfers (To and from San Jose hotels).
• 4 days riding with an average of 3-5 hours a day.
• Tack, horse-bags and ponchos.
• All meals as specified in the itinerary.
• Guiding services of both a bilingual Equestrian guide and local horse master throughout the ride.
• 7 nights accommodation in Tourist-class hotels.
• Non-riding Activities as indicated above (Crocodile Boat Safari; Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling; Aerial Tram & Canopy Tour).
• Water (1 litre per person a day)
• Sales tax (13%) and Restaurant service charges for all meals provided (10%)
a) Credit card payment fees
b) International Airport departure tax of $29 p/p. payable in San Jose upon exit (Some Airlines may already included this tax)..
c) Extras at hotels (telephone calls, room service, porterage, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)
d) Tips & Gratuities for Guide, Driver, local guides and service providers.
e) Any additional/extra tours or park fees.
f) Personal and/or medical expenses.
g) Any incidentals out of pocket or medical expenses. Please ensure you carry appropriate insurance, which covers all the activities in this itinerary, inherited risks, luggage protection and holiday cancellation.
h) Late check-out or early check-in.
** This itinerary is a sample itinerary. Itineraries are subject to changes due to the weather, the trip guide's discretion and other factors. This is a sample ride dossier, planned several months in advance, the ride can be operated in different order other than as described above. Arrangements (routes or facilities) are subject to variation by the outfitter depending on local conditions. All riding times contained in our itineraries are based upon riding at a slow/moderate pace throughout.
Related Travel Articles
I have ridden over 600 horses all over the world in the course of my 30 years in riding journalism, two of my top ten horses that I would choose for myself were experience in eight days here with you.
--John Ruler, Equestrian Journalist & Travel Writer and co-author of the guide to Horse Riding Holidays Worldwide
One of the best ways to see the country is from horseback, and as a consequence of increasing tourist industry, an abundance of outfitters have sprung up to cope with demand. Some are excellent and other totally unscrupulous with overworked and underfed horses. Even the Lonely Planet guide to Costa Rica warns visitors to choose carefully. Eco-Safari Riding Expeditions run by Fabio Salas, is the former, and its pièce de résistance is the “Costa Rican Odyssey” which I joined last July.
--Abigail Butcher, Deputy News Editor/Endurance/Travel, Horse & Hound Magazine, U.K, Feb 2005
As such it refelcts the rural nature of Costa Rica - a land which left me not only feeling full of beans, but eager to return for a second helping of Tico Land as it is lovingly called.
--John Ruler for The Surrey Mirror & Croydon Advertise
Ironically, this was close to the coast of the so-called Central Pacific area, near where the Spanish started their conquest. After a gallop along a virtually desserted Bajamar Beach, the day ended at Maravilla Ranch, an ideal base for reflective outdoor pursuits, where I drank juice from coconuts cut straight from the tree...
--FT Expat Magazine
”The horses we rode made perfect traveling companions – they wait sensibly while you spot the wildlife, but gallop like crazy if you want to race! They are mostly Criollo, the tough Latin American native, crossed with Andalusians or Quarter Horses to provide a touch of quality.., I loved everything about it: the horses, the people, the country, the riding, the wildlife..”
--Alison Bridge, Editor, Horse & Rider Magazine
Frommer's Costa Rica 2010 (Frommer's Color Complete Guides) (Paperback) by Eliot Greenspan
Completely updated every year, Frommer's Costa Rica features gorgeous color photos of the lush rain forest, the amazing array of wildlife, and the spectacular beaches that await you. Personally researched by a longtime resident, it's the only truly up-to-date guide that gives you such in-depth coverage of this fast-changing country, with recommended accommodations in every price category. You'll visit rugged wilderness preserves and sleepy beach towns, spectacular orchid gardens and mineral hot springs at the foot of a steaming volcano. There are adventures here to suit all ages and abilities: swooping from treetop platform to treetop platform on a canopy tour, taking a dip in a jungle swimming hole, spotting playful spider monkeys as you hike through lush foliage, windsurfing on Lake Arenal, or watching endangered sea turtles nest on the beach.
