Horseback Riding-El Rancho Barrio Dorcas

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#1
109 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
My wife and I will be on the 6/26 Valor sailing and stumbled across this website:
http://www.barriodorcasranch.com/index.htm
We'd like to book with them but wondered if anyone had any positive/negative experiences.
Thanks
CaliPhil
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#2
Phoenix
277 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Hi CaliPhil!

My mom, sister and I were on the NCL Sea last week and stopped in Roatan. We booked with RoosMarie via El Rancho Barrio Dorcas. We had a great time! I just havent had time yet to post my review of Barrio Dorcas (you know how the week after a vacation at work is )

Anyway, we booked the 2 1/2 hr extended lava horse tour and it was great! Everything went very smoothly. We walked right off the pier and across the street where we were met by Conway. Instead of having us wait around for the second group of people that were also coming (our tour had I believe 7 customers, plus our tour guide, Shirkie, and Roos Marie came too which was a treat!), so Conway put us in a cab while he waited for the other group and off we went to meet Shirkie and get situated with the horses!

There have been posts on some of the boards about horses at the various ports being "under nourished" and "skinny", but these horses were in great shape. I'll note that my mom and sister are tiny thin women, and just as way of example that the horses WERE healthy, I'll state that I am a "plus, plus size woman" and the horse did just great carrying me and my rear!

Anyway, it was a great ride! We rode along the roads for a bit, getting a first hand look at Roatan in all its glory, the good and the bad, which was very enlightening. Then we made our way to the beach, and it was VERY cool getting to ride along splashing a bit through the water and along the beach! Then we worked are way through gorgeous lush vegetation and forest-like things and even got to see through the trees some of the people riding the Zip lines or Canopy Tours or whatever they are called. It was a great trip! Since my family booked the extended and the others the regular tour, they turned off at Fosters beach and we continued on to the lava part, where we got off and walked around and took some AMAZING pictures! (Which, I will gladly post the link so you can see some of our horseback riding pictures... as soon as I figure out one of those online photo albums It might take awhile!)

Shirkie was an amazing tour guide! Very friendly and personable and so sweet and knowledgable. I was beyond frightened about getting on the horse (I've rode a horse before, but never at the large size I am currently at), so I was worried if I would be able to do it and what not. No problems at all, and I really enjoyed it! Shirkie made sure I was comfortable and went out of his way to help me on and off the horse, which I really appreciated! My mom and sister of course had no problems getting on or off their horses, which of course made me a little jealous The other group of people that were on the tour (It's only been a week and I am horrified that I have already forgotten their names! eeeek!) were very friendly and we all got along great. As I mentioned, Roos Marie along with Shirkie and Conway run El Rancho Barrio Dorcas and Roos Marie came along on our ride, along with her fabulous dogs (I'm serious, these dogs were awesome! It was like they were keeping track of us all on the horses and keep watch of Roos Marie to make sure she was safe. They were VERY cool dogs!), and it was great having Roos Marie out with us, she shared info and answered all of our (sometimes silly) questions that we would ask, and the whole thing was just a blast!

After the tour, they took us back to Fosters Beach and a soft drink was included at the bar/restaurant for us. We spent some time lounging and walking around the beach area, but there had been some reports of Sand Flies (Sand Lice?) (I cant remember the terminology!) the day prior at this particular spot, so we decided not to go in the water at that moment. Which was fine, because we still had our "Horse legs" and the rear was a bit sore from using muscles it wasnt used to

Sorry, this has gotten long! Just wanted to let you know that we did the horseback riding and had a great time and the whole thing was very organized and a great value IMO! New riders can do it, Shirkie will take care of you, as well as experienced riders, I think it is great for everyone!

And like I said, as soon as I figure out my online photo album, I'll paste the link so you all can see some pics

-Jill
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#3
Phoenix
277 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Ok!

I think I figured it out! Here are some of my pics from going Horseback riding with El Rancho Barrio Dorcas! It was a blast!

Photo Album:
http://community.webshots.com/album/339577250SEHTaA

-Jill
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#4
109 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Jill,
Thanks for the report and pics. My wife and I have been thinking about doing this and are leaning more towards booking a ride at this point.
Thanks
Phil
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#5
Rockland County, NY
645 Posts
Joined May 2000
I was thrilled to find this review...I found the website for the ranch while surfing cruisecritic this week and friends and I have decided we are going to do the 1 1/2 hour ride (don;t want to be toooooo sore.........LOL) when we cruise the Valor 7/24. Now I am really excited.

