The Cabalgata – A Costa Rican Horse Trekking Adventure
Even in modern-day Costa Rica, the horse is an important part of the culture and many “Ticos”, even the city-dwellers, enjoy cross-country horse trekking adventures called “cabalgatas”.These rides are usually held on Sundays from mid November through the end of August.
My boyfriend participated in a cabalgata on a large farm in San Carlos, Costa Rica this past November 2010 (photos below).The entrance fee to the event was 5,000 colones (approximately $10 USD), and the horse rental was another 15,000 colones (approximately $30 USD). Oftentimes, these cabalgatas are hosted to raise money for a charity or for a particular community.
The cabalgata started early that morning with hundreds of participants registering at the entrance to the farm.There were dozens of vendors lined up, selling food, soft drinks, and alcohol. Some people, in fact, were filling up their flasks with alcohol to take and enjoy along the way during the actual ride.
This cabalgata lasted approximately 3 hours from beginning to end.After about 2 hours of riding through rivers, hills, and sometimes rough and muddy terrain, the group stopped for a lunch-break in another open area on the farm (this meal was included in the price of the entrance fee).At the end of the cabalgata, the day’s celebration continued with a large tent-party where there was more food and drinks for purchase, music, dancing, raffling, and prize giveaways.
Participating in a cabalgata is a great way to enjoy an adventure in nature in Costa Rica.The San Carlos cabalgata was hosted on acres of farmland.However, other popular treks will take you along beach coastlines, through quaint towns, into forests, or up mountainous terrains.