Our ranch's private property only incompases the luxury guest ranch as well as the paddock for our 38 horses.
Here at Rancho Las Cascadas we provide a unique riding experience for everyone because our public land is unlimited for riding, anything from a gentle stroll along the lake, cantering up the side of a hill, galloping across open countryside, crossing rivers, swimming with the horses in the lake or traversing rocky paths to the top of a mountain. The extinct volcanic geology of the region has created a landscape crisscrossed with ancient lava flows. These have partially eroded over millennia and evolved into a rich landscape of micro-environments, creating habitats such as: low undulating hills, volcanic outcrops, narrow stream valleys, dry seasonal common pasture, ancient barren lava fields, seasonally lush shallow lake shores, high hill climbs with over looking views, dry plains, rich seasonally irrigated maize, wheat, oat, bean, squash, and sunflower fields. The low intensity of the farming means that wild saguaro and nopal cacti, agaves, and thorn bush predominate on the common grazing land. The ranch is surrounded by a patchwork of small farms who practice mixed farming and who maintain small villages with local shops, schools, health care centers all interlinked by small roads and a myriad of trails. Local cowboys and farmers use these same trails to tend to their farm plots and small herds, some even still use the paired horse or oxen drawn plow to till their land!
Rides are catered to any riding level. Advanced riders can enjoy really great faster paced riding. Less experienced riders will go out with a separate guide to ensure that everyone gets the best experience. We take a great deal of pride to ensure that whatever length your stay is, your experience leaves you with unforgettable memories. We organize our rides to be varied and to provide an insight into the local area, giving you a flavor of the different terrain and landscapes of this beautiful part of Mexico
We also offer unguided rides as well for those of you, who enjoy to take you own adventure while on horseback. Prior to sending you off riding we will provided you with a short session which will inquire about riding ability and your knowledge about the land.
Flexibility is our forte at Rancho Las Cascadas. Choose from over 30 different trails, on hourly, half or full day riding tours. Let us create your personal cocktail of rides, choosing from mountains, canyons, endless countryside, rivers, lakes, villages, markets, Haciendas (colonial estates), churches, archeological sites, etc. We offer rides for every taste and level. Select from our various riding programs: The perfect Package for the Beginner to the Intermediate Rider... 'A la Carte' Ride Arrive/Depart any day of the week Rides from 2 - 4 hours A new and different ride for every day Taylored to your riding level 'A la Carte' riding is also great for Friends/Family with different riding levels who would like to ride together. We send out two wranglers to go along and split up the levels and rejoin during the rides. More information about 'A la Carte' riding... Ongoing Progressive Ride for the Intermediate to the Advanced Rider... 'Colores de Mexico' Start of the rides: Any day of the Week Approx. 4-6 hrs in the saddle per day Center based ongoing progressive ride Normal physical condition required This are ongoing progressive rides which you may join any day of the week. They are catered to your riding level. The horses come back at night, but each day takes you through different regions, picturesque villages and ever-changing countryside. Ideal for riders preferring to start progressive riding at an easy pace with the chance to have a break if they feel like it. Itinerary 'Colores de Mexico' Ride... Progressive Ride for the Advanced to the Expert Rider... 'Highland and Canyon Explorer' Once a Month, 1. Saturday of the month Saturday - Saturday 8 days of riding incl. 6 day progressive ride Overnight at the ranch for the riders Approx. 6 - 8 hrs in the saddle per day Good physical condition required Popular progressive ride through varied landscape and terrain. This is not a trek, it is real, open range riding with many canters and gallops. The horses stay often out overnight to continue the route the next day but you return always to our beautiful ranch, so you do not have to pack and unpack every day. Each day offers something new and gives you the opportunity to discover the real Mexico. Itinerary 'Highland & Canyon Explorer'...
Riding 'A la Carte' Flexibility is our forte at Rancho Las Cascadas. Choose from over 20 different trails, half and full day riding tours. Let us make your personal cocktail of rides, choosing from mountains, canyons, endless countryside, rivers, lakes, villages, markets, Haciendas (colonial estates), churches, archeological sites, etc. Every evening our team arranges with all the guests the appropriate/matching riding program for the next day considering riding level and fitness. Max. 6-8 riders per wrangler. This option also offers you the possibility to combine horseback riding with cultural excursion, other activities or relaxation. See activities and excursions... Same arrangement for families and friends of different riding levels. Length of stay and date to your choice. Daily pick up and drop off from/to the airport in Mexico City.
All rides start at the ranch and go out in different directions starting right at the main house. There is a choice of morning rides (2-4 hrs), afternoon rides (1-3 hrs), all day rides (5-6 hrs) and challenged all day rides (6-8 hrs). You can decide one day ahead what your next day’s adventure will be.
The daily buffet breakfast allows you to choose your own start for the day, according to your preferences before you go on your ride. After each day's riding you get back to the ranch. There you can relax, go for a swim in the infinity pool or enjoy a Margarita in the hot tub.
Each evening you will be served a delicious 4 course dinner in our dining room. All guests dine together, so you will have plenty of opportunity to discuss your adventures with one another.
Colorful folklore events may also be presented on special occasions including traditional dance and music. You may even be invited for an impromptu Salsa lesson. Do you play an instrument? Why don't you bring it along?
Friday – Day 01
Zoom ImageWe meet you at Mexico City airport and drive you directly to the ranch. Get to know this beautiful place, its many amenities and get settled into your room!
If time permits you can go for the first afternoon ride to local village San Agustin with its ancient church from the 1700. During this ride you will be able to familiarize with your horse.
Afterwards relax in our hot tub overlooking the waterfalls with a Margarita or go for a swim in our infinity pool.
Enjoy your first 4-course 'Nouvelle Mexicana' dinner - a fusion of mexican and international cuisine - at our tastefully decorated tables in the dining room.
Saturday – Day 02
Cerro del Ahorcado - San Antonio - Xochitlan de las Flores
This ride takes you first to the 'Cerro del Ahorcado' the hanged man's hill, from where you have a great view of the surrounding countryside which you will be exploring over the next couple of days. From there the trail takes you into the steep valley of San Antonio, which is particularly attractive in the dry season, as it has permanent water. It is formed at the end of an old lava floe and the damp valley floor attract lost of small woodland song birds.
Eventually the trail converges at the small restaurant at San Antonio just opposite from the Rail freight terminal. We take lunch here and sample the dubious delights of Mexican 'Telenovelas' soap operas. And the collection of 'Santa Muerte' dead saints statuettes lovingly displayed in the corner.
Leaving the village of ' Xiochitlan de las Flores' the village of the flowers, the trails follow the hill contours and lead us back to the plains.
Sunday – Day 03
Heroes de Carranza - La Copa - San Juan Daxthi - Santa Cruz
Zoom ImageLeaving the ranch the trails wind through small fields of cereal crops, maize, wheat, oats and hay pasture. The farm plots use horse and cattle drawn ploughs and harrows. Herds of sheep goats and cattle are tended in the open range, and it is possible to see the rural life in Mexico, local farmers tending to their daily tasks.
Some parts of the trail wind through Nopale cactus plots. This plants yields prickly pears , and the flattened stems can be eaten as a vegetable. The trails pass by several water storage dams which provide irrigation water for the complex of channels and drains which the locals use to irrigate the germinating seeds planted just before rainy season. The ground of the drying out lake beds makes for excellent gallops.
The trail now crosses dry stoney valleys up to the cliffs at 'la Copa' in Santiago Oxthoc. These waterfalls spring from the rocks and fall into a martini glass shaped sculpted rock formation. The sign on the wall says 'viva el 3 de Mayo 1842"... 'cheers to the 3 of May 1842'. This celebrates when the waterfall miraculously sprang from the wall, a phenomenon attributed to the Virgin of Guadalupe. She is venerated in a small shrine just before the waterfall.
Upon leaving the shrine the horses will climb up to the top of the cliffs and along onto the high plains. On clear days the views from this stark rocky plateau are spectacular. Go well prepared with sun cream as at midday the light is very intense.
Descending from the plateau, the trails head down in to the town of San Juan Daxthi. This a good place for a lunch stop. On Sundays there is a charming local fruit and vegetable market, on holidays the town hosts a small rodeo .
After Lunch you ride for aproximately another two hours. Depending upon the season this could be a series of canters in desert like dry scrub-land or a series of corridors through tall fields of maize and wild flowers.
