On the beach
Riding through the villages
Local trasport with baskets
Scenery on the ride
horse in sea
horses in sea
house
island
dinner!
green fields
gauchos
local transport!
crystal waters
swimming with the horses
swimming
village life
waterfall
jump!
galloping on the beach
cattle
countryside
boat
enjoying the surf
beach riding

The Dominican Republic is well known for its white sandy beaches, towering palm trees, fascinating history, vibrant culture and adventure tourism. Here we offer a real riders itinerary, a point to point trail, not too strenuous but with some fantastic riding, swimming with your horses in crystal clear waters and beach riding. En route you’ll stay in a combination of small hotels.

You’ll have a chance to experience the best of this exotic location: tropical surroundings with sugar cane fields, mango and coconut plantations, clear waterfalls, the local coco loco rum based drink, cuisine like freshly grilled fish, octopus or shrimp on the beach, local merengue dancing and canters along the beach.

Discover a new way of life and a different culture on this unmissable adventure.

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 JS of Hartley Wintney on 14/11/2018

Ride Summary
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Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

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Meals

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Miscellaneous

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Day 1
Arrival in Dominican Republic and transfer to your hotel in Bavaro. There is time to relax and have a swim at the hotel before the welcome meeting and group dinner. 

Day 2
Drive to the horse ranch for the first days riding (4-5 hours).

Here you will start the adventure with an introduction to the horses. You will meet your guide who will accompany you while you are riding. The ranch is located in the countryside, and you will enjoy the reality of the countryside, as far as the eye can see, mangos, coconut trees, and tropical vegetation. The first ride is 4 hours long and takes you into the Yonu mountains, giving you the chance to really get to know your horse. You will stop for lunch next to a river with a small waterfall, where you will be able to have a swim. In the afternoon there is time to swim in the river, sunbathe and relax before returning to the hotel in Bavaro for overnight.

Day 3
Towards the mountains (5-6 hours of riding). 

You will begin the day with breakfast followed by a car journey to get back to where you left the horses overnight. Today you will ride along long stretches of white sandy beach from Lavacama to Laguna Limon. Leave the horses and travel to overnight accommodation, Hotel Coco Loco, located close to the beach.
 
Day 4
El Cedro (4-5 hours of riding). 

Today there will breath taking views across miles of untamed jungle wilderness. You will ride out once again inland along the small valley trails towards the village called El Cedro and the impressive waterfall of the same name. The overnight stay is same as the night before, at hotel Coco Loco.

Day 5
Playa Esmeralda (5-6 hours of riding). 

Today is a full day of riding on powdery-white sandy beaches. There is a long deserted stretch perfect for galloping, this is truly one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. You can swim with the horses in the sea and during lunch you will have time to sunbathe. After a long and exciting day you will arrive at Hotel Coco Loco for dinner and an overnight stay. 

Day 6
Beach riding (5 hours of riding). 

Riding on the pristine beaches is addictive and today you will have the chance for more long gallops along the sand back to Lavacama. The group can spread out across the sand and really allow their horses to gallop. Today gives you everything you have ever dreamed of about beach riding! This is a long (approx. 5 hours) ride with 2 breaks.  There will be a possiblity to swim in the ocean during the breaks. 

Day 7
Riding in the mountains (4-5hours of riding). 

Today you will ride back into the hills  with breathtaking views. Return to the airport in Bavaro for the final night. 

Day 8
Transfer to the airport after breakfast for your flight home.

For the longer itinerary the first week is as above and continues on as follows:

Day 8
Ride on the Samana Peninsula, ride in the evening sun.

Transfer to the Samaná Peninsula is one of the most beautiful regions of the Dominican Republic and one of the best kept secrets of the island. Samaná is the most important city in the region and has committed itself from the outset to individual tourism and away from mass tourism. The peninsula is 1399 km² , than many of the small islands in the Caribbean. In this ecological paradise, there is plenty to see, for example, the world's largest coconut plantation.
Today we enjoy a ride in the evening sun.

Day 9
Day ride to the beautiful, secluded beaches of Playa Alleman and Playa El Limon. On a trail through forests and palm groves we cross the river of El Limon and ride along the Rio Abajo river. Lunch break at a river where we can enjoy a refreshing swim. Riding back through the village of El Limon. We climb a hill from where we enjoy a great view. In the afternoon transfer to Las Galeras.

Day 10
Half day ride to Playa Madame, afternoon free.

Day 11
Ferry ride from Sabana de la Mar to the hotel Caño Hondo in the rainforest. The magazine Forbes chose this hotel in National Park as one of the ten most beautiful destinations in the world for ecotourism. The National Park Los Haitises with its mangrove swamps, islets, caves us lush vegetation is a very special experience. It lies on a calcareous plateau which is overgrown with creepers. The high humidity promotes the growth of lush vegetation that offers a habitat to about 100 different bird species. At Caño Hondo various outdoor activities on land or boat are available (not included), e.g. guided hikes, boat ride across the mangrove swamps to caves with rock paintings and the Humpback Whale in the Bay of Samaná.

