This trail is a point to point trail overnighting at a different carefully selected historic haciendas and hotels. Your host Juan-Alfonso has lived in the area all his life and is well acquainted with all the surrounding haciendas ensuring you are warmly received as honoured gusts everywhere. This ride is a great way to see the real Mexico; from family-run working cattle hacienda's, exploring the local scenery, heading through the mountains and stopping en-route in small historic towns and villages. One thing is for sure on this trail, the atmosphere will be fun with the tequila flowing, excellent Mexican food and superb riding!
The horses are Mexican Criollo and Quarter Horses; all well-mannered, sturdy and strong. There is a horse for everyone, some are laid-back whilst others are more sporty and forward-going. Riders must be at least at an intermediate level and be fit enough to handle a full days ride each day. A more luxurious version of this ride is available on request (overnighting at more upmarket hacienda's and hotels).
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 YM of Guildford on 06/02/2019
Arrive at the airport and transfer to your first hacienda. Guests arriving early in the morning will transfer to Cabanas Cabins Canada Verde with the rest of the day free. Guests arriving in the evening will transfer to Hotel Glow Piont. Dinner and overnight in the hacienda.
Breakfast in Cañada verde horses will be ready, ride to Sierra Alta Ranch around 3 to 4 hrs, riding along the trail, with nices places to canter, you will be climbing up the mountains, after you enter the Sierra Alta Ranch, you will be in trails all around lots of trees. Arrive in this Dude Ranch, with a nice house with a patio in the middle, rooms with chimney.Free time for a nice beer and Tequila.Dinner cook by one of our guides.Night in this Dude Ranch.
Option 2 on Day 2
Same itinerary, only ride back from Sierra Alta Ranch to Cañada verde, and stay the 2 night in Cañada verde, in case there is not availabity on Sierra alta ranch..
Breakfast in the ranch. Today you will ride in this ranch of 7000 hectars. amazing trails and views, you will have the opportunity to canter our horses and enjoy a nice ride with many trees. You will see the rocky formation of the Noun as it is locally name, continue riding in the trails of the ranch, you will see the Mirador a sightseeing place to admire an spectacular view of all the area of Lagos de Moreno and Leon, you will be at aprox 2700 mts above sea level. You will then continue riding and arrive in a nice place for your lunch; a Discada Vaquera, type of meal with beef, pork, chorizo, onion all cook together in a pam; will be prepare by Lupe our professional guide. Cold beer and red wine will be offered.Having a nice lunch in the Mountains with the other riding having fun is something you will always remember. In the evening you will ride from Sierra Alta and Sierra de Lobos Mountains to the area of Comanja after approx 2 hours you will arrive to the edge of the mountains, were we will start descending a nice trail used many years ago where the old pioneers used to take wood and charcoal to the cities. It’s a trail full of adventures with spectacular views of the Comanja area and mountains. You will arrive to the hotel Echological; a nice hotel in the Mountains, with a SPA, Temazcal, sauna, a small pound were you can fish, hike or climb a small rocky formation it’s in front of the hotel. Dinner in Echological and night in a Suite.
After breakfast in Echological you will prepare the horses for Today’s ride; ride to the mine of El Horcon. You will ride in the trails going towards Comanja, you will canter our horses a few times, you will pass by Hacienda La Ferreria where we will see the old Chimney. Then take the trail to the mine; nice trail with interesting sight, places to cantert, after a few hours, you will arrive at the Mine, our professional mine guide Ana will be there with helmets and lantern, so you can walk into the mine, in the old times the miners took iron and silver. You can walk inside the mine up to 3 km, normally you only go inside up to 600 meters.
After the visit, mount your horses and take the trail back to Comanja, where you will arrive to the Restaurant Hacienda Los Caballos, the owner a famous horse trainer call “Machin” in this small town, where he will offer us the lunch in his restaurant Hacienda Los Caballos, after lunch Machin will show you the horses he is training and hopefully he can give us a demonstration, after lunch you will continue riding towards Hacienda La Ferreria, a very old Furriery were they made the cancels of iron and steel for the Lagos manor houses, and churches. They have beautiful gardens at this hacienda, continue riding to Echological,
Dinner in a suite in Echological.
