Bonanza Ranch in Riviera Maya, Mexico

My husband and I recently enjoyed a relaxing vacation at the beautiful El Dorado Casitas Royale that went above and beyond my expectations in rooms quality, service, food and amenities.   Upon arrival to the property we met with our personal concierge who provided us with a sheet of information that described all the property activities that include: bicycle tours, green house tour, ranch tour, fitness classes, kayak tours, snorkeling, cooking classes, Latino dance lessons, cigar rolling lessons and more.  I love that they have options to do as little or as much as you want on your vacation.

One of the activities not to be missed that occurs three times a week, usually around 9am is a Bonanza Ranch tour.  While the Bonanza Ranch is available to any visitors in the Riviera Maya/Cancun area, it sits on the property of El Dorado Royale.  Any El Dorado Royale or Casita guest interested in the free one-hour tour can meet in the El Dorado Royale lobby on the designated day and time to be taken in golf carts over to the Ranch.

On the morning of our tour there were 8 guests and one staff member, Bruno, that gave us the tour.   From the start, Bruno was full of fun facts, answered all our questions and made the tour very enjoyable for everyone.  You could tell he truly loved his job and was passionate about sharing his Mexican heritage with us.

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Upon walking through the forest path to reach the ranch we were greeted by two of the ranch dogs, Maya and Valentina.  They were very friendly and stayed with us as we explored their home.  All the animals on the property are rescued and rehabilitated for different reasons, but here they are all cared for and loved.  They had donkeys (one looked exactly like Donkey from Shrek), pigs, goats, dogs, horses and more.  There was a goat that thought he was very clever because he found a way to get out of his pen.  He lost his excitement when he could not figure out how to get back in and rejoin his family.  It was entertaining to watch.

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I learned a lot of interesting facts on this tour.   There is a tree called a Nimm tree that they have planted throughout the property.  These trees repel mosquitos.  I also learned that if you plant tobacco plants it keeps snakes away because they do not like the scent.  I made a mental note of these tips to use in my own yard in Charleston.

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The main attraction of the ranch is the horseback riding excursion.  The excursion can be booked before your arrival through your travel agent or through the Lomas representative at your resort.  The 2-hour tour costs from $66 on up depending if you need transportation to the ranch. The friendly guides will take you on a relaxed horseback ride through breathtaking landscapes, providing special moments to share with your family or friends. This tour will take you through the verdant Mayan jungle and to visit two fascinating cenotes (sinkholes); you will be able to refresh and swim in one of them. Afterwards you will taste artisanal bubble gum.

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While my husband and I did not have enough time to go on the horseback riding excursion, it is the first thing on my list to do the next time I am back in Mexico.  Adiós y nos vemos pronto.

Contact Jamie at Wanderlust Travel Boutique to start planning your vacation to Mexico. (jamie@wanderunique.com)

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