Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Monteverde Blog

Best Horseback Riding Tours in Monteverde

Best Horseback Riding Tours in Monteverde

a group of people standing watching the sunset on horses at Equus Monteverde

Several companies offer horseback riding tours in Monteverde, Costa Rica. If you search on the web for “best horseback riding tour in Monteverde,” you come across several ads from those companies saying that their horseback riding tour is the best, but if they all say they are the best, then who is?

Since this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get, I dove deep into the topic to help bring light to this question so that other fellow travelers can have a more objective view of the manner.

I went on seven horseback riding tours in Monteverde and cherry-picked my top three options for you. I also analyzed over 500 online customer reviews to add more context and compiled my observations on this article. Let’s dive in: 

The following are the horseback riding tours in Monteverde, Costa Rica: 

  • Horse Trek Monteverde
  • Extremo Horses Monteverde
  • Equus Monteverde

Keep scrolling for more information as I break down the pros and cons of each Monteverde horseback riding tour company to determine which one is best for you. 

Disclaimer: I’m not too fond of ads on educational pages like this one because it ruins the reader experience. Therefore, I keep my website ad-free. However, I still need a way to make a living. Thus, this article contains affiliate links to book tours, from which I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. After reading this post, if you decide to book a tour, please consider using the links on this post so that I can continue unbiased and ad-free information.

Horse Trek Monteverde: The Best Horseback Riding For Avid Riders

a group of people riding on the back of a horse at Horse Trek Horseback Riding Tour

Horse Trek Monteverde takes place at a local farm nearby Santa Elena, located approximately 20 minutes away from Monteverde. The terrain in this site is very rough. However, Horse Trek Monteverde features the strongest and healthiest horses in Monteverde, so the landscape is no big task.

Still, I would argue that Horse Trek Monteverde is for experienced riders only based on the roughness of the terrain you will need to cross during the tour. I would not recommend it to people with little to no experience in horseback riding. Neither would I recommend it to families with kids.

The Horse Trek Monteverde tour starts at the top of the farm, and then you begin to make your way to the bottom of the property descending approximately 400 meters to reach the river.

During the summer, the tour usually (but not always) includes a short walk along the river before you head back to the top, going around the farm. Depending on the group’s experience level, there can also be some trotting/galloping (this is the only horseback riding tour in Monteverde that features galloping). 

Horse Trek Monteverde Summary:

  • Duration: 2.5 Hours.
  • Tour Times: 8 am, 11 am, and 3 pm.
  • Prices: Kids (10-11): $40, Adults: $60.
  • Minimum Age Required: 10 Years Old.
  • Recommended for experienced riders.
  • Reservation Required.
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Extremo Horses: The Most Authentic Horseback Riding Monteverde

a group of people riding on the back of a horse at Martin Horse Tour Monteverde

Extremo Horse Tour is in Cebadilla, about 15 minutes away from Monteverde, on a cattle farm with a small forest set aside for conservation. This place, considered a hidden gem, is the least touristy and the cheapest destination for a horseback riding tour in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Extremo Horse Tour has three schedules; 8 am to 10 am, 11 am to 1 pm, and 3 pm to 5 pm. And the groups are usually not more than eight people per guide. These guys are passionate about their farm, and they have a beautiful trail that goes around the property in a big loop that takes about 2 hours on a horse featuring scenic views of the landscape and a waterfall.

Extremo Horse Tour Summary:

  • Duration: 2 Hours.
  • Tour Times: 8 am, 11 am, 3 pm.
  • Prices: $38pp (Adults and Kids)
  • Minimum Age Required: 7 Years Old.
  • Less touristy horseback ride in Monteverde.
  • Reservation Required.
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Equus Monteverde: The Best Value For Money Horseback Riding Monteverde

a group of people standing watching the sunset on horses at Equus Monteverde

Situated in Cebadilla, a small town on the outskirts of Monteverde, about 10 minutes from Santa Elena, Equus Monteverde is a true hidden gem. This local sugarcane-producing farm has some of the most amazing panoramic views in the area, overlooking three volcanoes and all the Costa Rican’s northwest. 

The Equus Monteverde tour is more than a horseback riding tour but is a farm experience. The experience combines a 2-hour horseback ride and a 30-minute sugarcane production tour, making it an excellent value-for-money experience. That’s why Equus Monteverde is the horseback riding tour I include in my customer’s vacation packages, and I lost count of the number of times I heard from a customer that this was one of their major Costa Rican highlights. 

Equus Monteverde is a well-rounded option that suits both experienced and inexperienced riders, but what makes this tour stand out is the local feel you get going around the farm through cattle and going into the small factory where they produce sugar out of sugarcane. They even prepare typical homemade snacks for you.

I recommend Equus Monteverde to those who’d like to experience a more authentic farm tour beyond a horseback riding experience.

Equus Monteverde Summary:

  • Duration: 2.5 Hours.
  • Sugarcane Tour Included.
  • Tour Times: 8 am, 11 am, and 3 pm.
  • Prices: Kids (7-11): $41, Adults: $50.
  • Minimum Age Required: 7 Years Old.
  • Reservation Required.
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Reviews Comparison: Horse Trek vs. Extremo Horses vs. Equus Monteverde

The following is a quick quality comparison arranged in descending order according to customer ratings from Google and TripAdvisor historical data up to May 2022:

 

Reviews on Google
Tour Company Score Reviews
Equus Monteverde 4.8 167
Horse Trek 4.8 49
Extremo Horses 4.6 13

 

Reviews on TripAdvisor
Tour Company Score Reviews
Horse Trek 5 477
Equus Horses 5 99
Extremo Monteverde 0 0

Customer Experience Take Away Points

Horse Trek was the first horseback riding tour company established in Monteverde in the early 1,990s. As a result, it has much more reviews on TripAdvisor compared to Extremo Horses (who is not on TripAdvisor) and Equus (added to TripAdvisor in 2017). Consequently, there is an exponential difference in the number of reviews of the first two tours compared to the last.

While Equus and Horse Trek have an average of 5 bubbles, Equus Monteverde is the only one with zero “Terrible” reviews, whereas Horse Trek has a few. However, this could be a natural result based on the overall number of reviews each has.

After reading over 1,000 reviews, I noticed three trends:

Most positive reviews on Horse Trek talk about Marvin: Marvin Anchia is Horse Trek Tour Company’s Founder and Owner. He is quite a character, prevalent in Monteverde, and regarded as one of the most renowned cowboys in Costa Rica. I’ve known Marvin for about a decade, and I love him and his horses. No doubt he has the best ones in Monteverde.

However, it’s safe to say he’s swamped managing the business, training his horses, and taking care of his ranch, so he’s not actually on the field guiding tours as often as you’d like. He was my guide when I went on the ride, but he knew I would write this article, and he wanted to lead it himself instead of sending one of his guides with us (which happens 90% of the time).

Some experienced riders book Horse Trek expecting Marvin to guide them, only to get discouraged after finding out he can’t be their tour guide. His staff is excellent, but the experience with him is much more special. He knows a lot about horses and shares his knowledge with you along the trip (if you’re lucky to have him as your guide).

Most positive reviews on Extremo Horse Tour highlight the least touristy aspect: As mentioned above, Extremo is a bit further away than the rest of the horseback riding tours in Monteverde. Therefore, it exponentially gets fewer visitors, which makes it less touristy.

That was the highlight of my trip. Even though I went in a group, the fact that we were further away from Monteverde felt very refreshing, like the rural tourism people sought after in Monteverde many years ago before it became a touristy place.

Most positive reviews on Equus Monteverde highlight the Equus Farm as a hidden gem: The Equus Monteverde Farm has a fantastic location. Pair this with the “local” feel of going through their farm and then visiting their sugarcane factory, and you will probably end up amazed, as most travelers report via online reviews.

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of which tour company is best for you but as a final step, let’s take a look at pricing: 

Price Comparison: Horse Trek vs. Extremo Horses vs. Equus Monteverde

 

Horseback Riding Price Comparison
Tour Company Adults Kids
Equus Monteverde $50 $41
Horse Trek $60 $40
Extremo Horses $38 $38

The above prices are pre-ta and do not include a tip for your tour guide, which is optional (I usually tip between $5 -for an average tour guide- and $20 -for exceptional service).

Please note you can drive to the meeting point of the above locations, or you can have them pick you up, in which case Equus Monteverde and Horse Trek include the transport both ways with the above prices, while Extremo Horses have a $10 fee per person.

As a final note about transportation, I would recommend adding the ride if you’re planning to do the Horse Trek tour because the location is a bit remote, usually accessible to 4×4 cars most of the year.

On the other hand, if you can drive to Extremo Horses or Equus Monteverde, I encourage you to do it. There is no need to add transportation for those two as they are both easy to reach. Adding lift usually means you have long waiting times as they have to pick up / drop off other customers along the way. Driving is more efficient and can help you save up to 30 minutes.

Final Thoughts on Horse Trek, Extremo Horses, and Equus Monteverde

I want to thank Horse Trek Monteverde. I had a blast galloping towards the end of the tour. Their horses are the strongest in Monteverde, and the challenging course going down to the river and then making our way back up to the top was extremely fun.

Next, I’d like to thank Extremo Horse Tour. The trail was so easy and smooth. I relaxed and enjoyed the views while my horse went on autopilot. I especially loved the small forest on their property. That part of the tour was a beautiful highlight for me.

Finally, I’d like to thank Equus Monteverde. I was amazed by the fantastic panoramic views of their farm. I also enjoyed the “farm feel,” riding across open fields with cattle and then going into the sugarcane factory. The homemade snacks were terrific. 

I sincerely enjoyed my horseback riding experiences with these three tour operators. Their staff was highly courteous and service-oriented, and the experiences were all memorable in one way or another. 

To recap, I’d recommend Horse Trek for those looking for a more challenging horseback riding experience, Extremo Horses for a more relaxed, easy-going, and less touristy ride, and Equus for those looking for a farm/local experience beyond a horseback ride. 

Here’s the end of this article. Thank you for reading this far, and feel free to share this info with fellow travelers as you deem appropriate. Happy travels to Monteverde and ¡Pura Vida, amigos!

Related Articles: 

About the Author

Daniel Lalinde holding a mountain bikeDaniel Lalinde

I am the founder of Monteverde Tours Online. I live in Monteverde and love nature, adventure, and Mountain Biking. My partner and I love spending time outdoors and dining in Monteverde. We have more than 30 years of combined experience in the area, and there is no park, coffee shop, or restaurant we haven’t tried at least once!

We love helping visitors and connecting them with the different tours and activities to have a memorable experience in Monteverde.

If you need help planning things to do in the area, send us a message, and we will happily assist you! 

From $38

Experience a horseback ride on one of the most beautiful ranches in Monteverde at Extremo Horse Tour. Relax and enjoy a 2-hour horseback riding tour on calmed and well-behaved horses. Suitable for experienced and inexperienced horseback riders alike.