Horseback riding to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Oropendula Waterfall & Rio Negro Hot Springs
Our best Costa Rica horseback riding tour combines hiking in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, visiting the spectacular Oropendula Waterfall, horseback riding and relaxing in the Rio Negro Hot Springs … what a perfect day!
From Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, we will ride our friendly ranch horses 45 minutes on a scenic forest trail to the Las Pailas entrance of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Meaning “The Cauldrons” in Spanish, the Las Pailas area spectacularly shows off the awesome power of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, the largest and most active volcano in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Steaming fumaroles, mini-geysers and bubbling volcanic mud pits give you an incredible experience like no other volcano in Costa Rica.
Hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park on the Las Pailas loop trail takes you 2.5 miles (3.5 km) through dry tropical forest to see the best views of the volcano, incredible nature, volcanic activity and wildlife. Our bilingual naturalist guide will point out many of the 300 bird species that live here, and any other animals, like white-faced, howler and spider monkeys, armadillos, collared peccaries, iguanas, snakes, or white-nosed coatis.
When you finish your hike, you’ll be ready for a refreshing swim in the Oropendula Waterfall. It is a short walk from the national park entrance on a trail with varying terrain to get down to the river bottom. The Oropendula Waterfall plunges an impressive 82 feet (25 meters) to a sparkling turquoise pool in the lush canyon of the Rio Blanco (White River), creating a picturesque tropical oasis.
After your swim, our horses will be ready to take us to the Rio Negro Hot Springs, one of the most popular attractions at Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Surrounded by thick tropical dry forest, Rio Negro (Black River) flows through 10 man-made pools filled with steaming mineral-rich volcanic waters. You access pools on both sides of the river by two hanging bridges. Heated volcanic clay is available to smooth all over like a spa “body masque.” After it dries, wash it off with cold river water before jumping back in the hot pools.
There are changing rooms, bathrooms and lockers at the hot springs entrance. From there, you will walk a beautiful trail less than a quarter-mile (350 meters) through the forest to the hot springs pools.
When you are ready, we’ll leisurely ride back to Hacienda Guachipelin (1 hour).
All of our horseback rides follow mostly forest trails, with very little time on transited ranch roads. All tour participants must wear riding helmets. We recommend using closed-toe shoes and long pants or long shorts. For the national park, we recommend bringing insect repellent and sunscreen.
All tours are arranged at Hacienda Guachipelin’s Adventure Center; open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for hotel guests and day visitors.
Tour times: 8:00 AM
Tour duration: 6 hours
Tour Prices: USD $60 adults (11+ years) / USD $50 children (4-10 years)
* Please note: Park entrance fee ($15 /person) is not included in the tour price. The Rincon de la Vieja National Park is closed on Mondays. However all of the rest of our tours operate every day