Visit the Brazilian state of Alogas for an action-packed horse riding holiday with plenty of sun, surf, beach gallops and caipirinhas. This relatively unexplored region in Northern Brazil is home to spectacular beaches, lush jungle and picturesque villages. Join this 9-day trail along the tropical coastline on fit, Mangalarga horses.. Swimming, boat trips, authentic cuisine and wild-life filled lagoons combine to make this the quintessential Brazilian experience.
Expect delicious fare, including fresh seafood which this region is known for, while staying at friendly pousadas (Brazilian guesthouses) where a caipirinha is never far away.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from AH of Bury St Edmunds on 30/10/2023
Fly to Maceio, or alternatively fly to Rio and take a short connecting flight to Maceio, the capital of the Alogas region of Brazil. Once riders have checked in to the hotel, they will meet the guides for a full briefing on the upcoming adventure before enjoying relaxed first night welcome dinner with the group.
After breakfast, leave early to meet the horses at the beach of Jequiá. Once guests have been partnered with the ideal horse, the group set off for a relaxing riding day of around two hours to allow riders to get used to their horses. Ride the deserted beaches, flanked by cliffs of multicolored rocks and coconut trees. The destination is the Marapé dunes which lie between the river and the sea where the afternoon is spent exploring the the mangroves on a boat trip and a quick dip in the river before settling in to a local guesthouse for the evening.
Enjoy the view of the sand dunes over breakfast on the terrace before saddling the horses and setting off for another day exploring this tropical coastline. Ride along deserted beaches lined with coconut trees and appreciate the lush vegetation of the Atlantic rainforest. On this part of the trail guests will be able to see barrier reefs from the saddle. The destination today is the Pontal do Coruripe beach with its lighthouse. The warm, calm waters on this beach are perfect for a swim before a late lunch. Guests will stay overnight at another local Pousada.
Today's ride heads south towards Feliz Deserto (happy desert) and crosses the mouth of the river Coruripe before stopping to sample some of the tropical fruits and coconut water. The trail continues along the beach, through small villages and fisherman. Just before reaching the overnight spot, you will find at the Swiss Cargo shipwreck "The Stockholm" before checking into the
beach house at Feliz Deserto, the stop for the next two nights.
A ride of 28 kilometres today and around 6 hours in the saddle is today's agenda. Start the ride inland towards the Marituba wetlands, a protected area with a unique ecosystem. The group has time to wade or swim in these clear waters before enjoying lunch and a siesta before heading back to the beach house along with the chance of lots of beach galloping.
It is a short day in the saddle of around 2 hours today as the ride leaves Feliz Deserto toward the small fishing village of Pontal do Peba. There will be plenty of opportunities to swim in the sea and enjoy the local cuisine. Expect excellent fresh-caught seafood, the specialty of the region.
Today's route is from Pontal do Peba to the village of Bonito, ending at the overnight stop of Potengi. Explore this area of majestic sand dunes and ecological preservation on horseback. Spot the tropical birds, reptiles and mammals that make their home in these coconut groves and dunes. End the ride today at a traditional coconut farm before staying the night in a comfortable guesthouse.
The final riding day of the trail takes the group through a coconut forest until reaching a huge dune complex. Cross the dunes to the mouth of the São Francisco River, home of the quilombola community of Pixaim (a quilombo is a town of escaped slaves). Enjoy a final river swim before saying fond goodbyes to the horses, and hopping on a boat trip along the river. A seafood feast will be served in the shade of a coconut tree. Arrive late afternoon in the colonial town of Penedo to spend the evening in a comfortable hotel.
Guests can enjoy a lie-in today before exploring the baroque architecture of the colonial town of Penedo and indulge in one final lunch at a restaurant before departing back to Maceió.
Please do not book a return flight leaving Maceio before 8:00 PM (20:00hrs). Staying
an extra night In Maceio is sometimes the best / cheapest option (wide range of hotel choice) so you
can leave whenever suits on day 10. (Average price for an extra hotel night in Maceio is about
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
The horses on this trail are Mangalarga Marchador crossbreeds. These native horses are extremely responsive, calm and easy-going to ride. Their average height is 1.60m. The breed is the most popular breed in Brazil, and is known for its smooth gaits and stamina. Perfect for the trail! The riding style is the relaxed Gaúcho style, similar to western riding and trail riding.
The ride is suitable for intermediate to experienced riders who are confident on a horse at all paces. The pace is varied to include walk, trot, canter and gallop so riders must be confident riding at speed in open spaces. Together with the guide you will choose your horse according to your riding level, your height, weight, and preference.
The weight limit for this ride is 220 lb/100 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Accommodation on this trail is in authentic posadas, hotels, and two nights in a beach house. All the accommodation offered on the trail is cosy, comfortable and clean. Double or twin rooms are available in the pousadas and hotels whereas the beach house accommodation (2 nights) offers either double or triple rooms. Bathrooms are shared.
