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“Can I stay forever??”

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Tierra Chamahua EcoAdventures at Rancho Los Banos
Ranked #1 of 50 Specialty Lodging in Sonora
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Can I stay forever??”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

I agree with all the positive comments already posted. The atmosphere at the ranch is incomparable. Go to Rancho Los Banos when you are ready for more than just a holiday but a change in your life. Scenery unbelievable, food tasty and plentiful, horses outstanding, people easy going and the experience irreplaceable.

Never a worry about safety traveling as a solo woman to the ranch, at the ranch or riding. Water quality was excellent and guides and cowboys very accommodating.

A riders dream and great friends to meet. You won't regret this choice!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank Janajay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

Rancho Los Banos was such an amazing experience that it's been hard coming back to real life. You experience splendid isolation in Los Banos and it is so refreshing to be out of signal and off the grid. We spent 8 nights at the Ranch and loved every single minute. Manuel and his dad are just lovely to be around, interesting, intelligent and with a good sense of humour. Manuel is an absolute professional and ensures that the experience you have on the ranch is absolutely tailored to your interests and nothing is too much trouble. There were two wranglers there looking after us - Charlene from France and Monique from Germany. Charlene had been at the ranch for 4 months and has a degree and masters in animal behaviour. Along with her relaxed nature and true sense of fun it meant for a number of very interesting conversations whilst riding or hiking through exceptionally beautiful scenery. I thought the landscape would be arid and a bit repetitive but instead the terrain is very varied and we spent lots of time hiking and riding through green and verdant canyons. The food is amazing, either rustic huevos rancheros at the ranch with Julio or fajitas/pulled pork/other delicious Mexican food at the guest ranch. The horses were so well behaved. I was nervous having not ridden for 20 years but I needn't have worried as the horses follow on behind Diego the 72 year old cowboy. Nothing to worry about. As Manuel says you just trust the horses and they are so sure footed they won't let you down. There are also 7 dogs and 14 cats at the ranch and it was lovely to hang out with the animals before and after a daily ride. The guest ranch is a 35 minute drive from the real ranch and I thought the daily journey might get tedious but actually it is so beautiful and you can really switch off so I didn't notice it at all. We had our own house and it was nice to have privacy though a bit scary when you heard the coyotes howling at night. For much of the time we were the only guests there which was lovely but we also really enjoyed meeting the other guests when they arrived - lots of interesting Americans. Before we went I read the reviews on trip advisor and couldn't believe Los Ranchos could live up to the hype. But it does and then some. I can't recommend it more highly. We'll definitely be going back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kelda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
112 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

How wonderful this place is. My best friend and I visited together as a girls week away. Now once you fly into Tucson it's a bit of a drive, but Manuel Jr and Sr both made the trip very pleasant. We stopped at the boarder town of Douglas and rode with Manuel Sr from the boarder to the ranch. Once we hit the dirt road leading up to the ranch, he suggested me and my friend ride in the bed which was a lot of fun! From there it was a week filled with adventure. We went hiking and riding. We ate delicious Mexican food courtesy of their cook Julio as well as dinners cooked by the hosts. We also got to try Julio's homemade tequila which was the best tequila I have ever had. The accommodations were comfortable and spacious. We stayed in the main guest house which we shared with 2 other ladies from Indiana and our hosts. Bathroom and kitchen and common living room area were shared. That was great because you soon become great friends with everyone! We spent hours on the front porch reading, chatting, or just enjoying the silence. The horses were excellent. They were well trained and responsive. They were so sure footed and climbed every obstacle with ease. If you are a seasoned equestrian or like my friend, still pretty green, you will find the riding comfortable and thrilling. The scenery was indescribable. You just have to see it to believe it. We kept exclaiming to each other, "Is this real?!" the hosts became fast friends and we spent every night talking and joking with them. I speak very little Spanish but that did not matter as our host Charlene was fluent and could translate when I had difficulty. The lead cowboy Diego became an instant celebrity with our group and we spent many hours on horseback stumbling through spanish with him as he explained the plant and animal life. My favorite experience at the ranch was bouldering. I had never done anything like it before. I am a little afraid of heights but Manuel was so patient at explaining hand and footholds, I had very little to fear and felt that I accomplished much that day. A couple of words of caution. Remember this is a desert and the desert sun is unforgiving. Make sure you wear sunscreen and a hat and drink LOTS of water. (The water is from a spring, delicious and so pure. Neither of us had any difficulty in that department!) The plants are vicious and like to take chunks out of your flesh so wear the chaps and make sure to wear long sleeves! This is a working ranch so keep in mind that things like water pressure are a little slower than at home and time runs slower as well. Your meals are communal and more than likely you will spend lots of time with your fellow guests. Once you arrive everyone just seemed to fall easily into the routine. If you like adventure and culture and like to push yourself and discover some place really beautiful and awesome and cool I highly would recommend this ranch to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tessa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herndon, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013