Breakfast in Echological
Today you continue riding in la Sierra, (Mountains) from Ecological Hotel you will ride to the town of Comanja. Then continue to ride with an spectacular views of the high mountains, passing a reservoir, you will be able to see amazing views of the mountains of la Sierra alta (the high sierra) after riding along a road we will have the opportunity to canter in some parts of the road, then you will ride cross country in a narrow rocky trail, very interesting it’s also to see how the vegetation is changing, more cactus, in some parts the adventure the horses have to go along some small rocks and going down to creeks, you will see the reservoir of La Sauceda, you will continue riding all the way approx 5 hours total and arrive to Hacienda San Bernardo where a cold beer and a excellent tequila will be waiting for you to refresh, you will have a homemade lunch, specialties from this Hacienda. After lunch you will visit the Hacienda and the corrals, stables, this hacienda is a cattle ranch with a big old barn called trojes. Free evening for resting, dinner and night in Hacienda San Bernardo
Breakfast in the Hacienda San Bernardo you will ride thorough La Sauceda reservoir, then continue riding you will pass a small village where you will be able to stop for a cold beer or a soda, you will cross the main road and continue in the Camino de Arrieros, you will pass by Hacienda La Galera, then pass El Tlacualeche reservoir after continue riding besides the water, you will see Hacienda La Troje, then you will arrive in Hacienda La Troje to visit this charming Hacienda. Continue riding to arrive in Hacienda San Cirilo; a warm welcome by the owners of this Hacienda Equestrian centre. This hacienda has been refurnished by this entrepeneur couple. They also have a workshop of leather products as Chaps, Belts, saddles, etc, interesting to see how they made the leather products handmade, very artistic. Dinner in San Cirlo
Breakfast in the Hacienda San Cirlo, load the horses in the Trailer and drive 35 min
Today you will ride in Sabindas Ranch a huge ranch with lots of adventures, if you are lucky will meet Mr Ernesto Serrano the owner, he will give you a warm welcome, here there is some nice riding in this spectacular ranch, with nice trails, cross country you will visit the dam of Sabindas, after a couple hours more riding you will get back to the ranch and have a superb lunch, normally Lupe our guide cooks and give our riders the best of the culinary experience of the Mexican BBQ. After lunch you will load the horses in the Trailer and drive to Hacienda Tlalixcoyan. Visit the Hacienda who has been on the Gomez Portugal Family for more than 400 years. Continue in the car and drive to Hacienda Sepulveda this evening and night will ne spent in this very nice Hotel & SPA.
A nice Breakfast will be served in Mamalena restaurant, then saddle horses to Ride to Hacienda San Cayetano continue Ride to The Canyon of the Alcazar, Cross country ride with lots of adventures ascending and then descending the hills riding through the Canyon, you will see the cows and bulls, the owners of this Hacienda will receive us with a courtesy drink and snacks, in the evening, after a snack with a good beer, wine or Tequila, Pita the owner will tell you about the Equinotherapy, she has been doing this for the last 20 years, it’s interesting to know more about it with this friendly family listen to music while enjoying the ambience of the hacienda. Get back to the horses because you are almost finishing your holiday, so after approx a hour riding arrive in Hacienda Sepulveda, enjoy SPA and hotel facilities
Farewell dinner in the Corral, or restaurant.
Night in a suite Hotel Hacienda Sepulveda
Option B in Day 8
Ride form Hacienda Sepulveda to La Herencia, Ecuestrian center,
You will have the opportunity to do some team penning or take a roping lessons, ride in the arena and maybe improve your riding skills. You will meet Eugenio Macias, a local horse trainer know for its Natural Horsemanship techniques, we will do a demonstration to our riders. Lunch with Eugenio and local cowboys and riders in this Equestrian center, a nice beef will be made on the grill. Optional After lunch visit The town of Lagos de Moreno, Shopping and city tour. Back in car to hacienda Sepulveda. Free evening to enjoy SPA and hotel facilities
Night in Hacienda Sepulveda.
Breakfast in Hacienda Sepulveda
Enjoy the morning in this Hacienda, who has been award to be one of the best Hotel Hacienda’s in Mexico by Travel & Leisure magazine,
Transfer to the airport
This itinerary is to your guidance and may be subject to change.
New Year Ride
Arrive in the morning and transfer from the airport to Hacienda Jaramillo. Meet the horses and ride from Hacienda Jaramillo to Comanja. Visit Hacienda La Ferreria and enjoy dinner at Hacienda Los Caballos. Overnight at Cañada Verde, with the evening free to relax.
Ride from Cañada Verde to the mine of Horcon, then continue to Comanja Viejo and stay overnight at an eco lodge.
From the eco lodge ride to Sierra Alta Las Antenas for lunch. Return to the same ecolodge for the evening.
Ride to Sierra Alta and stop for lunch, then continue to Hacienda Vergel de la Sierra.
From Vergel de la Sierra, ride to El Cantil for some wine- and mezcal-tasting. Ride back to Vergel de la Sierra for the evening.
Ride from Vergel de la Sierra to Comanja, where the horses are loaded into the trailer. Drive to Hotel Hacienda Sepulveda for the evening.
Ride out from Hacienda Sepulveda to Hacienda San Cayetano , returning for a special New Year’s dinner.