Travellers' Wildlife Guides Costa Rica (Paperback) by les Beletsky
The Travellers' Wildlife Guides are aimed at environmentally conscious travellers for whom some of the best parts of any trip are glimpses of wildlife in natural settings. The purpose of this series is to enhance enjoyment of a trip and enrich wildlife sightings by providing identifying information on the most frequently encountered animals in each of the represented countries. With stunning color illustrations and photographs of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds, this series is unique in that it aims to aid the visitor in identifying all types of vertebrate land animals while providing current information on the conservation statuses of the animals.
Costa Rica: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Paperback) edited by Barbara Ras and written by Oscar Arias
Costa Rica: A Traveler's Literary Companion has been compiled in an attempt to provide tourists with a different perspective on the country. Each of the twenty-six remarkable stories in this collection has been selected to reflect the geographical area in which it is set. (Though Costa Rica is only about half the size of Ireland, it is wonderfully diverse.) Story settings range from the high valleys of the central plateau to the flatlands of the Caribbean coast to the plains of Guanacaste. A typical guidebook will instruct visitors on the politics, history, culture, economy, and ethnicity of a country, but only fiction can portray its soul. After reading the stories contained in this literary companion, travelers to Costa Rica will no doubt view this Central American nation with whole new eyes.
Equitrekking Coffee Table Companion Book & DVD
Equitrekking Travel Adventures on Horseback by Darley Newman with Photographs by Chip Ward available at Amazon.com
This companion to the PBS TV series, Equitrekking, proves that the world's most beautiful views are often best seen from atop a horse. This gorgeous book features dozens of scenic rides in the U.S. and around the globe. Denver Post review: For horse folk and dreamers, as well as fans of the show, it's a beautiful trip through stunning equestrian-friendly possibilities.
Equitrekking DVD's featuring Emmy winning PBS episodes, available in the Shop section of Equitrekking.com
Get off the beaten path to see some of the world's most beautiful horses and classic riding destinations with host and equestrian travel expert Darley Newman with Emmy Award-winning Equitrekking, the horseback riding travel series on PBS.
Season One: Vermont, the Carolinas, Georgia Coast, Wyoming, Colorado and Spain.
Season Two: Iceland, Coastal Ireland, Hawaii's Big Island, Irish Countryside, Maui, Virginia Hunt Country and California Wine Country.
Season Three: Arizona, Belize, Costa Rica, Kentucky, Quebec, Texas and Utah.
Season Three: Arizona, Belize, Costa Rica, Kentucky, Quebec, Texas and Utah.
Season Four: Southern Spain, Alaska, Central Turkey, Quebec City and Beyond, Scotland and Wales.
Good Books for Horse Lovers and Equestrians
Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (Paperback) by Temple Grandin
Philosophers and scientists have long wondered what goes on in the minds of animals, and this fascinating study gives a wealth of illuminating insights into that mystery. ---Publishers Weekly
The Horse: A Miscellany of Equine Knowledge (Hardcover) by Julie Whitaker with Ian Whitelaw
The Horse is an informative gallop through everything to do with the horse: evolution, history, biology, breeds, behavior, training, competition, health, and care—all gathered into an accessible gallery of solid information, essential facts, and fascinating trivia.
Hunter Seat Equitation (Hardcover) by George H. Morris
A classic by a world-renowned teacher and master equestrian--the definitive work on the art of teaching and riding the hunter seat, now updated to include refinements in Morris's insightful program of riding instruction.
The New Encyclopedia of the Horse (Hardcover) by Elwyn Hartley Edwards
Chronicling the history of the horse, this guide encompasses the early domestication of the horse, classical riding styles, as well as a survey of the great stud farms and current international sporting events.
Usually up to 12, depending on the ride selected.
Riding Ability/ Link to Dates & Rates
Odyssey Riding Vacation 9 nights
Intermediate to Advanced, with an average of 4-5 hours in the saddle a day.
Ride & Rainforest Riding Vacation 7 nights
All levels of riders- Beginner to Advanced with an average of 3-4 hours in the saddle a day.
Ask us about group discounts.
Modified McClellan and Western Saddles
240 lbs (110Kg). For riders over 210 lbs. (95 Kg), please indicate this at time of booking so we ensure a suitable horse is available.
Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
Best Months to Visit
Year-round, but January through April is best.