Mountains and Pacific beaches of Costa Rica

Embark on a fabulous riding holiday in Costa Rica, known for its incredible beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity. On this horseback trail, exclusive to Equus Journeys, ride from the majestic Turrialba volcano to the wild beaches of the Pacific ocean. Perfect for riders looking to explore Costa Rica differently and to discover the incredibly rich Tico culture.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
10 days, 7 riding
From £2,880
Open to non-riders
  • Beach ride on horseback in Costa Rica
    Spectacular beach rides in Costa Rica

Itinerary

Highlights

- Discover Costa Rica’s exceptional biodiversity.
- Meet Costa Rican people and enjoy their Pura Vida lifestyle.
- An itinerary combining mountains, tropical forest, agricultural crops and the chance to have a canter on the beach.
- A unique kind of accommodation, our eco-decks, completely open to nature and eco-friendly
  • Day 1 1 : UK - SAN JOSE

    Pick-up at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) at 18:00. You will be transferred to the hotel.
    Dinner will be at the hotel or in the city, depending on the participants' arrival time.
  • Day 2 2 : SAN JOSE - TURRIALBA - 3h transfer - 2-3 hours ride

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Hacienda (2h30 - 3h drive) in time for welcome drinks and snacks with the rest of the team. Settle in to your eco-deck, completely open to nature, with breath-taking views of theTurrialba Valley and its volcano. Before lunch, you will have the opportunity to discuss your riding abilities with your guide who will assign a suitable horse to each rider.

    After lunch, you finally get to meet the horses. You will try out your steed in the arena, getting some pointers for the riding style from your guide before the ride. Once everybody feels perfectly at ease, you head out for a short hack around the Hacienda's grounds, across sugar cane and coffee plantations. The views are stunning and after a short break under a centenary, a sacred Ceiba tree, you head back to the stables to enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner.
  • Day 3 3 : TURRIALBA - 5 hours riding

    Eco Lodge
    After breakfast, you head out into the tropical forest, under the shades of the big Espavel trees. You ride across green plains, catching a glimpse of the grazing cattle. Lunch is taken by the river, and those who wish to are welcome to go for a swim!

    After lunch, you circle back to the Hacienda, stopping on the way to look at the Estate's waterfall. Dinner will be had at a local restaurant (typical tico dinner) and if the weather is with you, you will enjoy a beautiful sunset over the valley.
  • Day 4 4 : TURRIALBA - RIO PACUARE or SILENCIO - 2 or 5 hours riding

    Eco Lodge
    After breakfast at the Hacienda, the choice for this morning's activity is yours:

    • Two hours ride
    or
    • Rafting on Rio Pacuare with lunch alongside the river.
    or
    • Horseback guided tour around the property and near by villages with spectacular views on the Angostura Lake. Lunch ar Doña Rosa’s.

    Back to the stables in the mid afternoon to ride to the “beneficio” – the coffee processing plant. Your visit to the beneficio will help you discover why Costa Rica’s coffee is so particular and learn all the steps of the coffee-making process, including tasting the different cacao, coffee and sugar cane based products.

    Enjoy dinner at la hacienda and overnight at your eco-deck.
  • Day 5 5 : PAVONES-GUIONES- PLAYA GARZA - 2 hours riding

    After an early morning breakfast at the Hacienda, you leave at c.07.00 for the Pacific coast (7h drive).
    You stop along the way for lunch and should arrive at the village of Guiones mid afternoon. Your hotel is very conveniently located a few metres away from the Guiones beach.

    Later in the afternoon, you head to the stables, a few miles away from the hotel. Get ready for a short, but very pleasant ride to enjoy the sunset.

    Dinner near your hotel, before a well-deserved night sleep.
  • Day 6 6 : GUIONES - PLAYA PELADA -OSTIONAL - 5 hours riding

    Breakfast at the hotel before the shuttle takes you to the stables for some gallops down the coast. Ride through the most beautiful beaches of the Nosara Peninsula, where you will be able to admire mango plantations, rivers, wild groves and beach heights that offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

    Lunch break at your host's house to share a cold ceviche and some beer.

    Car transfer back to the hotel (30min drive) to get ready for dinner at a local restaurant. Night at the hotel.
  • Day 7 7 : GUIONES - PLAYA OSTIONAL - 3 hours riding

    Today, you ride through the wonderful Guanacaste’s wild forests, where koatis, monkeys, birds and thousands of butterflies live.

    These sites preserved from all infrastructure will make you discover the real Costa Rica, the « Costa Rica pura vida »!

    After saying goodbye to the horses, the group will head back to the hotel to get ready for a delicious and unforgettable evening facing the ocean.

    Last night at Guiones
  • Day 8 8 : GUIONES - SAN JOSE - No riding

    Breakfast at the hotel. This last morning is free for you to enjoy it your way. You can choose to relax on the beach or buy some souvenirs in the village.

    Lunch by the beach, to enjoy the ocean view, one last time before heading to San José (4H30 drive).

    Dinner in a restaurant near the hotel where you will spend your last night.
  • Day 9 9 : SAN JOSE

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport to meet your flight.
  • Day 10 10 : EUROPE

    Arrival in Europe

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights are not included but we can help with this upon request.

- Prices are per person, based on two riders sharing a double or twin room.

- Group size is usually between 2 - 6 riders

- It is possible to guarantee the departure with one rider only with a supplement of €750/£655 - this will be refunded if more riders join your ride.

