Horseback Riding to Rincon de la Vieja, La Oropendola Waterfall, & Rio Negro

Quick Details

Hour Glass 6 hours

Calendar Tuesday – Sunday

Clock 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., & 11 a.m.

Booking Early? Use promo code EARLY10 to receive a 10% discount when booking activities 10 days or more in advance!

Hike, Explore a Waterfall, and Relax in the Hot Springs

Our best Costa Rica horseback riding tour combines hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, visiting the spectacular Oropendola Waterfall, horseback riding, and relaxing in the Rio Negro Hot Springs.

From Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, we ride our friendly ranch horses for 45 minutes on a scenic forest trail to the Las Pailas entrance of the national park. Las Pailas (“the cauldrons” in Spanish) spectacularly shows off the awesome power of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, the largest and most active volcano in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Steaming fumaroles, mini-geysers, and bubbling volcanic mud pits give you an incredible experience like no other volcano in Costa Rica.

The hike on the Las Pailas loop trail takes you through 2.5 miles (3.5 kilometers) of dry tropical forest to see the best views of the volcano, nature, volcanic activity, and wildlife. Our bilingual naturalist guide points out many of the 300 bird species that live here along with other wildlife, like white-faced, howler, and spider monkeys, armadillos, collared peccaries, iguanas, snakes, or white-nosed coatis.

When you finish your hike, it’s time for a refreshing swim in the Oropendola Waterfall. It is a short walk from the national park entrance on a trail with varying terrain to get down to the river bottom. The Oropendola Waterfall plunges an impressive 82 feet (25 meters) to a sparkling turquoise pool in the lush canyon of the Rio Blanco (White River), creating a picturesque tropical oasis.

After your swim, a car takes us to the Rio Negro Hot Springs, one of the most popular attractions at Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Surrounded by thick tropical dry forest, Rio Negro (Black River) flows through 10 man-made pools filled with steaming mineral-rich volcanic waters. You can access pools on both sides of the river by two hanging bridges. Heated volcanic clay is available to smooth all over your body like a spa “body masque.” After it dries, wash it off with cold river water before jumping back in the hot pools.

There are changing rooms, bathrooms, and lockers at the hot springs entrance. From there, you walk on a beautiful trail less than a quarter-mile (350 meters) through the forest to the hot springs pools.

The entrance fee to the park is not included in the price.

What to Bring

  • Camera
  • Long pants
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hat