An April 2005 trip
to Guatemala by kakao
Quote: In the western highlands of Guatemala lies Los Cuchumatanes, a mountain range north of Huehuetenango. We spent 3 days in the mountains at a horse-riding ranch and then one day in Todos Santos, a small town tucked away in a valley between the mountains.
A great way to explore Los Cuchumatanes is by horseback and this can be done by contacting www.unicornioazul.com (or see my entry on Unicornio Azul). It is a horseback riding ranch where you can learn how to ride horses with Los Cuchumatanes in the background. For more experienced riders, you can book up a tour up to 9 days, complete with camping in the mountains.
Besides riding horses, my other suggestion is to visit Todos Santos, a small town tucked in the valley between the mountains. Not only is the scenery amazing, but I also love the small-town feel to Todos Santos, where all the men wear traditional costumes (red pants with white stripes and a hat with a blue ribbon) and women spend their days weaving at the loom. You feel like you are in another world in Todos Santos, and I highly recommend making the trek out there if you can.
Lodgings: The lodgings were very clean. We had a private bedroom but an attached, shared bathroom. However, since we were the only guests at the ranch that weekend, we did not have to share the bathroom. The nights were quite chilly in the mountains, but the owners of the ranch have a heater in the living room and gave us super-hot bags of water at night to sleep with. We also had about four thick blankets to sleep with.
Food: Due to the remote location, we ate all meals at the ranch. The food was homemade, and excellent. One night we even had homemade quiche and an apple crumble for dessert. We were able to buy bottles of wine, and overall, were quite pleased with all the food on the ranch!
Horseback-Riding Lessons: Since I’m from Los Angeles, I hadn’t ridden a horse since I was 8 years old. However, the owner of the ranch gave excellent lessons (in Spanish, English, or French), and riding a horse turned out to be no problem for me. In addition, the horses at the ranch were extremely beautiful, well-trained, and well taken care of. The owner knows every nuance of every horse. By the end of the first day, I was able to trot easily.
Cost: One night, including 2 hours of horseback riding, costs about $32 per person. Additional hours of riding were $15 per person. Meals were about $7 per person. I believe you can book longer trips (such as a 9-day trip riding in the mountains and camping at night).
Reservations: It is probably best to visit their website and email them to make a reservation: www.unicornioazul.com.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 21, 2005
Los Angeles, California