When exploring the vast treasures of Costa Rica’s pristine natural beauty, the country’s lush landscapes sweep away the hustle and bustle of daily life elsewhere. The peaceful feeling of being at one with your natural surroundings is an experience like no other on earth, and Costa Rica sets the scene for more of those experiences than any other destination that comes to mind.
Thanks to Don Lulo and Doña Ruth, one such experience is being shared with those who descend upon Costa Rica’s beautiful Costa Ballena region. Through a magnificent horseback tour to Nauyaca Falls and the Barucito River, the couple invites visitors into a family heirloom, sharing some of Costa Rica’s most majestic secrets along the way.
Riders of all experience levels will feel at ease on the six-hour tour, which begins on the family farm and extends through rainforest trails to canyons and towering waterfalls. The journey to Nauyaca Falls is well-planned and well-guided, with several stops along the way that provide rest for the horses and tranquility for their riders. A short distance up the trails leads to a rainforest oasis, where a Costa Rican home-style breakfast consisting of fruits, homemade bread, cheese tarts, local coffee and natural fruit drinks is served by family members, under the watchful eye of macaw parrots.
After breakfast, the ride begins along trails that cross brooks and weave their way through rainforest lands that Don Lulo and Doña Ruth have called home for 50 years. Over the years, the couple’s respect for environmental protection and conservation has kept the land pristine and they realized that their breathtaking treasure was far too beautiful to conceal from the rest of the world. So, in June 1992, Don Lulo and Doña Ruth welcomed their first two tourists to the family farm. The reservations have kept coming and the family now works closely with the Costa Rican government to support ecotourism initiatives and the reforestation of eroded areas.
The peaceful horseback journey takes you through a natural habitat oozing with rainforest fauna, leading up to a forested ridge just above a 260-foot wide canyon. After dismounting from the horses, a stone pedestrian trail leads down into the canyon to unveil one of southwestern Costa Rica’s most beautiful secrets…the majestic 140-foot Nauyaca Falls. The waterfall’s natural descent into the Barucito River leaves a tranquil pool at its base for swimming and wading, while the adventurous can climb the falls and leap into 20-foot depths below. But the most exhilarating experience of all is perhaps the Kodak moment, when time stands still and you take in the totality of your surroundings.
After a breathtaking respite in nature’s gentle embrace, swimmers, divers and explorers get back in the saddle and begin the scenic ride home, while the family prepares a traditional lunch of chicken, rice, beans, mashed potatoes, salad and tortillas along the trail. And by the time the tour makes its way back to the stables, the land that Don Lulo and Doña Ruth opened up to the world in 1992 has left a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of the day’s riders.
The cost of the horseback tour to Nauyaca Falls and the Barucito River is $70.00 per person and includes approximately 2 ½ hours of actual riding. Reservations are recommended and transportation from Playa Dominical and the surrounding region can be arranged.
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