Cowboys riding on the ranch
Friesian horses on the ranch
Riding with the mountains
Riding out in Mexico
Out on the trail in Mexico
Views over the countryside
Riding through the woods
One of the Friesian stallions
Maya, one of the horses at the ranch
A horse at the ranch
Outside of the ranch
Jacuzzi at the ranch
Standard twin room
Standard double room
Suite
Master suite
Buffet dinner at the ranch

Just a short drive from Mexico City, this 50-year old equestrian ranch offers the perfect getaway, At 2700m above sea level, and set in a small town between the many inactive volcanoes that dot the region, the ranch offers spectacular views, numerous trails and paths that are perfect for both horseback riding and other outdoor activities. The rides offered at this ranch are suitable for confident novices to expert horseback riders and can be tailored to suit guests' preferences, from a 1-hour hack, to all day horseback rides for the most experienced riders.

Offering all-inclusive lodging, guests at the ranch can enjoy home-cooked Mexican cuisine, complimentary beer and wine, a heated swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, and, of course, all the horses and equestrian trails. There is a choice of rooms, from a comfortable twin to a master suite with private Jacuzzi. It is an ideal destination for groups of horseback riders who want an authentic, relaxed Mexican horse ranch experience, there is no set itinerary and guests can decide how much they want to ride and how much time to spend relaxing with other activities.

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 GW of Safety Harbor florida on 07/01/2020

Ride Summary
I had the trip of a lifetime. I highly recommend this vacation. I was the only guest and treated like family!!!
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
Rural, up and down on rocky trails in the mountains
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed your holiday! :)

Below is a sample itinerary for a 4-night stay at the ranch. Itineraries at this destination can be tailored to guests preferences and length of stay. The minimum stay is one night.

Day 1
Guests will be met at Mexico City airport (MEX) and driven straight to the ranch. Take a tour around the ranch and it's huge array of facilities and meet the horses, or maybe have a margarita and wait for a delicious, buffet-style dinner. The menus change daily, and local specialties like cheese-stuffed huauzontles and creamy salmon with chipotle are specialties. Quality wines are always served with lunch and dinner.

Day 2
Enjoy a short 2-3 hour ride in the morning. The route climbs a hill where there are usually hundreds of goats and sheep grazing in the lush grass. After lunch, ride to a nearby volcano for an impressive view over Mexico City.

Day 3
Now that riders are comfortable with the horses on shorter rides, try a half-day in the saddle on a 5-hour trail to a hidden village called Capulín, and the chance to try a locally prepared beverage called Conejo, or maybe just an ice-cold cerveza. This beautiful village only has about 300 inhabitants, and the nearest city is about 2 hour drive away. Keep an eye open for a herd of wild horses on the way.

Day 4
Take a 4-5 hour ride to an enormous inactive volcano with views all the way back to the ranch. Now that riders are accustomed to the altitude, the route climbs even higher. The effort is rewarded with spectacular views from the top of this volcano. After lunch, visit downtown Ajusco for some shopping and sightseeing, or just skip a day of riding and do an excursion to one of the many sights in Mexico City.

Day 5
After breakfast, guests with early departures will be driven to the airport on request. For those with late, or evening departures, there is a chance for another short ride before your transfer. Lunch and dinner will be provided according to your departure schedule.

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 ranch is well-known for having many breeds, some are suitable for long hours of riding. The Friesian horses, for which the ranch is famous, can only be used in the paddock and on short rides (less than two hours) as they are very heavy horses that get tired easily; they are not made for cantering in the fields. However, for longer rides there are plenty of other horses to choose from including well-schooled horses perfect for riding. There are Quarter Horses, Friesian, Percheron-Quarter cross, Canadian Warmblood, Tennessee-Arabian mix, Pure Spanish and Gypsy horses ranging from 14hh to 15.3hh (140-160cm).



The warmblood, quarters and criollos are more suitable for long trails in the mountainous areas surrounding the ranch. Usually when out on a ride, the guides mostly walk because the terrain is very varied from ups and downs to open fields. There are no strict rules at this ranch, you don't have to stay behind the guides, or in a formal order. If you want to canter, you will be shown the perfect places to do so and there are many open and straight places suitable for faster riding.



Guests decide how much or how little to ride each day. Generally rides head out after breakfast on a 3-hour route, and again for a few hours after lunch - or just relax by the pool or in the games room. The riding trails range from 2 to 12 hour rides, and many take place within the beautiful Ajusco National Park which is characterised by Pine-Oak forests and high mountain grassland.


