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“Amazing Horesback Ride Through the Jungle, With an Excelent Guide” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hanna Stables

Hanna Stables
Mile 71 Western, San Ignacio, Belize
+501 661-1536
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Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Hanna Stables offers horseback riding, adventure tourism and eco-farm stay for travelers of all ages and abilities in the San Ignacio, Belize area. One of the country's oldest horseback riding establishments, Hanna Stables is currently operated by Santiago Juan.Located not far from Hanna Stables is Nabitunich (The Stone Cottages), a 400 acre spread of land which has been in the Juan family for four generations. Nabitunich has 20 rooms available for accommodations for travelers in Belize and is open to eco-farm stays as well.
Flagstaff, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing Horesback Ride Through the Jungle, With an Excelent Guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

Santiago took us on a ride through the jungle, through San Jose, and then to the Xunantunich site. It was three of us, plus Santiago, which was nice because it gave us all a chance to talk and get to know one another. Santiago is one of the nicest, most intelligent men I have had the luck to get to meet. I really enjoyed the conversations we had and it really made our trip 100 times better and special. He was very knowledgeable about the area, because it is his back yard, he was pointing out toucans, and showed us what an all-spice tree looked like. He took time to converse with everyone equally and made sure that we were riding comfortably and made sure no one was having trouble. Really it was one of my most memorable experiences and the best horseback ride I've ever taken. If you happen to make it to the Cayo, I would book a tour with Santiago you will not regret it. I know Santiago is busy, but if he sees this review or if anyone wants to pass the message on to him, Pancho Villa from the United States Of America (got it all this time) says hi and thanks for the great experience, if I can make it back down I will definitely be back!

Visited March 2013
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spratt504, Public Relations Manager at Hanna Stables, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind review, Alexander! We loved hosting you during your ride and hope you come back again soon. ¡Hasta luego, Pancho Villa desde los EEUU!
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128 reviews from our community

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English first
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
167 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Simply an Awesome Experience! Highly Recommend!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Theo from Parrot Nest Lodge arranged our horseback riding adventure through Hanna Stables, 501-664-1536, hannastables@hotmail.com, and they were awesome! We had the pleasure of having Terrie and Everal as our guides for horse backing and Everal for the ruins. My fellow traveler had never been horseback riding before, and they helped ease his fears by helping us become familiar with our horses, Joshua and Jimmie (nicknames I believe). Both Terrie and Everal ensured we knew how to sit, ride, stop and turn the horses. I’d say within less than 30 minutes, we were comfortable with riding. The ride took us through beautiful countryside and next to the river. When it was time to cross the river, we rode the horses onto the floating bridge where the operator manually turned a crank to move the bridge from one side to the other. Thereafter, we rode up to the ruins. Once we reached the ruins, Terrie took control of the horses and Everal led us up for a very informative tour. I can still remember him telling us to “use your claws” (aka hands/fingers) when climbing to the top. He provided a wealth of knowledge, the views were phenomenal, and it was interesting to compare these ruins to others we had visited (Tikal, Cahal Pech, Lamanai) as each had its own uniqueness. I would definitely recommend this crew and company again.

Visited October 2013
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1 review
“We didn't want to leave.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

My mother and I went to Hanna Stables on the recommendation of two people, one a Belizean, the other an expat. I had been living in Belize (in Toldeo) a short while and my mother was visiting. She loves wide open spaces, vistas, and otherwise peaceful settings. She also loves horses. So, I booked a nights at Nabitunich and a ride to Xunantinich.
Without going on and on about the charm, allure, and integrity of Santiago, with whom I connected extraordinarily well and who swept my mother of her feet, I will try to stick to why you want to read this review.
I would be very surprised if at any time you would feel uncomfortable on rides with Santiago. The degree of professionalism and talent with the horses--as well as with the people on them--is outstanding. It is clear that he and his team of horses are ready for every skill level.
The calibre of hospitality at Nabitunich is also outstanding. The warmth, generosity, thoughtfulness, and personableness of Santiago and his team makes this place a gem.
On the way to dropping my mother off after her visit she told me that, although she loved her time doing all sorts of things with me in Belize, she could have stayed the entire time there.
Are you going to Belize? Go to Hanna Stables. You will be so happy you did. I am excited to go back.

