Pacific Coast Costa Rica: (IT-CR-HRO10-S)
If you are an advanced rider looking for a more varied riding holiday or a novice rider who wants to join your first horse vacation to gain more experience in the saddle - this is a flexible itinerary that can accommodate everyone!
This Rainforest Multisport Ride provides more freedom than you will find with the average equestrian holiday. You will have the opportunity to enjoy miles of riding trails in the forested interior and along on the coast: to the North, the terrain is picturesque, predominantly flat with gentle slopes and forested valleys, while to the South there are savannahs, large mango plantations and the Dry Forests, mangrove swamps and estuaries leading out to the Pacific Ocean--spectacular views! Experience the local culture, the "Tico way of life," while staying at one of two comfortable jungle lodges with their warm hospitality and tasty local food, while learning how to identifying the local wildlife and flora. Each day enjoy a range of different half day rides or all day rides, combined with time salted for great alternative sport activities like Canopy and Zipline tours, the Hanging Bridges, kayaking on the ocean or taking a crocodile boat safari! Throughout your stay you are accompanied by a professional guide who will be sure to point out the monkeys you see and hear, or the spectacular tropical birds such as the Trogons, Parakeets, Scarlet Macaws and Toucans or creatures like the coatimundis, iguanas, anteaters or crocodiles. The perfect retreat for a week in Costa Rica, sampling the various adventure tours that attracts tourists from around the world to their country!
This ride is equally ideal for young adults, romantic couples, families with children (for kids under 11 we provide a bilingual nanny while the parents ride and they can be taught basic riding lessons).
Your first and last nights are at a city hotel in San Jose. 5 nights at one of the rain forest lodges detailed below, which are in close proximity to each other. All meals are included (except at the hotels in San Jose).
This lodge is an environmentally friendly project located on a farm in Tarcoles (central pacific) just 10 minutes from Carara National Park.
This small lodge offers 8 bungalows with private bathroom and its own indoor garden, 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 - 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. This lodge is your base for 5 nights from where to enjoy the days full of activities and nature explorations. We provide daily transfers between the lodge and the horse stables at Maravilla (15 to 20 minutes away)
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 organic garbage, and they 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 in the near future.
If you prefer to stay closer with the horses and don't mind sharing a bathroom, you can opt to stay at the Maravilla Lodge instead.
The lodge is part of an estate that encompasses over 1500 acres including its own protected zone (Cuarros) with Premontane and Transitional Forests amongst many other unique features.
This facility is used by the owners as a family getaway and when not used by them is available for our rides to be used as a riding base and support staff are sent to provide cooking services, make the beds and clean the overall facility. There are four bedrooms located at the corners of a Hacienda bungalow with a hallway in between, there are Hammocks along the outsides of the ranch house.
Each one of the bedrooms is spacious, wall-to-wall tiled, has two single beds, ceiling fan, fitted closet, wooden ceilings, painted with murals upon its walls and has country decorations.
There is one spacious tiled shower and bathroom for every two rooms.
Facilities here include: mountain trails to explore on foot and 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. This hacienda is located within a remote rural community in the Central Pacific region where life is simple and charming, giving a great feel of typical Costa Rican life and living.
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
KEYS: B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner (EG) = Equestrian Guide, (LG) = Local Cowboy Guide.
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: HORSEBACK & HIKE
Morning transfer to the starting point of your riding adventure. The
ranch is located in La Trinidad de Orotina on the Dry Central Pacific
Region which offers one of Costa Rica’s most pristine and idyllic riding
areas. On arrival you will be introduced to your horse, the ranch and
its facilities, guides and have an opportunity to fully acquaint
yourself with the tack and Costa Rican riding style. After your horse
assignment, 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! Meander across the
river following a country lane passing farmland, rural homes, and
finally arriving at the hacienda grounds. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Meals: B, L, D. (BG) (LG)
Day 3: CROCODILE BOAT SAFARI & HORSEBACK
Life at Maravilla Hacienda is friendly, relaxed and informal. Coffee and
other drinks will be available to quietly welcome in the day.
In the morning we will take the group down to the Tarcoles River for a Crocodile boat safari. This two-hour boat ride explores the Tarcoles river, home of one of largest colonies of crocodiles in Costa Rica,
with specimens range between 10 to 23 feet. The area is where the river
merges with Guacalillo estuary, and then both blend into the ocean.
It's one of the best locations to see endangered birds such as the
Mangrove Cuckoo, Mangrove Hummingbird, Mangrove Vireo and the Panama
Flycatcher. Many travelers see water birds, including Pelicans,
Boat-billed Herons, Spoon-billed Egrets and Cattle Egrets.
that this activity is scheduled according to the ocean tides (a high
tide is required).
In the afternoon your guide will lead a three-hour trail ride across the
northern part of the hacienda near the Cuarros River. The terrain is
picturesque, with predominantly flat land juxtaposed with gentle slopes
and forested valleys.
Meals included: B, L & D. (BG) (LG)
Day 4: HORSEBACK & TOWN VISIT
Today’s ride takes us 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, PL & D. (EG & LG) (BG) (LG)
Day 5: OCEAN KAYAKING, SNORKELING & HORSEBACK
In the morning a short drive takes us to Playa Agujas, near Jaco beach. After
a brief introduction and demonstration, we start our ocean adventure. 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.
The afternoon horseback ride will take us on an exciting 3-hour ride in the Southern region of the privately owned La Leona Ranch, riding across savannahs, large mango plantations and exploring some of the secondary Dry Forests.
Meals: B, L, D. (BG) (LG)
Day 6: SKY WAY, CANOPY TOUR & HORSEBACK
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!!
IN the afternoon we explore the treetops of the Rainforest with ZIP-lines and across hanging bridges. 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).
SKY WAY TOUR: This network of trails is located on a privately owned reserve adjacent to Carara National Park.
This attraction consists of natural trails and hanging bridges
(hammock-type). There are five bridges in total throughout a wonderful
rainforest of centenary trees. They are built of metal and held up by
metallic towers. They also have a side rail and plastic cover for the
railing to give more security and comfort. This tour provides great
opportunities for wildlife observation. This tour is accessible for
families with kids.
Meals Included: B, L, & D. (BG) (LG)
Day 7: HORSEBACK & TRANSFER to SAN JOSE
Your final 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 are transferred by vehicle to our riding base for lunch. In the afternoon we transfer to San Jose for the last night stay at a local hotel.
Meals Included: B & L (BG) (LG)
Day 8: Morning at your leisure and transfer to the Airport in time for your flight and our farewells. (departure tax is payable at the airport)
Meals included: B.
Non Riding Excursions:
CROCODILE BOAT SAFARI
SKY WAY TOUR
OCEAN KAYAKING & SNORKELING
IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.
Rates and Dates for Rainforest Multisport
Accommodations (2 nights SJ hotel and 5 nights rainforest lodge), all meals (except in SJ), 6 riding days with bilingual guide, rain ponchos, the following activities: Crocodile Boat Safari, Ocean Kayaking & Snorkelling, Skyway & Canopy Tour.
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from San Jose airport or hotel early afternoon, included first and last day
Rates do not include:
Airport departure fee ($26 per person, pay on departure), Gratuities for guides, drivers and service providers, Personal and/or medical expenses.
Meeting: Juan Sanamaria International Airport
Airport: San Jose
Transfer: San Jose: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), Costa Rica
What To Bring:
Almost ideal year-round for visitors, the climate is a moderate 72ºF up in the
highlands, whilst at the lowlands and coastal areas can range from the
low 70's to the high 90's. The Costa Rican rainy season occurs from the end of May to
November, with the heaviest rainfall coming in October.
In Costa Rica, dress code 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 - or many women choose to ride in
leggings with a big, loose shirt over them as they are not too hot, and
they dry out quickly if they get wet.
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. ***
In the higher elevations,
San Jose, the volcanoes, or Monteverde, temperatures are cool and
sweaters or light jackets are suggested
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 general guideline for you from Hidden Trails...
|Travel documents and Voucher
|Visa (check with your consulate)
|Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
|Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
|Riding helmet - please bring your own. Helmets are not provided.
|Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
|Lightweight Rain coat
|Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
|Underwear and socks
|Bag for dirty clothes
|Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
|ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
|Sore cream (for the emergency)
|Adapter for electric appliances
|Camera and enough extra films and batteries
|Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)
|Sun glasses with strap
|Sun tan lotion and lip balm