I think we are also going to do Cave Tubing with CoralBreezes.............
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#6
Atl,Ga
23 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
We also did this tour in April and it was wonderful. We had our three children with us (9, 13, 16 years old). Shirkie stayed by the 9 year old side the whole time making sure she was safe, it was her first time on a horse. He even stayed back with her while the rest of us were galloping.
#7
On the 495 weather dividing line
326 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by loulou7
We also did this tour in April and it was wonderful. We had our three children with us (9, 13, 16 years old). Shirkie stayed by the 9 year old side the whole time making sure she was safe, it was her first time on a horse. He even stayed back with her while the rest of us were galloping.
I am doing this tour with 2 kids 9 years of age...so they will make sure the kids are safe and comfortable...that is nice to know. Did your 9 year old have any experience?
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#8
Lexington, KY
1,488 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by jaycee200
.......My mom, sister and I were on the NCL Sea last week and stopped in Roatan. We booked with RoosMarie via El Rancho Barrio Dorcas. We had a great time! .......
I can't add much more in the way of pictures or a better review than jaycee200 posted, but we went on this tour last Wednesday and had a great time! The horseback ride is a great way to see some of Roatan that you might miss zipping through in a taxi or a bus. The horses were great, Shirkie and Roosmarie were great guides, and everyone in our group of 6 had a blast!

If you're looking for something to do in Roatan I suggest you look into this tour.

John
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#9
Houston, Texas
1,180 Posts
Joined May 2002
I too found Rancho BarrioDorcas when surfing the net and booked with them back in Feb. 2005. . To date, it is the most memorable shore excursion experience that I have had, and I have swam with the dolphins twice, did a canopy zipline tour, as well as other tours that cost more than twice what this one did! I can't wait to go back and do it again. To those that love horseback riding, and galloping along the beach, this is your tour!
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#10
Los Angeles
999 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Anyone done this horesback tour lately? They offer one that ends at Fosters and then Fosters returns you to the ship. Anyone know how long you get to stay at the beach?
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#11
Phoenix
277 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Ha, ha! That was fun to see my review from 2005 suddenly pop up to present day! Thanks whoever dug it back up to the top

Sorry, no recent review, but I think we were at the beach for about a 45 minutes or so... the others in our group were at the beach while we did the longer portion of the ride, so probably about an hour and a half +? Again, this was from 2005, so not that new of info.
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#12
KANSAS- USA
2,223 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
These are really old posts. Has anyone booked a Horseback riding excursion "recently" in Roatan......and who did you book with and how did it go? Thanks!
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#13
Devon
313 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by ciship
These are really old posts. Has anyone booked a Horseback riding excursion "recently" in Roatan......and who did you book with and how did it go? Thanks!

I would also appreciate knowing if anyone has done this recently also do you get to ride in the sea? We're thinking of this for next March Many thanks for any help or advice
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#14
328 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I'm booking with either this company or Roatan Horse Riding and Eco Tours...depending on who can take more people. El Rancho says 9...havent heard back from RHRET yet. I cruise in Jan, so if ou can wait that long, I will let you know how the tour is!
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Happy Cruisin,
Kate

Future Cruise
2015...not yet planned

Past Cruises
Royal Majesty 1995
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Golden Princess May 2004
Star Princess Jan 2005
Crown Princess Jan 2007
Carnival Sensation March 2009
Caribbean Princess October 2009
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Celebrity Summit 1/5/13
#15
KANSAS- USA
2,223 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by OCNJ Cruiser
I'm booking with either this company or Roatan Horse Riding and Eco Tours...depending on who can take more people. El Rancho says 9...havent heard back from RHRET yet. I cruise in Jan, so if ou can wait that long, I will let you know how the tour is!
Yes, PLEASE remember to give us a review. I will be very anxious to hear. Thank you!
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#16
KANSAS- USA
2,223 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by OCNJ Cruiser
I'm booking with either this company or Roatan Horse Riding and Eco Tours...depending on who can take more people. El Rancho says 9...havent heard back from RHRET yet. I cruise in Jan, so if ou can wait that long, I will let you know how the tour is!
Hope you enjoy your January cruise and PLEASE remember to report back to us about the HorseBackRiding. Thanks!!
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#17
Toronto, Ontario
185 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I booked with them for a 2 hour ride on my Dec 11th Eclipse cruise.

