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“Home on the range”

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Tierra Chamahua EcoAdventures at Rancho Los Banos
Ranked #1 of 50 Specialty Lodging in Sonora
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 15, 2012

I'm just back from a great trip to the south west USA and Mexico, the highlight of which was a fantastic week spent at Rancho Los Banos. My main reason for going was to ride horses in 'cowboy country', and although a relatively inexperienced rider, I more than achieved my ambition. The horses were all so well trained and sure footed I felt very confident, and just loved riding through - and up and down! - some beautiful landscapes. The hiking was great as well, with flowers and trees springing into their life, and birds and wildlife in general to enjoy. All the people who are involved with the ranch - Manuels Jnr & Snr, Geoff and Dorine, Vi, the cook, and the cowboys - were very welcoming, informative and helpful - and really good fun. We had lots of laughs.
The logistics involved in trying to meet the requests of several different groups/guests could be quite complicated, but Manuel Jnr managed to keep us all happy.
I was amazed at how quickly I relaxed into the place, loved getting up at sunrise to watch the shadows playing over the rocks, revelled in all the activities, and really enjoyed the odd sundowner on the porch with new friends.
I'll be doing my level best to return......
GB from the UK

Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
1  Thank Molly093
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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140 - 146 of 193 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2012

We were looking for someplace to get away from crowds and do some hiking and relaxing. Rancho los Banos was just the place. While it is not the pristine wilderness some have described (it's a working ranch after all, with hundreds of cattle), it is an amazing experience.The hikes were tailored to our interests and abilities, in lush canyons that seemed far removed from the dry environment above. I can't say enough good things about our guides, Jeff, Cat and Dorine. They seemed to genuinely enjoy showing us the sights they had seen before and discussing new things we came across. Jeff's botany background was particularly appreciated as the plant life is very different from what we are used to back east. Our hosts, the Valenzuelas, have an obvious love of the land and answered my incessant questions with knowledge and patience. In short, if you are looking to get away from it all and see a very different lifestyle in relative comfort and safety, I can't recommend the Rancho enough.

Room Tip: For a little more privacy we'd recommend Cabana de los Vaqueros. It's a short walk from the...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank pdg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

This was a fabulous place to vacation. I went with 2 girlfriends, and we had a great time. Hiking was superb, horse-back riding was amazing, the hike to the warm springs was wonderful, and the quiet was unbelievable. The people that live and work on the ranch are warm and welcoming. No problems with security and transportation. Manuel Jr. and Sr. are both so knowledgeable, able to answer almost any question you might have about the terrain, the history of the area, the people, etc. I felt so relaxed and loved the feeling of caring for the land and the eco-systems. The cowboys were very patient with my lack of Spanish and willing to try and teach me a few words. And, I love the fact that they have a young woman (from Switzerland) as one of the cowboys. I'm already making plans to learn Spanish so I can communicate better when I go back for a second trip.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Laura V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

I left the ranch not 24 hours ago and already am planning my next visit! The ranch is a step back in time to when people enjoyed one another and nature without the interruptions of technology. I went with friends, made new friends and feel like I am part of the Rancho Los Banos family - all in 6 days. Riding these sure footed horses allowed an exploration of extreme variety; from Yosemite Valley to an Indiana Jones movie set to the wild, wild west. There was an abundance of blossoming plants through which we were guided on many hikes by Geoff, a botany major from Ann Arbor whose passion for anything growing was a delight. Cowboys Tano and Diego will get you anywhere you want to go on horseback, and many places you would not believe possible. We had the pleasure of being guided also by Dorine, a young horse whisperer from Switzerland who was our Spanish/English translator with her own thoughts and a magical laugh.The obvious affection the entire ranch staff has for one another really lends to the "we are family" atmosphere, not to mention the welcoming committee of dogs. Vi's outdoor cowboy kitchen breakfasts were a daily treat. Manual and his father have created an "Experience" that is truly unique. Ending each day on the porch; whether playing cards, soaking in the surrounding views with a beer, or just being so unbelievably happy to be there - it was all magical. Give yourself a week here - you will never forget it. We were fortunate enough to be entertained by Geoff with his guitar and harmonica one evening - even better than dessert!

Room Tip: We stayed at El Cumeral - the lodge about 30 minutes from ranch which has the much talked about &quo...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank GSgirl10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2012

I found Rancho Los Banos completely by chance on the interenet and what a find!! I have been riding horses all my life but have never had the chance to ride such challenging terrain as I did last week. The horses were truly amazing, very well schooled and incredibly sure footed which was just as well given the inclines that we were going up and down. We also had some exciting treks through canyons and caves and the whole experience was one I would not have missed and will never forget.

