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“Fantastic if you ride horse, a great local experience”
Review of Rancho Pitaya

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Rancho Pitaya
Reviewed June 4, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for two nights with our two young boys, 3 1/2 years and 1 year old. What a great, unique place. First off, Bobby and Mary Jane are wonderful hosts and great horse enthusiasts. They have many beautiful, well conditioned horses in their stables that they take out guests for rides on.The ranch is located close to mountains and many small, rural towns about 20-25 minutes from the center of Oaxaca. Bobby and Mary Jane built from scratch an unique property in this region. Their website paints a very accurate picture of the ranch so I won't get into those details but I will say it was very comfortable. My wife had great rides with the ranch hands, Dustin and Jason. I think they're Bobby's kids and as far as my older son is concerned they are the coolest guys he has ever met. They caught chickens and baby chicks for him to hold, let him walk a pony, put him on a horse bare back for a ride in the yard and let him ride for a bit in front of my wife in the saddle before and after she hit the trails. The meals were spectacular, exactly what we had hoped for. Their cook/housekeepers are from the local area and they made us amazing local dishes at every meal. Our kids were free to run/crawl all over and explore as long as they understood the ground rules when it came to interacting with the animals. Keep in mind this is a real working ranch. This isn't some sterile resort geared toward tourists who are afraid to get dirty and experience the local culture up close. It also gave us an opportunity to truly unplug and forget about the world back home. We'd definitely go back.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Brooklynite1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RanchoPitaya, Owner at Rancho Pitaya, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2013

Dear Brooklynite 1, Thanks so much for taking the time to write this review and it's great feedback to hear how Rancho Pitaya works for families with really young children. For small kids "the ordinary is extraordinary" and there's nothing better than the real thing.
We do hope you'll all come back.
If you can please post this same review to our FlipKey listing run by TripAdvisor. If a traveller isn't specifically looking for Rancho Pitaya it's impossible to find it on TripAdvisor whereas FlipKey has much easier geographic zoning to navigate
flipkey.com listing # 502723

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15 - 21 of 29 reviews

Reviewed April 24, 2013

This was my second stay with Mary Jane and Bobby, some of the sweetest and most hospitable hosts you could ever wish for, and it was just as fantastic as my first visit. For nature and animal lovers this is really a true Paradise, and a must-go place for travellers who are interested in something special. The location just outside a small village approximately 20 minutes drive from Oaxaca is simply perfect and it offers some wonderful views over the valley. There are only three rooms which make your visit so much more personal and relaxing and you get to feel like you are a member of their lovely family.The rooms are spacious and really beautifully decorated and with some supercomfortable king size beds, we slept like babies! Our room also had some kitchen facilities so cold drinks and fresh coffee were always available. Breakfast and dinner were included and once more I had some of the best Oaxacan food here, so delicious! And their sunset Margaritas, without doubt some of the best in Mexico. Really miss the lazy hours on their terrace sipping Margaritas while the sunset changed the colours of the landscape in the valley and chatting with the lovely hosts and other guests. Memorable! This is also the perfect place for outdoor activities. Mountain bikes are available which makes it easy to explore the interesting little villages nearby. Beautiful hikes in the mountains are also possible just as you leave the ranch and the area is also of interest for birdwatchers. But the main activity is of course the horse excursions. Longer or shorter rides, for amateurs and the more skilled, they have the horses and the guide for whatever you might wish. This time I travelled with my fiance who(with his previous ten minutes on a horse and fear of horses)very reluctantly agreed to take a ride, but after a couple of hours on a calm and reliable horse and with Bobby as the perfect guide, he felt so comfortable that next time we will get at least two rides! For dog and cat lovers there are also lots of new friendships to be made. ;-) We both really loved our stay and will for sure be back, hopefully soon!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank LACopenhagen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Our family of four (son 18 and daughter 20) travelled to Oaxaca for Christmas in 2012. One of the excursions we are still talking about is our horseback ride through the valley and cactus forest that surround Rancho Pitaya. By cab Rancho Pitaya is about ½ hour from Oaxaca, just past the El Tule tree. Hosts MJ and Bobby welcomed us with a fabulous ranch breakfast. Coffee, juice, fruit, eggs, toast, granola yogurt etc.
We wore jeans, long sleeve shirts and runners. Our hosts provided helmets and saddled up our horses. We have little riding experience. MJ provided excellent basic instruction regarding the ride and handling the horses. I felt comfortable, confident, and ready to ride. We were a group of six riders including our guide Gabriel, son of the owner. It was a clear sunny day and the ride provided panoramic views of the surrounding valley and cactus that grows in the area. Our ride was 2 – 3 hours, just right.
Rancho Pitaya is a family operation. The ranch offers guestrooms/accommodation though we did not stay this time. We did peek into the rooms and they looked lovely. If you need a reason to get outside of Oaxaca City and explore the surrounding countryside this is it! We have been to Oaxaca several times and this excursion was a first for us.
Thank you MJ, Bobby and family for sharing your passion for horses and area with us. Hosts are bilingual English/Spanish.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank familytravels1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

