Our best Costa Rica horseback riding tour
combines hiking in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, visiting the spectacular Oropendula Waterfall, horseback riding and relaxing in the Rio Negro Hot Springs. A perfect day!
Your day of horseback riding in Guanacaste begins at the Hacienda Guachipelin hotel and ranch. You will ride friendly ranch horses 45 minutes on a scenic forest trail to the Las Pailas entrance of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. This area of the national park spectacularly shows off the awesome power of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, the largest and most active volcano in Guanacaste. Steaming fumaroles, mini-geysers and bubbling volcanic mud pits give you an experience like no other volcano in Costa Rica.
The hike on the Las Pailas loop trail takes you 2.5 miles (3.5 km) through dry tropical forest with great views of the volcano. Your bilingual naturalist guide will point out interesting nature and wildlife. More than 300 bird species live here, along with other animals like armadillos, collared peccaries, iguanas, snakes, white-nosed coatis, and white-faced, howler and spider monkeys.
When you finish your hike, you’ll be ready to swim in the Oropendula Waterfall. It is a short walk from the national park entrance on a trail with varying terrain to get down to the river bottom. The Oropendula Waterfall plunges an impressive 82 feet (25 meters) to a bright turquoise pool in the lush canyon of the Rio Blanco (White River).
After your swim, you will ride to the Rio Negro Hot Springs, a popular Guanacaste excursion. Steaming mineral-rich water heated by the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano flows from the crystal clear river through 10 man-made pools. Two hanging bridges give you access to pools on both sides of the river. Heated volcanic clay is available to use like a spa “body masque.” There are changing rooms, bathrooms, and lockers at the entrance.
When you are ready, you will ride back to Hacienda Guachipelin. All horseback rides follow mostly forest trails, with very little time on transited ranch roads. Tour participants must wear riding helmets.