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“Incredible!”
Review of Rancho Lobo Gris

Rancho Lobo Gris
Reviewed 11 January 2014

We wanted a day away from the beach and the local touristy things. My family loves the outdoors and we wanted to see the country side. Rancho Lobo Gris did not disappoint us. Simona and her staff were wonderful. She picked us up from our resort for our day trek. We were assigned horses according to our abilities and set off for the countryside for a couple of hours. The views are breathtaking! We made a couple "stops" in fields to let the horses gallop and eased our way along trails that were so relaxing. We had a traditional dominican lunch of chicken, rice , beans and salad. It was one of the best meals we ate while visiting the DR. After lunch it was back to the trails with a stop at a waterfall and small lake with zip lining. What a blast! This adventure is definitely worth doing. It was the most incredible experience! Thank you Simona for giving us one the most memorable experiences of a lifetime!!

1  Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 - 20 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 24 November 2013

Thanks Simona and the staff for real Dominican cultural experience! It was our first time riding horses but horses were very gentle and easy to handle. Staffs were kind and knowledgeable. After making the reservation over the phone, Simona, our guide, picked us up from our hotel the next day and drove to beautiful countryside. From the ranch, we went for a couple of hours of horseback riding thru mountains with beautiful view, then had authentic Dominican lunch, and another hour of horseback riding to a water fall for zip lining, diving and swimming. All in all amazing experience and definitely was well worth the cost. Highly recommend to anyone visiting Sosua.

1  Thank j y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

I was just there with my wife in August and we both enjoyed the horseback riding
I highly recommend this to whomever that will be traveling to Sosua (or any place near the city).

1. Easy to make a reservation
We sent them an email with phone number and the owner (Daniel) called us in less than an hour or so.
2. you have a chance to have a private tour (you and your group).
when we made a reservation, Daniel told us that they try to make the tour private so that it is not overly crowded. Well, I had a great time on the day of the tour with my wife alone.
3. Easy to learn to ride horses
It was my first time riding the horse, but Simona has taught us very well.
Horses were very calm and nice.
4. Great lunch
it was a traditional dominican meal but when can you possibly try the local food?
5. Waterfalls
it was getting really hot and they took us to the waterfalls to cool off a bit.
6. Will visit again if we decide to go to DR again.

2  Thank yhsok86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Folks, I want to give a heads-up and a 5-Star recommendation to all of you. However, I really only want to speak to horse enthusiasts, eco-tourists, nature lovers and adventuresome travellers who “truly visit” the countries that stamp their passports.

If you are a beach bunny that never leaves your resort and experiences the countries you fly into… my words are not for you. If you arrived with a pack of horny Spring Breakers, hell bent on out-drinking one another and getting laid by Sosua’s many “ladies of the night”, you also won’t be interested in what I have to say.

If however, you are a serious world traveller interested in life away from the tourist traps -- someone actually interested in learning about the countries you visit -- or a person keen on experiencing the beauty of the landscape that the Dominican Republic offers, then please read on… and do plan to book and spend at least a full day in the mountains with the amazing team at Rancho Lobo Gris.

That day was truly the highlight of my trip… and the source of great disappointment when I had a fall at my resort, twisted my knee and had to spend a day in a Puerto Plata hospital… instead of getting to go back to the Ranch and explore a second itinerary of new trails their staff planned to guide me on. Hence, you can bet where I am going immediately after dis-embarking on my next trip.

In less than 25 minutes from downtown Sosua, you will find your vision of the Dominican Republic fully transformed. The “tourist trap” environment – the one filled with hustlers, drug dealers, souvenir sellers, and prostitutes -- will simply evaporate. Instead, you will get to see the very best of what the Island of Hispaniola has to offer. If you are as lucky as I was on the day I visited, you will be escorted on your trek by Simona, the Ranch’s manager. She will with great care and enthusiasm educate you about the Dominican, its people and the founding of Lobo Gris.

Simona and her local right hand man Antonio will teach you much about animal husbandry, riding techniques and the flora/fauna you encounter as you ride the northern hilltops of the Ranch and several other neighbouring properties. No questions are off limits, you get to taste many exotic fruits indigenous to the Island and most importantly, you get to ride exquisite horses that are specifically chosen for you based on your riding history. If you are an experienced horseman, you will be very pleased. If you have never been on a horse before, you will instantly be put at ease. All the while, Simona, Antonio and other staff will be keeping a watchful eye to ensure your safety and a most pleasurable experience.

