I had an amazing stay at a Texas Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas. Rancho Cortez was an incredible 3 night stay that I will always remember. The dude ranch is in the heart of the country and an oasis of calmness and tranquility. Each day was filled with sunshine, horse rides, delicious food and relaxation.
The ranch is 60 miles northwest of San Antonio and ten miles northwest of Bandera which is the cowboy capital of the world. I have an obsession with horses as you can probably tell from my Instagram account. This haven had the most beautiful horses and I could have easily stayed another week without needing to leave the ranch.
Each day started off with a hearty breakfast with lots of options including fruit, eggs, breakfast meat, bread and other varieties. I never left the dining area hungry as the food was always so hearty and delicious. After breakfast, there was generally an hour to relax before the morning trail ride. Each trail ride is generally an hour and a cowboy guides the group through the most beautiful landscape of rolling hills and greenery for miles. There are many different trails with each being as beautiful as the next. The trails are incredibly peaceful & the perfect way to start the day.
After the morning trail ride, there are optional activities of learning to rope or other ranch activities. Lunch follows after with another trail ride in the afternoon. Your visit to the ranch can be as active or as relaxing as you wish. There are many walks around the ranch, an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor pool, fitness classes or many porches and areas to read while admiring the wilderness.
Dinner is served around 6pm and was always a delicious variety of salads, meat and vegetables. There was always a sweet treat also which was too good to resist. One of my favorite parts of the ranch (after the horses!) was the bonfire and s’mores each evening just before dark. There was story telling by the bonfire and catch ups with the other guests. It was the perfect way to end each day under the stars which shine incredibly brightly due to no pollution.
I also had two private horse riding lessons with the ranch owner Larry which were truly an experience. I have always ridden English riding which is completely different to western horse riding in the US so this was amazing. I highly recommend booking a lesson with Larry on your stay as he is a brilliant teacher with a lot of experience. He is also hilarious and added much enjoyment to our wonderful stay at the ranch.
Wifi is available in one small area of the Ranch with no cell service what so ever so be prepared to have a break from the world. I loved this! There are no TVs in the cabins, which I also loved as I rarely watch TV. The cabins are very comfortable and are ranch accommodations which are generally rustic and minimal. I had a cabin beside my dad’s cabin with a wraparound porch which I relaxed & read on a couple of afternoons.
Rancho Cortez dude ranch also offers week long fitness camps where you can come to participate in fitness classes, nature hikes while eating healthy food. Specials are also available for week long stays for horse riding at the ranch. A nightly rate is charged for accommodation, all 3 meals, use of all facilities & most importantly 2 horse rides per day. Full days or half days at the ranch are also offered. Check out their website HERE for the latest rates and updates.
A truly amazing stay which was so relaxing and enjoyable. I would go back in a heartbeat if I had more time. The staff were all incredibly friendly & helpful and I had the best time.
Thank you to Rancho Cortez and owner Larry for an amazing memorable stay.