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Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta

Listed under Horse Riding in Mexico.

  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
Photo of Pacific Coast Riding out of Puerto Vallarta
Photo by flickr user ctoverdrive
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Riding along the Pacific coast in the region north of Puerto Vallarta, you notice how the land is so defined by the water, and how different the water is from the other Mexican or Central American coast facing the Caribbean basin. Of course, it is the waves here along the shoreline, in the province of Nayarit and an area still relatively unspoiled by mass tourism, that are so distinct from what you usually find in the Caribbean.

On the day of our ride, those Pacific waves seemed to keep the air much less humid as well. The ride began in the village of San Francisco, or San Pancho as it is better known, and as one of the activities at the surfer friendly resort of Costa Azul.

Our Mexican saddles were something a bit fancier than the usual western saddles from north of the border, and the horses seemed a bit smaller than usual, but our small group of four, including the guide, headed up northward at an easy trot along the coastal road and trails, most of which keep you sheltered in overarching tall foliage and trees.

To your right, on the outward bound trek, you pass the denseness of hillside forest and an immense stillness. To your left, there are glimmers of the ocean that can still be heard over the hoofbeats your horse. The guide takes you downhill toward the ocean at one point, and along a stretch of the shoreline that is a little rockier to reach than the beaches to the south, but the horses are deft at picking their way up or down the rough and steep path and along the hard rock surfaces.

Aside from this coastal ride, the hotel also offers a jungle ride which takes you along some occasionally steep paths uphill to explore the rainforest and savor some more elevated Pacific views, while the pueblo and beach rides are long but easy and relaxing canters along village streets and gallops along the long stretches of neighboring shoreline.

While you may not spot many swimmers as you gallop along the sands, there are fishermen often bringing their boats on and offshore around here. The sands are brownish in color but fine and smooth, and horse and rider enjoy the unbroken stretches in the early evening sunset along the gently curving wide openness near the village and hotel.

Written by  Hal Peat.

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