To know pitaya, a marvelous and little-known cactus that bears the culinary and visual masterpiece from Cactus known as Dragon Fruit, is to know the Ranch Pitaya Oaxaca.

From the outside the fruit is interesting, as the building looks cool but perhaps unremarkable. When you open the door, you’re socked by an explosion of color and flavor and experience.

This Oaxacan retreat, just a $6 taxi ride from the bustle of downtown Oaxaca, is a delightful escape, thanks to owners Bobby and Mary Jane.
Mary Jane, whose Canadian accent has outlasted 28 years in Mexico, is a consummate host, fount of local information and force of nature. She has been a traveling clarinetist, art gallerist, homeopath, B&B and Ranch impresario. Most of all, she is quite the kick. Formerly married to the famous decorative rug artist in the heart of the village of Teotitlán del Valle.
, having created on the most fabulous homes in all of Oaxaca.

Her newly minted husband, Bobby, has an equally diverse background, as a former jockey and Arabian horse breeder, business owner and inveterate wiseacre. Together, they’re a great match. True love in its purest form

This couple has curated, and that’s the best term, a retro-cool working ranch, just rustic enough to engage us tourists in a throwback sensibility, while modern and slick enough to ensure we need not worry ‘bout a thing.

Whether visiting the stable for a trail ride with top-notch horses, spending the night and hiking and mountain biking or going all in for a three-day horse trip or hang-out, the ranch is a must-visit part of the Oaxaca experience.

I used one of their private cabs ($10/hour) and Mary Jane’s suggestions to tour the city’s best churches, monuments, weavers, mescal farms and some secret places I can’t tell you here. The area has lots more to do than I could ever get to, but don’t miss the world’s widest tree or the Bug Church, which are real treats.

Whether going to war or vacation, you want these two on your side. Mary Jane makes like a machete, cutting through every obstacle to your happiness, faster than you can ask her for help.

Bobby handles operations, and delicate issues such as picking the right horse for each guest, to ensure each visitor feels at home and at ease. Those who know me understand they achieved no simple feat. I have been known to express my needs and opinions freely (maybe even continuously) when service is insufficient.

So, to sum up the rest: the food was great. This time of year, the weather was perfect. The rooms are newly built, and more than sufficient. Even the ranch’s other guests were picked from a rich mix of their interesting friends and friend’s friends, including screenwriters, travel editors, pilots and more. At this point, more details are less important.

If you want to learn everything about this part of Mexico, spend some time with Mary Jane and Bobby, even just give them a call or stat at Pitaya or in their downtown Oaxaca oasis, Casa Murguia. Enjoy.

Room Tip: All perfect.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank thinktony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

We stayed at the Rancho for 2 nights in their new location on the edge of the small town of Rojas de Cuauhtemoc, about a 30 minute drive from Oaxaca city. We rode their wonderful, safe and peppy at the same time horses up into stands of many rare, and some endemic cactus in deep tightly knit crevasses, and could look across a vast valley floor to the tall green mountains beyond Teotitlan and Benito Juarez. Our hosts are extremely practiced at the art of matching horses to the rider and matching the ride to our needs. They can accommodate true beginners as well as accomplished riders. They are extremely knowledgeable about Mexican culture, geography, history, art and craft, and social customs. Birding is a pleasure here. The bedrooms are simple, tasteful and clean, decorated with MJ's eclectic collection of Mexican art, and the barnyard hosts a mixture of friendly dogs, cats, and occasionally a loose grazing horse wanders past. The meals are prepared in a cozy dining hall and served either outside on the terrace or inside on cool nights, the food is delicious, fresh, colorful and satisfying. Try the margaritas served rimmed with chili salt - yum! We will return.