- There is a single supplement if you are in a single room (and no sharer is found). This is approx. €270/£235 in 2020.

- IMPORTANT: on your way out of the country, you will have to pay a USD27 tax (payable by credit card, in dollars or local currency).

- The weight limit for this ride is 14 st/198 lb/90 kg, please contact us if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English and French-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 support vehicle
1-2 cooks

Inland transport

Airport transfers

Accommodation

2 nights in a hotel in San José
3 nights in a hotel in Samara
3 nights in an eco-lodge (no electricity)

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to your last breakfast. Non-alcoholic drinks are included.

Additional equipment

Saddle bags
First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

International flights

Extras

Small group supplement - see above for the details
Tips to the local team

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    10/07/2020 19/07/2020 £2,880 Full
    17/07/2020 26/07/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    24/07/2020 02/08/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    31/07/2020 09/08/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    07/08/2020 16/08/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    14/08/2020 23/08/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    21/08/2020 30/08/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    28/08/2020 06/09/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/09/2020 13/09/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    11/09/2020 20/09/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    18/09/2020 27/09/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    25/09/2020 04/10/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    02/10/2020 11/10/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    09/10/2020 18/10/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    16/10/2020 25/10/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    23/10/2020 01/11/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    30/10/2020 08/11/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/11/2020 15/11/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    13/11/2020 22/11/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    20/11/2020 29/11/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    27/11/2020 06/12/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    04/12/2020 13/12/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    11/12/2020 20/12/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    18/12/2020 27/12/2020 £2,880 Open Book now
    25/12/2020 03/01/2021 £2,880 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses on this trail ride come from two different stables, 80% Ibero Americano and some Quarter horses. Most can be ridden bitless and are very responsive, yet well behaved.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be comfortable and balanced at all 3 paces - walk, rising trot and gallop - in open countryside and over varied terrain. You must be an intermediate to experienced level rider.

The weight limit for this ride is 14 st/198 lb/90 kg, please contact us if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight

Pace

The main pace of the ride is a walk with trots and canters everyday.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be asked to help groom and tack up the horses during the ride, to create a bond with your horse. Help is always on hand if necessary.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You must be fit. Please note that on some occasions, you may have to dismount and lead your horse over difficult terrain. Expect variable weather conditions.

Equestrian equipment

Comfortable western saddles. A few English saddles are available in Samara.
Bitless bridles.
Saddlebags.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit

Travel info

Comfort

2 hotel nights in San José
3 nights in an Eco Lodge in Turrialba (no electricity; showers available)
3 hotel nights in Samara

Meals

All meals are provided during the ride. Meals are varied and consist of local produce.
Lunches are cold. Vegetarians can be accommodated, please let us know.

Climate

This ride takes place in two different parts of the country, with varying climate:
- Turrialba: average temperatures of 22,5°, rainy summers (European winters)
- Samara: average temperatures of 28° with rainy summers to.

Guide and local team

Local team with English-speaking guide.

Tips

Tips are welcome but not expected. You should tip what you feel the service is worth and what you feel comfortable with.

Packing list

Head
- Helmets are mandatory. Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather (can also be worn at night)
- Down jacket or warm coat for the cold evenings
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermals in case of cold weather

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Good walking boots (or hybrid walking/riding boots)
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Our Recommendations
- You should use a soft sided suitcase which can easily be transported - we recommend a large backpack or rucksack of c. 60-80 litres. Remember that your luggage is carried by pack horses!
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
- Water bottle - 2 x 1 litre, or equivalent


In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent


In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Micropur or similar water purification tablets
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Toilet paper

Visa & Health

Formalities

British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You may stay as a visitor for up to 3 months under a tourist visa waiver, although the exact period is at the discretion of the immigration officer on arrival. If you plan to work, or stay for a longer period, then multiple exit and entry isn’t an approved alternative to obtaining the relevant visa for your circumstances. You should check the requirements with the Costa Rican authorities. Entry to Costa Rica may be refused if you are unable to produce evidence of return or onward travel (for example a return air ticket).

The immigration authorities are strict about foreigners who have overstayed.

Your passport should have at least one day’s validity from the date you are leaving Costa Rica. If you hold a passport other than a British Citizen passport, different regulations may apply.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/costa-rica/entry-requirements
Please consult with your local governing authority prior to your departure.

Addresses of consulates

  • En Curridabat Del Indoor Club
    Curridabat
    1000 San José
    Tél. : +506 22 34 41 67
    Fax : +506 22 34 41 95
  • Ambassade en France
    4, square rapp
    75007 Paris
    Tél. : 01 45 78 96 96
    Fax : 01 45 78 99 66
    embcr-fr@rree.go.cr
  • Ambassade du Costa Rica
    Marktgasse 51
    3011 Berne
    Tél. : 031/372 78 87
    Fax : 031/372 78 34
    costa.rica@bluewin.ch
  • Ambassade du Costa Rica
    Avenue Louise, 489
    1050 Bruxelles
    Tél. : +32 2 640 5541
    Fax : +32 2 648 3192
    info@costaricaembassy.be

Health

UK health authorities have classified Costa Rica as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Since 2013, there has been a sharp increase in cases of dengue.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Costa Rica and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Medical care in Costa Rica is of a generally high standard. Ambulance services in remote areas may vary. Only initial emergency medical treatment is available without charge for visitors. Subsequent treatment will be charged. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/costa-rica/health

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.