Following your morning ride, you will enjoy a great lunch of typical DR cooking, lovingly prepared by the Ranch’s full time cook. I can honestly say the chicken, rice, beans and salad I ate that day was the best meal I had while in the DR, apart from the filet mignion and Caesar Salad I scarfed down at the Waterfront Restaurant.

The afternoon includes more riding and interesting landscapes. You will marvel when you arrive at a secluded private lagoon and are told you get to cool off by swimming in the river, zip-lining into the hidden lake and languishing in the temperate waters that lie beneath the waterfalls. Trust that no Piranhas will bite your toes, but there are fish to be caught if you are an avid angler.

For non-swimmers like me… this part of the day did raise the blood pressure a bit but I brought a lifejacket, so I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the water and a welcome reprieve from the 32 degree C temperatures and humidity that made it feel like 120 F.

For me, the greatest highlight came with the horse assigned to me. I rode “Geronimo” and he was an absolute beauty… though cheeky and eager to try my patience by trying to eat along the way… and test who was the boss whenever I failed to sufficiently give him full instruction to get a move on. I must admit, I was not really taking control that day, anyways, as I was so enraptured by the environment.

I was also enraptured by the raptors… no not dinosaur ones… but by the vultures that circled us as we rode. I kept teasing one of my travel mates (who was riding for only his second time ever) that the Ranch had had to cut costs… so we were to be lunch and the vultures (known locally as Black Eagles) were the deliverymen! LOL

Anyhoo… we survived and live to tell a wonderful tale.

As an avid horseback rider, I have ridden in many countries… probably everywhere I have been, except in Japan (as I could not find any horses and the monkeys in Kyoto are little and would not cooperate with being saddled!) -- so I guess I have ridden in about 15 countries. Scenery-wise, I have never seen anything quite as breath-taking as the mountains we rode in on Rancho Lobo Gris – it could be equalled only by the high plains on the Big Island in Hawaii, where I galloped on the fields they filmed as the backdrop for that infamous scene in Jurassic Park.

Animal lovers will be disappointed that Rancho Lobo Gris boasts neither dinosaurs nor any large reptiles/mammals/birds beyond standard farm fare, if you consider noisy Guinea Hens standard. However, that is par for the course on the northern part of the Island. If you want to see more snakes, tarantulas, parrots or drunken American grad students… get thee to Punta Cana or similar parts! LOL

For those who truly appreciate seeing how the locals live, you will greatly appreciate this daytrip. Those Dominicans who live away from the towns/cities frequented by tourists are a joy to meet. No one is looking to get into your wallet, steal from you or try to sell you anything you do not want. Quite the opposite… they are interested in learning from you, ensuring you are enjoying your trip and you get the sense they would share their last meal with you… if they thought you needed help.

Touring with Simona and her team at Rancho Lobo Gris gave me a chance to glimpse the real DR and enjoy the company of local people in a way I could never have experienced at Sosua Beach or even on the other tours I took. I was very thankful for that and also for what I saw firsthand in the Ranch’s care of their livestock.

Rancho Lobo Gris takes great pride in the care they provide for the horses that participate in their guided rides. While I am sure other stables in the area may give good care too, I also saw a lot of overtly uncared for animals as I travelled during my vacation. Part of the mandate Simona and the Ranch’s owner Daniel Gray have set is to rescue and recuperate ill-treated and underfed horses. As you spend time at the Ranch, you immediately see how this objective is met and how it translates to every staff member’s desire, demeanour and displayed sense of passion.

I cannot recommend more heartily spending a day with these folks. In fact, I’m considering making them “my folks” and buying property on the mountain beside them. I may be Canadian but my ancestry is Scottish, so I’ve inherited a somewhat stereotypical bent for thriftiness… so please know if I’m prepared to someday move there… there is very good reason.

As for your trip… please know this experience will simply make your vacation hugely special. If you have questions, I’m happy to reply to them as well.

Corpae Diem… “Seize the Day”… but travel with care!

Cheers!

Mike

3  Thank MikeTheTravellor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2013

We truly enjoyed horseback riding in the countryside of Dominica. The views were amazing and the staff as well as the horses were wonderful! The guide was very informative and pleasant and we learned a lot about Dominican living. It was well worth the costs!

1  Thank Shekinah1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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