Availability of Horseback Rides
We offer horseback rides every day and are open for business year round. Depending on the time of year, your horseback riding excursion can begin as early as 9am or as late as 6pm.
We work with a bicycle tour operator, Arturo, who runs a first rate outfit. He is a fine gentleman that not only can take you on an exciting bike ride, but also make it educational. He is extremely knowledgeable of our region in all aspects and is fully bi-lingual. The cost for 25 K is $65USD and for more than 25K- $80 USD per person. The 25K mountain biking excursion is recommended for experienced riders and is similar in duration to the horseback and hiking excursions. These adventures take us all around the countryside surrounding San Miguel and vary in level of difficulty ranging from beginner to advanced, and also vary in length to best suit your schedule. You will have the opportunity to visit traditional rural communities, colonial chapels and shrines, a ghost mining town, dams and reservoirs, an oak wood forest, natural hot springs, and other regional points of interest.
All of our horseback-riding adventures are suitable for children. Kids 3 years old and older can ride their own horse as the horses are very tame and small in stature. Children younger than 3can ride with parents or the cowboys. Another option is for your child to ride in his/her own saddle (equipped with a special harness). There will be a cowboy assigned to your younger child who will hold his lead rope and stay with him/her throughout the horseback-riding adventure and if the rest of the group chooses to gallop.
Our youngest client to go horseback-riding has been 1&1/2 years old, and was a participant in an overnight horseback excursion. Our youngest client to rappel has been 2 years of age. In short, our horseback riding excursions are suitable for most anyone except infants and the very elderly. Our eldest client to go horseback riding was 83 years old.
The approx. riding time in a half day horseback riding excursion is 2 hrs but the schedule is extremely flexible based on the groups needs. Usually parents get tired before the kids do. You can privatize your horseback riding trip, giving you the most flexibility- riding as much as you'd like, taking frequent breaks if you need.
Rodrigo, the owner and lead horseback riding guide has two daughters, 7 and 10, who were almost born on a horse. When there are children on a horseback riding excursion and if school/extracurricular activities permit, one or both of them usually will accompany their father, providing added encouragement and fun for the children of clients.
All of our horsebacks riding excursions are perfectly suited for children, however for those with young children I recommend the full day and overnight horseback riding packages. The ranch activities such as milking and collecting eggs are great photo ops for you as well as giving the children a chance to interact with animals such as baby chicks and lambs. The full day and overnight horseback adventures also include cheese making, swimming, hiking, looking for geodes, cattle herding, roping lessons, a moonlit ride, and an evening bonfire among other activities.
The women at the ranch are wonderful cooks and your lesson will be lead by the woman of the house, Dona Beatriz. Instruction consists of authentic ranch-style dishes. Many ingredients are grown organically right on the ranch. You can learn everything from making corn tortillas, preparing cacti, to learning how to make fresh home-made cheese. You can even try your hand at milking a cow! Four to five hours to and from SMA, transportation included $65USD.
Horseback adventures are our specialty. There are other horseback riding companies in town, however, Coyote Canyon offers the most personal and professional service. Some our horseback riding competitors take groups out off- road, close to San Miguel where your horseback riding experience may be interrupted by pedestrians and traffic. Coyote Canyon transports their horseback riding guests outside of the city, across three private ranches, where you have the opportunity to experience ranch life, see a pyramid not open to the public and be surrounded by breathtaking views of the Mexican countryside in total immersion.
Other trail ride operators may take you in the same general vicinity as the place where we ride but will not be able to take you down into "Coyote Canyon" as seen in our photos. This is due to the fact that Coyote Canyon (being the main canyon for this region) runs through private property and access is strictly limited to our clients. There are other trail ride operators who sometimes use our name or claim to give you the same experience, but be assured that our horseback riding adventures are second to none. To date we have had thousands of extremely satisfied customers. If you would like an objective referral you can call the San Miguel municipal office of tourism. They will tell you that the best horseback riding adventure outfitter in San Miguel de Allende is Coyote Canyon Adventures. As Rodrigo says, “Everything else is just a trail ride.”
