Horseback Riding in the Mountains! - Quito, Ecuador
November 16, 2016
by Abel Rendon
Welcome to the very first “Chasing Ecuador” blog post! This is only but the first steps into my endless journey of experiences and adventure. Hopefully, through this blog and the many more to come, I can help you to start a chase of your own. It is my goal in fact, that one day you to can step onto this wonderful land called Ecuador and, with my tips and advice, be able to smoothly experience the adventures it has to offer. Now, I’d like to take the time to thank everyone who is reading and has subscribed to my blog. Whether you are family, a friend, or just a fellow traveler. A big THANK YOU from the deepest part of my heart is due to all of you. So then, without further ado, lets continue with the good stuff… in case you are wondering what that is. It rhymes with, uhhh, “Remorse smack… fighting??”….. Okay that was bad. I was pointing to “horseback riding”. Anyways, lets get to it!
Location – Quito, Ecuador
Activity – Horseback riding in the mountains
Way to the Mountains – Teleferiqo (Its a lift that takes you to the top)
Estimated Price – $18.50 + (Cab fare, usually around $5)
GETTING TO TELEFERIQO
Rise and shine! Its morning time, so do your thing, brush your teeth, shower, put on some fresh clothes, and of course drink your coffee. After you’ve eaten your delicious Ecuadorian breakfast, and drank your freshly squeezed juice, it’s time to get ready for an experience of a life time!
You might be wondering right now. Horseback riding in the mountains. How in the world do I get to the top of the mountains? Well if this were 2004, the only way to the top would be the old fashion way. Climbing. Wait! Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, let me relay to you the wonderful fact that we ACTUALLY live in the year 2016! A time period where climbing a mountain is just as real as reading the newspaper. No, climbing is out of the question. So then, let me introduce you to, the one and only, Teleferiqo! Which is a basically a lift to the summit of beautiful Cruz Loma.
Now that we got that out of the way. You’re ready! Right?… Well, you might also be asking. Abel, how do I get to Teleferiqo? That is an excellent question. It also has a simple answer. Take. A. Cab. Cab fare from anywhere around the city to Teleferiqo is usually around $5 USD. However, in farther away parts of the city, cab fare may cost more. If that is too much cheddar to spend for your tast and are thinking of taking a cheaper form of transportation. There is always the option of taking the bus. Since I personal took a cab, I do not happen to know which bus routes would take you there. I do know, someone, or actually an app, that does know the routes. The app is called “Move It”, download it, and thank me later.
GETTING TO THE SUMMIT
You made it! Here you are, at Teleferiqo. So after you have parted ways with your, hopefully, delightful Taxi driver. You are going to want to head inside to the booth. Unless you attained residency somehow, you are going to have to pay the price of a tourist. It isn’t much, just $8.50 USD. Make sure to have your passport with you, in case they ask for identification. After you’ve made your purchase you’ll be given a ticket, HOLD ON to it. I will emphasize this one more time and I’ll tell you why. DO NOT throw away your ticket. They will ask for it on your way back down from the mountain. If you do not have it, they will make you pay another $8.50 USD. So again… do not throw it away. Now, your ready to start your ascent to the mountains!
WHERE ARE THE HORSES?!
That’s right. You are at the top of a mountain. Hopefully you brought a warm sweater or jacket. When I went it wasn’t too cold, my light jacket worked fine. However, many have told me it can get pretty cold up there. So just make sure to go prepared. Anyway on another note. Enjoy yourself, usually, on a clear day, you can see all three of Ecuador’s famous volcanoes. So go ahead, take your pictures, say your Oh’s and Ah’s. You done? Okay, as great as that is, were here for something a little more adventurous then taking pictures. Its time to find the horses! But where oh where can the horses be? I’ll tell you the answer. Its another simple one too. They are very close. Just follow the main hiking path for about 3-5 minutes (depending how fast you walk). Sooner or later you will see either a guy with a poncho or a literal corral of horses. This is where you want to be. Now just ask the guide for a chance to ride the horses, he should price it at $10 USD for 25 minutes of horseback riding. If he quotes you anything more than that, its Ecuador, so negotiate. Tell him you had a friend who did it for $10 USD. See what he says, you never know!
ITS HORSEBACK RIDING TIME!
Watch your step! I tripped on horse do-do when I went. =(… Now if you are like me and this is your first time horseback riding. Which, I know, is horrible because I’m from Texas, USA. What can I say, I was a city boy. No worries, I have some tips for that a little later. I’m a quick learner, and thankfully my travel partner had done horseback riding before. It also helps that the guide will accompany you through out the total length of the activity. He also will make adjustments to your horse for you if it gets sidetracked for some reason. For example, my stubborn horse apparently had not been fed. I say this because it repeatedly kept stopping to eat grass every 5-10 minutes. Again, the guide would correct the horse for me every time this happened. Still though… FEED YOUR HORSE MAN.
So, before mounting the horse the guide will give you a poncho to wear and offer to take a picture for you. My buddy and I took full advantage of this. As you see in the opening picture. After this, you will embark on the path! Now like I said before, I promised to share with you some tips in regards to horseback riding. So here it is. Its actually a tip my friend offered to me. He said “Control the head and you’ll control the horse.” After that bit of advice I understood the technique. If you need your horse to go to the right. Gently pull to the right. Same thing for the left. Hopefully that helps out. I’m by no means a horseback riding instructor. No worries though, the horses seemed very well trained.
Now that you are on your horse, it’s nothing but smooth sailing from here on out. This had to have been one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. You’re there riding your might stead, with your poncho on. It feels almost like you are starring in a western movie of some sort. And the view… the view is amazing. On curtain parts of the path you are literally walking on the edge of the mountain. With the view of the neighbor mountain right in your face. Almost like you can touch it. Anyways, hopefully you feel the same about it.
Congratulations! You just had your first majestic horseback riding in the mountains experience. Tell your friends! Your family! Post it on your Instagram. Show people how cool you are. You never know, maybe you’ll give them a push to go out and do something adventurous. Be inspired to chase, and you just might inspire the chase.
So this is where I’ll end our lovely discussion today. Hopefully, you can have a successful trip. If you got any questions, don’t be shy. Comment and don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates! Until next time guys, keep chasing!