The utter joy of riding.
Visitors enjoy Costa Rican/ Manuel Antonio vacations from boats, planes, ziplines, and yes, even saddles. Horseback riding is an excellent way to explore Costa Rica’s biodiversity from rainforests to beaches. Horseback riding excursions can last from a couple of hours to half a day.
A typical adventure begins after you are picked up and then driven to the ranch. There you meet the horses and bilingual guides, practice riding a bit and go over safety rules. You will start out on easy trails through primary and secondary rain forest growth, eventually winding your way down to the ocean where you can take your horse over the soft sand and surf at a speed that fits your level of riding. Normally these tours also have a lunch, brunch or dinner included, depending on the time of day. Many visitors enjoy horseback adventures later in the day with a casual sauntering on the beach at sunset followed by a relaxing dinner that could include wine.
A Popular Saddle Adventure
An especially popular tour in the Manuel Antonio area. It begins 30 minutes north in the small rainforest community of Londres. Riders take a dirt road trail that climbs steadily through a spectacular tropical forest that resembles the Hana Highway in Maui. This is a dense vegetative canopy, home to many different species of wildlife including toucans and macaws. The endangered mono titi monkey is also likely to scurry across the coco palms and guarumo trees that line the trail.
One of the highlights of this adventure is an amazing waterfall that collects into a pool of clean, clear, water. This is where you tie up your ponies and take a swim. Muy refrescante as they say in Spanish. After several hours in the saddle and on the water, you will have worked up a healthy appetite, which you will satisfy back at the ranch with a delicious home cooked lunch.
No Experience Necessary
You don’t need to be a great rider to enjoy a horseback tour. In fact, you need no experience. Tour operators match horses with your skill level. The trails are also rated according to horseback riding experience. Most tours can handle groups of up to 20 riders.
- Horses are generally trained to accept riders on their left side.
- Keep head up while riding, heels slightly down.
- Stopping is a combination of verbal cues like a “whoa” call, followed by closing your fingers and pulling backward on the reins in conjunction with pushing your seat deeper into the saddle Tips
- If you feel wobbly on the horse, make sure your shoulders and back are straight and the widest part of your feet are positioned in the stirrup.
And remember, stay in an Escape Villas Vacation Rental and the staff can help you arrange a horseback riding tour to fit your specific interests.