Day 12
Drive from Caño Hondo to Punta Cana, visit the small village of Miches or a small ranch where we see how coffee and cocoa are produced.

Day 13
Transfer to the airport after breakfast for your flight home.

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.

Horses & Riding

The horses used for the tour are primarily Dominican Republic Criollo and some crosses, a breed that is exceptionally rugged, well mannered and responsive. The horses are well suited to the trails of their area. The Criollo horses often have smooth trots that are traditionally ridden sitting and not rising. There are 2 western saddles for the larger horses and the rest use wintec English style saddles. The horses are Western trained and so respond to neck reining and shifts in weight. The pace varies from walking in steeper and hiller bits to as wanted on the wide open beaches. The horses are good natured and capable with an excellent work ethic.


Rider requirements

Riders should be comfortable spending between 3 and 5 hours a day in the saddle. The pace varies from steady in the hillier parts to opportunities for fast canters and gallops on the beach. Riders must be over 12 years of age and be capable of controlling a horse at a walk, trot and canter.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

The accommodation is in small hotels and guest houses with character and great settings. All nights are en-suite. Most nights are at a good hotel in Bavaro, please be aware it is a 40min drive to the horses from here. There is the option in the middle of the ride to stay at another hotel in Laguna Limon which is much closer to the horses. This hotel is in a more rural location and close to the beach but is also more basic than the hotel in Bavaro.



This ride is not a gastronomic experience but generally the food is plentiful and wholesome, full board is included. A typical breakfast will include tea coffee, toast, fried eggs, fruits, juice Lunches are light and delicious, taken in saddlebags. Care is taken to offer traditional meals from local produce. A typical dinner would be freshly caught grilled fish with mixed vegetables followed by dulce (something sweet).


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

British Citizens travelling to the Dominican Republic for tourism don’t need a visa.

As of April 2018, the tourism entry tax (previously known as a tourist card) is no longer collected upon arrival and should be included in your air fare. Contact your airline or tour operator if you’re unsure whether you have already paid this fee. The Dominican Republic Embassy website has more information.

On arrival you will normally be granted a 30-day stay. This can be extended to 120 days by paying for an extension when you leave the country. This can be done online at the Dominican Directorate General for Migration website or at the airport on departure. If you’re planning to stay for longer, seek advice from a local lawyer or contact the local Immigration authorities.

As a foreign national you will be required to give your fingerprints and have a photograph taken in order to enter the Dominican Republic.

You must carry a photocopy of your identification (such as a passport), a copy of your entry stamp and proof of onward or return travel at all times, so that you can produce them if you’re asked to do so by the authorities.

Proof of onward or return travel
You may be refused entry if you don’t have proof of onward or return travel.

E-Ticket
All travellers will need to fill in the online entry form before travel to the Dominican Republic, which includes the COVID Traveller’s Health Affidavit, the Customs Declaration and the International Boarding / Disembarking forms and can be completed via the Dominican Republic’s Electronic Ticket Portal, before your journey.

If you would like to get your visa in advance you can go to the Dominican Republic Embassy:
Embassy of the Dominican Republic
139 Inverness Terrace
Bayswater
London W2 6JF

www.dominicanembassy.org.uk

Climate Summary

Except in the central mountains, temperatures don’t vary much in the Dominican Republic, averaging a summery 81ºF (28ºC) to 87ºF (31ºC) in most places for much of the year. Tropical humidity can make the temperatures feel higher, though sea breezes help mitigate the effect. The rainy season is May to October, though in Samaná and on the north coast it can last until December. August and September constitute hurricane season.

Climate Chart

Health

At Unicorn Trails, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance.
You should be aware that Dominican medical facilities, especially near the border with Haiti, have been under extreme pressure since the earthquake on 12 January.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Dominican Republic and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Private medical facilities in Dominican Republic offer reasonable to very good standards of services. However, other than primary care in public hospitals the public health service is not deemed to be adequate so you need fully comprehensive travel insurance in case you need to be medically evacuated in an emergency. Dentistry is adequate. A good range of across the counter medicines is available, including some normally only available on prescription in the UK (usually generic brands).

Malaria is present within the Dominican Republic and there have been occasional outbreaks, mainly in the border regions with Haiti. Rabies is also present, with 95 cases of the disease being reported in animals in 2008, and 381 cases in 2009.