Room Tip: There are 2-3 bedrooms here, all are lovely, clean, and decorated with Mexican art. They open to a...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

It's a wonderfully relaxing break from the usual tourist attractions, as beautiful as they might be. The air is clear, the views are gorgeous, the hosts are kind and generous, the food and drinks were fantastic, and the sounds of the ranch were so soothing. For a new yorker, it was such a treat to hear so many birds, roosters, the horses, chickens, and dogs playing... After an incredible ride through a UNESCO world heritage site up in the mountains, nothing could have been better than lying in a hammock with a book, hearing the ranch animals in the background, and watching an amazing sunset, all with one of the best margaritas I have ever had in my life. We were completely renewed by the end of our stay, and ready to head back out on the rest of our vacation.

Someone mentioned that it isn't a resort. I would say that it's somewhere in between: the food and drinks and service were absolutely wonderful, but it feels much more personal than a resort. If you're looking for a different Oaxaca experience, this one is a really wonderful addition to just visiting the Colonial center of Oaxaca de Juarez. This was my first ride, and Bobby made us feel confident and comfortable. The horses are impeccably trained and it was absolutely thrilling to head into the mountains with them.

That's it! Best of luck-

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank davidmanon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RanchoPitaya, Owner at Rancho Pitaya, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

David
It was a pleasure having such enthusiastic guests like you and your wife. After reading your comments, we've decided to show guests how to make our "famous" margarita and rustic guacamole as part of cocktail hour. These are two very Mexican things that can be replicated no matter where home is.
We hope you return to ride with us again.
Mary Jane and Bobby

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Reviewed September 4, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights. It's basically a small farm, and very much feels like a place people live and work rather than a resort - which is nice.

We had a great time on the horses and we are total novices. They took great care of us. The walks around the area and into the village are very interesting.

The food was nice and plentiful. I've had better but I've had much worse too. They cater somewhat to vegetarians.

They keep a large number of fighting roosters, so be prepared to be woken up from 4:30 with incessant crowing - but they quiet down in the afternoon, when it's too hot to do anything but nap anyhow.

It's pretty pricy, and while I really enjoyed the stay the budget conscious traveller should probably just do the horse ride and stay in central Oaxaca.
On the other hand if you've got the spare cash it's a great way to explore a different side of life in Oaxaca that you can't see otherwise- especially when you go walking by yourself.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank kiwicritic28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RanchoPitaya, Owner at Rancho Pitaya, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2012

We always appreciate feedback. Oaxaca cuisine by nature has plenty of “non-meat” dishes so it’s easy to serve authentic flavors to vegetarians, but not to be mistaken, unless requested, our meals usually have a meat, poultry or seafood.
The roosters and hens have a nice new location farther away from the guest rooms from which they are barely audible, but we’ve taken to putting foam earplugs in the bedside tables to aid the sensitive sleeper.
There are precious few lodging options in Oaxaca that are outside of the city and we hope that by staying at Rancho Pitaya travellers can see sustainable agriculture, preserved communal lands and amazing biodiversity that makes Oaxaca such an absolutely special place on earth.

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Additional Information about Rancho Pitaya

Address: Guerrero #3 | Barrio de los Coyotes, Rojas de Cuauhtemoc 68080, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Southern Mexico > Oaxaca > Rojas de Cuauhtemoc
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Rojas de Cuauhtemoc
Price Range: $190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Country guest ranch in Valle de Tlacolula near rare ancient cacti biosphere. Beautiful adobe brick construction with tile roof and wooden beams has three guest suites. Rates include full breakfast and dinner. Specializes in guided horseback riding vacations from overnight to over a week. Great hiking and free use of bicycles; cooking classes recommended. Perfect locations to explore Mitla, Tlacolula market, Zapotec rug weaving and El Tule. Personal attention from owners Mary Jane & Bobby. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho Pitaya Mexico/Oaxaca

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