Ride from Hacienda Sepulveda to La Herencia equestrian center. Leave the horses here and visit the town of Lagos de Moreno. Look around the shops before returning to Hacienda Sepulveda for the evening.
Transfer to airport and fly home.
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.
Sons of the Shaking Earth - Eric Wolf. A wonderfully readable introduction to Mexican history.
The Maya (Ancient Peoples and Places) - Michael D Coe
Aztecs: An Interpretation - Inga Clendinnen. A fascinating, thought-provoking and vividly dramatic look into the heart of Aztec society.
Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans - Alan Riding, is an excellent guide to understanding modern Mexico and its love-hate relationship with the United States.
So Far So God: A Journey to Central America - Patrick Marnham. A vivid account of a trip from California, through Mexico to the badlands of Central America. The title comes from the saying 'Poor Mexico! So far from God, so close to the United States.'
Like Water For Chocolate - Laura Esquivel. This book created a huge interest in things Mexican when it was published in 1989. Set in rural Mexico at the time of the revolution, the novel manages to combine fantasy with recipes.
All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy. A poetic tale of three young latter-day cowboys riding south of the border.
European novelists have long been attracted by Mexico. Graham Greene's 1930s travelogue The Lawless Roads and his great novel The Power and the Glory; Aldous Huxley's Beyond the Mexique Bay and DH Lawrence's burdensome The Plumed Serpent, which is intent on asking all the big questions about Mexican life.
The Mango Orchard: The extraordinary true story of a family lost and found A young Englishman who travelled in Columbia, Guatemala and Mexico, in part to trace the fascinating story of his great grandfather's adventures in Central America a century ago. There is a great twist at the end, which we won't spoil.
Of course a mandatory copy of Lonely Plant Guide is invaluable.
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 used on this trail are mainly Quarter horses and Mexican Criollo, they are fit, responsive and willing ranging from 15hh - 16.2hh. The tack utilised on trail is mainly Mexican although there are 2 Western and 2 English saddles available too upon request. Mexican Charro saddles differ slightly from Western as they have wider horns at the front and 2 grips at the back which were traditional used to help the Charro riders hold on during Charreadas (rodeos). The rides tend to start at 10am with a break for lunch after around 3 or 4 hours. In the afternoon there is then 2 or 3 hours of riding. There is 1 guide to 5 riders. Minimum age 14.
This trail is suited to intermediate riders who are happy and secure in walk, trot and canter. Experience over rough terrain is also beneficial, as is controlling a horse in open spaces. Riders should be fit and ready for the 4-6 hours of riding per day.
Riders are not required to groom and tack-up their horse and help with feeding etc but can do so if they wish.
The weight limit for this ride is 19 st/264 lb/120 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
The hotels and B&B's used have been chosen for their charm and quintessential Mexican atmosphere, from the colonial style architecture to the warm hospitality and excellent food. On several nights riders will be hosted by the owners of the hacienda's, giving a real insight into true Mexico and making them feel part of the family. Bedrooms throughout the trail have twin or double beds with private bathrooms. Other facilities include sitting rooms and verandahs and there are swimming pools on some nights.
Breakfast is a big occasion in Mexico and guests are invited to help prepare their own breakfasts if they like, such as 'Chilaquiles' which are tortilla chips with tomato sauce, cheese and sour cream or 'Molletas' which is bread with beans, ham and cheese. You will also find eggs cooked to your liking, bacon, cake and a selection of juices such as orange, lime, watermelon, carrot, pear, papaya and pineapple. Lunches may be a saddlebag picnic depending on your chosen activity and there is often a BBQ lunch or dinner with a variety of grilled meats as well as fresh salads and vegetables. Drinks during meals can be put onto a tab and paid at the end of the day or holiday. Meal timings are roughly based on the following: Breakfast; 7:30 to 9:30am, lunch 2:30 to 4:30pm and dinner, 8:00 to 10:00pm.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the 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 on request.
At the time of going to print visas are not required for UK passport holders, check www.fco.gov.uk or call on 0207 008 0232/0233 for up to date travel advice.
In Mexico City the UK high commission is at Rio Lerma 71, Col Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico City, Rio Lerma 71,Col Cuauhtémoc ,06500 México City. Tel: (52) (55) 5242 8500 Fax: (52) (55) 5242 8517.
The Mexican Embassy in the U.K is at 16 St George Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1LX. Tel: 020 7499 8586 Fax: 020 7495 4035 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This ride boasts year-round good weather with an average of around 22 celsius in the daytime. January and December can be chilly in the early mornings and evenings. The rainy season is July to September with the rain mostly coming at night and it can be humid at this time of year.
At Unicorn Trails, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance. While cases of the Zika Virus remain predominantly in Brazil and Ecuador, there have been reports of cases in Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cape Verde.
