Horseback Riding is a popular activity in Costa Rica because it is a fun and relaxing way to be outside exploring the countryside. In fact, horseback riding is still a popular means of transportation and recreation especially in the Guanacaste region, known for its many ranches and cowboy traditions.
This tour is coupled with a visit to the strikingly beautiful Oropendula Waterfall which cascades into a little-known swimming hole. Fed from the Rio Blanco (White River), this 82 foot thundering waterfall plunges into a glimmering turquoise pool surrounded by a lush green grotto. This is the perfect place to rest your spurs and take a refreshing swim or just enjoy the idyllic view. It also provides a lovely landscape for taking photos.
You’ll meet at the main office of the Hacienda Guachipelin Lodge in Guanacaste. Your guide will take you to the stables and pair you up with a horse suitable for your level of horseback riding. If this is your first time, no worries! Your horse is well trained and knows the trail well. Your guide will give you safety tips and show you how to communicate with your horse. All riders will wear provided helmets. Then you’ll begin your leisurely ride through the scenic tropical dry forest and private back ranch roads. Your guide will stop and point out any interesting birds and wildlife that may be visible on the day of your ride within the forest canopy.
After about 45 minutes of horseback riding, you’ll pull over and “park” your horses at the top of a canyon where you can hike down a path that leads to the bottom of the waterfall. While the horses are taking a break, your group can go for a short walk along the river that ends at a natural swimming area at the base of the waterfall. Feel free to go in for a swim or if you prefer you can stay at the top of the canyon to rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of the pulsating forest life and thundering waterfall.
After this interlude, you’ll return to your saddle and ride back the same way you came, always on the lookout for any visible wildlife in the area with the help of your local guide.
This approximate 2.5 hour tour includes a local guide and transportation from Hacienda Guachipelin. Transportation from other area hotels is NOT included. Please wear long pants, hiking boots or running shoes and bring sunscreen and bug repellent. You might like to wear your bathing suit under your clothes to go swimming. You may also want to bring a towel, hat, bottled water, camera and binoculars.
The Horseback Ride to La Oropendola Waterfall is available from Rincon de la Vieja
4 and up
Great staff & tour
I enjoyed the waterfall at the end of the ride. I am an inexperienced rider, and didn't get my horse to go faster than a trot. I didn't know the terrain, so wasn't aware of the best places to go faster. There were only the 2 of us, plus the guide, so my horse was in the lead. The horse knew what it was doing, but I didn't! But it was fun.