Dengue Fever is common to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year. There has been a marked increase in the number of reported cases of dengue in the Dominican Republic, including a number of deaths. The highest number of cases in the Dominican Republic usually occurs in the hot season from May to November. Dengue Fever is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquitoes. Protective measures against mosquito bites are recommended. There is no vaccine to prevent Dengue Fever, which has severe flu-like symptoms and can sometimes be fatal (Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever). If you do fall ill you should seek immediate medical advice.

Electricity

Electricity runs at 110 volts at 60 hertz (cycles), which is also the standard for the United States and North America. Outlets will also come in the standard U.S. two and three pin plugs. Travelers coming from Europe or the Pacific will need to bring voltage converters and plug adapters in order to be able to use their appliances.

Packing List

Riding trousers - jeans or breeches
Riding boots or sneakers (need to have a heel and be comfortable for hiking)
Hard hat (recommended)
Riding hat with brim
Half chaps (optional)
Riding gloves
Sunglasses
Sunblock
Insect repellent
Lipbalm with sunscreen
Personal toiletries
Medications
Camera, underwater camera a real plus for the crystal waters!
T-shirts and shorts
Binoculars (recommended)
Lightweight long sleeved shirts
Sweater or sweatshirt
Informal wear for evenings
Plastic bag for wet clothing
Lightweight rainwear
Copy of passport

Additional passport photos
*Swimsuit
Beach towel
Wearing a waist pouch is a handy method for keeping items such as camera and lipbalm readily accessible.

It is recommended that you bring clothing that will air dry very quickly.

*Riders may want to bring two swimming suits as they often opt to wear the swimming suit under the riding clothes each day.
Laundry can be done along the way for a reasonable fee.

Items provided
Ponchos
Water Bottles
Saddle Bags


Programmes

This programme is available as 8 days/7 nights with 6 days riding or 13 days/12 nights with 9 days riding on set dates. Additional dates available on request for groups of two or more.

Departure Dates

2022: 13 Aug; 24 Sept; 15 Oct; 12 Nov; 3 Dec.
2023: 7 Jan; 4 Feb; 25 Mar; 29 Apr; 27 May; 24 Jun; 22 Jul; 12 Aug; 23 Sept; 21 Oct; 18 Nov; 9 Dec.
Other dates available on request for 2 or more riders, open all year except 12 Dec - 4 Jan.

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2022 8 days8d/7n6double pp1,659
2022 8 days8d/7n6single supplement165
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders99
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders76
2022 13 days13d/12n9double pp3,009
2022 13 days13d/12n9single supplement219
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders119
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders169
2023 8 days8d/7n6double pp1,745
2023 8 days8d/7n6single supplement169
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders105
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders81
2023 13 days13d/12n9double pp3,165
2023 13 days13d/12n9single supplement229
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders129
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders179
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2022 8 days8d/7n6double pp1,819
2022 8 days8d/7n6single supplement179
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders109
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders84
2022 13 days13d/12n9double pp3,295
2022 13 days13d/12n9single supplement239
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders135
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders189
2023 8 days8d/7n6double pp1,915
2023 8 days8d/7n6single supplement185
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders115
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders89
2023 13 days13d/12n9double pp3,465
2023 13 days13d/12n9single supplement249
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders139
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders199
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2022 8 days8d/7n6double pp1,865
2022 8 days8d/7n6single supplement185
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders115
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders86
2022 13 days13d/12n9double pp3,379
2022 13 days13d/12n9single supplement245
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders135
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders195
2023 8 days8d/7n6double pp1,959
2023 8 days8d/7n6single supplement189
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders115
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders91
2023 13 days13d/12n9double pp3,555
2023 13 days13d/12n9single supplement255
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders145
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders205
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2022 8 days8d/7n6double pp20,319
2022 8 days8d/7n6single supplement1,975
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders1,219
2022 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders929
2022 13 days13d/12n9double pp36,829
2022 13 days13d/12n9single supplement2,659
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders1,475
2022 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders2,089
2023 8 days8d/7n6double pp21,365
2023 8 days8d/7n6single supplement2,079
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 2 riders1,255
2023 8 days8d/7n6supplement pp for groups of 3 riders989
2023 13 days13d/12n9double pp38,725
2023 13 days13d/12n9single supplement2,789
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 3 riders1,569
2023 13 days13d/12n9supplement pp for groups of 2 riders2,209
Other Activities

There is a fantastic variety of other activities on offer in Dominican Republic you may want to stay and take advantage of. Our host will help you with maps and suggestions during free time at the end of the ride. Some of the opportunities include:
a visit to the Island Saona, snorkelling in Catalina Island, shopping in Bavaro, fishing. All these activities are not included in the ride price.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ)
Transfer:
Included from Punta Cana (20 mins). Transfers from La Romana or Santo Domingo are also possible for an extra charge.
Flight Guide:
London - Punta Cana return £750 - £950.
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