Luxury Ranch riding at Rancho Las Cascadas
2,800 feet up the Sierra Madre Mountains, away from the traffic of Mexico City, is the most idyllic horse riding ranch and luxury hotel I have ever visited. It is the beautiful La Rancho Las Cascadas or ‘ranch of the waterfalls.’
This four star hotel built from local volcanic stone has comfortable casitas, a beautiful pool, and a Jacuzzi overlooking the waterfalls. A well stocked bar ensures a free margarita is never far away.
The main house has is set in a stunning natural landscape. Rooms are beautifully decorated with Mexican furniture and accessories. As well as riding, activities include yoga, mountain biking, hiking or why not try a Mexican cooking class? A nice massage can be very welcome after a long ride too.
Luxury ranch riding
Autumn is a great time to visit this part of Mexico. Cool mornings give way to clear sunny days often climbing into the high twenties. The countryside around the rancho is stunning. The terrain fringed by the mountains is open and there are no gates or fences here. This makes the riding so much more fun than in the UK. The fields are breathtaking and full of endless blooms. Wild yellow sunflowers and swathes of pink cosmos carpet the horizon. The emerald landscape is dotted with fields of maize and silvery grasses.
Huge paddle cacti are everywhere, covered in their rich red prickly pear fruit. You will encounter huge monarch butterflies and the friendly locals will always give you a wave and a cheerful ‘Buenos Dias!, as you ride by. You will ride past sparkling lakes home to flocks of white egrets and the occasional stork.
Rancho Las Cascadas – choose your horse!
The Rancho caters for all levels of rider. There are ponies suitable for total beginners to advanced riders, who can gallop across the plains to their heart’s content. The rancho’s herd is currently eighteen strong and they are all males. Some are stallions and some geldings. The head of the herd is the stallion Atilla who is actually the sweetest natured horse.
I was here seven years ago and rode a baby Appaloosa called Capriccio. He is now a fully mature pony. We clicked again immediately and I headed contentedly into the Mexican sunshine on my spotty steed.
All the wranglers are excellent riders and look after their guests well when out on the trails. They know the routes and always check to see if everyone is ready before going up a gear.
Life on the luxury ranch
At the rancho the comfort and happiness of the guests is of paramount importance. Jenny and Max, the Guest Experience Managers run everything to a very high standard. They always come and check you are ok before and after your ride and ask if there’s anything else you’d like to do.
The rooms and main areas of the luxury ranch house have beautiful furniture and Mexican artworks. The food here is exceptional and all home made from locally sourced ingredients. The evening meal starts with a delicious soup and salad. A main course is followed by a small dessert. Local wine is also included in the meal. Spices are never too far from any Mexican dish but you can hold on the chilli sauce if things get too hot for you. All alcohol is included in the price of your stay. I can especially recommend the frozen Margaritas.
Lunch is served outside under the shade of the trees. Dinner is in the beautiful white dining room, complete with crystal candelabras.
You can ride once or twice a day, depending on your level of fitness and there is also an option to do a day ride into the canyon. On this particular excursion you are greeted half way by the ranch staff with a shot of tequila and a surprise picnic served next to the river.
Trips out from the ranch
Trips to local markets or to nearby archaeological sites which have incredible pre Aztec pyramids and statues are an option. The colonial-era city of San Miguel de Allende with its baroque Spanish architecture is another doable day trip. Here you can shop to your heart’s content. Bright ceramics, clothing and colourful gifts are all on offer at excellent prices. I bought lots of gorgeous things including of course some premium tequila.
It is easy to make friends at the ranch. Some people come for a couple of days and some stay for many weeks. The ranch is a real boutique venue currently exclusive to just 24 guests. Everyone has something to talk about and I have met some of the most interesting people here. Often airline crew on their layovers find their way here from BA or Lufthansa and they really know how to party.
Covid has affected business, but in the nearest small village San Augustin there has not been a single case of it. It is so open here that social distancing is easy, and you do not need to wear a mask if you don’t want to. This is a very safe environment.
Remote self-contained resorts are in demand right now and the ranch fits the bill perfectly. It is an oasis of beauty and calm and I cannot recommend the experience highly enough. The hospitality and the friendliness of the staff here is second to none.
How to get to the Rancho Las Cascadas
I flew from Newcastle to Mexico City on KLM via Amsterdam. Another option is to go BA or Aero Mexico from Heathrow. Pick up is straight from the airport. Transfer up into the mountains is less than two hours.
This luxury ranch experience really is the holiday of a lifetime. I guarantee you will fall in love with the ranch and the horses and the landscape just as I did.
Book your stay the Rancho Las Cascadas through the website and quote the promo code Rancho1 to get a 20% discount!
Check out my review of the top four riding holidays here