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 point-to-point horseback trail vacation that is not too strenuous, but with some fantastic horseback riding, swimming with the horses in crystal clear waters, and beach riding. Stay en-route in a selection of small hotels.
Experience the best of this exotic location with its sugar cane fields, mango and coconut plantations, and clear waterfalls. Try Coco Loco, the traditional rum based drink along with freshly prepared seafood on the beach, local merengue dancing and canters along the beach. Discover a new way of life and a different culture on this unmissable equestrian vacation
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 MS of Trondheim on 05/12/2023
Arrival in Dominican Republic and transfer to the hotel in Bavaro. There is time to relax and have a swim at the hotel before the welcome dinner and group meeting.
Day 2: Drive to the horse ranch for the first days riding (4-5 hours) Riders start the adventure with an introduction to the horses. and meeting the guide. The ranch is located in beautiful countryside with views of mangos, coconut trees, and tropical vegetation as far as the eye can see. The first ride is into the Yonu mountains, allowing riders the chance to really get to know their horses. Stop for lunch next to a small waterfall, In the afternoon there is time to swim in the river, sunbathe and relax before returning to the hotel in Bavaro for the night.
Day 3: Towards the mountains (5-6 hours of riding). Begin the day with breakfast followed by a car trip to where the horses were left to overnight. Today's ride is along long stretches of white sandy beach from Lavacama to Laguna Limon. Leave the horses and travel to overnight accommodation, Hotel Coco Loco (or similar), located close to the beach.
Day 4: El Cedro (4-5 hours of riding). Today trail takes riders through breathtaking views across miles of untamed jungle wilderness. Head inland along the small valley trails towards the village of El Cedro with its impressive waterfall . Return to hotel Coco Loco (or similar).
Day 5: Playa Esmeralda (5-6 hours of riding). Today is spent riding on powdery-white sandy beaches with long deserted stretches that are perfect for galloping. Swim with the horses in the sea before enjoying lunch and a rest. Arrive back at Hotel Coco Loco (or similar) for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 6: Beach riding (5 hours of riding). Riding pristine beaches is addictive, and today you will have the chance for more long gallops along the sand back to Lavacama. Today gives you everything you have ever dreamed of about beach riding! This is a long (approx. 5hr) ride with 2 breaks. There will be a possibility to swim in the ocean during the breaks.
Day 7: Riding in the mountains (4-5hours of riding). Today's route heads back into the hills with breathtaking views on the way back to Bavaro for the final night.
Day 8: Transfer to the airport after breakfast for the flight home.For the longer itinerary the first week is as above and continues on as follows:
Day 8: Ride on the Samana Peninsula
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 is committed to keeping off the mass tourism circuit. The peninsula is 1399 km², bigger than many of the small islands in the Caribbean. There is plenty to see in this ecological paradise,
Day 9: Day ride to the beautiful beaches of Playa Alleman and Playa El Limon, through forests and palm groves before crossing to ride along the Rio Abajo river. Lunch break and a refreshing swim. Ride back through the village of El Limon for an 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. Forbes magazine chose this hotel as one of the ten most beautiful destinations in the world for ecotourism. The National Park Los Haitises has mangrove swamps, islets, caves us lush vegetation and is a very special experience. It lies on a calcareous plateau which is overgrown with creepers and the high humidity promotes the growth of lush vegetation that offers a habitat to about 100 different bird species. There are plenty of activities at the hotel e.g. guided hikes, boat ride across the mangrove swamps to caves with rock paintings and the Humpback Whale in the Bay of Samaná (not included)
Day 12: Drive from Caño Hondo to Punta Cana, visit the small village of Miches or a small ranch to see how coffee and cocoa are produced.
Day 13: Transfer to the airport after breakfast for the 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.
The horses 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.
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.
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 locations. All rooms are en-suite. Most nights are at a good hotel in Bavaro, please be aware it is a 40min drive to the horses from the hotel. There is the option to stay at another hotel in Laguna Limon stage of the trip 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. Saddlebag lunches are light and delicious. 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 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.
All foreign and Dominican passengers entering or leaving Dominican Republic on commercial flights must complete the free electronic entry and exit form, which combines the Traveler’s Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration and International Embarkation/Disembarkation forms. The form is available through the following link:
Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly 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/dominican-republic
In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/DominicanRepublic.html
In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/dominican-republic
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.
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.
Health authorities have classified Dominican Republic as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.
Cases of chikungunya virus and dengue fever have been confirmed in Dominican Republic. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Tap water in the Dominican Republic is not potable and it is suggested you drink only bottled water.
Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in the Dominican Republic and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.
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).
Please take along sun cream and anti-allergy medicine for possible insect bites.
In Dominican Republic the supply voltage is 120V. If the appliance or its power supply are not dual voltage rated, the single voltage appliance will have to be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly (unless the appliance operates at 120V).
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)
Lipbalm with sunscreen
Camera, underwater camera a real plus for the crystal waters!
T-shirts and shorts
Lightweight long sleeved shirts
Sweater or sweatshirt
Informal wear for evenings
Plastic bag for wet clothing
Copy of passport
Additional passport photos
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.
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.
2023: 12 Aug; 23 Sept; 21 Oct; 18 Nov (FULL); 9 Dec.
2024: 6 Jan; 3 Feb; 16 Mar; 27 Apr; 25 May; 27 Jul, 10 Aug; 21 Sept; 19 Oct; 16 Nov; 12 Dec.
Other dates available on request for 2 or more riders, open all year except 12 Dec - 4 Jan.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,689|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||165|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||99|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||78|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||3,059|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||219|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||125|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||175|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||3,165|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||229|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||129|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||185|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,749|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||169|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||105|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||82|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,915|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||185|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||115|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||89|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||3,465|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||249|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||139|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||199|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||3,499|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||255|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||145|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||199|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,935|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||189|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||115|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||90|
|Riding days||Product item description||US $|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||2,229|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||219|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||129|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||105|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||4,035|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||289|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||165|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||229|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||4,179|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||299|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||169|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||239|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||2,309|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||225|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||135|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||109|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||22,159|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||2,155|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||1,299|
|2023 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||1,025|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||40,165|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||2,889|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||1,625|
|2023 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||2,289|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||double pp||41,589|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||single supplement||2,999|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||1,689|
|2024 13 days||13d/12n||9||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||2,379|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||double pp||22,969|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||single supplement||2,235|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 2 riders||1,345|
|2024 8 days||8d/7n||6||supplement pp for groups of 3 riders||1,069|
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.