Horseback riding is a great way to tour Costa Rica

Horseback riding to Monteverde
Horseback riding to Monteverde

There is so much to see and do in Costa Rica that sometimes people don't know where to start. Instead of spending time walking or driving between destinations, why not consider horseback riding? When you ride horses between each of your Costa Rica activities, you have the chance to explore the country's many native animal and plant species, not to mention save your body some energy to apply to your next activity.

Tips for Beginner Horseback Riders

If you have never ridden a horse before, don't worry. The Costa Rica tours that provide horseback riding options have employees who can help you choose a horse and teach you how to ride one safely and comfortably. One of the most important parts of horseback riding is packing the right equipment. While most horseback riding tours will provide for the horse, you should make sure these items are included: bug repellant, a fly mask, your tack, a pocket knife, a hoof pick, a bucket, water and, depending on the length of the trail, some hay for your horse to eat.

You must also pack the correct items for yourself. If you'll be riding for more than an hour, expect to pack everything into a saddle bag. Use it to hold bug repellent, sunscreen, a map, a camera and lip balm. You'll also want to bring a charged cell phone in your pocket. Don't forget to pack food, water, a sun visor and any weather-appropriate gear you may need. Always pack a jacket or rain poncho in case of inclement weather.

What to See on a Tour

What you'll see on a horseback riding tour depends on the tour. In many cases, you will see rainforests and the beautiful trees, flowers and animals that make them such. Many horseback riders in Costa Rica have come across toucans, bellbirds and parrots. Some have even seen agouti, monkeys and sloths.

Where to Find a Horseback Riding Tour

In Monteverde particularly, horseback riders have the chance to travel through a variety of ecosystems that allow them to see the most in a short amount of time. The trip takes just a few hours but requires traveling a number of miles. Monteverde has plenty of greenery at any time of the year and has an average daily temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the area often has perfect weather for riding horses. Of course, once you have seen Monteverde, you'll want to check out some of the other horseback riding tours in the area so that you can see even more.

Don’t Feel You Need to Stick to the Mountains

While many horseback riding tours do stick to mountainous areas, you don't need to feel as if that's your only option. It is also a beautiful experience to ride a horse along some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. You'll see a wide variety of bird and animal species, but there are many other options as well. You'll also be able to view areas where pirates kept their loot, not to mention check out the best nesting grounds for giant sea turtles. You can end your horseback riding tour with a quick dip in the ocean. Your horse may even want to join you!

When to Go Horseback Riding in Costa Rica

Horseback riding is available all year round in Costa Rica. While the rides are available throughout the day in most places, the most popular times of day to go for a ride on horseback are in the hours just after dawn or just before sunset. Remember to call and book ahead when choosing a horseback riding tour as spots often sell out fast.