Odyssey Ride

Pacific Coast Costa Rica: (IT-CR-HRO10)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/costa_rica_odyssey.aspx

Introduction
Pacific Coast Costa Rica

The new and improved Odyssey Ride includes extensive ground explorations on horseback covering the top riding destinations in Costa Rica. This is a mounted adventure packed with intensive riding and discovery of Costa Rica’s most scenic regions, including hugely contrasting and awesome habitats with abundant wildlife. You will be riding in dramatic river canyons towards the arid Pacific Coast with its beautiful beaches, then on toward the Template Mountain slopes, passing through the mystical Cloud Forest Valleys and descending onto the majestic Arenal Volcano.

Extensions are available with four beautiful riding days at the Caribbean Coast - maybe even to the border with Panama. As you ride, you will be rewarded with one of nature’s finest panoramic displays, a truly awesome and unforgettable experience. This Multi-base ride is designed for those serious riders who want to discover as much as possible and be encompassed by vivid scenery, without going into the holiday length and physical demand (on horse and rider) of Endurance riding. This is achieved by using vehicle transportation when necessary due to the long distances between our riding bases.


The 8-day itinerary can be booked by itself or you can chose one of the two extension options:
1a. Caribbean Coast Extension: 4 riding days and 5 nights
Three nights at a Caribbean beach hotel at Playa Negra with 4 great rides.
 or upgrade to
1b. Caribbean Coast Adventure Extension: 4 progressive riding days and 5 nights

One night at a Caribbean beach hotel, 2 nights at Jungle Lodge and 2 nights at rustic Punta Mona cabins near the Panama border.

2. Ensenada Lodge Extension: 3 days and 2 nights
Three additional full riding days at the beautiful Ensenada Lodge

Accomodation

The accommodations below are usually used during this trip. However, changes may occur without notice, based on availability at the time.


Overnights in San Jose 
First and last night of the 8 day tour as well as the the 8-day tour with Option 2 - Ensanada extension are at a local San Jose hotel.
The 8-day trip with Caribbean Extension has the first night at hotel in San Jose and the last night at the Caribbean.

3 Nights at Hacienda Maravilla:


The lodge is part of an estate that encompasses over 1500 acres (a working cattle and plantation Hacienda) which includes its own protected zone (Cuarros) with Premontane and Transitional Forests amongst many other unique features, making this one of our top horse riding locations. Accommodation, is in a typically large family owned hacienda house with traditional wood finishing touches. It has four spacious bedrooms located at the corners of the Hacienda house with a hallway in between. Each rooms is wall-to-wall tiled, with twin single beds, ceiling fan, fitted closet, wooden ceilings, painted with murals upon its walls and has country decorations including two wooden tables, local crafts and lamps. There is one spacious tiled hot-water shower and bathroom for every two rooms. Facilities include: A large central hall, fully fitted kitchen, large twelve seater 'ranch table' dining room... outside there is a BBQ and a dip swimming pool. There are Hammocks along the outsides of the ranch house and mountain trails to explore on foot, as well as miles upon miles of mango plantations. Life at Maravilla Hacienda is friendly, relaxed and informal, get up at dawn and coffee and other drinks will be available to quietly welcome in the day. Even join the sabaneros (cowboys) in the morning milking if you have the mind to.

2 Nights in Arenal/Fortuna - Arenal Montechiari :
or similar 
(1 night if combined with option 2)



Offering spectacular views of Arenal Volcano, Arenal Montechiari offers cottages set in tropical gardens. Located 400 metres from La Fortuna’s central park and church, it offers an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi zone. Spacious, air-conditioned wooden cottages feature tiled floors and cable TV. They have a work desk, fridge and coffee maker. The private bathroom comes with a shower and toiletries. The complex has an à la carte restaurant and a bar. Special diet menus are available on request and there are vending machines for drinks. (Dinners are not included)

Extension Option 1:
5 Nights in private cabins in Cahuita:


The cabins have private bathroom facilities and a small kitchenette. They are located 150 ft from Playa Negra beach and within walking distance to several local restaurants. On breakfast is included during your stay at the Caribbean, but meals at the local restaurants are inexpensive. Lunches are usually taken picnic style along the trail or we stop in at a local bar.

Extension Option 2:
3 Nights in Abangares  at LA ENSENADA LODGE:

La Ensenada National Wildlife Refuge (1000 acres) is located on the Pacific Coast side in the province of Puntarenas. It is in the gulf of Nicoya. It is an ideal place for horseback riding; for naturalists, for bird watchers and nature lovers. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset relaxing in a hammock, at the swimming pool or from the restaurant. The most important activities of this ranch are cattle and horses, the production of salt and fruit. It is also a paradise where you will find the perfect point of balance between place, excitement and adventure. The place offers accommodations in comfortable Villas facing The Nicoya gulf with two beds, bathroom, closet and spacious terrace. 


This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


SERVICES INCLUDED:


• 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)

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

a) Credit card payment fees
b) International Airport departure tax of $26 p/p. payable in San Jose upon exit.
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.

Itinerary
Sample Itinerary only - Subject to changes.

