“On Pinto! On Bayo! On Apache, Siux and Indio, too!” Nope, this isn’t Santa hitting the tequila early; it’s just Armando Rolón, owner of El Establo Ranch (The Stable) here in Rocky Point gathering his best horses for a trip to Sandy Beach.
The weather is beautiful In Puerto Peñasco these days and there are few activities more relaxing and peaceful than ambling along the edge of a calm sea while mounted in the comfort of a fine leather hand-crafted Charro saddle atop a friendly steed. Armando provides that experience for the many visitors along Sandy Beach during the cooler fall, winter and spring period in Puerto Peñasco.
A true rancher, Armando rarely exposes his prized ponies to the extreme heat of a Rocky Point summer. The ponies appreciate that. You can tell, because they usually express it by occasionally looking back your way to let you know they’re enjoying the adventure as much as you are. As if saying, “Glad to have you aboard, amigo!”
During the season, you’ll find Armando or his able assistant, and son, Juan Antonio, and a few selected mounts heading down the road to serve the visitors with a beach ride daily. His rates are reasonable at $20.00 U.S. dollars or $200 Mexican pesos per ½ hour and $30.00 U.S. for an hour. He still accepts pesos at the exchange of 10 to 1, making it an even better deal for the gringo caballeros who currently get around 13 pesos for a dollar. Pay in pesos at that exchange rate and you’re saving over $4.00 U.S. for a half hour ride!
Even cooler is that you don’t have to do anything to hitch a ride with these horse people. If you‘re on the beach anywhere from the Reef (the western most end of Sandy Beach) to the Princesa (about mid point toward the eastern end of the long stretch of soft sand), they’ll pass by you every couple of hours. You can’t miss them, well, unless you are in a deep sleep, out on a sail boat, kayak, Jet Ski, or banana boat, which in every case but the deep sleep one, you will see them on your way back to the beach. You can also catch them resting their horses along the beach, typically in front of the Sonoran Sea or Sonoran Spa Condominium Resorts and chatting with people on the beach. Wave or walk up to them and state your wishes. They will be happy to oblige.
Sandy Beach is not the only scenic place your backside can become one with a horse’s back in Rocky Point. Armando or Juan Antonio will bring horses and meet you at the Aquarium at the entrance to Las Conchas for an hour ride down that beautiful beach. The cost will still be $30 U.S. per hour with a minimum of two riders.
El Establo has several other creative rides guaranteed to tighten those cowboy and cowgirl muscles around your thighs and buttocks while bringing you closer together with nature or the harbor town of Puerto Peñasco.
An adventure in its own right is the ride that takes the brave across the hard partying Calle 13 (in gringo that’s 13th Street) night club barrio (neighborhood) en route to a tour of historic Old Port and El Malecón shopping, restaurant and bar district. Though sometimes equally as hard-partying as Calle 13, the bars are, shall we say, a bit more family friendly.
It’s hard to give details of this ride because the route may change depending on how crowded (read: rowdy) the main street of El Malecón is. However, you can expect an interesting trip in the saddle no matter which back streets the guide chooses.
This ride requires a two rider minimum at $30 per person and departs from El Establo (The Stable) home base located on Elias Calles between Calle 19 and Calle 20. Refer to the map below to avoid suffering through the following directions:
You know how to get to El Establo now, right? O.K., except for where is Elias Calles? Oh, and maybe that you thought Calle always went first, at least on all the street signs you’ve ever seen in the entire nation of Mexico. Well, the Calles in Elias Calles is not related to the word ‘street’ at all. It is the last name of Elias, who earned a street named after him for being president of Mexico back in the 1920’s. To find it, if you are heading toward the sea on 13th Street, Elias Calles is the last road you can turn right on before 13th ends at the Peñasco del Sol Hotel and becomes a sharp left towards the Sunset Bar and Grill and Max’s. (You were adequately warned to refer to the map below) After a right turn on Elias Calles, a dirt road, continue six blocks—there might be one street sign during those blocks but not to worry there are many signs for El Establo (hand painted) and you can see the cowboy style stables on your left from at least a block away.
Among the nature tours, there are two interesting and scenic options.
For a one hour ride, you can trek across the Sonoran Desert foothills for $30 U.S. dollars per person with a minimum of two riders required. That ride begins and ends right across the street from the Esmeralda Condominium project.
Then there is the 1 ½ hour Grand Tour of Cholla Bay that departs from the Cholla Bay school with a two person minimum for $45 U.S. per person. In addition to a tour through the town of Cholla and Pelican Point, you will ride through Devil’s Canyon and Demon’s Canyon and experience scenery seldom seen in the Sonoran Desert. If you forget your camera for this ride, go back and get it.
Still the largest horse stable in town with twelve well-kept mounts, Armando’s herd is down from 30 horses during the hay days (sorry, could not resist that one!) of Rocky Point growth and construction. In the photo below, Juan Antonio on the left talks to his father, Antonio, about the day’s schedule and the condition of each horse. They live in a small dwelling attached to the back of El Establo. They are true horse people, just right for our beach town on the sea.
To arrange a ride, you can stop by El Establo or simply inquire at the front desk of your resort. If you are staying at the Sonoran Sea or Sonoran Spa, visit the Dive Shop in the lobby of the Sonoran Sea and Erika will make the arrangements for you. If you speak Spanish, you can call Juan Antonio at 638-380-8568.
This blog brought to you by Sonoran Resorts Sales Group, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales