Jungle & Beach Adventure

Pacific Coast Costa Rica: (IT-CRRT12)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/costa_rica_jungle_beach_adventure_ride.aspx

Introduction
Pacific Coast Costa Rica
Enjoy horseback riding through the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica on our healthy, happy, Parelli style trained horses.


Hidden Trails welcomes riders to try their hand (and seat) at the most adventurous Costa Rican horseback experience yet, taking you onto some of the most rugged mountain trails available in the region, deep in the wilderness and far from civilization. Along the way you will delve into the culture and natural beauty of the country, each allowed to be left uninterrupted by tourism due to the remote locations of each of the villages we visit and the riding trails we explore. Be inundated by the flora and fauna of beautiful Costa Rica, from the brilliant Scarlet Macaws, to the plethora of butterflies, and the colourful array of exotic tropical flowers. 

Enjoy canters on the secluded stretches of sandy coast, playing on the beach and in the surf with your horses. Treat yourself to some exciting adventure activities (extra cost – pay locally), like zip lining, crocodile tours, surfing and ATVs or relax and unwind with some yoga, the natural springs or a good book in your hammock. 

Accomodation

Accommodations
These are progressive rides, so nights will be spent in different locations.

Description
The accommodations used are mostly rustic but comfortable.
We cannot guarantee a private bath every night since some of the nights we will be staying with families in their homes.

Accommodation Itinerary for Jungle River Trek - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Farm near Salitrales
Night 2: Verde Energia
Night 3: Dairy Farm 
Night 4 & 5: Hotel in Playa Bejuco

Verde Energia
This community is surrounded by the Cost Rican jungle and regroups an ecovillage as well as a farm. Guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Internet access is not reliable at this facility.

Hotel in Playa Bejuco
This recently renovated Hotel offers 18 charming bedrooms. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, private facilities, internet access and a beautiful ocean view. There is also a nice outdoor pool where guests can relax.

Accommodation Itinerary for Rainforest Trek - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Guesthouse
Night 2: Local Family House in Polka
Night 3 & 4: Villas Mastatal
Night 5: Cabinas Maldonado
Night 6 & 7: Hotel in Playa Bandera

Guesthouse
The guesthouse is located very close to the ranch and offers various comfortable accommodation options (most with private bathroom). Guests are welcome to cool off in the outdoor pool.

Villas Mastatal
This Ecolodge was built among 50 hectares of primary forest. It offers small cabins built with local wood and shared facilities. There is Wi-Fi access in common areas.

Cabinas Maldonado
This accommodation is surrounded by nature, which makes it ideal to observe local wildlife. You will be accommodated in one of the cosy chalets. After a long day in the saddle, you can go for a swim in the outdoor pool.




Meals
For the Jungle River Trek, all meals are included except for the last 2 dinners.
For the Rainforest Trek, all meals are included except for the last 2 dinners.

Meals are traditional Costa Rica cuisine - not fancy but very tasty.

Riding


Horses
We love each and every one of our horses for their unique spirit and character. We make sure that they are happy and well cared for. We use the gentle techniques of Parelli Natural Horsemanship using love, language and leadership that fosters a relationship of trust and respect. We pay particular attention to the Parelli “Horsenalities” which helps us to understand our horses particular character traits so that we can be the best human we can be for our horses. You will love playing with and riding any of our fifteen beautiful Costa Rican horses. Ibero Americanos, Criollo y Costaricense de Paso of all horsenalities and various levels of Parelli training.

Tack
The saddles we use are styled after the McClellan saddle. They are the standard working saddle used here in Costa Rica. They are a little different than the originals in that they have more padding and better fenders. Some have horns and some have an arched pommel.
If you require an English or Western saddle we can provide you with one.
If you are used to using a saddle pad or if you are worried about riding in a saddle that is new for you go ahead and bring your pad. We will make the necessary adaptations to get it to fit our saddles.

Your Host
Elizabeth Hawkins first came to Central America in the late 80’s when she worked for human rights organizations as a health worker and a nurse in refugee camps and orphanages. Returning repeatedly over the past 20 years she has lived in Guatemala, El Salvador and Panama and has traveled in Mexico and Nicaragua. She has been living in Costa Rica for the past 8 years creating the Horse Farm with her husband Steven and their two children. The farm has dairy goats that provide milk, cheese and yogurt, chickens, ducks and geese for eggs; organic vegetable gardens and fruit trees and of course, horses. For the past 5 years she has been training her horses using the Parelli Natural Horsemanship techniques. She speaks fluent Spanish and has a deep understanding and love for Central American culture. She is fun loving and adventurous and takes great pleasure in riding the rugged mountain trails of Costa Rica.

Itinerary

You can choose between the 2 programs below.

Jungle River Trek
Progressive Trek to the beach
• Ride through jungle wilderness touring the Scarlet Macaw Corridor and Rio Tulin
• Ride on the beach and play with your horses in the ocean
See itinerary details below

Rainforest Trek
Progressive Trek to the beach
• Tour La Cangreja Rainforest National Park
• Tour an authentic Chocolate Farm
• Canopy Zipline at Sky Mountain
• Ride on the beach and play with your horses in the ocean
See itinerary details below



Sample Itinerary: 6-day Jungle River Trek - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
We will meet you at SJO airport and drive for 1.5 hours to the town of Salitrales where we will spend the night in a rural farm-house that overlooks the Scarlet Macaw Corridor. Here we will meet the horses, adjust tack, pack your saddle bags and answer any questions you may have about the journey.
Overnight at Farmhouse near Salitrales

Day 2: Ride to Verde Energia
Today you will be energized by the awesome beauty of the Costa Rica’s wilderness. We will travel down through the Scarlet Macaw Corridor. But first a special treat, a peak into the past with a visit to an oxen run “trapiche”. Locals still process sugar cane the way their ancestors did, with the use of oxen.
Traveling though private farms, tropical forests and along the headwaters of the Rio Tulin we will be far from civilization. The trails are steep and rugged but the horses are well accustomed to the terrain. There will be steep switch backs as you descend down to the Rio Tulin, as well as rocky river crossings and steep bankings to climb. You and your horse will be partnering together as we ride these technical trails.
After lunch and a cool off in a waterfall,  we continue on to Verde Energia: “An intentional community dedicated to sustainability that has thrived against all odds.” We will give you a tour of the farm and members of the community will cook us a delicious meal made from food grown on the farm. There is a swimming pool, an art center with a great dance floor, and you can often get a professional massage here.
Overnight at Verde Energia

Day 3: Verde Energia to Dairy Farm
In the morning we ride along the Rio Tulin again. We will spend the night at a dairy farm. The farm makes several varieties of delicious cheese which is sold in the towns and proud to offer at the delicious meals we will serve you at this place.
Overnight at Dairy Farm

Day 4: Ride to the Beach
Today we will ride once again along the Rio Tulin. It is much larger now that it has gathered all its tributaries. We will ride all the way to the beach along the river. On this day we will cross this river dozens of times before arriving at the sea and the beach front hotel where we will spend the next two nights in well deserved luxury. Your luggage will be awaiting you at the hotel.
Overnight at Seaside Hotel

Day 5: Beach Ride
We will ride on a nearly deserted beach to our favorite lunch spot on the beach under the coconut palms where a charming old local will cook us fresh fish for lunch. Here is where we will swim with the horses in the ocean and enjoy ourselves playing in the surf. Tonight we sleep at the beach front hotel.
Overnight at Seaside Hotel

Day 6: Departure
Today is your travel day back to the airport which is about 2-3 hours away. The staff at the hotel will help you arrange your transportation back to the airport. Taxi’s are available and can hold up to 8 passengers (not included in the tour package, to be paid locally). It is best to book your return flight for later in the afternoon to allow for travel time back to the airport.



Sample Itinerary: 8-day Rainforest Trek - subject to changes

Day 1:
Arrival
We will meet you at SJO airport and drive for 1 hour to our farm, nestled in the mountains above the bustling central valley of San José. If you arrive earlier in the day you can relax on the veranda or take some time to meet your horse.
Overnight at Guesthouse

Day 2: Ride to Polka
This is the first day of the trek. Leaving the farm in the morning we travel through farmland with beautiful views of the lush green valleys and mountains to the village of Polka, where we will spend the night with a rural farming family. You will have the opportunity to experience true Costa Rican hospitality. Our bilingual guides will be present to facilitate a rich cultural exchange.
Overnight in Local Family's House in Polka

Day 3: Polka to Villas Mastatal
In the morning we start out early heading towards the rain forest of Mastatal. The terrain is rugged, ascending and descending through the steep mountains, crossing rivers and passing cascades and small waterfalls along the way. We will have the opportunity to stop and swim in the clear fresh waters of the larger rivers. We have lunch with Doña Teresa and Doña Ana, Huetar indigenous women who live at the top of the mountain. They will invite you into their humble home and treat you to a simple lunch cooked on their wood stove.
After a long day of riding, we arrive at the Ecologically Sustainable farm of Villas Mastatal.  We will be lodged in the rustic setting of the bunk house overlooking the pasture where the horses will be spending the next two nights.
Overnight at Villas Mastatal

Day 4: Rest Day
A day of rest for the horses and a day of fun for us. Here in the last virgin of Puriscal County we can discover the beauty of the La Cangreja National Park. Take a guided hike through 500 acres of unspoiled jungle, along the well-groomed trails, past towering trees, lush jungle and rushing rivers. Swim under a lovely waterfall deep in the rainforest. After lunch we will visit Iguana Chocolate, a family run chocolate farm. Take part in the making of chocolate from harvesting the cocoa pods to making your own truffle. Don’t forget to take some samples along to nibble on during the ride!
Overnight at Villas Mastatal