Whilst the symptoms of the Zika Virus are usually mild, customers are recommended to take the strict insect bite avoidance measures. This is particularly relevant if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, suffer from a severe, chronic medical condition, or have a medical condition that weakens your immune system.
Customers due to travel to the affected areas should monitor the World Health Organisation website for further updates and advice.
Customers planning to become pregnant should discuss travel plans with a healthcare provider to assess the risk of infection and receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures.
Customers who are already pregnant should inform their obstetrician or midwife if they have recently travelled to a country where Zika is known to occur.
Although there are no compulsory vaccinations it is recommended you see your local doctor for up to date information. Air pollution in Mexico City is extremely high between November and February. Water must be purified or boiled.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org. You can also check the Department of Healths website at www.dh.gov.uk.
There are no specific health requirements in the area of the ride although do remember sun block!
110V, 60Hz as in the USA, appliances may require an adaptor before being pugged in as well as an international adapter. Check the voltage inout of the appliance.
Film/batteries and camera equipment are available in Lagos de Moreno but we advise to take along plenty just in case. Digital camera's can be charged overnight with suitable adaptors (US style). There is mobile phone reception at Hacienda Supluveda but there are parts of the trail where there is none.
There is free internet access at Hacienda Supulveda.
Riding boots and optional chaps
Sun hat or cap
Handkerchief or bandana (for neck)
Comfortable shoes for after riding
Jacket for cool evenings/mornings during January and December
• Valid passport international
• Recommended Currency: Mexican Pesos
• Personal medication and toiletries
• Travel Journal Guides, etc...
This is a 9 day/8 night programme with 7 days riding available year-round, dates on request for 2 or more.
2019: 15 Feb; 8, 29 Mar; 10 May; 8, 25 Jun: 19 July; 2 Aug; 1, 20 Sept; 11 Oct; 6, 22 Nov; 8, 20, 27 Dec.
Other dates available upon request for 4 or more riders.
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Sons of the Shaking Earth, by Eric Wolf, is a wonderfully readable introduction to Mexican history. Mexico and The Maya, by Michael D Coe, Aztecs, by Inga Clendinnen, is a fascinating, thought-provoking and vividly dramatic look into the heart of Aztec society. Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans, by Alan Riding, is an excellent guide to understanding modern Mexico and its love-hate relationship with the United States. So Far from God: A Journey to Central America, by Patrick Marnham, is a vivid account of a trip from California, through Mexico to the badlands of Central America. The title comes from the saying 'Poor Mexico! So far from God, so close to the United States.' Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate created a huge interest in things Mexican when it was published in 1989. Set in rural Mexico at the time of the revolution, the novel manages to combine fantasy with recipes. Cormac McCarthy's marvelous All the Pretty Horses is a poetic tale of three young latter-day cowboys riding south of the border. European novelists have long been attracted by Mexico Graham Greene's 1930s travelogue Lawless Roads and his great novel The Power and the Glory; Aldous Huxley's Beyond the Mexique Bay; and DH Lawrence's burdensome The Plumed Serpent, which is intent on asking all the big questions about Mexican life. Of course a mandatory copy of Lonely Planet guide is invaluable. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit
Other activities arranged on some of the hacienda's: fishing, bird watching, hiking, games, painting and pottery. There is always something else to take part in in addition to the riding!
Wildlife which may be spotted during the trail: deer, coyote, wild cats, raccoon and armadillo. Local flora includes, amongst others: cacti, nopal, organo, bisnaga, mezquite, pirul, encinos, robles, pine and oaks.
Horses are a big industry in the area of Lagos de Moreno; it is known as being the capital of the Quarter Horse in Mexico and is a very important region with around 700 horses in training. The Charreada, a competition similar to that of a rodeo and Mexico's national sport first began in Lagos and it is said that the first Vaqueros (cowboys) who travelled to California were from Lagos.
Mexico is a vast country. The Sierra Madre and Rocky Mountains run south from the border with the US. The interior consists of an elevated plateau. Northern Mexico is dry and desert-like, while the south is mountainous jungle containing the ruins of ancient Mayan and Aztec city complexes. These indigenous civilizations are credited with many inventions including: building pyramid-temples, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, highly-accurate calendars, fine arts, intensive agriculture, engineering, an abacus calculation, a complex theology, and the wheel. Without any draft animals the wheel was used only as a toy. The only metals they apparently knew how to use were native copper and gold.
The people of Mexico today are a mixture of descendants from Spanish and other immigrants, mainly Europeans, who settled in Mexico from the sixteenth century onwards, and mestizos - mixed European and indigenous ancestry, as well as the many indigenous groups. It is a nation where affluence, poverty, natural splendour and urban blight rub shoulders. It is also one of the worlds most bio-diverse countries with an incredible and colourful array of fauna and fauna.
Mexico is six to eight hours behind GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code is +52.