You will be picked-up from a central location in the center of Oaxaca city, just a short walk from most hotels. From there, you will take a 30-minute drive to Rancho Pitaya in the Valle de Tlacolula. Check-in to a comfortable guest room upon arrival at the ranch. Your guide will give you a short demo of safe riding tips and provide helmets and half chaps. You'll be assisted in mounting while the endurance saddles are stowed with cold water and snacks. The guide will carry a first aid kit and cell phone.
Just minutes out, you'll ascend on ancient trails with amazing views of the big valley and majestic Sierra Juarez. The trail leads to a secret grove of old-growth organ cacti. Some of these sentinels are over 300 years old and over 10 meters tall. Rare agaves, elephant-foot yucca trees and aromatic of native Bursera trees are just a sample of the native flora. Ride down to the Rio Salado where village farmers tend their crops with horse-drawn carts and cut alfalfa with a scythe and harvest wild cane lines the banks of the river. The guide explains local ecosystems and village traditions, takes photos of you and stops along the trails for you to drink the supplied water, have a snack or pause to dismount to stretch their legs.
Experienced riders can have opportunities to trot and canter although to ensure animal welfare it is essential that riders not bounce on the horse’s back nor use the reins to balance. The ride loops back to Rancho Pitaya where a freshly prepared meal awaits. In the late afternoon choose between a visit to the 2,000 year old tree in nearby El Tule or join the ranch’s cook and learn to prepare authentic local specialties. Or just relax in a hammock to the sounds of birds.
Complementary cocktails and fruit coolers will be served at sunset and you'll dine on authentic regional specialties outdoors as the evening light illuminates the ancient native cacti preserved on the ranch.
Early morning is not to be missed. Watch the horses with a cup of Oaxacan estate coffee or local hot chocolate. Enjoy a complete breakfast in the warm morning sun and get ready to explore the valley to the east with unique for volcanic formations, stunning sedimentary rock and astoundingly different vegetation from the day before. Traverse a hidden pass, ride to the top of a mountain with panorama views and travel trails thousands of years old. Ride past massive candelabra cacti and over ancient stone bridges lined with rare wetlands. This ride ends with an optional visit to the quiet pre-Hispanic archeological site. Have a leisure lunch at the ranch before heading back to the city of Oaxaca around 4pm.