Beach Riding in Aruba: Exploring Wariruri Beach and the Bushiribana Ruins

On our last day in Aruba, my brother and I decided to explore the Wariruri Beach on horse back!

We decided to go with a local recommendation and go to the Rancho La Ponderosa

I was given 'Tequila' to ride!

Brian on 'Bacardi'

Our brochure advertised ‘smooth riding’ because all horses used for tours were either Paso Fino or ‘Paseo’ (Peruvian Paso) horses.To give you an idea of what riding one looks like, I attached a clip from a Paso Fino breeder I found on YouTube, Carlos Jingonzalez (you might want to stop after a few minutes, as it will make you dizzy):

‘Paso Fino’ or ‘fine gait‘ horses are well-known for being one of the smoothest-gaited breeds, making them perfect horses for novice riders and intermediate riders like Brian and I.

Probably sensing we were both of drinking age, we got the ‘top shelf’ horses: I was on ‘Tequila’ and Brian rode ‘Bacardi’.

Our tour started off by passing by a small residential community near the water tower.

Here is an image of said water tower. Image courtesy of World Travel Photos. Our horses were too eager to get to the beach for us to photograph this.

From there we proceeded down the hill and into a vast desert-like landscape (unnaturally green for this time of year), and were told by our guide that the entire land was private property of the past Aruban Prime Minister, Nelson Oduber

As we rode through the valley, we encountered a few baby owls, of which Tequila was not a fan, and saw many cacti.

After riding down a steep hill, we arrived at the beach, where we saw a natural bridge. Our tour guide assured us that this was the only place we would ever see any ATVs, as only horses were allowed through the valley of cactus we had just ridden through. Because Brian and I had both ridden before, we were allowed to gallop as fast as we wanted to get to the natural bridge…and soon realized that our horses were as competitive as we were: Both raced each other to get to the bridge first. Tequila won, barely.

In front of the natural bridge!

After that, we rode to another spot on the beach overlooking the surf. Brian’s horse, Bacardi, wasn’t much a fan of water, so we didn’t get too close.

From there, our guide let us gallop to the Bushiribana Goldmine Ruins (used for smelting gold extracted from Ceru Plat).Our guide also told us that the southern end of Frenchman’s Pass, ‘Balashi’ is where the local beer company got its name.

The Goldmine from a distance

From inside the ruins. We had to do a little impromptu hiking to get this high!

Brian looking out across the view from the Goldmine Ruins

After our horses had gotten a chance to catch their breath, we rode up to the surf and tried to get one last picture before heading back to the ranch.

We were sad to leave our new friends behind at the end of our tour, especially our amazing tour guide and his horse ‘Vache’ (we were told meant ‘cow’ in French because she was a pinto). We learned on the way back that he was aspiring to pursue medical school, and we want to wish him the best of luck!

After parting ways with the ‘top shelf’ horses and the rest of the great staff at Ponderosa, we headed back to pack our bags for New Jersey.

Now that we are both back in New Jersey, I think we both wish we could have brought Tequila and Bacardi home to meet Crackerjack 😦

What do you think? Already planning your trip to Aruba? Tell me in the comments!

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