Pantanal Wildlife Trail São Joaquim Adventure Trail

São Joaquim Adventure Trail

Guest Comments

The Santa Catarina highlands An unexpected but highly interesting meeting Elvio at the top of the waterfalls

Christien Mulder



In November 2013, I decided to revisit Brazil. To see more of the country, enjoy the beaches and meet up with old friends. But also, with one main purpose: to do a horse ding trail. Not just a couple of hours, but at least a week. I am very happy I found Riding Brazil. It took some organizing and emailing back and forth, but Peter was really helpful, thinking along with me and within a few days it was all arranged. I was welcomed by Elvio and Rose, their grandson Leandro and Nicole, who works for Riding Brazil.


What a great time I had! The riding was fantastic, the scenery amazing, the friendliness and care everyone took of me was wonderful. I have done trails before in other countries, and each time one of the best parts of the trip is the immersion into daily life in a totally different environment. I loved the total absence of a phone or internet connection and the resulting feeling of freedom and quietness. No restless Facebook checking, staying in touch with people and 'urgent' emails. But lots of riding, (good!) food, good company, a bed and a shower. And the places we stayed offered more than that even. Because each house was someone's home, it felt really personal, warm and welcoming and everyone made me feel at home.


What I also liked, was the flexibility and suggestions of Elvio and Rose. For example, the first day I had some time to acclimatize (after an 18 hour trip straight from Holland) and had a little swim and sunbath in the river with Nicole and Leandro, we went to a rodeo one afternoon and evening, we had dinner out in Urubici after I merely mentioned that I loved pizza, and when Nicole found out I would like to experience some cow herding, that's what we did.


As to the horses, they were amazing. Elvio really takes pride in them and looks after them really well. Their sure-footedness and stamina never stopped to amaze me. Steep slopes, deep rivers, rocky underground or tricky mud pools, thick bushes, they took it all in their stride without hardly a misstep.


To remember how good the trip was, I just look at the photos and in each one I see myself smiling like a happy little girl.


So, if you love horses, want to experience real Brazilian country life and to discover more of Brazil than the beaches, Riding Brazil is definitely the place to go.


Sao Joaquim Trail, January 2014