Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

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Read this Coyote Canyon Adventures review and prepare for some family adventure. We had an amazing time in San Miguel de Allende with our kids, and our day with Coyote Canyon Adventures was one of the highlights. We were fortunate to work with Coyote Canyon Adventures to provide a full review on their tours. Read on for full review of our experience.

Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

There are so many things to do in San Miguel de Allende with kids. One of our favorites was this horseback riding tour with Coyote Canyon Adventures. San Miguel de Allende — known to many as SMA — is an amazing town to explore on foot. However, if you drive less than an hour out of town, there are stunning landscapes to discover.

San Miguel de Allende is in the geographical center of Mexico, almost four hours by bus from Mexico city. This area has some of the most beautiful towns in all of Mexico, and some incredible Highland landscapes as well.

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Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende: Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

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Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende: Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review view from the top

Horseback Riding with Coyote Canyon Adventures

Our horseback riding tour began at Café Monet, where we met with Marie, our guide, and the other members of the tour. We all hopped into a van and drove about 20 minutes past SMA’s downtown.

If your tour is in the morning, then Cafe Monet might be a good place for breakfast, just understand that service can be slow and plan accordingly.

The Meal: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review meal included

Soon we arrived at a small farm for lunch. Our tour started in the afternoon, so our (included) meal was served before we rode. For morning tours, it is usually served after.

The Coyote Canyons staff had lunch prepared for us: beans, potatoes, rice, guacamole, salsas and a salad. There were also tortillas, quesadillas, and a full queso fresco: cheese made that morning from cows on the farm behind us. Beer and sodas were offered as well, but with an extra charge.

San Miguel de Allende’s high elevation means that the weather changes quickly. For example, it was warm in the afternoon, but by lunchtime at the farm, a cool wind made us put on our jackets.

As we ate, we were joined by Alberto Aveleyra, an archaeologist and guide for another of Coyote Canyon’s tours to the Cañada de la Virgen pyramid & archaeological zone. He had just finished the tour with a young couple from Mexico City, and they ate with us before the couple joined our horseback riding tour. You’ll hear more about Alberto later.

Once everyone’s bellies were full, we all piled back into the van and headed to the ranch. This was a bumpy ride: the road is rather rocky, so we were wobbling quite a bit for ten minutes or so. If you or your kids think you might need motion sickness meds for this, bring them along.

The Ranch: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review the kids

Once we reached the ranch, Marie hopped onto her steed and walked us through the basics or horseback riding for the kids and everyone else in the group. Riding a horse is relatively simple on paper, but can take years to master. Fortunately for us, we didn’t need to be master horsemen. All we needed was Marie’s instructions and the guidance of the local ranchers who came with us. One of the ranch hands was a kid that was maybe eight years old. He was adorable, but he rode his steed like a boss.

The Trail: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review perspective

Once we had practiced turning and backing up our horses, we hit the trail. The territory was spectacular: pale sandy river banks accented deep green trees and enormous cacti. In the distance, cliffs loomed in pastel colors. We were horseback riding in San Miguel de Allende’s wet season, so there was much more green than other times of the year. The greens turn to yellows and ochres after the rains stop.

Sometimes our horses sauntered down an open trail. Other times they navigated a rocky and deeply forested terrain like a green tunnel. We crossed several rivers and creeks, as well.

The third river we crossed was fairly deep. So deep, in fact, that the water came up past our stirrups. I managed to raise my feet in time, but not everyone did. No matter. The sun was bright and the air was dry enough that my son’s feet were nearly dry by the end of the day.

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review river 3

Galloping: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Marie had promised early on that there would be a time and a place for galloping for those who wanted. I hadn’t given it much thought, but when the time came, the kids and I wanted to try it. Most of our route was not open terrain. Nor was it flat. But there were a few stretches where Marie and the ranch hands let us and our horses run.

This was optional. Our group split up, with the gallopers in front, and those who chose to stay at a normal pace caught up with us a few minutes down the trail.