My sister and I decided to do a horseback riding trip together this spring. We both grew up riding and have experience, but she is still riding every day and I only have a chance a few times a year. We were looking for somewhere with great scenery that would offer different types of rides. We had looked in Arizona and New Mexico for ranches as well but eventually decided on Los Banos. We are extremely glad we did!

The land around the ranch is absolutely beautiful and the weather in late March was perfect. (around 75-80 F during the day and closer to 50 F at night) The desert was literally coming to life, and getting more and more green each day we were there. We went riding every day and saw almost a different ecosystem each time we went out (from the green grass in the canyons by year-round streams, to the tall grasses in the higher elevations, and the cactus that grow right out of the rock!).

The horses are absolutely amazing and are extremely sure-footed. The terrain is very rocky and steep in places but I never once felt nervous. You will be taking it slow and steady on the trail rides because of the varied terrain (the views are quite amazing!).

They picked us up from our hotel near the Tuscon airport and drove us to the ranch. To be honest my sister and I were a little nervous about going to Mexico because it was just the two of us. However reading these reviews on trip adviser convinced us to just go for it. All of the reviews we read were current and all gave the ranch great ratings. I want to continue that! We never once felt unsafe.

Manuel and his father are extremely accommodating and very friendly. We felt comfortable with them immediately. There are 2-3 "wranglers" at the ranch who (when we were there) were young ladies from different places in Europe who work at the ranch for a few months at a time. They help with the horseback rides and hikes as well as organizing different meals. They were awesome, and I feel like we made some new friends.

Depending on the time of year there are some cowboys who are at the ranch as well (as it is a real working cattle ranch). They sometimes also help lead the trail rides and know the ranch like the back of their hand. While they do only speak spanish the girls are great about helping to translate and the cowboys themselves are very nice about trying to understand my "high school level" spanish. You definitely don't need to speak it in order to go to the ranch but it was fun to try and remember some of my vocab words from school.

Also, as I am a high school astronomy teacher who lives outside of a major US city, I wanted to mention that the night sky at the ranch is absolutely gorgeous! You definitely can't see that many stars where I am normally. I definitely recommend bringing binoculars - whether it is to look at stars or to scan the hills for wildlife - they are fun to have.

My sister and I are hoping to return to see the desert at a different time of year. We definitely recommend the vacation! It was awesome!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frizington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

Myself and my 2 daughters (20 and 22) visited Los Banos end of February beginning of March for 9 days and what a wonderful time we had. From the pick up at our hotel in Tucson to crossing the border at Douglas, then transportation to Los Banos where we received a warm welcome. Manuel and his staff were the ultimate hosts and nothing was to much for them. The accommodation was very comfy the food was wonderful and the thing we went for the horse riding. It was the best riding experience of my life, from a easy 2 hour ride to 6 hours in the saddle never once did I have any doubts or fears where the horses were concerned. The scenery was amazing the weather was wonderful, from the riparian canyons, open desert and the rock formations it was breath taking. You could visit the ranch for years and not see all there is. Don't have any fears about traveling to north Mexico never once did we feel unsafe and we are now planing our next visit next year and can't wait. Wonderful place Wonderful people.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Hchdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

