Rancho Chilamate owners, Jamie and Heather (who goes by Blue), are the kindest and gentlest couple you'll every meet; they will make you feel right at home on their stunning ranch in San Juan del Sur. They take care of everything from outfitting you with proper riding boots, hat and bandana, as well as teaching you appropriate techniques for riding so that you can feel comfortable as soon as you're on the horse. It was only my second time riding, and I instantly felt confident because of the guidance from Jamie and Blue. Even if you're an advanced rider, I would imagine that they would ensure that your experience is appropriate for your level, as they were very flexible depending upon the varying skill levels that my friend and I had. The horses are well trained, which was important to me. Additionally, the scenery along the ride was beautiful. There is no better way to see Nicaragua than on horseback, because only on horseback can you truly savor the rolling hills and fields, homes of the locals, the wildlife (cows, chickens, horses, monkeys, etc.) and more. On our ride, we passed through rich forests and ended up on one of San Juan del Sur's serene beaches. All the while, Jamie and Blue were eager and happy to teach us about NIcaragua and to answer any questions that we had about the land and the people. Once at the beach, we stopped for a cold beer and a small snack together. We also had the opportunity to practice cantering and galloping with the support of Jamie and Blue. Blue is a photographer as well, so she takes photos for you on your trip so that you don't have to worry about trying to capture everything while attempting to focus on riding your horse. It costs an extra $20 for the photos, but it is well worth it, as Blue uses the money to help the local Nicaraguan schools. This dynamic duo is incredibly warm; their positive energy will surely lead to a magical adventure for anyone who has the good fortune to visit Rancho Chilamate. We ended up back at the ranch after about a 3-hour ride, which was the perfect amount of time. My friend and I shared a sip of rum and refreshing juice made from a flower similar to hibiscus with Jamie and Blue. I felt like I was visiting old friends, and I hope to see this special couple and ranch again soon!
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