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Home > Interests & Activities > Nature > Horseback Riding
Puerto Rico has a long and rich equestrian tradition that dates all the way to Ponce de León and includes one of the most prized horses in the world: the Puerto Rico Paso Fino (“Fine Gait”).
The ancestors of these horses were introduced to the island by the conquistadores in 1509. Bred for saddle riding, they were known for a surprisingly smooth lateral gait and the elegant, almost finicky cadence of their hooves.
These beautiful animals are the pride of Puerto Rico, and schools around the island continue to uphold the centuries-old Paso Fino tradition. Thankfully, this dedication also gives visitors the rare opportunity to experience one of the smoothest rides on Earth. But Paso Finos aren’t the only horses on the island. Take a closer look at the many equestrian experiences you can enjoy in Puerto Rico.
A horseback ride in El Yunque is a wonderful way to experience the back-to-the-land beauty of the only subtropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. And when you take a horseback riding tour with Hacienda Carabalí, you get the added benefit of a brief stop and dip in a deliciously cool river. Eco Action Tours also offers horseback riding excursions from the foothills of the forest to a nearby beach.
Horses or Horsepower?
A horseback ride is a gentle adventure, but if you crave a little more horsepower, check out Hacienda Carabalí’s 4-track excursions.
A horseback ride on a hot day might leave you craving a refreshing dip in the ocean. If so, head to Luquillo Beach, just a few miles east of El Yunque along Route 3.
A Paso Fino Tour
Hacienda Carabalí has bred Paso Fino horses for generations, which guarantees you the opportunity to experience this unique ride in a lovely setting.
Set in a pastoral landscape in the central municipality of Juncos against the backdrop of the El Yunque rainforest, Hacienda 8A has been breeding and raising Paso Fino horses since the 1930s, and has been responsible for several champions. At this farm, you can enjoy trail riding through 300 acres of land in a secluded natural setting.
For the Serious Rider
If you’re looking for something beyond a recreational ride, Hacienda 8A also offers a riding arena and English riding lessons.
Hacienda 8A is located close to Caguas, a city known for its deep criollo (a term that signifies uniquely, purely Puerto Rican) roots. Caguas is part of the heartland of Puerto Rico, and the city boasts numerous sights that celebrate the essence of the island.
El Yunque Beckons
At Hacienda 8A, you’ll have lovely views of the south face of the El Yunque peak. A mountain hike and dip beneath a waterfall are just a short ride away!
Tropical Trail Rides
If a horseback ride on a pristine beach is your idea of a fun day out, give Tropical Trail Rides a call. Located in the northwest town of Isabela, they offer two excursions a day, giving you a choice of morning rides or a sunset tour on horseback.
Closer to San Juan
If you can’t make it to Isabela, Tropical Trail Rides also operates horseback riding tours and ATV tours at Hacienda Campo Rico, just five minutes from San Juan.
Isabela’s beaches aren’t only good for horseback rides. Two of them – Middles and Jobos – are among the best surfing beaches in Puerto Rico.
Paso Fino Horses
Tropical Trail Rides offers a stable of Paso Fino horses, giving you a chance to experience their smooth gait and easy ride in a picturesque beachfront setting.
Esperanza Riding Company
Vieques Island is home to many wild horses; you’ll find them grazing peacefully by the road or trotting along the beaches, and you’ll often find locals riding bareback through town. Esperanza Riding Company will show you Vieques through a two-hour horseback ride up hills, across meadows, through woods and along beaches.
To enjoy your equestrian experience, it’s best to dress appropriately. Even in this warm climate, long pants and shoes are recommended.
Find your beach
An exploration of Vieques is all about beach-hopping, and you’ll have the chance to see quite a few on this tour. Find your favorite and return at your leisure.
One of the most unusual sights you’ll see on your tour are hidden, camouflaged bunkers along a hilly road. These are old munitions storage facilities left by the U.S. Navy.
Pintos ‘R’ Us
The west coast of Puerto Rico lends itself to idyllic horseback rides on the beach, and that’s exactly what Pintos ‘R’ Us offers. Their two-hour tour through some of Rincón’s world-famous surfing beaches takes you past iconic landmarks such as the Rincón Lighthouse and the dome that gives Domes Beach its name.
Suit Your Skill
Whether you’re an old hand or a complete novice, you’ll be able to enjoy this experience. Pintos ‘R’ Us will tailor their tour to your experience level..
Beyond a horseback riding tour, the company can help make your special event even more special with custom excursions, pony rides for the kids, and photo shoots.
A Helping Hand
Like all of the above tour operators, Pintos ‘R’ Us takes animal care seriously. They have supported rescue efforts across Puerto Rico and have taken in sick or neglected animals.
Palmas del Mar
In the east coast region of Humacao, Palmas del Mar is a luxury resort that offers a variety of amenities. Among these is Rancho Buena Vista, the most complete equestrian center in Puerto Rico. With 64 stables, it offers an extensive network of trails and services for riders of all levels.
Horses and More
Palmas del Mar also offers sailing, water sports, tennis, golf and tennis, making it one of the more complete resorts on the island.
Rides on the Beach
All of Rancho Buena Vista’s horseback tours include a ride on the beach, giving you time to enjoy a bit of the ocean during your excursion.
Certified Paso Fino
Rancho Buena Vista offers a fine stable of Paso Fino horses, giving you a chance to try the smoothest ride of your life.