You are treated very much as part of the family and it was great eating true Mexican food with the cowboys and experiencing their way of life and everyone was very welcoming and hospitable, nothing is too much trouble.

El Cumeral, where we stayed, is a thirtly minute drive further on from Rancho los Banos so you are very much on your own with the sights and the sounds of nature. We stayed in the master bedroom which was comfortable but the bathroom is very basic.

Unfortunately we did not spend enough time there to experience all that there was on offer, but this is a trip with a difference and if you really want to get off the beaten track and enjoy the outdoors then look no further. The magic of the land, which has not changed in thousands of years, is breathtaking and as far as we were concerned gave us time to think about what is really important in life.

A very big thank you to all concerned in making this an experience I will always remember.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank quokka2750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

This was a fantastic trip for both me and my boyfriend. We wanted to do something a little different for my birthday and Rancho Los Banos was perfect! Both of us are plant people and we are very interested in ecosystems and nature. For us, it was an absolute dream to explore 30,000 acres of unspoiled land with Manuel and his assistant guides. We saw and learned so much about the desert landscape and the history of the area and we were only there for 2 days! Unfortunately, it really does take an entire day to travel to the ranch from the east coast of the US. We both wish we could have stayed longer and when we go back again someday, we will probably try to stay for at least a week. Manuel and his team were so accommodating and they made sure we saw and did as much as possible while we were there, but one of the greatest attributes of the ranch is its relaxing setting. It is so peaceful in the evenings and there is a great porch for hanging out. The stars are out of this world at night! Again, when we go back, we will definitely take the time to relax “off the grid”. The entire staff is wonderful. The cowboys make you feel comfortable even when you are riding down the side of a mountain on horseback, through a grove of ocotillo cactus! They went above and beyond to accommodate us as vegetarians, visiting a cattle ranch. We always felt 100% safe and to add to that, we always felt that our hosts were 100% aware, organized and informed. This place is wonderful and we’re so grateful that Manuel and his father have opened their home to guests like us for exploring and enjoying.

Room Tip: We stayed in the master suite, at the main house, This room was nice because it has its own bathroom...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank frances0227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2012

We highly recommend Rancho Los Banos. There were no transportation, border or security issues. The 30 thousand acre ranch was spectacular; it could be a reserve as it is so beautiful, with its mountainous backdrop, striking desert cactus and plants, jack rabbits, coyotes, deer, javelins, roadrunners and vermilion flycatchers.

The horseback riding with Diego, who knew every acre of the ranch, was a highlight, as we rode everywhere, with breathtaking scenery at every turn.

Jeff took us hiking though the canyons and bouldering, made fires for us at night, cooked some mean mesquite BBQs and entertained us with some soulful blues. Cat took care of us and made tasty meals. We couldn’t get enough of “porching”, as spectacular scenery was all around us.

We have been to many counties, but this is one of the few places where nature is at its most pristine. We had a feeling of loss when we left, as we felt we will never find a place so enchanting and captivating as this again. We hope we will have the privilege of returning.

A special “Thank You” to the Valenzuelas!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Margaret S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tierra Chamahua EcoAdventures at Rancho Los Banos

Address: Rancho Los Banos | northeast Sonora, 242242, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Northern Mexico > Sonora
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 50 Specialty Lodging in Sonora
Price Range: $100 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rancho Los Banos is a 30,000 acre privately owned nature preserve and adventure travel guest ranch located at the foot of the Sierra Madre, a mere 55 miles south of the southeast Arizona town of Douglas in safe, secure northeast Sonora. Here you will find some of the most pristine, secluded and scenic land anywhere. We offer stunning landscapes, world-class hiking and horseback riding, trekking, birding, wildlife spotting, jeep ecotours, lake and river kayaking, stargazing, fishing, mountain biking, great porching, delicious Mexican food and comfortable accommodations. The ranch has miles of stunning box canyons, high sierras and riparian riverbeds. It borders 20 mile long Lake Angostura and amazing Bavispe River. The sheer vastness of this land will enchant you and our hospitality and service will make for a great vacation. Experience adventure travel at its very best at Mexico's premiere guest ranch. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tierra Chamahua Ecoadventures At Rancho Los Banos Hotel Sonora
Tierra Chamahua EcoAdventures At Rancho Los Banos Mexico/Sonora

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