Did we enjoy galloping? You bet we did. It was actually more of a thrill than I expected. That said, at one point I felt like I was hurtling out of control and had to slow down. My girl had a similar experience, so we chose to slow ourselves. There were three or four occasions to gallop, and the last one was slightly angled downhill. We decided not to push our luck and gallop there.

Rappelling: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review rappelling 2

About midway through the route, we ascended to an open plain overlooking a gorge. A spectacular view, and one we would soon see top to bottom. We dismounted our horses and prepared to do some rappelling.

The rappelling part of the tour was also optional. In fact, several people in our group came only for the horseback riding. They chose to skip the rappelling and simply enjoy the view while we skimmed down the side of a cliff.

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review rappelling prep 2

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review rappelling

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Not my kids, though. After we watched the ranch hands set up the ropes and show us how it’s done, our girl volunteered to go first. We’ve done some similarly risky activities before, such as rock climbing in Thailand and canyoning in Spain, but this was new.

Marie helped us into the gear and went through the safety instructions with each of us before our descent. I’ll be honest and tell you that I almost chickened out myself, but since the kids had already gone down I knew I had to do it, too.

Once at the bottom, we hiked about ten minutes back to the top to get our horses and meet with those who had opted out of rappelling.

The Descent: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review trail 3

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review 4

Now we hopped back on our horses for the return ride to the ranch. This was downhill, so we had to assume the right posture on our horses so we didn’t fall forward. Marie’s instructions were simple:

“Look up, lean back, and trust your horse!”

A few kilometers and river crossings later, we were back at the ranch. Here we tipped our guides and then jumped back into the van for the ride back into town.

What a day!

Conclusion: Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende Our Coyote Canyon Adventures Review kids and I

We knew that we would enjoy riding horses in Mexico. But…wow. This horseback riding tour in San Miguel de Allende went above and beyond our expectations. I hope this Coyote Canyon Adventures review makes that clear.

This wasn’t a pony ride on a fairground track. This felt to us more like adventure, riding through the untamed terrain. That said, Marie and the ranch hand staff were personable and professional, and we felt safe and taken care of the entire way.

I should mention that all three of us were a little saddle sore for a few days afterward. After all, we were using muscles in ways we never had. Nothing major: only mild soreness and our legs and lower back — nothing worse than a day after a long hike. And oh, was it worth it.

Would we go horseback riding with Coyote Canyon Adventures again? Absolutely. Tomorrow if we could!

Tips for Horseback Riding in San Miguel de Allende
Coyote Canyon Adventures Review

Wear long pants

It’s best to wear long pants as legs can chafe against the horse or saddle. There are also cacti and other thorny things alongside the trail that can scratch any bare skin. Our boy wore shorts and was fine, but he did get a few small scrapes.

No flip-flops or open-toe shoes.

This rule may be related to the scrapes & scratches, but more importantly, you can’t wear anything that has a chance of falling off. Wear shoes that cover your feet and will stay secure in stirrups.

Feet may get wet

you’re crossing rivers after all. We went during the rainy season, so the rivers were higher than usual. It’s probably just during the rainy season that rivers are that high, but be prepared. And don’t worry: if your feet get wet, they’ll dry out quickly — possibly before the tour is over.

Sunscreen & water are provided

Coyote Canyon Adventures will provide sunscreen and water for the tour, but you can never have too much in this climate. Mosquitos are not a problem at this altitude.

Wear a sunhat with strap

The force of galloping and some low-lying branches could take a hat off if it isn’t secure. One person on our team lost his. They sold cowboy hats at lunch before we left.

Motion sickness meds

Not for horseback riding. Most of you don’t need them at all, but there were two approx. 10-minute van rides that were quite bumpy.

Expect to be a little saddle sore

If you don’t ride horses every day, be prepared for a little saddle sore at least for the following day or two. We felt it on our inner thighs and lower back. No big deal — fewer aches than a day-long hike with a backpack. And so, so worth it!

Further Reading

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Disclosure: Our horseback riding trip was sponsored by Coyote Canyon Adventures.  However, my opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel, and this horseback tour in Mexico is great!

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