Article by Shannon Farley
Don’t miss Cowboy Saturdays at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin in Guanacaste – with incredible horse riding skills, exciting bull riding, Costa Rican folkloric music, and a traditional Costa Rican oxcart!
Every Saturday from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. at Hacienda Guachipelin’s rodeo arena, or redondel in Spanish, guests and day visitors can see an authentic Costa Rica cowboy show.
Hacienda Guachipelin’s own ranch cowboys show off their riding skills and cowboy tricks. You’ll see daring practiced ranch hands ride bulls in thrilling rodeo style.
A traditional Costa Rican oxcart pulled by Guachipelin’s team of white oxen will parade through the arena. You’ll marvel at how big their great curved horns are! Brightly painted wooden oxcarts are all built and decorated by hand, and are an important tradition in Costa Rica. The oxcart also passes by the hotel’s Adventure Center daily at noon for photographs with visitors.
Folkloric musicians play the traditional marimba. You can’t visit Guanacaste without listening at least once to the distinct resonant sounds of this Central American percussion instrument – the national musical instrument of Costa Rica. Besides the cowboy show, you can listen to colorful marimba music in the evenings at Hacienda Guachipelin played by “living legend” Justo Pastor Sanchez Castillo – known affectionately to all at Hacienda Guachipelin as “Don Justo”.
Costa Rica Cowboy Traditions at Hacienda Guachipelin
The family-owned 3,400-acre ranch, at the foot of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, has been operating for 138 years. They raise horses, cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys, and grow a wide variety of fruit trees along with vegetables and herbs in gardens and a greenhouse. Most of the fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, milk and dairy products that guests enjoy in the hotel restaurant are produced on the ranch.
Watch the ranch hands milk the cows at 6:00 a.m. every day in the corrals by Reception. You can even try your hand at it on the Cowboy for a Day Tour, where you’ll take part in that day’s ranch activities.
Or go on one of several Costa Rica horseback riding tours – one of the most popular activities at Hacienda Guachipelin. And don’t be surprised if you fall in love with the faithful ranch dogs that seem to befriend everyone.