Adventures on horseback, Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Travel Blog

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After enjoying the activities and amenities onboard during our day at sea, we pulled the in the port in Puerto Vallarta.  It was so green, beautifully landscaped, and full of life.  My friends went to tour the city while I headed for a shore excursion to tour a banana and mango jungle by horseback. 

Boarding a motor coach with my fellow cruisers, a herd of us embarked on a winding-road driving trip through the city and countryside finally coming to park at a ranch on the outskirts of the city some forty-five minutes from when we began. The mini-village was also a tequila factory, it was called Hacienda Dona Engracia.  (They now have a website http://www.
haciendadonaengracia.com/tequilade.htm) It was a blazing hot day at about 95 degrees.  Our short walk from the bus to the barnyard took us through a mini-village that must have sprung up from constant flow of cruising tourists. We passed through a shopping market for trinkets and souvenirs, an outdoor church, and a small Mexican restaurant complete with mariachis, and, most importantly, a tiny tequila factory.  In this part of the country tequila factories are everywhere! 

The dude ranch was very similar to those portrayed in movies!  With barns of stucco and arched facades the horses were corralled for us.  We were each assigned horses based on previous riding experience and height, which must have been a challenge for them when it came to me~ I'm barely 5' tall!

The rains had been vigorous during the previous week, so rivers during the tour were very high and fast flowing.
  We had one guide in the front of our group, and two guides behind all of us, one of those guides had an eye patch, somehow making me feel like I was in an old western film!  Our surefooted horses navigated the rocky bottoms without batting an eye. They seemed to enjoy the cool waters flowing under their bellies. 

As we navigated through the jungle by horse, I had to chuckle as we dismounted near the river because I knew what was coming next.  A few of the horses were unsaddled and the guide with an eye patch and gold teeth sat bareback on his horse and began helping passengers onto the back of his horse.  Without hestiation, the three of us plunged into the river and began swimming in the high, fast-flowing river, floating through the currents.  This was the first and only time I swam with a horse, it was a strange sensation and I respected the power of the animal even moreso after the experience.  As I floated off the horses back submerged up to my chin I could feel the horse swimming beneath me.  As the water became more shallow and the horse touched bottom, the transition from swiming to riding was seamless.
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Outside of a small local tequilla …
Outside of a small local tequilla…
My horseback excursion through ban…
My horseback excursion through ba…
On the back of my horse.
On the back of my horse.
Local cola.
Local cola.
Swimming with the horse.
Swimming with the horse.
Dog cooling off in the dust of the…
Dog cooling off in the dust of th…
Back at the ranch.
Back at the ranch.
Traveling with my friends from Los…
Traveling with my friends from Lo…