Monday – Day 04
San Miguel de la Victoria - Comunidad - Canalejas - Cathedral de Canalejas
Zoom ImageThe journey today starts into the extinct volcanic geology of the region. This is a landscape of crisscrossed ancient lava flows, these have partially eroded and evolved in to a rich landscape of micro environments, creating habitats such as low undulating hills, volcanic outcrops, narrow stream valleys, ancient barren lava fields and dry seasonal common pastures.
Later on, after a litte stop for a drink and a snack in San Miguel de la Victoria, the landscape changes, as the trails lead into the green forests of Canalaejas. These mixed deciduous and coniferous woodlands have delightful tracks for cantering along.
Lunch is taken in the town of Canalejas. Here the Barbecue restaurants offer tacos filled to the brim with porky goodness. Suitably tasty vegetarian options can also be sort out.
After lunch and a leg stretching walk around the small town, the trail rises to the Cathedral of Canalejas. This church set on the peak of a hill dominates the local view. It was built on the spot where an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe was found in a rock, which now forms part of the altar. This Virgin is a national icon in Mexico and represents the fusion of the Pre-Columbian Tonatzin cult (earth mother goddess worship) with the popular Catholic tradition of the Virgin Mary.
The ride from the cathedral wanders back through the small surrounding villages Hamlets of Canalejas to the overnight stables for the horses at Lalo's house. Here guests are met by the ranch staff and driven back to the ranch for a well earned swim and relaxing hot soak, before dinner.
Tuesday – Day 05
Canalejas - Lago de Huapango - Agua Escondida
Zoom ImageThe first part of the ride follows forest trails and crosses hill slope fields. The landscape high up in the hills is rocky and arid, the dirt roads and trails in the woods and between the the small hamlets offers some good short canters.
The real treat of the day is to be found in the wide, flat, well irrigated lowlands of the approach to the big lake of Huapango (aprox. 10.000 acres when full), famous for its fishing. Species such as catfish, lobina, trout and carp are caught here. Angling is popular with local people, not only for sport but to feed the family.
It is also an important habitat for birds. Pelicans, great egrets, snowy egrets and many more migratory species can be seen here depending on the season. This day's riding takes you to a wide open landscape of low impact agriculture and common rangeland. A paradise for any rider, as there are endless trails to canter and gallop.
Enjoy a picnic on the shores of lake so that riders can relax after the excitement of the lake rides and prepare for the two hour ride through the small villages and woods to the 'Agua Escondida', where the horses are left stabled overnight. Transportation back to the ranch (aprox. 30 min), where another mouthwatering dinner awaits.
Wednesday – Day 06
Agua Escondida - San Francisco Soyaniquilpan - El Fresno - Atlantes de Tula
Zoom ImageToday you are heading south out of the hilly country of small woodland trails and rock hills to San Francisco / Soyaniquilpan.
The landscape changes as the trails enter San Francisco. The farm land here is flat, rich, well irrigated and fertile. Taking trails to the west of the 'Cerro de las Brujas' the witches mountain the trails run along the dividing paths which separate large fields.
Then short trails lead to Fresno Village, where the horses can be rested at the local shop opposite the primary school. The trail continues down the cobbed streets past the ruins of the hacienda and along into a canyon.
Zoom ImageThis delightful valley leads to a stand of old Ceder trees covered in old mans beard lichens / Spanish moss. Just before reaching the clearing and popular picnic site, the trail takes a small detour up to a view point over looking the canyon. There is also a small shrine to the Virgin of Guadelupe at the summit.
The best waterfalls in the region are hidden just behind the cedar trees and well worth a visit. After lunch the horses get their well earned break and will be turned out into the pasture.
A short drive takes you then to the archaeological site of the Atlantes of Tula, which is thought to be the most important Toltec site in Mexico. It gives a great insight into the rich history of this region. The great Atlantes are four huge warriors (remarkable sculptures over 6 m high) in black basalt on a pyramid. This platform is encircled by a low relief frieze depicting jaguars and coyotes, and Tlaloc masks adorn the walls.
In Tula there is a fine market as well as a couple of Western / Charro outfitters, so guests wishing to buy hats, boots, belts, belt buckles, shirts, saddles, Charro riding tack, can shop as much as their heart's desire.
Thursday – Day 07
San Miguel de Las Piedras - Los Organos - Vista Hermosa
Zoom ImageBack into the more rugged landscape surrounding San Agustin, you might think you were returning to