"Darling, we are going on a horse riding tour in Canoa!"
Apparently, these are not the words that the majority of non-horsey partners wish to hear, even though the horse loving party is usually certain that they will change their mind once we set off! At Cabalgatas Canoa, the only dedicated horseback riding tour operator on the coast of Ecuador, we frequently receive bookings from clients consisting of one who adores horses and horse riding and one who would much rather be doing something else, sometimes anything else, rather than riding a horse around the countryside or beaches of Canoa!
Cabalgatas Canoa pride ourselves on being able to ensure that absolutely everyone has a great time on our tours; horse lovers, nature lovers, beach lovers, and fun lovers. From complete beginners to the experienced riders, we have the ideal horse to enable you to enjoy your horseback riding tour.
Our all-day BBQ horseback ride is one that the horse riders and those who come along for the ride, absolutely adore. You can read all of our five-star reviews from both horse lovers and those who are more BBQ and beer fanatics on the Trip Advisor Cabalgatas Canoa review page.
Meet your horse on our ranch in Canoa
The most important part of the day is meeting your horse for your day in the saddle. We are fortunate to have a beautiful ranch in the countryside of Canoa, Ecuador. Our day-long horseback riding tours begin deep in the countryside at our ranch. Once you arrive, there is a meet and greet with your Cabalgatas Canoa horse for the day. As experienced horse tour operators, we are able to find the horse that will suit you best.
All of our horses enjoy a life of freedom in the hills surrounding Canoa; we do not agree with keeping horses in tiny stables for the majority of their lives which unfortunately is often the case with well-bred horses here in Ecuador. People that don’t understand the true nature of horses think it is better to keep them under lock and key where they are “safe,” then to let them enjoy the lives of freedom, joy, and herd living that they deserve.
We have horses that most of the local people here think of as pretty big, but by European or US standards, they are edging towards the smaller side! For this reason, we have a weight limit of 100kg; the health of our horses is paramount to us.
Our horses are all exceptionally well trained and are used to carrying riders for a full day’s work. Don’t worry; they have plenty of free time to enjoy horse life in beautiful Canoa! We have horses for experienced riders who are seeking out a spirited mount who enjoys a gallop as much as they do, and we have steady, calm and schoolmaster horses who can teach beginners the ropes or simply carry you wherever you want to go!
Horse ride through the clouds to rare Pacific cloud forest
On our full day BBQ horse ride around Canoa, clients frequently say that their favourite part of the day is the horse ride through the cloud forest to the artisan brewery. A three-hour ride sees your trusty steed carrying you up into the hills and ascending into the captivating Pacific cloud forest, which is some of the most endangered environment on the planet. If you are lucky, you could spot a Mantled Howler Monkey, we frequently do, but of course, we cannot make any promises!
However, you are sure to see unusual plants, trees, birds, and perhaps even a toucan or two.
Only a few small farms and houses will be encountered on this part of the ride, and the road is impassable by cars so it will be just us and the horses enjoying the solitude and wildlife.
The hide-away artisan brewery
Unless you know exactly where it is, it is all but impossible to know that there is an incredible artisan brewery hidden away in the hills. After the first leg of your horse riding tour, Canoa shows you this hidden gem. We take a well-deserved rest and enjoy a few of the beers that range from IPA to stout, golden to imperial. While you are enjoying your beer, the Cabalgatas Canoa team will bring you the most delicious picnic lunch. We like to include our home baked chocolate and banana muffins, bread, and brownies.
Make your own sandwiches form the range of fillings and salads, be sure to leave room for fruit and baked goodies!
Be careful not to indulge too much as there is plenty of horse riding still to be enjoyed.
Through the countryside on horseback to the exquisite Canoa beach
The road from the brewery continues down to our wonderful village, Canoa. Both you are your horse will be fully refreshed after your brewery break and be able to enjoy your horse ride as it continues down to the sea. Thankfully, the road once again is not frequently used and so for the majority of the time down to the beach, we will be able to enjoy the peace and quiet. Passing small farms, resting cattle and inquisitive children, we will reach Canoa in around three hours where we will dismount, allow our horses a rest on the beach and enjoy a cold beer or soft drink.
You and your horse, ride Canoa beach together
For some horse riders, this is the stuff of dreams. You are now able to gallop along the golden sand of Canoa beach. Ecuador has gorgeous beaches, and Canoa is no exception, we are blessed to boast 17 kilometers of golden sand, it was made by the gods so that we can gallop to our heart’s content. If you don’t want to gallop, no problem, but most people soon change their mind. Our beginner safe horses can take the most timid rider safely for a canter on the beach.
There is nothing quite like feeling the wind rush against your face while galloping in the waves. Canoa is the place in Ecuador to horseback ride on the beach. Cabalgatas Canoa has been taking overjoyed clients for beach rides since 2013. We trust in our incredible five-star reviews and know that our clients are consistently delighted with the horse riding that they experience in Canoa.
BBQ and cocktails by the campfire
Following an exhilarating beach horse ride like no other in Ecuador, we once again head inland for the final leg of your horse riding tour. After another hour in the saddle, it is time to say goodbye to your horses and let them enjoy their well-earned rest.
You have definitely earned a hard-earned cocktail and rest by the campfire while the Cabalgatas Canoa chef prepares your BBQ feast. Burgers, home-made sausages, teriyaki chicken, steaks, salad, coleslaw, jacket potatoes, the list goes on, and we ensure that everyone leaves our ranch without space for another mouthful.
Clients that have enjoyed horse riding excursions all around the world tell us that our horse riding day tour in Canoa and side-splitting BBQ is one that they will remember always. We would love to have you join us; be you a horse riding enthusiast or a slightly reluctant partner, we cater to everyone and we know you will be delighted with your time with us. Come and see Canoa and be sure to come and ride with Cabalgatas Canoa.