Custom Horseback Adventures/Combination Excursions
We would be very happy to help accommodate you in any way possible. Normally the half day horseback excursion is approximately five hours in duration (to and from SMA), however we can reduce or increase this time to fit your particular groups’ itinerary. We can also combine a group of horseback riders with hikers or those who want cooking lessons as all of these activities take place at the same area, and can be timed to coincide perfectly.
Experience/Skill Levels for Horseback Riding
Our horseback rides are definitely not nose-to-tail, unless you choose so. Our motto is " We don't do trail rides. We do Horseback Adventures." We have diverse horseback riding routes established for exploring almost all parts of the canyon, both suitable for beginners, and challenging for experienced riders. It is also important to note that the horses we use on our horseback rides are not your typical trail horses. They are the same horses that the cowboys use to cut and rope the cattle on the ranch and they are all very well-trained. Our horseback riding guests frequently tell us that ours are the best trained horses that they have ridden. You will be able to ride them either as slow or as fast as you would like. In fact we have had extremely experienced riders tell us that they had never raced so fast in all their years of horseback riding. I am certain that experienced riders will be very pleased, and even surprised with the rugged and action-packed ride which we will be offering you.
Horseback rides are not ability grouped, but everyone is allowed to ride as fast or as slow as they like. We accomplish this by taking one guide for every two or three guests in attendance. Therefore allowing us to break up any given group into several parts; those who wish to gallop fastest form the first part of the group, and those who don't wish to gallop at all stay at the very back of the group and catch up with the others at the various rest stops.
Four-wheeler (ATV) Adventures
If you prefer an ATV adventure to horseback riding, we offer 1½ - 3 hour rides. The four-wheeler excursion takes us just outside of San Miguel along various dirt and cobblestone roads. Our four-wheeler adventures are also very exciting and can be as rugged or as smooth as you desire. The areas we visit on our ATV adventures are Old San Miguel and the shores and hillsides surrounding the lake named Presa Allende. During these adventures you will have the opportunity to visit Chapels and colonial ruins as old as four-hundred and fifty years.
There are several factors to consider when riding four-wheelers or ATV’s. You are not required to have experience in order to participate in a four-wheeler excursion; however we do have a minimum age limit of 14 years old to drive your own vehicle. Certainly the more athletic participants of the group will probably have a greater ability to maneuver and control their ATV, as will participants with a larger, stronger build. However, each rider can ride at his own pace. It’s a question of not taking on more than you are sure you can handle. The faster you go, the more difficult it becomes to control your ATV, or any other vehicle for that matter. We can prepare up to ten ATVs which can hold up to two people per vehicle but given notice we may be able to prepare more. We can depart anytime from 10am to 4pm. $85USD per vehicle plus $25USD per guide as gratuity.
If your group consists of younger aged children or older folks then the horseback riding tours are more suitable.
Full Day Horseback Riding Adventure
Of the activities that we manage, the one that kids tend to enjoy the most is the full day horseback riding excursion. Our full day horseback riding excursion is approximately 8 hours long and departs from San Miguel at 9am. It includes 4-5 hours of horseback riding time + transportation, breakfast, cow milking, cheese-making, visiting with the various farm animals (goats, sheep, pigs, chicks, bunnies, turkeys, calves, etc), hiking, swimming, roping lessons, cattle-herding, a campfire meal and rappelling(optional. This is a great family oriented adventure that I'm sure will be a very special experience for everyone. Or better yet if you have time to do an overnight horseback riding adventure then that would certainly be the most fun of all.
My recommendation is to take a full day or overnight horseback riding excursion if it fits into your budget and itinerary as these are much more involved and interesting adventures for families. On either our full day or our overnight horseback riding excursion you would have the opportunity to explore a neighboring village at which is located at the mouth of the canyon. In fact many families that do half day horseback riding excursions later return to do overnight excursions, and others wish that they would have thought to do it in the first place.
Half Day Horseback Riding Excursion
Our half-day horseback riding excursion is approximately 5hrs in length, from pick-up to drop-off. The cost of our half-day horseback riding excursion is $80usd and includes transportation, horses, guides and a traditional ranch-style meal. It consists of 2 to 3 hours riding, a 30-40 minute break in the canyon and a ranch style meal at the end of the ride.
If you or someone in your group has special health problems or restrictions, we would be very happy to tailor a private excursion to suit your particular needs. Contact us to discuss your various options.
