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Each riding day you will be transferred from your accommodation to Maravilla where the horses stay (a journey of approximately 25 minutes). From Maravilla you can explore the coastal rainforest mango plantations and mountain trails on horseback. In the northern part of the hacienda the terrain is picturesque predominantly flat with gentle slopes and forested valleys. To the south you ride across savannahs large mango plantations and explore some of the secondary Dry Forests. You can ride through the Mangrove swamps and estuaries to the Pacific Ocean ride along the coast and onto headlands with spectacular views. As far as possible you ride on private land but at times during the rides you also go along rural roads.
Normally you arrive into San Jose in the late evening and overnight at a hotel. The next morning you are transferred to the horse farm where you are introduced to the horses before riding through to Maravilla and getting your first experience of the majesty and noises of the Gallery Forest.
Over the next few days you have riding on four days plus two non-riding days to explore the rainforest from a different perspective.
Throughout your stay you are accompanied by a professional guide who will help you identify the monkeys you might see or hear also the spectacular tropical birds such as Trogons Parakeets Scarlet Macaws and Toucans. Maybe also coatimundis iguanas anteaters or crocodiles.
The horses are the deceptively sturdy Criollo ranging from 14hh to 15hh. They are trained to respond to neck reining mostly in bitless bridles and are ridden in modified McLellan saddles.
You should have done some riding before as there can be some long hours in hot conditions. Above all you should be open to a new style of riding and be confident enough on horseback to tackle some varied terrain including river crossings.
Novice riders can be accepted onto private rides.
Your first night in Costa Rica will generally be at a comfortable hotel not far from the airport. If your flight departs in the morning then night seven will also be at an airport hotel.
The middle five nights (nights two to six on the itinerary) are normally at Cerro Lodge, although occasionally nights five and six will be at a coastal hotel.
Cerro Lodge is an environmentally friendly project located on a farm in Tarcoles (central pacific) just 10 minutes from Carara National Park. The lodge is in the middle of one of the most important refuges for the Scarlet Macaw; we often see these spectacular red blue and yellow parrots as they fly through the valley at Cerro Lodge.
One of the principle goals of Cerro Lodge is to operate as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. Always looking for ways to reduce impact they re-use water for irrigation compost their organic garbage and have worms that make organic fertilizer from cow manure. They are also hoping to put together a bio-digestor and would like to produce their own electricity.
The rooms at Cerro Lodge all have private bathrooms, there is a swimming pool and a dining area. All this is surrounded by trees palms gardens and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean mangrove forests and Carara National Park.
The Rainforest Adventure ride is tailor-made for groups of two or more. There are no set dates so please enquire with your preferred travel dates.
Non-Rider Discount: $360.00.
Child minding service provided for children under 11 years
INCLUDES Seven nights accommodation; non-riding activities; all transfers; most meals; riding as per itinerary; English speaking guide.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT charged if in a single room $395.00.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Meals and drinks in San Jose; drinks; airport departure tax; tips (USD 10 - USD 13 per day)
NEAREST AIRPORT San Jose
TRANSFERS Included from San Jose
Your first night is spent in San Jose and so your flight can arrive at any time. The last night of the ride is usually spent at Cerro Lodge, but if your flight departs on the last day before midday then you will need to overnight in a hotel in San Jose instead.
Transfers from/to San Jose airport are included on arrival and departure days.
Cerro Lodge is located close to the Carara National Park in the Central Pacific region west of San Jose.
The Pacific and central parts of Costa Rica have their ‘dry season’ from December to April. June to the end of October are the months when the most rain will fall, with the heaviest rainfall usually occurring in October. May and November are transition months when it can rain, but the rain would not be quite as heavy.
This is my 5th riding vacation, and I have never felt so safe and secure on a horse before! They were all lovingly and beautifully trained. We encountered many challenging situations (barking dogs, one day a tractor-trailer behind us as we rode through an echoing underpass, motorcycles passing us and honking, etc..)-- they didn't spook or even quiver!-- they were very responsive with slight reining-- and strong, delighted to canter, used to the heat. What varied and beautiful rides we had -- both of them so tuned into the wildlife and nature-- finding parrots and monkeys, fruits and flowers. Really seeing the country and the rural towns. Such beauty. And the people are so warm. The ride to the Pacific, on the cliffs, and cantering on the beach was stunning. Several rides through long grasses, meadow with beautiful cows, flowers, gorgeous. And the last ride mostly trotting and cantering on dirt roads in a loop, past rice fields was glorious.
Mary ,KitteryOverall rating: 5/5
Ideal for those who want to experience riding in Costa Rica and have time for some great non-riding excursions.
Be prepared for it being hot and humid so wear light weight breathable clothing.