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Costa Rica - Rainforest Adventure
Cerro Lodge is an environmentally friendly project located on a farm in Tarcoles in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica. The lodge is in the middle of one of the most important refuges for the Scarlet Macaw. There are 8 bungalows with en-suite shower rooms and ceiling fans. The lodge is set in extensive gardens with trees palms panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean mangrove forests and Carara National Park. There is a swimming pool and open-air dining area.
Each riding day you will be transferred from your accommodation at Cerro Lodge 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.
A stay at Cerro Lodge can be arranged for a minimum of two people is usually for seven nights and the itinerary is very flexible. 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. Throughout the riding trails you stay in the best accommodation available in the area; it tends to be simple rather than luxurious.
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.
Cerro Lodge has the choice of both standard rooms and 8 superior bungalows with 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.
If they wish private groups can choose to stay at Maravilla for an additional cost instead of Cerro Lodge during a Rainforest Adventure ride.
Maravilla Lodge is a former holiday home of the owner of the riding operation in Costa Rica. It is a small country house set in pretty lawns with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The bedrooms have twin beds and ceiling fans. There is a dining area seating area and a swimming pool behind the house. Whilst the accommodation is quite basic rather than luxurious the gardens are very pretty and it is lovely to have the horses staying just across the lawn! After dinner or during the heat of the afternoon you can relax in a hammock on the veranda and listen to the sounds of the tropics. Please note at Christmas and New Year it is not possible to stay at Maravilla.
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.
The usual itinerary is based at Cerro Lodge but for an additional cost you can stay at Maravilla if you prefer and it is available - please ask for prices.
These prices are based upon a standard room at Cerro Lodge, however it is not much more to upgrade to a superior bungalow (subject to availability) - please ask for prices.
Non-Rider Discount 2019: $260.00
Non-Rider Discount 2020: $360.00.
Child minding service provided for children under 11 years
INCLUDES Six nights at Cerro Lodge; one night in hotel in San Jose; non-riding activities; all transfers; most meals; riding as per itinerary; English speaking guide.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT charged if in a single room $329.00 for 2019 / $395.00 for 2020.
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
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.