Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

It’s a dream, right? There you are, long, salt-dusted hair flailing behind you in the fierce drag of wind as your mighty steed whips across a deserted beach. Waves thrust themselves against jagged rocks and you feel, for the first time in years, reckless and free…Quit dreaming and get out there with Cross Country International’s Equestrian Vacations! Through them, you WILL gallop through Costa Rica. This is how they describe a typical trip:

Naturalists have long marveled at the extraordinary beauty and diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica. Situated in Central America between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica boasts 800 known species of sea and land birds, giant leatherback turtles, Howler monkeys, and the adorable white-faced Capuchin monkeys.

The horseback riding trails we offer capitalize on what Costa Rica offers naturally. We explore the west coast of Costa Rica in the sparsely populated province of Guanacaste, along the Pacific Ocean. Ancient volcanoes formed the magnificent mountain range and beautiful beaches you’ll ride along.
This route takes riders along fifty different white- and black-sand beaches that were once loot and weapons stashes for pirates. The country trails here are lined with Sangre de Toro (blood of bull) trees, with their magnolia-like flowers.

Here, too, giant turtles nest. Every year between November and March, the giant turtles come to lay their eggs. We will pass small fishing villages and get a chance to see the day’s catch. Here, the trees teem with macaws, parrots, Spanish moss, and monkeys. We will pass through teak and mango plantations, and some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth. Remember to bring a swimsuit because one of the most popular features of this ride is a swim in the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean with your horse.

The horses you will ride are the Criollo. They are a mixed breed, and many carry the blood of the Spanish horses brought from the Old World by conquistadors in the sixteenth century. The accommodations are hotels and guest houses, some with swimming pools. The rooms all have private baths, and several feature views of the Pacific Ocean.

Many riders schedule extra time in the area to enjoy other outdoor activities. The famous canopy tours offer a chance to see Costa Rica from the treetops, the best place to catch an unobstructed glimpse of exotic, vibrantly plumed birds.

Dates: January to August, November, and December—arrive on Sunday.

Price: $1830 per person, single supplement $100. Includes six nights of hotel accommodation, all meals (drinks not included), four days of guided trail riding, horse, tack, luggage transfer, tax. Air conditioning, when available, requires an additional fee.

Meeting Point: Tamarindo, Liberia, or San Jose Airports. Transfers not included.

Non-rider activities: Fishing, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and golfing.

For more information, saddle up and check out , www.equestrianvacations.com

or feel free to call or email David at p 800.828.8768 or davida@xcintl.com

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