Brazil has a rich cuisine with a mixture of European, Indian, African and Asian cultures, This is reflected in the way the Brazilians cook. The cuisine is varied with the main dishes mostly feature rice and beans (Feijão) and sauces, with lots of meat or fish and salads. Each region has its own traditional dishes. As this trail meanders around the coastline the food is mainly fish and seafood, all fresh and locally sourced. Breakfast varies from place to place but guests can expect a selection of fresh, tropical fruits, yogurts and pastries.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.
NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.
Oct 2023 - Brazil reintroduces visa requirements for tourists from US, Australia, Canada, and Japan
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Brazil.
You can travel to Brazil without a visa as a tourist for up to 90 days; however Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.
Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.
In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/brazil
In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Brazil.html
In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/brazil
Maceió has a typical tropical climate, specifically a tropical monsoon climate with very warm to hot temperatures and high relative humidity throughout the year. However, these conditions are relieved by a near absence of extreme temperatures and trade winds blowing from the ocean. January is the warmest month, with mean maximum of 32 °C and minimum of 22 °C and more sun; July experiences the coolest temperatures, with mean maximum of 27 °C and minimum of 17 °C with more rain and much higher humidity.
As Maceio is surrounded by rainforest there is a lot of rain. The rainy season falls in the months: February, March, April, May, June, July, August and September. On average, May is the wettest month and November is the driest month.The average amount of annual precipitation is: 999.9 mm (39.37 in)
At Unicorn Trails, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance.
COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.
Tap water is heavily treated giving it an unpleasant chemical taste but is safe to drink in most urban areas providing it has been passed through a charcoal filter system; you should check with your hotel/restaurant management before drinking tap water. Tap water in remote areas can be unsafe even if filtered; stick to bottled mineral water, which is available virtually everywhere.
UK health authorities have classified Brazil as having a risk of Zika virus transmission and chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue are present.
Cases of dengue fever have increased, especially in the north, south-east and central-west of Brazil.
You should take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Brazil and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.
Brazil is one of the very few countries that do not have a standard mains voltage, but at the same time it has only one official type of socket. In other words, you cannot tell the difference between a 220 V and a 127 V socket. Most states use 127V electricity, but a couple of them are on 220 V. Make sure to check with your hotel or hosts when checking in.
We recommend that you bring all required equipment, including batteries with you when you arrive. There is limited mobile phone coverage on some parts of the trail. If you want to bring a GoPro please be advised that you will have to have permission from all other guests and guides that they are willing to be filmed.
• A sweater and a jacket
• 4 to 5 T-shirts or shirts. long-sleeved shirt is best. (Make sure you take at least 3 shirts with long sleeves!)
• Riding pants or jeans.
• Boots/riding shoes, with mini-chaps or long chaps. (Your boots/ shoes will/can be wet every day)
• Cotton socks
• A second pair of shoes for the evening
• Comfortable summer clothing
• One towel
• Sun Cream
• Anti-mosquito spray / lotion (very important!)
Please Note: It is recommended to put your luggage in travel bag instead of a hard suitcase. 10 bags are easier to get in the backup vehicle than 10 suitcases. (thanks!)
This is an 9 day/8 night programme with 7 days riding available on set dates.
2024: 12 Jan; 23 Feb; 7 Apr; 3 Oct; 17 Nov; 1 Dec
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- A Death in Brazil by Peter Robb - A perceptive portrait of the country as a whole - The Violent Land by Jorge Amado - A novel about the cacao wars in north eastern Brazil in the 20s. Reputed to be one of the greatest novels by Brazils best-selling author https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0FoaBy_MWI - A stunning short film from National Geographic on Brazil's modern day gauchos.
There are two boat trips included in this trail. One will explore the ecological preserve of the Marapé Dunes and the other is a boat tour of the San Francisco river. Both trips will provide opportunities for wildlife watching and photography.
There are many species of animals and plants living of this part of Brazil. Birds such as red-headed macaws, trogons, siriemas and corucacas and many others, are often seen. There are also azur blue jays, black birds (Gnorimopsar chopi) and coatis,capibaras (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) , crab-eating foxes (also interpreted as wild dogs, Pseudalopex gymnocercus ).
New species are continually being found in the Atlantic Forest. Between 1990 and 2006 over a thousand new flowering plants were discovered. Furthermore, in 1990 researchers re-discovered a small population of the black-faced lion tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara, previously thought to have been extinct. A new species of blonde capuchin (Cebus queirozi), named for its distinguishing bright blonde hair, was discovered in 2006.
Around 156,000 British nationals visit Brazil each year.