Had a great, relaxing time A review of Rancho de la Osa Guest Ranch
I had an absolutely wonderful time at Rancho de la Osa. It was a great chance to get away from the daily grind. My days out there followed this general schedule:
- Wake up. Either when the breakfast bell was rung or if I happened to wake up earlier, I had time for a quick bike ride before breakfast - Have breakfast. The food was quite good, and much nicer than I expected. And the fresh fruit that accompanied each breakfast was very good - Put on lots of sunblock. I recommend at least SPF25, but I burn easily. - Go out on the morning ride. The wranglers leading the ride were both very good at what they did, and had good eyes for pointing out wildlife I didn't see. The rides were just the right length, at 2 hours, as people who weren't used to riding, like myself, would be starting to get a bit sore by then. - Kill time until lunch. Depending on the day and the weather I'd either go for a hike, go for a bike ride, go swimming, or take a nap. - Eat lunch at one of the outside tables. The weather was wonderful while I was there, with high temps in the 85-90 range, compared with 30-40 back home. Lunches were also very good, and the desserts were incredible. I often had seconds on the desserts (like most things at the ranch, all you had to do was ask).
For the guests that knew they would be gone during lunch, they had the opportunity to request a packed lunch. One day we had a longer ride (a "lunch" ride) which was about 4 hours total, and we were supplied with the packed lunch. It was a good meal, but I recommend heading back to the ranch for lunch is possible. - The middle of the day was a good time for anything you were looking to do, since you had about 4 hours until the Cantina opened for drinks and about 5 hours until dinner.
Depending on the day, I spent some time in the wildlife refuge / bird sanctuary that's next to the ranch, did some off-road biking (take lots of water and try to stay on the dirt instead of the sand - trust me), did some hiking and took pictures of some of the more interesting cactus varities, swimming, wandering around the Ranch looking at the antiques and art the owners have collected, talking with the other guests, or taking a nap. And I forgot to mention that if you're fair-skinned like I am (Irish/German mix), you'll want to reapply your sunscreen after lunch, just to be on the safe side. - Head over to the Cantina for happy hour. This was a great chance to sit down and talk with the other guests, and hear about things you may not have thought about doing during your stay. I heard about the nearby golf courses (which are apparently very nice, but my golf game is abyssmal), birdwatching in the wildlife refuge, Tubac (a small town nearby - lots of little boutique shops), a old missionary church whose name I don't remember, Tuscon, hiking in a nearby canyon (I did this later in the week - I think the canyon was called Sycamore canyon - pretty easy hike, about an hour each way, with a nice little pool at the end), and Mexico (you can cross close to the ranch, but if you want to go shopping it's recommended that you drive to Nogales - about 90 minutes away by car - interesting place, just be prepared to haggle over everything, encounter lots of pushy salespeople, but worth the experience I thought). Some of the other guests were quite fond of the margaritas, but I stuck to Coronas. - Have dinner. Dinner was always the best meal of the day. Depending on the evening temperature you may have dinner outside, which was nice. Dinner was served at what I would call a "European" pace. What I mean is that dinners would easily last 1 1/2 - 2 hours, but it didn't feel that long because of the interesting conversation with the other guests, and lots of food (salad, entree, dessert, coffee). It was a nice change of pace from my normal routine, and the food was amazing. Plan on some form of exercise (biking, hiking, walking around the ranch, etc), because the food is too good! - Head back over to the Cantina. A handful of guests would usually make their way back over to the Cantina after dinner for a few more drinks and pleasant conversation. We even had a rousing night of poker one night (with Monopoly money), which was nice because it showed some of the regional variations in poker games, as the guests who were playing were from different areas (Pennsylvania, Minneapolis, Chicago, somewhere in Canada near Whistler but I've forgotten the name of the province, etc). - Be amazed by the number of stars in the sky on your walk back to your room to go to sleep. The amount of light pollution is minimal, so there are hundreds and hundreds of stars that you can't normally see. There are also a number of observatories nearby (at Kitt's Peak I think).
The week passed by quickly, but I had a great time and have a lot of great memories and photos of my time out there. I'm looking forward to visiting again.