TripAdvisor is the leading source of online travel reviews. Bonanza Ranch in Puerto Morelos, Mexico features prominently as a Traveler’s Choice. In this blog, we share some of the most recent reviews from our visitors and introduce you to an ideal tour for nature and horse lovers located in the heart of the Riviera Maya.
Bonanza Ranch Tour Overview
The tour combines two popular jungle adventures in just one day: horseback riding through the jungle and swimming in a natural cenote. This outing is perfect for nature lovers who appreciate horseback riding at a canter. At Rancho Bonanza, you will discover the natural wonders of the Yucatan peninsula. You don’t need to bring anything with you to the ranch. A horseback riding guide, riding equipment as well as water and light snacks. In fact, you don’t need to worry about transportation to and from the ranch either, because this excursion includes round-trip transportation.
About Bonanza Ranch
We offer a unique and exciting way for you to interact with the natural beauty of the Maya Riviera. At Bonanza Ranch, we only use healthy, well-trained horses, suitable for first-timers and intermediate riders.
Our tours are semi-private and consist of groups of up to 12 riders. This way, everyone receives personal attention from our friendly, knowledgeable guides. We are easy to find in Puerto Morelos on the outskirts of Cancun.
While on the riding trail, look out for various exotic species of birds, iguanas, butterflies and shy creatures such as spider monkeys and coatis. As you marvel at all the wondrous sights and sounds of nature, our guides provide an entertaining narrative along the trails. For example, you’ll pass through a local plantation and follow the path that leads you to visit a deep natural sinkhole. This is a common feature that you will only find in the Yucatan jungle. This resulted from the gradual erosion of limestone bedrock that now exposes groundwater underneath.
At the end of the ride, you will have an opportunity to take a refreshing swim in our open-air Cenote and enjoy some cool refreshments. Private tours can be offered for advanced riders upon request. We recommend that you bring bug spray, sunscreen, closed-toe shoes, a bathing suit & a towel. Be ready to enjoy a different way to spend your day. WIFI is available on site.
You are in for a real treat at Bonanza Ranch but don’t just take our word for it. Here are some of the comments that our visitors have posted on Tripadvisor.
Yes, it is! Whether you are an experienced rider or a beginner, riding horses gives you significant health benefits – physical, psychological, and some say spiritual benefits. Riding horses provides good physical all-body exercise. And some argue that by riding horses, they make a connection between themselves, the horse, and the environment around them, resulting in a somewhat spiritual experience.
Horse riding offers all types of physical benefits. According to Dr. Alison Stout riding horses strengthens your core stomach and back muscles, helps improve your balance and coordination, works on improving your muscle tone and your level of flexibility. Plus, depending upon the type of riding that you do, riding a horse can provide a good level of cardiovascular exercise.
Riding a horse requires the rider to use many muscles and muscle groups, in particular your core (abdomen and back) as well as your legs. For example, one way to collect your horse or to slow it down is to sit up tall in the saddle, contract your abs, and slow your hip movement. Show jumpers and eventers use their core strength when jumping fences, mostly to sit up and steady the horse’s pace in order to meet the jump correctly. In addition to strengthening your core by doing exercises (sit-ups), Pilates, etc., horse riding will not only help to strengthen your core muscles, but will also enable you to ride better.
Riding and just being around horses has tremendous psychological benefits. Research shows that horse riding, working them on the ground, or just being around them gives you a calming effect – your breathing slows, your motions slow down, your mind clears, you talk more softly, and you simply become relaxed.
Spiritual experiences in life are very personal and individual. Remember that a horse is a living and breathing animal, as are you. Some horse owners and riders describe a special bond that they have with their horse. Once a rider has mastered the art of riding and experienced a sense of confidence, those who open themselves to create another level of connectedness with their horse say that it is truly spiritual.
Riding Horses Is Good!
Winston Churchill once said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Both men and women who spend time around horses, including in the saddle, agree with Churchill. Horses bring us such joy! They help us keep fit. They help us improve our sense of well-being and happiness. And, for some, they provide a spiritual experience. Horses are strong and fragile at the same time. Taking time to be around horses is really good for our overall health!
Bonanza Ranch has completed the grand slam of Tripadvisor´s Travelers´ Choice awards within the Grupo Lomas family of brands.
Following a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, Bonanza Ranch joins El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Casitas Royale, El Dorado Maroma, El Dorado Seaside Suites, El Cielo Winery and Hidden Beach amongst the top 10% of hospitality businesses around the globe.
Grupo Lomas co-founder President Sra. Dolores López Lira comments; “We are truly proud that all our experiential brands are Tripadvisor Traveler´s Choice winners. Great credit goes to all of our employees who consistently maintain excellent quality standards. We also wish to thank the thousands of travelers that take the time to write reviews of their experiences on Tripadvisor.”
Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor says; “Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this recognition. Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well-deserving, but they are also a great source of inspiration for travelers as the world begins to venture out again.”
About Lomas Travel Group
Lomas Travel Group is a Destination Management Company founded by Sra. Dolores López Lira and Sr. José Luis Martínez Alday. With its headquarters in Cancún, Quintana Roo, Lomas Travel Group creates unforgettable experiences for thousands of visitors worldwide. Lomas Travel Group´s principal services include the award-winning portfolio of Dorado luxury hotels (Royale, Maroma, Casitas, Seaside), which also feature the first Palafitos over the water in México. Lomas Travel Group also offers the largest ground transportation fleet in Southeastern México.
By the same token, Lomas Travel Group provides premium quality tours and activities in Cancún and the Riviera Maya (www.lomastravel.com). Lomas Travel Group is one of the main wedding organizers in the region (www.weddingsbylomastravel.com). The Group´s award-winning philanthropic work includes the Lomas Foundation (http://www.fundacionlomas.com), which continually supports higher education scholarship.
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel platform*, helps 463 million travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to browse more than 860 million reviews and opinions of 8.7 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines, and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights, and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. Tripadvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.
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The Maya civilization left a rich cultural legacy which includes important gastronomic traditions, a good example of this is the manufacturing of chewing gum. They produced it and used it as an oral hygiene product; they called it “sicte”, which means vital fluid or blood in reference to the sap that flows inside trees, and which is the main ingredient in chewing gum.
Bonanza Ranch is a natural and well-preserved natural area ideally located in what used to be a Maya region, this is why it is still possible to find the source of such ingredient. If you would like to learn more about chewing gum’s history and manufacturing process you may want to continue reading this article.
Maya chewing gum history
The Maya used “sicte” for cleaning their gums because they knew of the antibacterial properties found in sapodilla’s tree sap. In order to produce this useful product they first had to obtain the sap by making some cuts through the tree’s bark. This technique has been passed from generation to generation till now.
The industrialization of chewing gum began during the 19th century when Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was living in exile in New York and introduced the product to the American scientist Thomas Adams.
Some years later the people that got established on the Maya region found chewing gum production very profitable, which later on spread along the whole state of Quintana Roo.
Chewing gum’s original manufacturing process
Nowadays the manufacturing process has become artificial and chewing gum is also consumed as candy.
However, there are still some Mexican companies, such as Chicza, that up to this time continue to use the original technique which consists of collecting a sufficient amount of sap from the tree by making zigzag-shape cuts through its bark, the next step is to boil it, add flavorings (Chicza chewing gum contains natural flavorings such as sugarcane juice, peppermint extract, agave syrup and a mix of secret ingredients), and once it has cooled down, the final product is ready for packaging and distribution.
Now that you have learned a little more about how chewing gum is made, come to Bonanza Ranch and see the sapodilla tree yourself, and also find Chicza’s chewing gum here at our souvenir store. Continue reading our blog where you will find interesting and useful articles, as well as the latest recommendations about our activities.
Mexico has 47 species of bee and 16 are found only in tropical areas. After the recent introduction of foreign species, many beekeepers began to favor European or African bees because they produced larger quantities of honey.
Increasingly, the Mayan beekeeping tradition has been in serious danger of dying out. Worse yet, populations of stingless bees have declined with deforestation while beekeepers less frequently pass on the tradition to younger generations as they move to cities.
Apart from the loss of cultural heritage and medicinal honey, this poses a severe environmental threat. Critically, the Melipona bee is the only species capable of pollinating certain plants and fauna.
Their nests consist of small “honey pots” instead of the honeybee’s regular combs. And as their name implies, they lack stingers and are generally less aggressive than honeybees, making them easier to raise. They’re kept as “pets” in many places and can often be tended to by children.
Stingless bees are pickier than their European counterparts about what flowers they visit, making them important for keeping certain tropical forests healthy. The Melipona are the main pollinators of many species of flora in the Yucatan. If we lose these bees, we lose the plants. Because many of the plants in this region can only be pollinated by these bees; another species will not do.
To counter this trend, Bonanza Ranch has joined forces with UMA Rancho San Salvador, a company experienced in sustainable development and nature conservation, to protect the plant fauna of the Yucatan. Rancho Bonanza and UMA will work towards the conservation of the melipona species by promoting the setup and construction of new meliponarios, groups who keep meliponas.
Rancho Bonanza`s vast flora located in 160 hectares of conservation forest in Puerto Morelos offers the ideal conditions for stingless bees to thrive. Rancho Bonanza is abundant with dzidzilché a bush with beautiful white flowers which meliponas feed almost exclusively on.
