Sunday May 17th was the Gran Cabalgata in La Guaria, San Carlos, Alajuela. The Spanish word “cabalgata” means horseback ride and La Gran Cabalgata is an annual fundraiser that supports the enrichment of local schools. Every year this event has taken place from the beginning of May through the end of December, travelling from town to town across Costa Rica. Festivities include music, dancing, food, raffles, and of course horseback riding. All participants ride their horses on a trail through rios, roads, and rainforests. Imagine a group of dozens of horses and their riders strutting through town; looks like something out of an old western movie!
Spirits were high as the people of La Guaria enjoyed each other’s company and rejoiced in food, drink, and merriment. Young and old, all came together on horseback to enjoy La Cabalgata. Some of our very own employees at The Springs also attended the event together. We began at the stables at Club Rio around 10am and rode for about an hour and a half through terrain until we reached town, which is where the main event took place. There we saw lots of people and their horses, men playing music on a marimba, and vendors selling cowboy hats, belts, and more. The official Cabalgata ride started at approximately 1pm. For about 3 hours we were able to admire the scenery of the countryside, Rio Arenal, and the view of the Arenal volcano as we rode on. We even saw some farm cows and horses along the way!
At the end of the ride, everyone gathered again to end the evening with more food, drink, and a final dance. It was a genuine Costa Rican experience that will leave you feeling exhausted, but also very content. Anyone looking for an authentic Costa Rican experience should take part in this amazing event.
Until next time,