Santa Fe, Veraguas
PANAMA'S FIRST POINT TO POINT RIDE
PANAMAS FIRST POINT TO POINT RIDE IS DESIGNED TO GAIN ACCESS INTO THE REMOTE INTERIOR OF THE COUNTRY ON HORSEBACK.
Our unique, private horseback adventure takes you through the valleys and hillsides where, in pre-Columbian times Chief Urraca and his Ngäbe peoples would roam. As we traverse over Panamas continental divide with the Pacific Ocean behind us and the Caribbean ahead, we have opportunities to gallop, cross clear water rivers and experience backcountry trails on Panama's most popular, reliable, surefooted work-horse, the Paso Creole.
We begin our adventure starting at a traditional cattle corral, located at the entrance to La Herradura village, off the Highway 33 - the only paved road into the district of Santa Fe. La Herradura translates as 'the horseshoe' due to the U-shaped formation of the river that curves itself through the landscape. From here we set out into the backcountry, following the Santa Maria river-valley heading towards the foothills of Cerro Tute mountain and the surrounding mountain range that forms the crest of the continental divide that runs the length of Panama.
We start the day early to make the most of the fresh, cool, morning breeze. An abundance of bird life can be spotted as well as the occasional snake and smaller wildlife that hang on the fringes of the national park. As we ride towards our destination, we will be surrounded by spectacular scenery and breath taking mountain views, following a trail that takes us through remote villages and past expanses of low-veld bush and cattle grazing outposts, only accessible with 4x4 or horseback.
Santa Fe, Veraguas,
Riding a beautiful Paso
Group size: Max 6
Intermediate and Advanced
Open All Year
Food & drink included
Our destination, the village of Santa Fe with a population of 3,500 people is nestled in the shadow of Cerro Tute mountain.
This mountain, which indicates the start of the 72,636 hectares of Santa Fe National Park, hosts an abundance of wildlife, including the second largest big cat population in Panama. We touch the park at its crest, in-front of us an expanse of jungle that ends on the sandy beaches of the Caribbean Sea. As the landscape increases in altitude you are rewarded with the most spectacular views of the central highlands of Panama.
We ride into the village of Santa Fe mid afternoon, heading back to the farm where you'll be greeted with the mouth watering smells coming off a wood fire BBQ. Grab a cool beverage and dig in to a fantastic spread of locally grown green salads, home made breads and fresh meat off the grill.
Santa Fe is a small village with a rich history.
In 1557, the Spanish crown authorised the conquest of Veraguas and Captain Francisco Vázquez founded several towns, including Santa Fe in 1558. The foundation of the town is celebrated every year with a big parade through the village where you'll see the finest examples of Paso Fino horses.
Although the town is now on the brink of entering the 21st Century as soon as you step off the asphalt road you are thrown back into a time before the automobile or cellphone.
THE PASO CREOLE HORSE
The Paso Creole horse is a mix breed horse and that shows its Paso ancestry clearly. They are graceful and proud animals with an intelligent mind and tough body. Prized for their smooth, natural, four-beat, lateral ambling gait; they are used in many disciplines, but are especially popular for trail riding.
This is evident in all our horses as they all possess and display this natural brio and are people oriented. Therefore they are easy to handle on the ground and will show an amazing stamina and strength on the trail.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
The weather on the day will affect our plans, so please understand that while we want to guarantee your day, riding in a tropical storm is no fun!
We recommend that you pack a water bottle, swim suit, rain jacket, hat, sunblock, insect repellant, dry bag or ziplock for electronics.
We recommend you wear long pants such as jodhpurs/jeans, closed toe shoes. Helmets are available upon request.
SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
✓ Intermediate Plus
DATES & RATES
Starting at $175.00 per person.
Open all year round. Please enquire for your custom tour availability.
All the delicious food and drink whilst you are out riding.
A personal and expert guide throughout your trip.
Transportation to and from the riding activity.
Well trained and responsive horses to ride.
7% Government VAT
Visas and full travel and medical insurance – which is recommended.
Transport to and from Santa Fe, Veraguas.
International or domestic flights.
Gratuities for staff and guides.
The thrilling experience of riding a smooth gaited, forward moving Paso Creole horse.
Exploring Central Panama and its unique countryside.
Riding in an area of Panama that has little to no tourist traffic.
The chance to compliment your horse safari with other activities such as waterfall hikes, coffee farm tours and river kayaking in the Caribbean.
Getting to indulge in some faster paced riding along remote backcountry trails.
Delicious BBQ and drinks to end the day.
HOW WE CARE FOR OUR HORSES
Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses at Junglecat Panama are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
- Our horses are as well looked after as our guests. Each horse is recognised and appreciated for his unique ability and personality and every effort is made to match him with the most suitable rider.
Our tours are never booked back to back to ensure that each animal is given time to recover between rides.
When the horses are not out on the rides they spend their days out in a paddock as a herd and are stabled at night to protect them from the common evening rainfall.
The horses are fed concentrates 2 times a day, and hay in the evenings while they are stabled.
Each horse has his own bridle and saddles are checked regularly to ensure their condition and fit for the horses.
Our farrier is on call to trim and where necessary shoe the horses as the old saying goes “No foot, no horse”. “
Please let us know if you have any more questions around this.