Adventure and Discovery Guest Ranch Stay

The week begins at a traditional horse ranch

Your Adventure of Discovery Begins!

Experience the best of Oaxaca in this all-inclusive insider’s vacation where horseback riding, cooking, hiking and cycling adventures lead to fascinating cultural experiences in one of the world’s richest ecosystems.

On each day of discovery traverse varied and unique landscapes to your destination, amazing natural wonder, ancient ruin, talented artisans or just the home of friendly villagers.  You’ll have the opportunity to visit Zapote basket weavers and rug  weavers. Visit the 2,000. yr. old cypress in El Tule , one of the very oldest trees on earth and explore the UNESCO world heritage site of Yagul, home to civilization in Mesoamerica.

 

Spectacular vistas of the Valle de Tlacolula from Palmillo Pass

The week will take you from experiences so varied as riding all hidden trails in wild cane groves, to  a guided walking tour in the city of Oaxaca to hiking through rare cacti forest. Learn to prepare regional Oaxaca cuisine in a fun, informal hands-on cooking class. Watch the sun set to fresh lime margaritas then star gaze in Oaxaca’s crystal clear night skies.

Day to Day Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Ranch

Settle into your room, have a cool drink on the terrace and soak in the vistas of the expansive with its surrounding valley mountains. Meet your guides and your horses before dinner. Enjoy a Margarita as you watch the sun set on our expansive terrace and dine on world famous regional Oaxacan cuisine.

Ascending the Tetecho Cactus Trail

Day 2: Horseback Riding and Visit to Natural Monument

Breakfast in the morning sun on fresh tropical fruit, yogurt, homemade granola, Oaxaca estate coffee or our famous hot chocolate along with a different hot & savory breakfast offered daily.

After short demo on our style of riding, mount your horse and head out from the ranch and on to trails lined with towering organ cacti & weathered mesquites. Within minutes the ride ascends to a hidden ecosystem rich in massive columnar cacti and old growth Elephant-foot yucas. From a high lookout point, take a break in the shade and enjoy the big-sky views north to the Sierra Juarez. As the ride progresses westward micro-ecosystems come and go, home to rare agaves, ferns and cacti that live side by side. This ride exemplified the amazing biodiversity Oaxaca is world-famous for.

With our steady horses you can ride right in to the village of El Tule

For lunch we ride into the town of El Tule, home of a 2,000 year old cypress tree, one of the largest and oldest trees on earth. El Tule is famous for its local eateries and while the horses doze in the shade, riders sample local delicacies. After lunch, stroll the quaint plaza, shop at the craft stores and, of course,  see the tree.

To finish this day’s ride enjoy a brisk canter along quiet farm lanes as the ride turns south and back towards the ranch. Sunset cocktails on the terrace before the ranch’s local cook prepares a dinner of local specialties.

 

A timeless day with endless vistas on the top of the mesa

After a hot breakfast at the ranch  take a scenic drive down the valley to the archeological site of Yagul. Explore with your knowledgeable guide this pre-Hispanic fortress, renowned for its ball court and outstanding vistas. Relax with refreshments before meeting up with the horses at a nearby ex-hacienda. Take a look at the restoration of its chapel before riding out with the imposing mesa of Yagul to the south and the majestic Sierra Juarez to the north.

Ancient farm lanes, great for extended trots and canters, turn into trails leading into true backcountry rich in rare palmillos and candelabra cacti hundreds of years old. Ride among goat herds and grazing Zebu cattle.

You experienced trekking horse deftly ascends the rocky trails that open onto otherworldly plateaus surrounded by sweeping views of the broad valley and up into the Sierra Juarez. It was in this area that civilization emerged in the Americas about 10,000 years ago. Ride past rare agaves, fresh water springs and old, old terraced farmlands.  Relax over a picnic lunch on the edge of a shady meadow.

A happy goat hear in the back country

Back at the hacienda, enjoy cold refreshments and snacks while the horses load up .