When describing my trip to family and friends, words simply escape me. There’s no way to capture the feeling and beauty of the ranch.
I found the ranch while trying to find a suitable trip for myself, an experienced rider, and my father who’s never really ridden a horse before. I definitely found the perfect match! The rancho offers both beginner and advanced rides over the beautiful terrain of Northern Sonora. But if riding is not your thing, there are just as many hikes through the cool canyons, and trekking the many mountain tops, and bouldering! It’s like a natural jungle gym for adults; that was my favorite part of the hikes.
As for the riding, it was phenomenal, hands down the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I even convinced my father to stay an extra two nights so that we could join the vaquero’s on an early morning cattle round up. The vaquero’s and wranglers do everything in their power to make sure you are safe and having a fun time. The views from atop the many mountains are breathtaking; pictures simply do not do them justice.
The staff was amazing as well. Katherine and Charlene kept us company and went out of their way to take care of us. They were great at translating for my Dad and I, as we (sadly) didn’t know Spanish before arriving at the ranch. Charlene was a wonderful hiking guide, telling us facts about the local wildlife, as well as giving us breaks when we needed them. Katherine was a wonderful help to my Dad when giving him tips about how to ride comfortably and confidently in the saddle. Everyone there cooks amazingly- don Julio would whip up delicious cowboy breakfasts and lunches- sending us into an immediate siesta after the morning hike or ride. Whoever accompanied us to the Lodge that evening, whether Manuel, or the girls, the food was just as phenomenal. The cowboys are very entertaining, and great company on the rides, as well as at the ranch- try asking them for a lasso lesson. Tiece, my Father and I had competitions to see who could get the most posts lassoed during the afternoon breaks, which would send everyone watching into fits of laughter at our lasso techniques.
Overall this has been the best trip I’ve ever been on. Hands down. You have to visit to find the secluded beauty of Northern Sonora for yourself.

P.S. be sure to spend multiple nights star gazing, as you’ll never see the night sky in the same way again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank kpkallapos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moneta, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

This is an authentic, rustic, working cattle ranch, a place that time has ( almost ) forgotten. Complete with confident, sure-footed, horses that know every step of the vast, rugged terrain, you can explore the amazing, rocky scenery of the Sonoran desert and marvel at the wondrous canyons of the surrounding drainage basins. Or you can set off by foot for some challenging hikes that will leave you in awe of the colorful sandstone canyons and wide open ranges, following sunlight and shadows as the day unfolds. It is just you, your guides, and technicolor scenes of the old wild west. Yes, there are plenty of mesquite trees, cacti, and other thorny bushes that will leave a mark on the unsuspecting traveler's skin. But the panoramic vistas, the serenity, and the singing of distant coyotes under indigo skies will also leave a mark on the adventurous traveler's soul. The warm hospitality of Manuel Valenzuela and his father -who run the ranch, wranglers Catherine and Charlene -our guides for the week, along with the cowboys and their cook will ease you back to a slower, more relaxing pace of life and soon have you questioning the sanity of our modern world. The peacefulness and beauty of this ranch is simply overwhelming. Have no worries about border crossings, banditos, food and water, or general safety; border crossings are routine and simple with the proper paperwork, there are no banditos, the food is hearty and wonderful -even for someone that doesn't tolerate spicy fare, and the water is fresh and pure. Your general safety is definitely a priority at the ranch, but the staff can do little to help those lacking in basic common sense - please remember to bring some along as this is a remote, back country setting. True, the lodge and guest ranch are quite comfortable, being powered by wood, wind, and solar -and you may wish to stay close and soak in the view. But adventure awaits just a hundred paces from your doorstep... So if the thought of sharing 30,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness with only a handful of good friends is appealing, then you will truly enjoy the simple, genuine, outdoors experience that Rancho Los Banos has to offer. We certainly did!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Keith K
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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