8-Day, 7-Night Progressive Trek to the Beach takes you from our mountain farm, through a variety of different ecosystems all the way to the beach. Each days riding is different from the last. The trip includes, touring in the La Cangreja Rain Forest National Park, a tour of an authentic chocolate farm, and a Canopy Zip Line at Sky Mountain. (includes two travel days and one rest day for touring)
Our progressive multi-day trek brings you into the heart of rural Costa Rican culture where you will experience the lives of the “Ticos” up close in a way that most tourists never get to see.
“Liz and Steven of Barking Horse Farms provides a wonderful experience in seeing rural Costa Rica on the 8 day wilderness trek from the mountains to the beach. It was a fantastic way to see and meet local Ticos and their families. Liz has done a wonderful job in obtaining accommodations along the way. Horses were wonderful and the company was fantastic.” Val Seeley, visited January 2012
“This is the best vacation a Parelli person could have. Wish we could have stayed I was sad to say goodbye to my new partner. It was amazing how attached you became to your horse in such a short time. Having all the like (Parelli) minded people around you during the entire experience was so amazing and really made the whole trek fantastic. I will always remember this as the greatest vacation ever!!!” John and Jody Bain, visited June 2012
Day 1: You will be met at the Juan Santamaria International airport (SJO) and drive for one hour to Santiago de Puriscal nestled in the mountains above the bustling central valley of San Jose.
You will begin your adventure at Barking Horse Farm. Visit our accommodations page for details on the farm. If you are combining this trek with a Parelli workshop, plan for the next two days of workshop then head out on the trek on “Day 2” listed below.
Day 2: 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. We will have lunch in small village of Perdenal with a local family. Continuing on after lunch 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.
Day 3: In the morning we start out early heading towards the rainforest 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, owned and operated by Javier and Raquel, a young Costa Rican couple. They host volunteers from around the world interested in learning about sustainability. We will be lodged in the rustic setting of the bunkhouse overlooking the pasture where the horses will be spending the next two nights.
A day of rest for the horses and a day of fun for us. Here in the last virgin rainforest 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!
Day 5: Enjoy a day of riding through rolling hills, along trails, across a river, and through private farms. We arrive at the working farm of Jose Herrero. Relax in a hammock under the shade of his traditional “Rancho” while you watch the horses frolic in the adjacent green pasture.
Day 6: In the morning:
Visit Sky Mountain, one of the most thrilling Canopy Tours in Costa Rica. Experience the pure adrenaline of their zip lines. ($75 per person, transportation and park entrance fee not included in the trek package.
Or simply sleep in and spend a restful morning in the Rancho.
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.
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. 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 a oceanfront home for a fresh fish lunch and coconut milk. 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 have the option of loading your saddles into the truck and continuing the last hour down the beach bareback to arrive at the tranquil boutique hotel of Pelican Beach Hotel. Here you can relax and enjoy some luxury, well deserved after your adventure through the mountains of Costa Rica.
Day 8: The horses go home in the morning but you are welcome to book additional nights at the Pelican, continue your Costa Rican adventure visiting other areas of interest, or take a shuttle to SJO international airport which is about 2 hours away. The hotel staff will assist you in making your travel plans.
Schedule and Costs:
June 9 – 16, 2016 (only 3 spaces left)
Dec 25, 2016- Jan 1, 2017 (only 2 spaces left)
Cost: $2,500 USD
The price includes airport pickup, all meals and lodging while on the trek (except for the last dinner at the beach) horses, tack and bilingual guides.