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Tips for horseback riding in Cuba

Fri 23 Feb 2018

Tips for horseback riding in Cuba

Cuba offers stunning landscapes that are best enjoyed if you walk them as locals have for centuries. Tourists who enjoy outdoor activities include in their plans a ride through these locations. Take hat and sun cream from your bed and breakfast in Cuba and follow these tips for horseback riding in Cuba to enjoy your next adventure.

How to plan a horseback riding vacation in Cuba?

Cuba is becoming more and more popular to every type of tourist. Especially those who love nature and want to enjoy all the amazing sceneries this island has to offer. And one of the activities that have their attention is riding a horse through valleys, beaches, mountains, rivers… And even around the city.

So travelers are now planning their horseback riding vacations in Cuba more frequently. There is a lot of information and reviews online that can be helpful if you want to do it too. Our main advice is to do a research before going to the island and contact the guides to ask everything you want to know.

From the West to the Eastern part of the Caribbean Island, there is a trail to ride everywhere. Cubans themselves are used to use horses like transportation, especially in the countryside. And they’ll be happy to lead the tourist though their route.

Guides and tour companies have routes prepared for the visitors. But there is also the possibility of planning a route by yourself. Just tell them where you want to go and they’ll take you there if it’s possible.

It is convenient to plan ahead, but if you decide to go horseback riding after arriving in Cuba, you’ll find the way to do it. Ask the people at the casa particular for recommendations. They would know someone, and probably they’d even contact them for you.

Tips for horseback riding in Cuba

What to expect

Horseback riding is affordable and is worth every penny. The cost of the available rides is from 5 to 7 CUC per hour on average. Some guides will pick the tourist up at their accommodation, but others don’t have transportation.

It’s also possible to do this activity any time of the year, but there are some considerations. For example, the schedule can change between the rainy season and the dry season. This means that it could be a few hours less to ride during Cuban winter.

That is one of the questions you would like to ask your guide. Also, what is the maximum of hours a ride can be? Some of them will limit the excursions to 5 hours. Of course, you can choose routes shorter than that.

There are guides willing to make discounts to large groups. Others take children for free. But, if you are traveling with kids under 6, ask first if they can take the trip. There are even guides prepared to take people with some disabilities.

A major concern when doing tourism that involves animals is how they are treated. In general, the horses are treated properly and are in good condition. But sometimes it’s possible to see some skinny horses. To be a responsible traveler, request a horse that is in good shape and healthy. You could also help the owner buying some of the available medicine to the animal.

Do I need experience?

Cuba has trails for every level of experience, so you don’t need to be an expert. You can actually take your first ride on a horse during this trip. Make sure to talk with your guide about your level of experience to choose a route according to your knowledge.

They also will assign a horse according to your experience. If this is your first time probably you’d like a short route, maybe two hours. But if you are in good physical condition and have done it before, take a longer one.

If it’s an easy ride, there is no problem to take a 4 hours tour, even for beginners.

There will be some stops during the trip for the travelers to rest. But it is even more important to take time off for the animals, so they can rest. The longest stops will be to keep them away from the hardest sunlight.

What should I take to my horseback riding trip

Before leaving the room at your bed and breakfast, make sure to take all the items you need for the trip. Sun cream is important, you’ll be a few hours under the sun, and you will want to protect your skin. A hat will be helpful too.

Because of the economic problems in Cuba is almost sure that the guides don’t have any helmets. So, take yours to the trip if you have one. The horses should only walk during the trip, but in case of an accident, the helmet will keep your head protected.

In routes around Trinidad or Guardalavaca, just to name some, there are lakes or waterfalls where tourist can refresh. Don’t forget a swimsuit. Also, bring water to hydrate during the tour.

Don’t forget to take your camera with you. Won’t be easy to take pictures from the horse, but ask the guides if they can help you.

horse riding vacarions in cuba

Where to go horseback riding in Cuba

It would be hard to name all the available routes in just one post. And even harder to chose the best horseback riding in Cuba. But here are some of the most popular options.

Pinar del Rio

The Valley of Vinales is located in Pinar del Rio. And this is one of the most famous spots to see from a horse. This is a different way to enjoy the amazing landscape this location has to offer.

Here the travelers can go through the tobacco fields, coffee plantations, sample handmade cigars… Also, there is the possibility to visit the caves and take a bath in a natural pool or lake. There would be some riding on the river too.

There are plenty options to go horseback riding in Vinales. But must guides have the same route.

Some spot you can chose to visit on your ride in Pinar del Rio are Valle del Silencio, Pizarras del Sur, Mil Cumbres, Mural de la Prehistoria, Sierra del Rosario, and many more.


Guardalavaca, located in the province of Holguin, is known for its paradisiacal beaches. But this town can also be explored on a horse.

Among the places you can go during the trip are Laguna Cuba, Chorro de Maita, and the coastline. Also, there is the possibility to visit some farms or go horseback riding on the beach in Cuba.

Sancti Spiritus

Some tour operators will offer trips for a few days. Visiting Topes de Collante in Sancti Spiritus can be one of these adventures. The traveler has to be willing to sleep in tents in the middle of nature, but the prize is enviable. And you will create memories for the rest of your life.

But if you prefer just one day tour, there is also that possibility. There, you’ll enjoy the flora and fauna diversity, with a high level of endemic species.

A famous destination in Sancti Spiritus is Trinidad. The horseback riding in this town is also memorable. You can go from the city center to Valle de los Ingenios where there is a natural pool. On the way, there are coffee plantations and the ruins of the sugar mills.

Even closer than the Valle de Los Ingenios is the beach, and some tourists prefer to stay there.


In the province of Matanzas, tourists can go horseback riding in Varadero. This place is also known for the amazing beach, but rent an hour of horseback riding there can be more expensive than in any other place.

The beach is not the only option to ride a horse in Matanzas. You can also walk to the Ruta de Los Esclavos.

Horseback in the beach

Security advises before riding a horse

To have a wonderful horse riding holiday is important to know how to stay safe during the trip. If this is your first time, the guides should give you a basic lesson to ride the horse.

One of the main things is the clothes. Wear long pants, if you can take a pair of jeans is better. Your legs have to be protected because they will get rubbed raw by the saddle. Also wear close-toed shoes, with a little heel. The heel will keep your foot in the stirrup.

When you are in the saddle keep the ball of your foot on the stirrup. Don’t be tense; use your legs, back and abdominals to keep the balance. You need to understand how the horse is moving and go with him.

Always keep the eye on the route. This way you can guide the horse. These animals are very sensitive and they’ll understand where you are trying to guide them using the legs and the reins. For more security tips, just listen to the guide, and don’t try to go out of the trail.

Are you ready for this adventure? You won’t regret if you chose to see this island riding a horse. Just follow these tips for horseback riding in Cuba. If you are already planning your next trip, contact us.


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