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“Paradise on a Ranch in Mexico!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hacienda de Taos

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Hacienda de Taos
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Los Sauces, 46018, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #59 of 242 Specialty Lodging in Jalisco
Upland, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Paradise on a Ranch in Mexico!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014 via mobile

My brother, who lives in Ajijic, and I had the most enjoyable horseback ride on Celina's Ranch, perched above Lake Chapala and overlooking a most beautiful area of Mexico. It is clear that Celina has put - and continues to put - her heart and soul into this endeavor, and cares for a host of animals, including chickens, cows, a pot bellied pig, several cats, dogs and a gorgeous donkey, in addition to the 26 multi-variety horses she has rescued and trained. Celina, along with her only helper Jose, took my brother and I on a four-hour ride on the ranch, settling down by a lake for a hot, cooked lunch of chicken, potatoes, rice and veggies. Many of her pastured horses came by to join us after lunch, and three of her precious dogs came along for the ride as well.

Celina is full of energy and does a great job trying to feed and care for so many horses in a country where it is difficult - and expensive - to buy hay and the appropriate medications to keep them wormed and healthy. Celina has owned this property for only three years, and has built everything from the ground up in a very tough area to ranch. The property was overgrazed and loaded with parasites; she is cleaning up and healing the area slowly but surely. Celina is a lovely hostess, and her horses are friendly, well trained, and appreciate the love they are shown. I rode the smaller horse Pirate while my brother rode Illuvia; both are very sweet and disciplined and enjoyed the apples we brought along.

The ranch is a little difficult to find, but Celina's directions were very specific and her use of descriptions (i.e., red gate, home, windmill) got us there without problem. An SUV is advisable as the last unpaved road is rather rough and rocky. There are no signs to the property, which might have been helpful. But we got there without getting lost at all.

Jose and Celina are busy during the "high season" but really need more guests at this time of the year so she can continue to feed and care for the horses. Bringing a few carrots with you will also help! And, by the way, the house on her website IS her private home (and also lodge), and the guest houses are very cute but a little rustic. I would stay there anytime, and hope to do that soon!

All in all, Hacienda de Taos is an incredible experience, with friendly and informative guides, great cooks and terrific horses. I highly recommend Celina and Jose, and will continue to support this business as much as I possibly can. You should too, if you love to see loved and cared for animals, and help this ranch prosper and grow.

Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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16 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Burlington, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

My 12 yr old daughter and I were visiting Ajijic and friends told us about Hacienda de Taos. What a fabulous place! We enjoyed the lovely drive around Lake Chapala--seeing all the berry farms and villages along the way. This ranch is a real Mexican experience. Celina picked out perfect horses for us...we are experienced English riders...so we needed a review on Western style. The horses were extremely well trained and behaved, and had the nimbleness and trail experience to make us feel totally comfortable on the ride. Our group of 5 walked, trotted and cantered over parts of the rocky terrain, and took time to visit the ranch's lake and survey the scenery and the cacti. The ranch lunch on the Hacienda porch afterward was just what we needed and provided another reason to look at the amazing views. We'll be back to stay in the cabins next time! Many thanks Celina and Jose!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

I am so glad I posted the question on the TA forum for a ranch to visit. Hacienda de Taos was a great recommendation. Selina and Jose made us feel so welcome and gave us experiences that we will remember for a long time. We hiked, rode horses, milked cows and had a tasty camp fire dinner. Getting there by bus was no hassle. The cabins are so cute and has THE most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. This was definitely a hi-light of our month long stay in Mexico. I wished we lived closer so we could make it an annual holiday! Thanks Celina and Jose

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockwood, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

My wife and I travel to Mexico every year and Hacienda de Taos is the highlight each time. We are in love with the scenery, the trails and the horses. We are both experienced riders and have traveled with people who are not. Celina matches the horses to ability, so you can gallop along the trail or just let the horse do the work while you relax. I cannot express enough what a unique Mexican experience this is and by far the best horseback riding we've done anywhere!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

What a lovely time, and in such beautiful country. From dinner around the campfire as the sun set behind the mountains, to watching birds and wildlife while we paddled the kayak, we really enjoyed this quiet and beautiful part of Mexico. The horses are very well-trained and a pleasure to ride, far above the normal level of trail horses. One note: bring warmer clothes than you think you need and expect to pile on the blankets, it gets cold, cold at night.
My favourite things: the dogs, the terrain and breakfast! Coming back next year.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ajijic, Mexico
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

Travelled from Ajijic to the Hacienda de Taos ranch near Los Sauces, Mexico on Feb. 8th as a group of 6. All the horses were professionally groomed and saddled upon our arrival and we were assigned to horses based on our size and level of experience. Celina made sure everyone was comfortable and understood what we could expect from our horse and and instructed us on how to handle our horse. She also keeps an eye on everyone and gives instructions continually make sure we were comfortable but also how we could assist our horse for there safety as well. We had arranged to have lunch on the ride and her incredibly able ranch hand arrived with his daughters and our amazing lunch that was way beyond our expectations. I will definitely be riding with Celina in the future as it was one of the best experience I have ever had.
Thanks Celina and Jose for great day!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ajijic, Mexico
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

The overall rating would have been lower, but my daughter enjoyed it so I compromised. To begin with, the drive from Ajijic to Los Sauces was difficult due to the road construction on the highway, as they are widening the road...and once off the main roads, we got lost several times trying to find the right dirt road that leads to the ranch. The dirt road access is in poor repair so I wasn't sure my car would make it...but it did. A SUV would be advisable here. The trip from Ajijic took 2 1/2 hours. The gate has no sign so we almost drove past it as well. Once there, we met Celina and rode for 2 hours. When I hopped up on the saddle, it slid down, but as Celina pointed out to me, I apparently didn't know how to get on a horse the right way...and also, when I dismounted, I didn't do that the right way either....

The 'trails', if you want to call them that, are not very wide and quite rocky so it was slow going up the hill...lots of prickly trees and bushes to avoid. We rode on 2 trails, had a tour of the lodge/house that she is building, and the 2 cottages that she rents out, then headed home. I'm more used to riding in open spaces, and not on an obstacle course like the rocky hills on her ranch...Overall it was not enjoyable for me, but like I said, my daughter enjoyed it, so I was happy about that.
**I would also like to point out the main picture on the TripAdvisor description is NOT this ranch.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hacienda De Tao... R, Public Relations Manager at Hacienda de Taos, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
Thank you very much for your honest review and we are very sorry that you were not completely satisfied with your visit to Hacienda de Taos. We pride ourselves on offering a true western experience in the beautiful and naturally rugged Mexican countryside, however, we also have riding areas on flatter land or along quiet country roads and we hope you return soon to let us show you some of the tamer side of Mexico.
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Additional Information about Hacienda de Taos

Address: Los Sauces, 46018, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco
Hotel Style:
Ranked #59 of 242 Specialty Lodging in Jalisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HACIENDA DE TAOS is an authentic working Guest Ranch located south of Lake Chapala in the state of Jalisco in Central Mexico just over an hours’ drive from the Guadalajara International Airport. We are dedicated to the natural and organic ways of sustainable living and provide our guests an opportunity to commune with nature and enjoy year round activities with our horses, cattle, goats and a multitude of farm animals. Our donkey Cleopatra is always there to welcome you. In addition to our main offering of horseback riding ranging from 2 hour trail rides to week long camping excursions, we also offer horsemanship seminars, riding lessons and group events such as Artists/ Writers retreats, Women’s groups, Yoga, Meditation, and many other types of retreats. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hacienda De Taos Mexico/Jalisco

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