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Last Update: 06 Aug 2010
Riding Holidays | Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean with Haiti. It has a tropical climate with lots of sunshine, beautiful white sand beaches and warm azure seas. The landscape is varied from forested mountains, river valleys and lakes to semi arid hills, agricultural areas and coastal plains. Ranch stays are a great way to experience the best of this beautiful island, combining horseback riding through lovely scenery with traditional Dominican hospitality, cuisine and ranch culture.
There are dozens of ranches to choose from offering adventurous horse riding in the mountains, quiet hacks through open countryside and some provide short beach rides. There are ranches based near to towns which are geared towards offering short tourist riding trails, with hour long or half day walking rides. Travel further into the countryside to find authentic working ranches providing longer riding holidays with good quality horses and well thought out adventurous riding trails. Learn to ride western style on Criollo horses, riding in small groups with a responsible and experienced guide. This isn’t nose to tail riding, but the real thing with well cared for horses and the riding is tailor made to your ability. The north coast of the Dominican Republic around Puerto Plata is a particularly good area to visit for ranch riding.
For people preferring luxury accommodation there is the option to stay at a large coastal resort which has a modern equestrian centre on site. Here have professional riding instruction on one of the centre’s well schooled team of Paso Fino, Thoroughbred and Quarter horses plus childrens’ ponies. Try dressage and show jumping, or have a relaxing hack along pretty bridle paths and beaches.
The best time to visit the Dominican Republic is between November and May. Temperatures don’t vary much throughout the year and it is usually warm and sunny, but June to October is the hurricane season, so best avoided.