Hiking and Bouldering
The hiking excursions include transportation, guides, a traditional ranch-style meal, and a 3 to 4 hour hike down into the main canyon of this region. Recommended for intermediate to advanced hikers. 5-8 kilometers. Same trails as ones used for horseback adventures. Moderately rugged, very dramatic scenery. Can include alternate bouldering route (second half of hike) for more intrepid hikers.
The full day or overnight horseback riding excursions are my recommendations if it fits into your budget and itinerary because these are much more involved and interesting adventures for families. You will save time and money by combining the activities, horseback riding and hiking, into one action-packed day. We can also combine a group of riders with hikers, as both of these activities take place at the same ranch and canyon, and can be timed to coincide perfectly.
It is also important to note that the horses we use on our rides are not your typical trail horses. They are the same horses that the cowboys use to cut and rope the cattle on the ranch and they are all very well trained. Our horseback riding guests frequently tell us that ours are the best trained horses that they have ridden. You will be able to ride them either as slow or as fast as you would like. In fact we have had extremely experienced riders tell us that they had never raced so fast in all their years of riding.
Horseback Riding Lessons
We offer horseback riding lessons with Western tack. The cost of a horseback riding lesson is the same as the cost of a private half-day horseback riding excursion.
Hot Air Balloon
Perhaps the most unique way to see San Miguel is from the air and taking a sunrise flight on a hot air balloon makes a great gift for special romantic occasions. Flights are available any day of the week and have a 2 person minimum. The hot air balloon adventures consist of a flight approximately 1 hour long. We typically fly directly over San Miguel and attempt to come as close to the main downtown square (El Jardin) as possible. At times we may find ourselves flying just a few feet from the ground, and at other times we will fly clear above the clouds. The flight will also take you out over the San Miguel countryside for your landing and apart from the flight itself, clients also participate in the preparation of the balloon, which is also quite interesting. The meeting time for departure is is 7:00am downtown. The cost for the hot air ballon flight is 200usd per person. We cannot offer you any discount at this time.
Hot Spring/Horseback Riding Package
The horseback riding /Hot springs package is a half-day horseback riding excursion + a 3 hour visit to Escondido (hot springs) after the ride. This makes a very memorable combination of adventure and relaxation. You can even opt for a massage at the very end of the day if you really want to pamper yourself.
In the mid-range of accommodations, I would recommend Posada Carmina, Posada San Francisco or Posada Aldea. San Miguel also boasts a great selection of world-class, five-star quality boutique hotels. Of these I recommend Casa de Sierra Nevada and La Puerecita. For those on a budget, we suggest Posada Mayorazgo or Posada San Sebastian.
Intern Program for Teens
For our summer ‘Spanish Immersion Cowboy Intern Program’ we would recommend a minimum stay of two weeks. Two of our previous summer interns have stayed as many as six weeks. If you do attend, basically you will become the right hand to one of the cowboys on the ranch. You will be assisting in and handling all sorts of activities like feeding horses, milking cows, plowing fields, driving cattle, as well as helping as a guide on our horseback riding excursions, just to name a few. This visit is a great opportunity for you to learn or improve your fluency in conversational Spanish. Also you would learn a great deal about basic horsemanship, and greatly improve your riding skills, but more importantly, you will have the rare opportunity to experience a very special way of life and culture that has almost been long forgotten in our modern world. Contact us for more information.
Large Groups/Corporate Groups
Coyote Canyon can also book special events and horseback rides for large or small groups - private or corporate. These events can range from a private traditional Mexican rodeo and fiesta, to a privatized evening at one of San Miguel's outlying hot spring thermal baths, complete with catered dinner, live music, African drummers, fire dancers, acrobats, and fireworks display, as well as trail rides for as many as 75 rides at one time.
Three of the most popular activities for large groups are the half day horseback riding excursion, the Fiesta Mexicana and Ranch-style rodeo. We begin with our ‘Mexican Horseback Adventure’. This activity can be tailored to varying lengths depending on your particular group’s budget and itinerary. The basic package consists of a ranch tour + a half day horseback riding excursion. The horseback trail riding takes place throughout several working cattle ranch that lie due west of San Miguel. On these horseback excursions we are able to ride throughout 4,000+ acres of beautiful Mexican countryside.