(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner

(EG) Equestrian Guide, (LG) Local Horse Master/Guide, (BG) Bilingual Guide

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 the 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: B, L, D (EG & LG)

 Day 3: Coastal Ride (Approx. 5-6 hours in the saddle)

Today’s ride will take you to the Pacific coast following country lanes and an old ranch trail which lead to Tivives Crag. The Spaniards first started their conquest of the Central Pacific around 1561 right from this very spot! Ride across the Cascajalillo Mangrove Swamps and along the coast. Depending on tide times, lunch will be served at a local café or as a picnic on the beach or back at Maravilla. Again, depending on the tide you climb on horseback towards Cuevas Crag, enjoying unique views of the Pacific Ocean or alternatively, ride along the shoreline towards Guacalillo beach. Follow a country lane back to hacienda Maravilla. Meals included: B, L, D. (BG) (LG)

 Day 4: La Mariana Estate & Countryside (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 excellent 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 in the Southern part of La Maravilla Hacienda. After a few gentle hill climbs you may experience an Ocean view sunset – the Pacific coast has the reputation for being amongst the world’s top best places to experience this beautiful event. Meals: B, L, D. (BG) (LG)

 Day 5:  Machuca River Canyon Ride (Approx. 4-5 hours in the saddle)

Your final ride in the Central Pacific 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. Afternoon 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: B, S, D. (BG)

 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: B, L, D. (EG & LG)

 Day 7: Exploratory Ride at Ensenada (Approx. 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: B, L, D (EG & LG).

 Day 8: Departure / Flight Home.

Morning at your leisure and transferred to the Juan Santamaría International Airport in time for your flight back home and we say our farewells.
Included - B      

The above sample itinerary is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.                   
                                            

Extension Options


Rates and Dates for Odyssey Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, airport transfers, luggage transfers, meals as specified in the itinerary, guided horseback riding (bilingual guide with local horse master on most daily rides), entrance fee to Selvatura Park & Hanging Bridges & Hot-water Springs.
Ensenada Extension: 2 nights Ensenadda Lodge with riding and meals
Caribbean Extension: 5 nights at beach hotel with breakfast and dinner - lunches on longer rides - 4 riding days.
Upgrade option is available: Caribbean Adventure Trail to the border with Panama.

Packages and Options





Transfer and Other Options:



 Description
2012 Transfer from San Jose airport or hotel early afternoon, included first and last day

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

International airport departure tax of $26 per person (paid in San Jose upon exit), optional extras at hotels (telephone calls, room service, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.), gratuities for guides, drivers and hotel staff, personal and/or medical expenses, extra or optional tours

Other Info
Meeting: Juan Sanamaria International Airport
Airport: San Jose
Transfer: San Jose: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), Costa Rica

Climate: Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands.

What To Bring:

Costa Rica clothing and dressing-wise is quite casual, with this in mind, we recommend you to bring:

A) Riding gloves
B) For your safety we strongly recommend you to bring a riding helmet with a shade-rim to give you extra protection by blocking the sun from your face and neck.
C) Riding boots or hard-soled shoes and boots
D) Rain gear (e.g. raincoat or a poncho)
E) Long riding trousers or jeans
F) Chaps
G) Comfortable clothes of a light material, preferably cotton. T-shirts and shorts are acceptable in San José (during the day, if planning to go out in the evening trousers are highly recommended as some restaurants will not admit you in shorts or sandals).
H) Loose-fitting long-sleeve shirts and trousers are recommended during forest explorations or if you take any day trips out to smaller towns, where immodest attire is frowned upon. (Jeans tend to be more uncomfortable during long walk although better for horse riding)
I) Pack a light sweater or jacket for San José's cool nights and early mornings and for trips up volcanoes, Monteverde, etc
J) Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are essential if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing and hiking.
K) Waterproof hiking sandals or other footwear that lets your feet breathe are good for strolling about town, and also for beach walking, fording streams, and navigating the myriad mud holes you'll find on rain forest and cloud forest trails. We also advice you to bring:
L) Insect Repellent
M) Sun screen lotion (spf-15 or higher)
N) A small notebook and pen
O) Binocular & camera
P) Any medication you may require, please consult with your G.P. for health advise.
Q) And but overall a great adventurous spirit! IMPORTANT: *** Please double-check the expiry date of your passport. ***

The tone here is casual wear - it is not necessary to dress up to go to dinner. Comfortable lightweight is best. In the higher elevations, San Jose, the volcanoes, or Monteverde, temperatures are cool and sweaters or light jackets are suggested

We recommend for women to ride in leggings with a big shirt over them. The legging is not too hot, and they dry out quickly if they get wet.

SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS.... Almost all encounters with noxious insects & plants can be avoided by watching where you walk and sit, by not touching non-recognizable insects, plants, etc; by tucking pants in your socks, by using an insect repellent, by spraying shoes and ankles to avoid bites, by always following tour guide's instructions to the letter, and finally, avoid using perfumes, after-shave, or other scents that will attract insects.  Please leave your valuables at home.

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet - please bring your own. Helmets are not provided.
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjama
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit
 
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for the emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films and batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm