Old Spanish Trail

Guanacaste Costa Rica: (IT-CRIT14)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/costa_rica_guanacaste_spanish_trail.aspx

Guanacaste Costa Rica

"Come to ride, relax and experience our very special corner of Paradise.  We are not just a 'nose to tail' ride, but a ranch that caters to real riders who care about the quality, care and treatment of horses. Our goal is to provide an unforgettable cultural and equestrian experience to our clients and friends." -  Kay and Esteban, owners.

Join us for an exceptional riding getaway at a intimate horse ranch located minutes from the famous white sand beaches of Guanacaste. Known for their beautiful, well cared for and expertly trained Criollo horses, Kay and Esteban will personally treat you to a sincere home -style hospitality and excellent  riding.  They have developed their home into one of the finest horse ranches in the area, breeding and training their own special stock -  including a vivid line of painted Pasos and Criollos!

Located in an oasis of large Guanacaste trees and surrounded by green pastures, you will be just minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica.  The ranch is also centrally located to take advantage of Guanacaste’s famous tourists attractions and is a haven for wildlife, especially howler monkeys and tropical birds.  After your daily riding ventures, take a refreshing dip in the casita -side splash pool, lounge in a restful hammock in the shade with a good book, or take a bird walk on the surrounding trails.  Kay will take you to visit and play in the local seasonal fiestas and truly involve you in a taste the authentic culture with her friends and the locals.  Visit the nearby national park and its resident volcano, ride along the pretty beaches and experience the traditional sabanero cowboy culture of Guanacaste! This trip can be designed to please both avid riders and their non rider friends... Kay and Esteban are more than happy to try and work with your vision of the perfect horseback vacation and deliver it in a big way!

Spacious private casitas with queen beds, air, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, DVD and open sky shower in private bathroom. High speed internet and WIFI available.
All accommodations have access to splash pool, bar and maid service. Cool off in the splash pool after your ride or sip a cold drink while you watch the horses from the porch rockers.
Casita Mandrina – a comfortable, spacious, casita with queen bed and queen fouton, kitchenette, outdoor star shower, air-conditioning, cable TV with DVDs, high speed internet.
Casa Roble – a new 1 bedroom furnished house with queen bed and LR queen fouton, dining area, full kitchen bar, fans and air conditioning in the bedroom. Extra single bed available.

There is a safe in the main ranch house.


Ranch breakfast, lunch and most dinners provided on the garden porch or poolside. Selection from a breakfast menu daily, including fresh fruit, cereal, eggs, meats, pancakes, fresh baked breads.
Most lunches at typical restaurants on the rides.
Dinners at the ranch and at local restaurants.
Wine, beer and liquor are extra. Refrigerators are stocked with drinks. We will also take clients to a local supermarket to shop.
Vegetarian meals are available, with a variety of menu options.


Pace: The pace is adjusted to rider level and experience. Walk/trot on most of the trails, with cantering in safe and open areas, beaches and country roads. Walk, trot and cantering in the arena.

Helmets: Are available, mandatory for riders under 16.

Equine Education: Learn to ride or just sharpen your riding skills. Private lessons are offered by internationally recognized instructors. Learn ground work to dressage on well trained horses. Traditional, high stepping Spanish style instruction is also available on the famed Costa Rican Pasos. We offer a variety of clinics featuring experts in horse training, health and natural horsemanship (not included).

Horses:  Chosen for their noble temperament and comfortable gate, the Spanish Criollo horses of Guanacaste are used for cattle ranching, rodeo, pleasure riding, fiestas and even lower level dressage.  A combination of blood lines from the Andalusian, Barb, Jennet and later the Peruvian Paso, the Criollo horses are also the foundation for the Paso Costarricence. We  will match rider to horse to give the best riding experience available in the area.  Most of the horses were born on the ranch and trained with Natural Horsemanship, Imprinting and other non-violent methods.  Most recently the finca began a “Paint and Paso” breeding program with a goal of breeding Criollo horses with “color and comfort” using their handsome paint stallion and Criollo mares.


Spanish Trail


Day 1: Arrive to Liberia Airport (LIR), we will provide private transport to the finca, located just minutes from the beautiful Pacific beaches of Guanacaste. Accommodations in comfortable air conditioned casa or casita. Late afternoon, you will have a Ranch Orientation and a Criollo Horse Demonstration,  then, meet your horse for your first short ride. When we reach the town of Portegolpe, we will tie up our horses and stop for a cold drink at a local Cantina in the village, later, ride back to the ranch at sunset.  Dinner at the ranch or local restaurant.   (L, D)   Itinerary depends on arrival times.


Day 2: After a full ranch breakfast, you will have a short introduction to riding the beautiful Spanish Criollo horses of Costa Rica known for their noble temperament and comfortable ride. Later in the morning, you will leave for the small cattle town of Tempate and ride the Old Spanish Trail, trails traveled by the early Spanish Conquistadors,  through large haciendas, look for monkeys, tropical birds and dry tropical vegetation on this back country trail. Stop for lunch and cold drinks in Cartagena at a typical restaurant, and then return in the truck for a dip in the pool and relax before dinner at the ranch.  Afternoon option if shorter ride option:  watch our trainer work with young horses using Natural Horsemanship Techniques. (B, L, D)


Day 3: After breakfast, you will have the option of visiting Monkey Park and Rescue Center to see some of the wildlife and birds found in Guanacaste, or take an optional tour, or lesson on our high stepping horses.  Lunch at the ranch , then later in the afternoon, mount your horses for a ride through beautiful ranch country and the small village of Lorena to one of our most popular cantina stops at Chilito’s - La Cima, sample their famous fried chicken and chips, a real Taste of Guanacaste.  Ride back to the ranch at sunset.  (B, L, D)


Day 4: After breakfast, you have the option of visiting one of the beautiful local beaches to take a walk, read, or opt for a massage; or work with the horses at the ranch.   After lunch, you will be picked up to go the beautiful Hacienda Roble for a afternoon cowboy ride on the large cattle ranch and explore on horseback the wetlands to see a variety of birds and crocks. The horses are well trained ranch horses.  Dinner at the ranch.  (For early birds, we have a wildlife and  birdwatching ride option; for the adventurous take the exciting canopy zipline tour) Day and times to be designed with the clients (B, L, D)
 meals by arrangement

Day 5: After breakfast, meet your horses in the small village of La Garita and ride secluded back  roads through giant trees of the dry tropical forest, look for howler monkey on the way.  When you reach the beach, stop at Puerto Viejo for a cold drink and a rest, then ride along the beautiful  white sand Pacific beaches of Pt. Viejo, Conchal and Brasilito. Time to play in the water and take photos when you reach the beach end.  Take a swim or walk on the beach before lunch or dinner at Don Brasilitos.  (B, L, D) Times depend on low tide.
Day 6: After breakfast take your last photos before you are transferred to the airport or next destination.(B or snack bag for the plane). Option for a horse activity if you have a late plane. 


NEXT Your Choice of...

Option A - Spanish Trail with Beach Riding Extension (creating an 7-10 day itinerary)


Day 7: Today, take an early morning breakfast ride along the old Spanish oxcart trails, passing through beautiful wooded countryside, ranches and small typical villages. Along the way you may see Howler Monkeys, colorful tropical birds or other wildlife, while getting a glimpse of the traditional sabanero (cowboy culture) of the Guanacaste people. When you arrive at the village of Portegolpe, tie up your horse for a typical breakfast cooked over lena (firewood) at the home of a local family. After, ride around town to see life in a small Guanacaste village. Free afternoon at the ranch and sunset dinner on the beach. (B, L)


Day 8: After breakfast enjoy a free day. You have the option of being taken to Tamarindo Beach and go shopping, swimming or surfing. Later on, enjoy a sunset and a dinner on your own in Tamarindo. We will pick you up by arrangement. If you would like, you can opt for one of the many other tours offered in the area including Canopy/Zip line, Monkey Park, Coco Beach, or all day tours to Arenal Volcano or Granada Nicaragua. (B, other meals by arrangement)