I found out about them through Victor Bodden's web site. I had RoseMarie coordinate it with Victor.

It was my wife's first time riding and my 3rd or 4th time. The horses were in good condition.

We were going to do the Beach ride, but the traffic along our ride to the beach was getting a little hectic, we changed it to do the jungle.

It was one of our highlights on our visit to the island and I would highly recommend it.
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Dolfan
- The opinions stated above are mine personally and don't necessarily represent my employer in any way, shape or form.

Previous Cruises:

Carnival Escasy
RCCL - Monarch of the Seas
RCCL - Majesty of the Seas
Sun Cruises - Forgot the name
NCL - Pearl - Feb 16, 2007
Celebrity Eclipse - Dec 11, 2010

#18
KANSAS- USA
2,223 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by Dolfan-Neil
I booked with them for a 2 hour ride on my Dec 11th Eclipse cruise.

I found out about them through Victor Bodden's web site. I had RoseMarie coordinate it with Victor.

It was my wife's first time riding and my 3rd or 4th time. The horses were in good condition.

We were going to do the Beach ride, but the traffic along our ride to the beach was getting a little hectic, we changed it to do the jungle.

It was one of our highlights on our visit to the island and I would highly recommend it.
Good to know Dolfan! Thank you for taking the time to post. Was the whole time spent on the horses, or did you get off and do anything else at anytime? Did you have them pick you up from the ship or did you take a taxi? How far was it? Did you book in advance? Pay in advance?
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#19
1,045 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by ciship
Good to know Dolfan! Thank you for taking the time to post. Was the whole time spent on the horses, or did you get off and do anything else at anytime? Did you have them pick you up from the ship or did you take a taxi? How far was it? Did you book in advance? Pay in advance?
We did this excursion in December. We booked directly through the stables. We were on a private Bodden tour, so Frankie with Victor Bodden picked us up at the dock. The horses were well behaved and in very good condition, which was an original concern of mine. Also, I had read prior mixed reviews due to the traffic where the ride originates and in town. Neither of these were an issue. There was traffic, but nothing to get excited about and the horses did just fine. We rode to town, through town, to the beach and along the beach. We even went into the jungle for a small distance to get the feel of it. We remained on the horses the full time. Frankie dropped us off and was there when we got back. We booked the ride and were told that when the date got closer that we would get a PayPal invoice for a $10.00 deposit. We did and paid it and then paid the balance after our ride. Enjoy your cruise & ride.

Pat
#20
Toronto, Ontario
185 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by ciship
Good to know Dolfan! Thank you for taking the time to post. Was the whole time spent on the horses, or did you get off and do anything else at anytime? Did you have them pick you up from the ship or did you take a taxi? How far was it? Did you book in advance? Pay in advance?
Originally posted by Sabiney
We did this excursion in December. We booked directly through the stables. We were on a private Bodden tour, so Frankie with Victor Bodden picked us up at the dock. The horses were well behaved and in very good condition, which was an original concern of mine. Also, I had read prior mixed reviews due to the traffic where the ride originates and in town. Neither of these were an issue. There was traffic, but nothing to get excited about and the horses did just fine. We rode to town, through town, to the beach and along the beach. We even went into the jungle for a small distance to get the feel of it. We remained on the horses the full time. Frankie dropped us off and was there when we got back. We booked the ride and were told that when the date got closer that we would get a PayPal invoice for a $10.00 deposit. We did and paid it and then paid the balance after our ride. Enjoy your cruise & ride.

Pat
Pat covered it all. I was also doing a day tour with Victor Bodden, so his driver brought us there for a fun filled 2 hour ride. We didn't dismount.

Funny enough, out of my 4 ports, between my wife and myself, we took the most pictures on Roatan.

FYI - You can also arrange for taxi pickup from the port if you want from their web site.
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Dolfan
- The opinions stated above are mine personally and don't necessarily represent my employer in any way, shape or form.

Previous Cruises:

Carnival Escasy
RCCL - Monarch of the Seas
RCCL - Majesty of the Seas
Sun Cruises - Forgot the name
NCL - Pearl - Feb 16, 2007
Celebrity Eclipse - Dec 11, 2010