Mixteca Villages and Vistas Ride

Otherworldly trail of tufa, surprisingly safe footing for the horses.

Follow the historic Dominican mission route.

The massive altiplano of the high Mixteca region of Oaxaca is a land of contrasts. Ethereal plains of red, maroon and white earth are lined with crystalline streams. Ancient Bald Cypress trees, native palms used for sombrero weaving and dense oak forests hosting delicate orchids are among the flora that punctuate this bold land.

These eroded hills tell the story of Earth’s formation.

On this progressive point-to-point equestrian tour ride: ancient routes where once the great railroad that connected Oaxaca to Mexico City laid, trails the traders of livestock and grain plied with mule trains, and of singular importance, the routes that connected the Dominican missions dating back to the late 16th century.

The 16th c. open chapel in Coixtlahuaca.

The wild and otherworldly high Mixtec plain was recently declared a UNESCO Geo-park  . Wonder at the terraced farmlands that concentrically climb hills to their tops.  This ride that oscillates between quiet dirt backcountry roads and narrow single-track trails is suitable for fit, confident riders comfortable with posting a trot. The average distance covered is 34 kms. per day.

Mixtec woman weaves sombreros from Soyal palms

Your experience begins at Rancho Pitaya. Just to be sure there’s a comfortable match between riders and their horses, head out on a sunset ride across the Rio Salado, through stands of wild cane and into the protected communal lands to get up-close with the rare Palmillo yucca trees. Breathtaking vistas abound and the immenseness and beauty of the valley of Tlacolula set the tone for the week to come.

See day to day itinerary

Technical notes: The elevation of this ride is between 1,450 mt.  –  2,500 mt.

IMPORTANT TRAVEL NOTE: On departure day on day 8 no outbound flights from the city of Oaxaca should be booked  before 4 p.m. There is a guided visit to the mission convent in Yanhuitlan on the morning of day 8, followed by brunch and 2 hour return drive to the city of Oaxaca.

Red earth contrasts with the forests of green.

Dates: 2020 / 2021

2020:  November 22 – 30
2021: February 7 -14
See  Calendar of all upcoming rides.
  • Length of Ride: 8 days, 7 nights, 6 days of riding/ 1 non-ride day.
  • Group size: limited to 4 riders
  • Riding hours per day: 2-7 hours
  • Tack: Comfy Endurance and  English saddles with sheepskin pads. Shock absorbing padded stirrups.
  • Horses: Arabian endurance horses, Arabian crosses and Mexican Criollo breed
  • Pace: Relaxed moderate pace with a nice mix of walk, rising extended trot and canters. It is essential to be comfortable posting the trot.
  • Lodging: At Rancho Pitaya in spacious rooms with large patios. In  comfortable village-run ecotourism lodges and small privately-owned inns.
  • Meals: Good, honest food. Rancho Pitaya’s signature fresh salads and homemade baking will supplement local specialities to ensure tasty and varied meals. For most lunches the supply vehicle will meet riders for scrumptious tailgate feasts. As always there’ll be lots of fresh brewed Oaxaca coffee in the mornings and, artesan mezcal, cold bear and good wine as the sun gets low.
  • Price: $2,990. All inclusive: lodging based on double occupancy, meals, arrival and departure transfers, all ground transportation, admission fees to reserves.
  • $250 return rider discount
  • $200 early bird discount for full non-refundable payment upon reserving
  •  Surcharge of  $200 single supplement