Centaura Horseback Riding Vacations
All our Horseback Riding Adventures are customized and private! We really know Costa Rica first-hand and we design your vacation around what you tell us is important.
We need some information and answers to design the best possible itinerary:
- How many in your travel group?
- How long are you coming?
- Time of the year?
- What else do you want to do besides the Horses?
- Where would you like to go?
- What kind of accommodations?
And here is some information to help you answer the questions:
The more people in your group, the more economical for you.
We can operate trips for a couple of days (based at our Ranch) or your entire vacation (including other areas in Costa Rica)
Where to Stay:
If you are coming for a couple of days or a Full Vacation (based in our area, San Carlos) we keep you in our Ranch: La Finca (click on the link for information about our Lodge).
When we get out to other areas in the country, we look for the best possible accommodations. The lodging is also customized (Like everything else at Centaura)
Where We Ride:
Centaura Farm and Neighboring Area
Our farm gives the most diverse type of riding (and the most economical). Nestled under Platanar Volcano, we have all terrain types except ocean – over 10,000 hectares of rolling pastures, mountain trails, huge plantation, cattle farms, small villages — all open for you for riding.
Plenty of places to open up and run. Cross deep rivers and literally swim on horseback. Ride a few hours, then ride to a local restaurant for lunch or dinner.
Centaura is pleased that over 40% of our guests return to ride with us, some coming several times a year. On subsequent visits, our guests often prefer riding only in the areas near Centaura Farm because there’s so much variety (and no driving headaches to get to other locations). The best of Cabalgatas and Rodeos and Topé action happens within a few miles of the farm, and our guests develop a real connection with the farm, our pets, our people…
Centaura has the privilege of access to a few of the remaining primary forests of Costa Rica, on private land. The primary forest — the classic Tarzan jungle — is dominated by giant old trees, vines as thick as a man’s leg dropping from branches so high you can’t see their origins, a cavernous opening below the jungles enclosing canopy. Traversing the rain forest on a horse is a serious reminder of how difficult penetrating the tropical jungle had to be for the earliest explorers and horses.
We love to ride at the base of Arenal volcano. While we don’t ride the slopes of Arenal, we do have a most remarkable horseback experience on a giant cattle farm beneath the cone. After dark, we can enjoy the volcano from a hot springs.
We have access to trails and footpaths descending from cloud forest to the Arenal area. The views from the back of a horse are so different than from foot. Your eyes are always drawn upward, where the bird sounds and the flora create a cathedral above. It is often misting in the cloud forest. The temperatures are chilly to comfortable, ideal for long meandering trail riding.
We have spent a good amount of time looking and selecting destinations at the beach. We narrowed the list to 3 destinations: Central Pacific, South Caribbean, and Nicoya Peninsula. All 3 give us beach and jungle exploration, a great choice of hotels (small, unique…Centaura style!), interesting restaurants and a wide selection of activities and attractions besides our Horse Rides.
Fun on Horses
In Costa Rica, the horse remains the cause for celebration, for fiestas, for sharing.
The Cabalgata is a cross-country trek on horseback lasting all day — with stops at farms for food and drinks, and ending always with lots of dancing and celebrating, Costa Rica style.
In many parts of Costa Rica, there’s a Cabalgata each Sunday. The best are near Centaura’s home base in San Carlos.
During the larger Cabalgatas major farms open their pastures to food wagons which haul all the pleasures of country food along from “station” to “station”. Barbeque (the kind that takes days to cook, in buried ovens fired by coffee wood), “picadillo” (chopped vegetables), tortillas and frijoles,
Chicharrones (fried pork skin with meat — something that sounds disgusting but is awesome!) and all the beer or soft drinks or water you can drink. At the end of the day the bands play on, and the local cattle auction centers host dancing and prize giving.
The elegance of dancing horses, high stepping, prancing, necks arched, forming a solid parade as far as the eye can see. The sound on pavement of a thousand dancing horses, as stunning as an Irish folk ensemble.
The big Tope in San José, December 26th lasts several hours as more than 4,000 horses, 15 or more mounted mariachi bands, wagon loads of food and drinks take over the center of the city (effectively closing San Jose for anyone allergic to horses).
Throughout the year smaller Tope events occur all over the country, especially in San Carlos, with even larger impacts on the local economy. Each weekend the chance to parade fine horses draws horse lovers to festivals, always terminating at a party with food and dancing and a chance to see the latest in farm equipment and saddles and veterinary supplies. And, of course, to share the gossip.
Some of Centaura’s horses are trained for Tope. It takes riding skills as well, and some training, to ride a Tope horse.
More Adventures with Centaura
In addition to the Horseback Riding, there are loads of other true adventure opportunities we can incorporate into your Centaura expedition.
La Finca (Our Lodge at the Ranch) runs other Signature Adventures like: Hot Air Ballooning, ATV Expeditions, and Nature Trips.
There are also many popular tours close to La Finca as well. Once we meet you and know more about your level of experience, we will recommend specific adventures, places, and operators.
Costa Rica, in general, is the ultimate adventure and nature destination, so take advantage of the options we can arrange for you.
Rely on Centaura to make intelligent suggestions (remember, we live here!) on weather/climate, driving distances, and a likelihood of experiencing what you are looking for….
You can get more information about other Adventures at La Finca