Visited March 2013
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St. Thomas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Personal service and lots of fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

My wife and I did four rides, all quite different, with Hanna Stables during our honeymoon and would recommend them highly. We actually stayed at Nabitunich (The Stone Cottages), an adjacent guesthouse run by the same family as the stables. (If you are looking for a place to stay in the area read my review of Nabitunich.)
We did 3 rides with Terry and 1 ride with Santiago, who runs the stables. Both Terry and Santiago were wonderful, knowledgable hosts and were very helpful in accommodating our riding level with the proper horses and comfortable but challenging rides. The horses themselves seem well cared for and very much loved. The equipment was also obviously well taken care of.
The first ride we did was a couple hours exploring around the 400acre Nabitunich farm property which took us to the tops of the hills with amazing views and down to a beautiful shady trail through the forest along the river.
The second ride was much longer (about 5 hours) to the unexcavated ruins of “Buena Vista” on a private farm. This ride took us through pastures, corn fields, narrow forest trails, and dirt roads that seemed to get more horse traffic than cars. There was also a memorable pass through a herd of befuddled cows. The ruins themselves are largely buried, but contrary to what you might think this does not diminish their mystic and beauty. I would absolutely recommend visiting at least one restored sight like Xunantunich or Cahel Pec to get a sense of how in their prime these “ruins” were actually vast, thriving cities. But in a different way, an unexcavated site like Buena Vista is equally stunning. Buena Vista is a small site, but as the name suggests, the view is quite good. On the ride back we stopped for lunch at Clarissa Falls. The setting was lovely and the chilimole (a spicy chicken soup) was excellent.
Our third ride was a shorter evening ride with Santiago around some of the neighboring farms. The scenery was lovely as always but at our request this ride focused more on getting feedback from Santiago to improve our riding technique. I'm not sure if he normally does this type of thing or if he obliged us because we were staying at his guesthouse and doing multiple rides. Either way, Santiago is an expert equestrian who I have a feeling could easily write a book with a lifetime of stories about being a competitive rider, trainer, breeder and owner of horses. We learned a lot, and also just really enjoyed Santiago's company. I think at the end of the day what made us like both Hanna Stables and Nabitunich cottages so much is that Terry and Santiago are just wonderfully pleasant people to spend time with.
Our final ride was a long ride to the Actun Kan ruins on Santiago's farm that lies across the Mopan river. While there is a ferry to take you across the river to Xunantunich, to get to Actun Kan required fording the river on our horses. We were lucky that the river height had fallen enough during our stay to finally allow us to cross on our last day. Once across, we had a beautiful ride through chest high grasses until we reached forest again and then the ruins. Actun Kan is much larger than Buena Vista and archeologists speculate that it may be the largest site in the area. But for now most of it is still protected underground. We spent most of our time climbing the two large pyramids which are mostly buried except for the excavated stone tunnels that fade into the center. The view from the top is spectacular allowing you to see Xunantunich, the nearby town of San Jose Succotz, the border town of Benque and beyond into Guatemala, and across the river to the Nabitunich cottages where we were staying. This ride and these ruins were a highlight of our entire three-week honeymoon trip through Guatemala and Belize.
Book a ride with Hanna Stables but make sure you have a few extra free days because you'll want to come back for more.

Visited August 2013
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Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Horses, well kept, beautiful rides for all levels!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

We came to Belize looking for GOOD RIDES with GOOD HORSES. Me and my family love animals so we don't ride if horses are not well kept. When we found Hanna Stables we knew it was the place. HORSES ARE WELL MAINTAINED and they KNOW THEIR WORK. They ADAPT TO EVERY LEVEL. If you are a beginner you just sit and enjoy the easy ride. If you have experience and want something more, they will give you.

We did 3 rides. The Xunantunich ride was easy and enjoyable, perfect for the family. We arrived to San Jose Succotz, crossed the river with a Ferry (so nice!!) and arrived to the mayan ruins of Xunantunich. Then, we visited the place and later we ate at Bennie's, a nice place in San Jose Succotz with very nice food.

We did another ride around the place, following the ways into the farm land and beyond.

But the most beautiful ride we did, THE RIDE WE WILL NEVER FORGET was the ACTUN KAN RIDE. Actun Kan is an almost unexcavated Maya City within the Hanna Stables properties. We crossed the Mopan River by horse, which was a VERY EXCITING EXPERIENCE! We felt like adventurers arriving to an unexplored place. From the top of the -still covered with vegetation- big temple, we saw Xunantunich and the valley between the two cities. My 11 years old daughter enjoyed a lot this ride!!!

We went with Santiago (the runner), who was very helpful and charm. He is a HORSEMAN and knows a lot of horses. Santiago told us that when he was a kid, he used to play in the Actun Kan ruins. He told us many interesting things about the place, about horses and about Belize. GREAT EXPERIENCE!

We slept at Nabitunich, the cottage next to Hanna Stables, runned by Santiago. It was a great option!

Visited August 2013
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