If you are looking for an authentic horseback riding vacation in Cancun, Mexico, hook up with a vaquero. No, I’m not recommending that you date a Mexican cowboy. But the vaqueros in Mexico make great horseback riding companions out in the Mayan jungle.
I had a chance to go on a horseback riding vacation on the Riviera Maya at Holkan Kingdom outside of Cancun, Mexico. I was staying at the JW Marriott on the Caribbean Ocean and they had arranged for my horseback riding vacation into the jungle. The night before it had rained cats and dogs and I thought my trail ride was washed up. Fortunately, the trails drain quickly and the horses don’t mind walking through standing water.
In fact, these horses don’t mind much of anything. Holkan Kingdom offers all sorts of adventure activities in Cenotes around an old abandoned Saxcab mine in the middle of 175 acres of Mayan Jungle.
From ziplining through 12 towers, to jet boats flying up the lagoon, the horses walk and trot along the trails and are not fazed by an ATV passing by. Beginners will appreciate the “push button” horses, while experienced riders will be able to lope in some locations.
I started out riding a chestnut horse named Pepe le pew, but he lost a shoe somewhere along the ride and began to limp a little. One of our guides offered to swap horses with me so that I could have a chance to lope along the trail. I traded Pepe for Califa, a peppy bay horse.
Our guide, Mario Mendo, a true Mexican cowboy, was happy to take pictures of me and the couple riding in our group. He also offered to take a short YouTube video of me trotting on the trail with Pepe.
If you plan to go on a Cancun, Mexico horseback riding vacation at Holkan Kingdom, wear long pants, closed toe shoes and bring bug spray if you have it. The guides will provide a riding helmet and match you to a horse of your riding ability.
The cost of the 1 – 1 1/2 hour ride is $70. Thank you to Holkan Kingdom and JW Marriott for arranging my horseback riding vacation.
Update: Holkan Kingdom has closed. However, there are horseback riding holidays offered at Punta Venado in Riviera Maya and Marina Maroma in Mexico.