Day 5: Ride to Cabinas Maldonado
Enjoy a morning of riding through rolling hills, along trails, and through private farms. We arrive at Cabinas Maldonado (which is also a working cattle ranch) just in time for lunch. After lunch you can visit the exciting  Sky Mountain, one of the most thrilling Canopy Tours in Costa Rica.  Experience the pure adrenaline of their zip lines.  (optional, $75 per person, transportation and park entrance fee not included in the tour package)
Overnight at Cabinas Maldonado

Day 6: Cabinas Maldonado to Playa Bandera
Today we will arrive at the beach. But first we must travel through  the coastal plain on trails through private farms and under the shade of palm tree and banana plantations. We will be spending the night at Pozza del Pacifico at Playa Bandera.  Relax in the plantation style guest home with the biggest swimming pool and water slide in the region.
Overnight at Pozza del Pacifico at Playa Bandera

Day 7: Beach Ride
The beach we will ride on is virtually untouched. It has maintained it’s natural environment and we often see flocks of scarlet macaws in the trees that line the shore and formations of pelicans flying over head. Riding at low tide the beach is wide and long with lots of room to move if you want to trot and canter.
For lunch we stop at an oceanfront home for a fresh fish lunch. This is a great spot to swim with your horse in the warm waters of the Costa Rican Pacific Ocean. Our horses love the water and will often roll and play in the surf like children.
After lunch you can relax and enjoy some well deserved luxury at the ocean front hotel. This is also when we will say good by to the horses, they will go home from here.
Overnight at Pozza del Pacifico at Playa Bandera

Day 8: Departure
Today is your travel day back to the airport which is about 2-3 hours away. The staff at the hotel will help you arrange your transportation back to the airport. Taxi’s are available and can hold up to 8 passengers (not included in the tour package, to be paid locally). It is best to book your return flight for later in the afternoon to allow for travel time back to the airport.


Rates and Dates for Jungle & Beach Adventure

Rates include:


Jungle River Trek: Airport pick-up, Accommodations, Most Meals & 4 riding days
Rainforest Trek: Airport pick-up, Accommodations, Most Meals & 5 riding days
Saddle bags are provided. Helmets can be borrowed locally

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20218 day trip - Rainforest Trek$2750
  • B
    20218 day trip - Jungle River Trek$2250

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2021 Transfer from San Jose airport included
2021 Taxi to the airport on the last day not included

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
B 2021 01/01 - 04/30 6d / 5n 8 day trip - Jungle River Tr... 4 /6 Sold Out
A 2021 01/01 - 04/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip - Rainforest Trek 4 /6 Sold Out
B 2021 05/01 - 05/31 6d / 5n 8 day trip - Jungle River Tr... 4 /6 Sold Out

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

2 dinners. Gratuities, Insurance & Return transfer to San Jose

Other Info
Meeting: San Jose / Puriscal
Airport: San Jose
Transfer: San Jose

Climate:
                            Santiago de Puriscal area 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

81

81

84

84

82

81

81

81

80

79

80

80

Average Low Temperature (°F)

62

62

63

64

64

63

64

63

62

62

62

62

Average High Temperature (°C)

27

28

29

29

28

27

27

27

27

26

26

27

Average Low Temperature (°C)

17

17

17

18

18

17

18

17

17

17

17

17

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

0

0

1

5

16

19

14

17

21

22

11

3

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The dry season runs from December to April and the rainy season starts in May and ends in November. In both seasons, it’s normal for early morning temperatures to be in the 70’s (F), climb into the mid 80’s during mid day, and back into the high 70’s for late afternoon and evening, and into the low 70’s and occasionally 60’s overnight.

Dry Season (December to April)
At this time of year, it tends to be clear and sunny most days, but the occasional rainstorms that come can be hard rains. Humidity ranges from around 60 – 70%.

Rainy Season (May to November)
During this time, it is often clear and sunny in the morning with an afternoon hard rain shower, and then clears up for the night. The afternoon rain is often a welcome cooling of the midday heat. However, sometimes there are overnight rain storms, or all day, or even multi-day rain storms. Humidity ranges from around 70 – 90%.

What To Bring:

… 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 (recommended for all trips)

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


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.

We suggest to bring large ziplock baggies to pack your things in the saddle bags.

The back-up vehicle carries your luggage from accommodation to accommodation.


SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS.... Almost all encounters with noxious insects & plants can be avoided by watching where you walk or 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 and by always following tour guide's instructions to the letter, and finally, leave valuables at home and avoid using perfumes, after-shave, or other scents that will attract insects.