Day 9: After breakfast, meet your horses in the small village of La Garita and ride on secluded back country roads through dry tropical forest to the beach. Stop at Puerto Viejo for a cold drink, then ride along the beautiful Pacific beaches of Pt. Viejo, Conchal and Brasilito. Tie up your horses for a lunch at the beach, at Don Brasilitos, with an option to swim before you are taken back to the ranch. In the afternoon, you can choose between two options: take a private lesson or work with your own horse using Natural Horsemanship Training in the ring. (B, L, D) A sunset ride or dinner rides arranged depending on the tides.


Day 10: After breakfast, if time permits ride in the ring or take your last photos and say goodbye before you transfer to Liberia or Tamarindo Airport . Optional stop at a gift shop or market is available depending on return flight times. (Breakfast, Snacks for the Plane).




Option B - 4 night Monteverde Extension - 10 days


Day 7: After breakfast, your private driver will transfer you to your hotel in Monteverde (to be determined). Stop for lunch on route or add white water rafting with lunch. (B,D)


Day 8: Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy riding the all day Cowboy tour (6 hours in the saddle - If you wish we can arrange a shorter ride)! The rest of the day is free for optional tours or visit the Quaker Community or Santa Elana. (B, (L with cowboy tour))


Day 9: Breakfast at the hotel. Guided hike in the Monteverde Clouded Forest Preserve. Look for resplendent quetzal, other tropical birds, and unique flora and fauna while walking a variety of trails. A wildlife guide and transportation is included. Visit to the hummingbird area at the visitors center. Afternoon free for riding or natural history tours. (B) Option for a Night Rainforest Walk.


Day 10: After breakfast, private transfer to Liberia or San Jose for your flight home. (B)

All itineraries are subject to changes!



Rates and Dates for Old Spanish Trail

Rates include:

Accommodations, meals as indicated on itinerary, 4.5 riding days, Liberia or Tamarindo airport transfers

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    20186 day trip, AP (High)$1580
    • Single supplement$200
  • B
    20186 day trip, AP (Low)$1440
    • Single supplement$200

Rates Note:

Can be booked between 5-7 nights

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Can be booked between 5-7 nights

Transfer and Other Charges:

2018 Transfer from/to Liberia Int'l Airport or Tamarindo Regional included, return $0
2018 Transfer from Liberia (1-6pax) per car, roundtrip $100
2018 Beach Extension (1-3 nights) addition (starts at $200pp, please inquire for updated prices) $0
2018 Monteverde Extension (starts at $690US for 3 nights pp, please inquire for updated prices) $0

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2018 01/01 - 07/31 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (High) 2 /6 Reserve
B 2018 08/01 - 11/14 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (Low) 2 /6 Reserve
A 2018 11/15 - 12/31 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (High) 2 /6 Reserve

Dates Note: Available any time of the year - a minimum of 2 riders applies for the Hacienda Only Option (D) and Spanish Trail with Hacienda Extension Option (B) or opt to pay a group supplement.

Rates do not include:

1 lunch, gratuities, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks

Other Info
Meeting: Ranch
Airport: Liberia Airport / Tamarindo
Transfer: Tamarindo or Liberia Airport


This particular area of Costa Rica has three distinct seasons:  December to April is the dry season; May to September the green season with occasional rains; and September to mid November the rainy season.

What To Bring:

Long pants, closed shoes or boots for riding, hat, sunglasses, sun screen, insect repellent, bathing suit, and sandals.  For mountain extensions, rain jacket and sweater.  Please bring a copy of your passport and other identification. 

We have certified riding helmets, but most are small and medium, no large (7 1/4 +). In any case, only riders under 18 are required to wear them. 

If you want to bring your own, we recommend it for a proper fit.

This list is only a guideline for you


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


Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection


Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Bag for dirty clothes
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
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