According to the Lodge at Chaa Creek, a new trend in eco-tourism is rapidly growing in popularity – equestrian travel holidays seem to be the Next Big Thing in Belize, according to Natural History Centre manager Brion Young.
“Over the last few decades Chaa Creek had built up what is undoubtedly one of the finest herds of horses in Belize,” Mr Young sad.
“Our 365 acre eco-resort has proven to be the country’s best breeding ground for some of the most beautiful horses in the country; quarter horses, appaloosas, buckskins, paints and an incredible variety of majestic animals that guests constantly comment on, especially those who know their horses.
“What started as an interest by the owners has now grown into a herd of some 28 magnificent animals, with a state-of-the-art stables for those who take advantage of our horseback riding excursions, which of course are guided,” Mr Young said.
According to “In the saddle.com.” who specialise in horse riding holidays, equestrian holidays are now a major worldwide industry, from in the Rocky Mountain States of the US, to beach and mountain rides in Europe, horseback safaris in Africa and riding expeditions to remote and exotic parts of the world.
Long a staple of tourism in Australia and the United States horseback riding as a specific vacation is relatively new to Belize.
“It’s another one of those Chaa Creek things that just grew organically,” Mr Young explained.
“We never set out to make it a specific offering, but as our herd grew and we kept upgrading our stables guests took notice, and now it a highly requested activity.
“In fact, we have people who come just for the experience of exploring our 365 acre private nature reserve on horseback and trying our different animals, all of who are lavished with loving attention,” Mr Young said.
Mr Young said that, in the future, Chaa Creek may begin offering all-inclusive Belize vacation packages geared specifically to riding, but right now it was on an ad hoc basis.
“But believe, me, if you want to spend every day of your vacation riding and discovering new parts of our nature reserve and the surrounding country, that’s no problem at all, given the miles of trails and the herd of accommodating animals we have, appropriate to all levels of skills and experience.” Mr Young said.
“I hadn’t given much thought to it before, but after so many guest comments, Chaa Creek is indeed a rider’s paradise, he added.