Rancho Bonanza and UMA Rancho San Salvador`s mission is threefold:
1. Promote the sexual reproduction of diverse species of flora, including the mangrove through natural pollination with the use of native bee species.
2. Promote the conservation of these colonies of native bees.
3. Transmit the knowledge acquired to people interested in learning.
Because there are so many different species of stingless, or meloponine, bees, they produce a wide variety of honey. Its taste has been variously described as sweeter than the honeybee’s product, often with a delightful floral aftertaste.
Melipona honey is unique for its flavor, medicinal value, antibiotic properties, nutritional value and cultural significance because of its sacred use in Mayan ceremonies and rituals. Melipona honey is a bit runny and the flavor pleasantly acidic.
Honey´s medicinal properties
The principal medicinal value of honey arises from its antibacterial properties when used as a wound dressing. Numerous reports attest to its antibiotic properties, no surprise to native people worldwide who use it to treat eye infections and wounds. Studies have hinted that it might help deter cancer.
Mexico is very commonly known for its unique and delicious food, but if you travel here as an animal lover or eco-warrior, you will also have the opportunity to try so many different experiences while also helping people, animals, and the environment!
Bonanza Ranch in Riviera Maya is an example of a small family run horseback riding center that has rescued and nursed back to wellness countless species of animals that would otherwise have perished due to neglect.
Part of the magic that you will experience at Bonanza Ranch is the unconditional love that our four legged friends display to our visitors. Maya the three legged dog and Valentino the Alsatian are always on the lookout for a treat and a hug.
Whether you’re interested in preserving Mexico´s unique underground rivers system or wildlife conservation, there is something meaningful for everyone who visits Bonanza Ranch.
You can make a difference in the lives of so many animals, and continue changing and making the world a better place.
During your visit, you’ll learn so much about Mexican fauna and have the chance to meet our friendly guides who bring the Bonanza experience to life in a unique and interesting way with anecdotes about Mexico´s fascinating history.
Each time you visit the ranch you will learn something new as you explore the cenotes and the densely vegetated jungle fauna. You can even show off your Spanish speaking skills with our staff and animals.
Both are bilingual by the way!
As a visitor, you will have a lot of questions about the surroundings and many of our patrons have stayed involved with the ranch even long after they have returned home. And every time they return to the Riviera Maya, they come back to visit our stables to catch up on how their four-legged friends are doing.
Visit Bonanza Ranch and do more than you could have ever imagined. You will make lifelong friends, lasting memories, and perhaps even change the lives of those around you.
Cenotes are a must-see when you visit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. A cenote is a natural sinkhole formed by the filtering of rain water through the soft, porous limestone which is typical of the region. They can be found open to the surface or underground, in the latter case, cenotes are connected by underground tunnels forming rivers where thousands of flora and fauna species inhabit.
Here at Bonanza Ranch, we feel very proud to have one of this natural habitats inside our facilities. For this reason, we provide you with useful information before you take a dive in its mystical waters.
Meaning and origin of cenotes
The word cenote comes from the Mayan word “Tz’onot”, which means “water well”. According to Maya cosmogony, cenotes were considered as the entrance to the Mayan underworld Xibalba, which translates as “World of the dead”, and it was the place where the souls had to go through several tests imposed by the Lords Hun-Camé, Ahalcaná or Vucub-Camé, as mentioned in the Mayan narrative Popol Vuh (text that describes the origins of the universe).
Nowadays we know that cenotes are the result of a natural process in which the ceiling of a cave collapses due to water accumulation. Cenotes are classified as open, semi-open, underground and cave cenotes that were formed due to changes in sea levels during glacial periods of the Pleistocene geological epoch.
How to preserve cenotes
Cenotes play a very important role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. This is why we should take good care of them by doing the following:
- Shower before getting in to wash off deodorant, sunscreen, insect repellent, hair conditioner and shampoo. These chemical substances can cause a serious damage.
- Use the restroom before swimming, once inside you may feel the urge to go, due to the cool temperature of the water; and this can contribute to its contamination.
- Respect local wildlife, here you will admire an array of plants and animals such as fish, turtles, water lilies, coatis and spider monkeys. Please observe them quietly, we will take care of the photographs.
- If you visit a cave, please make sure you DO NOT touch the stalactites or stalagmites. They are formed over a period of hundreds of years and the oil on human body prevents them from growing.
- For safety reasons please wear a lifejacket when necessary, even if you are a good swimmer.
Now that you know a little more about cenotes, come and live it yourself in our tour. Continue reading our blog where you will find interesting and useful articles, as well as the latest recommendations about our activities at Bonanza Ranch.
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