Return to the ranch for a siesta in a hammock before sunset margaritas and a specially prepared meal of Oaxaca regional cuisine.

Day 4: Horseback Riding & Cooking Class

This ride makes a sweeping loop out into the hidden worlds of the valley. From the ranch we ride past pecan orchards, fields of flowers and a complex system of irrigation canals that make this area the valley’s most productive farmland. Neat garlic and onion fields line tranquil back roads that lead to the quiet native village of Tlacochahuaya. Dismount your horse to visit its famous 16th century Dominican church. Recently-evangelized Indians painted the delightful walls and ceiling, and the cheerful style reflects their naturalistic approach to religion. Return to the ranch for a relaxed lunch siesta or massage.

Relax over great food after a good day of riding

Meet in the open-style kitchen for a fun, hands-on cooking class. Learn how to prepare classic Oaxaca dishes like mole, guacamole, fresh salsa. Or indulge in a relaxing massage.

Dinner, is, of course the dishes prepared in the cooking class.

Day 5:  Horseback Riding and Cultural Tour:

Today’s ride goes from the valley into the foothills of the Sierra Juarez, following old trails around the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle. Riders and horses take a short drive to the home of village weavers where they mount up and ride out. Ride past a fascinating ceremonial site before ascending a mountain pass, its trails lined with live agave fencing. Pass pack donkeys laden with firewood, grazing goats or locals washing their weaving yarn in the streams.

Ride into the foothills where the higher altitude makes way for a well-preserved oak forest rich in tree bromeliads and ferns. Ancient terraces texture the hillsides and low fieldstone walls ring adobe homes that dot the slopes.

Plow Oxen

Traditional Farming the Still Works!!!!

The ride ends with a freshly prepared lunch at the home of talented Zapotec rug weavers, followed by a weaving and yarn dyeing demonstration and time to shop for a beautiful hand-woven wool rug.

Return to the ranch to relax or have a massage.  Sample the special mezcal cocktail we invented at the ranch followed by dinner featuring local specialties.

Day 6: Shop or hike or cook then ride!

Another day begins with a freshly prepared breakfast on the open terrace. Today there a several options. Spend the morning in the city of Oaxaca, shopping, visit one of the city’s many fine museums or people watch over a cool drink in the  zocalo. Or opt for a guided nature hike in the hills with a focus on the amazing biodiversity found in the hills west of the ranch.  Or for the culinary minded visit a village woman who still makes corn tortillas by hand, try your skills. Learn to make rustic salsa in a stone molcajete and learn the secrets of cooking really good black beans.

Includes:

 

 

View east from San Sebestian Teitipac
Early Morning Sun on the Dining Terrace at Rancho Pitaya
Ride fit, steady horses that love their job!

DATES AND RATES

This experience is available year round. 

 

8 days / 7 nights / 6 days of guided activities / 1 “on your own” day

Limited to 6 six participants: $1,750 U.S. per person

Rides for parties of  1-3 add $200 per person surcharge.

Single occupancy supplement: $250. U.S. dollars

DISCOUNT: Returning riders pay $100 U.S. less

Includes:

  • Activites: Over 20 hours of outdoor activities: riding, hiking, nature walks, public markets. 
Pace can be adjusted to the guest’s preferences.Note: guided cycling may not be available although self-guided cycling is easy, safe and fun.
  • Guides:  Fluent English & Spanish guides.
  • Lodging: 7 nights accommodation at Rancho Pitaya.
  • Food: All meals and drinks.
  • Transfers: Arrival & departure from the ranch to airport or city hotel.
  • Tack: Mostly comfortable endurance saddles and some English
  • Weight Limit: 220 lbs./ 100 kilos. $200 U.S. surcharge for riders up to 250 lbs./125 kilos
  • Not included: Massages, taxis for additional excursions and delayed flight arrival.
  • Notes: Feel free to inquire about alternative dates that suit your travel time.