La Ensenada is a working ranch with one section cordoned off for guests. There are a dozen or so small "duplex" cabins reminiscent of Scout Camp, without the bunk beds. No A/C, but paddle fans in every room and a decent breeze from the Gulf made it tolerable, especially in the hammock on the front porch of each cabin, but it was still hot and dry in Mid-March. There's a large pool for swimming if the heat doesn't bother you, and the dining area is a large open pavilion. Food was pretty basic, and this was the only place during our entire two week trip in Costa Rica where we had any episodes of "Montezuma's revenge" (and we stayed in more than half a dozen different places). But we came here for the riding, and the horses were sturdy Criollos that handles the terrain with aplomb, though the tack was old and rather worn, not very well-maintained. Unfortunately the head wrangler, Albin, spent almost every ride talking on his cell phone the whole time, paying little or no attention to his customers. We had to ask repeatedly to do a variety of paces, but we ended up doing only walking or galloping the last stretch back to the barn, with little in between, which was frustrating for those of us who like to trot and canter. The trails here are few, and in three days, we ended up repeating them all. The two-hour "sunset" ride was 40 minutes riding, 45 minutes of sitting around on a hill waiting for the sun to set, and 20 minutes back to the barn. The last day, however, Albin's horse cut his nose on barb wire, so the lieutenant wranger, Michael, took over, and did a great job. Suddenly he was pointing out more wildlife (besides the monkeys and birds that are everywhere here), and listening and watching and responding to our needs. It was much more enjoyable. So if you come here to ride, try to get Michael as your guide. It was a good experience overall, but it wasn't the best of the places we visited while we were here.
The cabins farthest to the north have the best breeze, but they are also the farthest from the dinin...
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