The drive up to the ranch is quite scenic as it takes us about 600 feet above San Miguel, giving us a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, hillsides, valleys, and lowlands. Right before reaching our destination, from a distance we get to see an Otomi pyramid that is approximately 1600 years old. This is the main archaeological site for this region and is not yet open to the public, as there is currently a team of archaeologists working on the site. Since you have to travel through three private ranches in order to get within eyeshot of it, we are among the privileged few who get to see the temple at all.
Once at the ranch we give our groups a brief introduction to the ranch and its history and then divide the group into four parts to correspond with four stations: milking, cheese making, ranch school visit, and the pre-ride restroom break. After the ranch visit you are given the necessary instruction for the horseback riding excursion. Then we divide up the group into beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders, and set off on horseback over the plains and rolling hillsides, amongst the cattle on our way to the canyon/river valley.
Upon reaching the edge of the canyon we begin our descent which lasts for forty-five minutes and leads us all the way to the canyon’s bottom where we find the river bed. From this point we begin to ride along the canyon bottom, crossing the river bed at several points and stopping at several scenic rest stops to admire the spectacular views surrounding us. At about the halfway point, deep within the winding canyon bottom, we congregate to share a very special campfire meal, and a couple of ice cold beers. We settle around three or four campfires, and while your cowboy guides prepare your meal. There are lots of laughs at this point as the participants share their experiences and emotions. It is important to note that this experience is far from being what a typical trail ride is; it is a horseback adventure, which although suitable for all ages and completely novice riders, is quite impressive, even for the most experienced riders. It is the perfect combination of dramatic scenery, a rough and varied trail, highly experienced cowboys, and amazingly sure-footed and tame horses.
After having our campfire meal, we saddle up again and begin to work our way up, winding along the canyon’s side, until reaching its upper rim. At this final scenic rest stop we find ourselves perched on the edge of 150 foot sheer cliffs, with an incredible view of the entire canyon, and its surrounding mountains. This is definitely the most impressive of all the vistas, which is why we save it for last. From this point we make our final stretch back to the homestead and then on to San Miguel. However, if you elect to expand your package to include a ‘Fiesta Mexicana’, rather than simply riding back to the homestead from the cliffs we drive a herd of 50-100 head of cattle back to the homestead with us. This experience really makes you feel like one of the cowboys, and is a great climax at the end of an already exciting and emotional ride.
After herding the cattle into the main corral we dismount and enjoy some refreshments before making our way to a ¼ mile drag strip where the cowboys unsaddle their horses and race them bareback in pairs amidst the cheers from onlookers. Here we get to see just how fast these horses can run, and after several of these races we offer the most adventurous (and experienced) of our guests a chance to race against each other (with saddles of course). After this activity we head back to the homestead where a smorgasbord of traditional Mexican food awaits us. As our guests sample all the different dishes, the ranch style music plays, and we invite anyone interested to try their hand at roping some of the cattle in the main corral. Here we also can organize a few games which we affectionately refer to as the “Olimpiadas Rancheras” ( the Ranch-style Olympics), which include silly competitions like donkey races, “Futbol Gallito” (like soccer, but chasing a chicken), as well as others. When you combine these activities with an open bar, you basically end up with everyone in the group doubling over with laughter before heading back to San Miguel. But if your group requires even more action and adventure to finish off the day, then you can opt for an additional ranch-style rodeo, complete with professional bulls, riders, and team ropers! A great adrenaline filled spectacle. So, that’s it! Whether you choose the basic package, or all the possible options, we promise no less than a once in a lifetime experience that your guests will surely love. Contact us regarding pricing of these special group activities. If you would like for us to send you a photo/video CD presentation, just e-mail us with your address.
Location of Coyote Canyon
Coyote Canyon Adventures operates out of San Miguel de Allende. The area we explore on horseback is a series of very traditional, family owned, working cattle ranches located west of San Miguel. The main canyon of the whole region runs directly through these ranches. Coyote Canyon does not have an office open to the public in SMA and all reservations are taken by phone or email.
