As photographers and videographers, we’re always on the search for amazing views. There’s nothing like trekking through the jungle for an incredible view of the forest or hiking up the hill for amazing ocean views. But sometimes, we like to take it easy to get those views and our favorite way is by horseback.
Horseback riding allows you to go on trails cars can’t go and taking a horseback riding tour means you can visit places that are usually private or owned by the hotel so outside guests can’t go in. Horses are also more eco-friendly and don’t leave a heavy carbon footprint so naturally, it’s one of the best things to do in Costa Rica!
So when we were planning our Turrialba trip, we knew horseback riding was one of the must-do activities as we were seeking out those one of a kind views in the area. We took a horseback riding tour with Casa Turire and were blown away by not just the views, but the love and passion our guide has for the horses.
Horseback Riding in Turrialba
As soon as we arrived to the farm on the Hotel Casa Turire property, we were surprised by how many horses they had. Julio, our guide greeted us and made sure we were paired up with the appropriate horse per our riding level while sharing his story and background working with horses. You could see the love and passion shine through as he spoke proudly of all their steeds.
We saddled up and headed out into the sunshine. It was a gorgeous day in Turrialba and the perfect day for a horseback ride with a slight breeze and no clouds in sight. Crossing the road from the hotel entrance, we made our way up a hill to pass by sugar cane and coffee fields. The resident dogs joined us on our adventure, happily trotting along beside the horses.
I heard Keel billed toucans calling from far corners of the fields below us, saw Montezuma Oropendolas flying from tree to tree and waved hi to the locals working in the fields. My horse was also enjoying the day, snacking on grass and plants every few minutes or so, giving me time to pull out my camera and take photos of the view.
Julio explained a bit about the different types of plants we were seeing including the sugar cane (which unfortunately they were burning since we visited in April) and took us up to an incredible mirador that had a panoramic view of the lake, Turrialba volcano and the valley below.
We got off our horses at the viewpoint as Julio gave us some time to enjoy the view, drink water and take photos. Then we headed off again, around and up another hill for more beautiful views. We passed through a few coffee fields but sugar cane was definitely the star of the show in this area.
Eventually we came back down after passing through more sugar cane fields and made our way back to the hotel.
The dogs that came with us also provided us with great entertainment as we watched the little one (who is over 10 years old!) jump in the water and swim gleefully around to cool off. So cute!
The entire ride was about 2 hours and several kilometers which was the perfect length and amount of time for the riders and the horses. My horse was eager to get back to the stables for lunch as we galloped happily to the stables once we entered the hotel property. We hopped off, gave our horses a very grateful pat on the head and cooled off under the shade as we were entering noon, the hottest part of the day.
Tips for Horseback Riding in Turrialba
- Wear closed toed shoes and long pants. There is a reason why you always see cowboys wearing jeans and boots!
- In dry season, wear sunglasses and put on sunscreen. The sun gets pretty intense but our tour started in the morning at 9 AM so we got back before the hottest part of the day. You can wear a hat like Yeison did but you will have a helmet so it’s not super comfortable.
- They gave us a water bottle so you don’t need to bring one.
- You can wear a backpack but make sure it’s not too big and it has straps so it’s not bouncing around when you’re riding. The horses are very gentle and sweet, going no more than a trot most of the time but it gets bouncy if they do.
- If you want to take pictures, make sure your camera strap is short and tight. I tightened mine to make sure it wouldn’t bounce around and I wouldn’t lose it but it was not the most comfortable I have to be honest though it was worth it to get nice pictures of the view. If you have a fanny pack or a small side shoulder backpack, you can put your phone or point and shoot which would work better and be more comfortable.
- You don’t have to be a guest of Hotel Casa Turire to do the horseback ride, you can book it with them separately.
- You don’t need any previous horseback riding experience, all the horses are gentle and know where to go and Julio will pick the right horse for you.
- If you visit during rainy season, make sure to bring a rain jacket or poncho and I recommend leaving the expensive cameras since it can start raining at any second. Read our rainy season packing list for more tips.
We absolutely loved horseback riding in Turrialba. I know there is another horseback riding tour offered by one of the lodges up by Turrialba Volcano so you get close views of the volcano but we loved the views on this tour. Julio was so passionate about the horses which were very well taken care of and it was a lovely way to spend a beautiful day in Turrialba.
Read about other outdoor adventure in Costa Rica here!