Rider requirements

The ranch's wranglers are responsible for all aspects of horse-care and you will be able to just turn up and ride. If you want to assist with grooming and tacking up your horse you are very welcome to. Riders need to be over 15 years old, be riding fit, and weigh no more than 210 lbs (95 kgs). If joining one of the longer rides you should be prepared to spend up to six hours in the saddle.

This ranch can cater for all levels, from confident novice onwards, and the riding can be somewhat tailored to guests preferences up to a maximum of 6 hours per day. The pace of riding is generally varied. Depending on the terrain, some rides are mainly walking but there are beautiful open fields made for cantering and galloping. Riders can get up to 4000m above sea level and although there are some small and narrow paths that are not made for cantering, the views are absolutely stunning from all the surrounding volcanoes and mountains. The ranch uses Western or Mexican Charro saddles most of the time although some English, Australian, Galapagos and sidesaddles are also available.

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 ranch was built more than 50 years ago as a weekend getaway for its owners. It is an authentic Mexican ranch complete with rustic furniture and local designs. The rooms and suites have all been recently remodeled while keeping the authentic Mexican atmosphere.



There are 3 kinds of rooms at the ranch, two classic rooms that have their own private bathroom, bathrobe, safety-deposit boxes, conditioner, shampoo, joined balcony with a view to the stables, sitting area, extra blankets and more. These classic rooms are included in the standard rate. Alternatively guests can book into a suite which has its own patio with sitting area, extra closet space and a bigger inside-sitting area than the classic bedrooms. The bathroom is also more spacious than in the classic rooms. Finally, the master suite upstairs has its own balcony with a great view at sunrise towards Mexico City. For more privacy, it is possible to have breakfast or dinner on the terrace. This suite can accommodate 4 people and it has two bathrooms, a spacious closet and a private jacuzzi.



Each room is equipped with bathrobes, hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, sewing kits, shoe polish kits, individual soaps, safe etc. There is WiFi available in every room. There is no air-conditioning in the bedrooms because it is rarely needed at the altitude the ranch is at, but each room has its own heater. The ranch has extensive facilities such as a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, two open bars and a pool table. There are also squash, basketball, volleyball and football courts.



All the meals are served buffet-style and the ranch can cater for various dietary requirements with advance notice. Breakfast could be two or three seasonal fruits, yogurt, granola, fresh juice, coffee or tea. Lunch might be a green salad and warm vegetables to start, like spinach or corn, with cheese or something similar. For the main course meat (can be pork, beef or chicken) and fish (specially prepared salmon or fillets), pasta, rice, beans, corn chips etc will be always served on the buffet. The menu is changed often so there won’t be the same dishes served twice during the trip. Quality white and red wines are always available at lunch and dinner time. For dessert there will be coffee, tea, ice cream, fruit salad, pies or something similar. Two glasses of red or white wine per person will be served at dinner and lunch. Complimentary Mexican beer is available at all times and there is always fresh drinking water for clients in the rooms and common use areas.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

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.

General information:

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: mexuk@easynet.co.uk.

Climate Summary

The ranch enjoys a sunny and warm climate all year. However June, July and August are much wetter due to the rainy season. Winter is mostly dry and temperate and the climate is suitable for riding all year round. Mexico City has a temperate humid climate and the average annual temperature is 16 degrees Celsius (60F). The highest temperature usually occurs from March to May from 25 Celsius (77F) and the lowest temperature at night in January (5°C, 41°F). Summer is the rainiest season in Mexico City.

Climate Chart

Climate chart for Mexico City

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Health authorities have classified Mexico as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.

On arrival in Mexico City and other high altitude areas, you may feel a lack of energy, shortness of breath or headaches.

Drink only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Mexico and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Please take along sun cream and anti-allergy medicine for possible insect bites.

Health (ride specific)

There is no need for malaria medication in this area of Mexico.

Electricity

In Mexico the supply voltage is 127V. 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 127V).

Mobile, WiFi and charging

Phone coverage - the ranch has excellent mobile phone coverage and fast Wifi connection in all rooms.

Packing List

We recommend bringing warm, comfortable clothes and lots of layers. The average temperature in the daytime is around 21°C but during the night the temperature can drop to 5°C. The varied terrain also means the temperature is very variable on the rides.

- Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384
- Gloves
- Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
- Riding boots - An ideal boot should have a small tread and a heel that is about 1-1.5 inches high
- Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
- Long sleeved shirts for layering
- Casual clothes for the evening
- Waterproof gear if visiting during rainy season (June-August)
- Swimwear
- Sun cream
- Plug adaptor (Mexico uses a 2-pin plug)
- Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent
- Chafing cream
- Refillable Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
- Camera, spare Batteries/Chargers - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding.

Provided by hosts
- Riding hat
- Each room is equipped with bathrobes, hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, sewing kits, shoe polish kits, and individual soaps.

Programmes

This ranch has daily availability and a one night minimum stay. During Easter week and Christmas and New Year (December 20 - January 4) there is a 7 night minimum stay.

Departure Dates

2024: Year Round. Any day departures

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Double pp3,965
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Single Supplement1,585
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Double pp4,195
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Single Supplement1,679
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Double pp (dbl bed + bunk)4,429
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Single Supplement (dbl bed + bunk)1,775
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Double pp4,725
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Single Supplement1,889
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Double pp4,999
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Single Supplement1,999
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Double pp (dbl bed + bunk)5,279
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Single Supplement (dbl bed + bunk)2,109
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Double pp5,299
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Single Supplement2,119
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Double pp5,615
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Single Supplement2,245
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Double pp (dbl bed + bunk)5,925
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Single Supplement (dbl bed + bunk)2,369
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Double pp55,029
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Classic Room - Single Supplement22,009
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Double pp58,265
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Suite - Single Supplement23,305
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Double pp (dbl bed + bunk)61,499
2024 - 7 night Peak rate (Easter & Christmas/New Year)8d/7n7Master Suite - Single Supplement (dbl bed + bunk)24,599
Recommended Reading

*Distant Neighbours: A Portrait of the Mexicans by Alan Riding - Politics, history, and the Mexican character.

*The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea - A much praised novel of epic mystical drama, in which a young woman is elevated to the status of sainthood in late 19th-century Mexico

*Mexican Days: Journeys into the Heart of Mexico by Tony Cohen. A fun account of travelling through Mexico

*Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion edited by CM Mayo - Short stories and novel exerpts from different regions of Mexico. Includes many authors that haven’t been previously translated.

*Battles in the Desert and Other Stories by Jose Emilio Pacheco - Wistful, evocative stories of Mexico City in the mid-20th century.

 


Other Activities

For non-riding companions a true safari experience can be arranged into the rugged countryside around Ajusco aboard an ATV. This is a hugely popular pastime with both riding and non-riding guests. There are two Polaris Rangers for two and three passengers. With an expert guide to show you the area’s best sights, this is you a chance to escape the crowds and enjoy some off-road adventure. The current price can be confirmed by your Travel Advisor and paid on-site.

Ajusco is known for the many outdoor activities offered in the area. There are possibilities for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, golf and much more. The ranch can take clients into the Natural Parks and locations where they can practice all these activities.

It is also possible to arrange organised sightseeing tours to Mexico City, Coyoacán, Xochimilco, Cholula and Puebla to name but a few. These trips can be organised through the ranch who work closely with an expert travel agency in Mexico City who produce guided tours of the area.

Wildlife

Much of the riding takes place within the Ajusco National Park. The park's fauna consists of many mammals such as bats, shrews, opossum, volcano rabbit, squirrel, least weasel, skunk, coyote, and bobcat. There are three common snake species in the park: milk snake, rattlesnake, and plain-bellied water snake. The main bird species observed in the park are: house sparrow, barn swallow, lark, chalk-browed mockingbird, woodpecker, blue jay, black vulture and even golden eagle.

Other Information

The ranch is located in the beautiful countryside of Ajusco, a small town near Mexico City. It is situated between many inactive volcanoes and is approximately 2700m above sea level. The surrounding mountains offer stunning views, where all of the Valley of Mexico can be seen, including the city and its skyscrapers, Popocatepetl, Iztaccihuatl and Nevado de Toluca volcanoes, and parts of the Valley of Cuernavaca can all be admired.

Other Country Information

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 flora. 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.


Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
México City International Airport (MEX), Mexico
Transfer:
2024: From México City International Airport, $50 USD per car each way, maximum 4 people, payable on-site. (Subject to change)
Flight Guide:
London to Mexico City (MEX) from £700pp return
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