Meals during Horseback and Hiking Excursions
A meal is served along with the half, full and overnight horseback riding excursions consists of traditional Mexican dishes and fresh organic ingredients grown and collected right on the ranch. A typical meal might be a plate of potatoes & egg, accompanied by a serving of rice & baked beans, plus quesadillas made with the home-made cheese which is produced on the ranch fresh every day, just like the corn tortillas. You may also be served fresh salsas, cactus salad, guacamole, and fruit with your meal. Vegetarian friendly. The half day horseback riding excursion includes one meal, the full day two, and the overnight four.
Overnight Horseback Riding Excursion
The most complete way to experience the canyon both by day and night is to do an overnight horseback riding excursion. On the day of the horseback excursion, we pick you up in downtown SMA and transport you to the ranch. There we will ride for two and a half to three hours on horseback to the canyon and to our campsite. The following morning we ride back to the ranch and from there you will be transported back into San Miguel.
Our camping riding excursions include all camping gear (tents, sleeping bags, folding chairs etc), +4 campfire meals (complete with ice cold beers for the adults and marshmallows and hotdogs for the kids), night-riding, a long evening bonfire, and clear skies, permitting, fantastic stargazing. Overnight Horseback Riding Excursions are approximately 30 hours from pick-up to drop-off. My recommendation is to take an overnight or full day horseback riding excursion if it fits into your budget and itinerary as these are much more involved and interesting adventures for families. In fact many families that do half day trail riding excursions later return to do overnight horseback riding excursions, and others wish that they would have thought to do it in the first place. The overnight horseback riding excursion has a cost of $190usd per person and includes 4 meals. There is only one charge for the riding/overnight combo and the price is based on our four person minimum.
This horseback trail riding excursion gives us enough time to take a midnight ride all the way to a neighboring village, where you can stock up on some essentials, or pick up a good tequila to help keep the stories flowing around the campfire. For the more extreme riders, this horseback trail riding excursion also includes a section where you can gallop or even race full speed through the darkness! Of course that part is optional and not recommended for the faint of heart. If there is a full moon, then we can see our surroundings quite clearly. And if there is no moon, then our night ride is in almost total darkness. This makes for a very intense and somewhat eerie experience, where the challenge is that you must put all of your trust in both your horse and your guides. It is actually very safe as horses have excellent night vision, and both the horses and your guides know by heart every twist and turn of the trails we ride on.
Payment for our Tours
As of now, we accept cash only, pesos or dollars. We do not accept credit cards at this time.
Price/Private Ride Procedure for Horseback Rides
The horseback riding excursions have a four person minimum for the standard cost. The prices stated for horseback riding excursions are based on parties of 4 or more. When we have less than four riders the cost is slightly higher. We can try to match you up with another group so that you do not pay that extra premium for a private horseback ride, however I cannot be certain that another group will be available for the particular date in question. If you do choose to take the trail ride privately then I would be happy to add about an extra hour+ to your experience. Alternatively, you send us a local phone number and can have us to contact you, as soon as we get a group close to your desired riding date. For example: if two clients decide to ride privately instead of paying $85 each (a total of $170), they will pay for three, a total of $255 for a half day horseback ride.
At the end of our horseback riding adventure you have the option of rappelling (up to 3 descents) from a 120 ft sheer cliff. The time it takes to descend is entirely up to the person rappelling; you can drop down very slowly and really take the time to enjoy the spectacular view, or you could fly down with five or six big leaps. Duration may vary from 3-10 minutes.
Reservations for our Tours
A couple of days advance notice for your reservation is fine. If you reserve weeks in advance please give us a call a few days your excursion to re-confirm the size of your group and address for pick-up.
Seniors- Horseback Rides
Our trail rides are suitable for most anyone except infants and the very elderly. Our eldest client to go horseback riding with us has been 83 years old.
Summer Camp at Coyote Canyon
Beginning next summer Coyote Canyon Adventures proudly brings to you its first annual Adventure Camp! This summer camp is designed to be an exciting and empowering adventure for your child, as well as a cultural exchange program that educates through adventures. Spanish lessons will be integrated throughout your child’s daily activities, making learning Spanish as simple as having fun. Most of your child’s adventures will in effect double as cultural field trips. Some activities included are camping, horseback riding & basic horsemanship, archery, hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, ranch and rodeo excursions, martial arts, mountain biking, team paintball games, swimming, r/c racing, roping lessons, ecological workshops and more. In the meantime, parents can take advantage of our San Miguel Getaway vacation packages. Packages can range from simply booking your travel arrangements and accommodations, to an all-inclusive romantic retreat in old San Miguel. You can even share an overnight horseback riding adventure with your child.
Tack/Horseback Riding Equipment
We use western tack for all of our horseback riding tours. Mexican saddles are the same basic design as American western saddles, but do have several variations like the size of the pommel or horn, as the Mexican roping technique is somewhat different form the American. Stirrups are more easily accessible in the Mexican design as they hang perpendicularly to your horse, thus avoiding the need to have to turn your foot inwards in order to fish for them.
Depending on the time of year our half day horseback rides can begin as early as 9am or as late as 3pm. Our half-day horseback riding excursion is approximately 5hrs in length, the full day 9 hours and the overnight approx 30.
Transportation to Coyote Canyon
Transportation to and from the plaza principal is included in the cost of our horseback riding excursions. We pick up our guests downtown San Miguel, on the corner of the main square where Hidalgo and Canal meet (next to the Starbuck's).
Coyote Canyon Adventures would be happy to provide a comprehensive vacation package for your group. We can prepare everything from your airport transfer, hotel accommodations, tours and activities. The benefit of using Coyote Canyon to book your vacation is that when you arrive in San Miguel, you can already have a well planned itinerary which will help you make the most of your valuable vacation time. We know from experience which hotels and providers will give you the best service available so that you don't have to worry about having disappointing experiences, or sub-standard services provided to you. If you would like for us to prepare hotel and activities package for you, then please send us your general and specific preferences and interests, so that we can begin to tailor an itinerary which will be perfect for your group.
Though San Miguel days are usually pretty warm, with only a light jacket needed, it can get pretty cold at night in November and December. January is the coldest month. The rainy season begins at the end of May. June and July are the heaviest months; September is the end of the rainy season. During this time of year if you have rain coats - bring them, otherwise we will have rain ponchos ready.
Coyote Canyon can also book special events for weddings. These events can range from a private traditional Mexican rodeo and fiesta, to a privatized evening at one of San Miguel's outlying hot spring thermal baths, complete with catered dinner, live music, African drummers, fire dancers, acrobats, and fireworks display. Or perhaps you might just want to book a romantic moonlight horseback ride in downtown San Miguel or in the canyon; or camping trip, complete with candlelit dinner, three-dozen beautiful roses, and a live mariachi serenade. We also can provide horses to incorporate into your ceremony or exit.
If you have a wedding planner or someone in San Miguel that is helping you with the wedding plans, we would be happy to take them riding with us as a familiarization trip. Secondly, if you would like for us to send you a photo/video CD presentation, just e-mail us back with your address.
Week-Long Horseback Riding Excursion
Our weeklong horseback trail riding adventure is a hundred times as exciting as what we get to experience on our daily rides. It is actually five nights of camping, and six days of riding. If you would like a more extensive description of the horseback trail riding excursion, it will be much easier to me to explain it to you over the phone. If you e-mail me your number I would be happy to call you whenever it is convenient for you, otherwise you can reach me anytime at 011-52-415-153-5005. I can also mail you a photo CD with photos from one of these excursions. To watch a video of a recent week-long horseback riding excursion click here.
What to Wear for Horseback Riding
As far as your footwear is concerned for horseback riding, any closed-toe shoes are fine. Sneakers or tennis shoes are great. Whatever is the slimmest is the best, to avoid getting a foot stuck in your stirrups. Do not wear crocs, clogs, sandals/flip-flops or anything that will fall off easily. If you do not have access to suitable shoes we would gladly loan you a pair. As for your horseback riding apparel, any long pants and jeans are ideal. We do provide riding helmets if requested, as well as rappelling helmets.
Zebras and other Wildlife
No, you will not see any zebras roaming the plains of Coyote Canyon. You may however see eagles, raven, hawks, vultures, crows, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, armadillos, jackrabbits, roadrunners, frogs, snakes, toads, lizards and a really interesting assortment of insects. If you look closely enough you may even spot a coyote. Apart from the birds aforementioned, you can find a great variety of other bird species- a bird watcher’s paradise!