Moonbeam Rancho becomes your house during your vacation. Everyone has a different way of enjoying the ranch, some of our guests spend days walking through out beautiful mountain valley, exploring the small villages and colonial towns. Many come to ride our well trained ranch horses, sometimes on their own, others with a guide, everyone coming away with wonderful fotos of the gorgeous scenery and endless easy trails.
There is a snack bar separating the kitchen from the large living room. A separate dining room adjoins the kitchen and living room, although most guests prefer to eat on the large circular patio with its two patio tables, umbrellas and chairs overlooking the valley.
All linens, towels and kitchenware are included. Linens are changed once a week unless otherwise requested. Towels are changed as needed. Light daily cleaning is included.
Since you´re now in the land of tequila, a bottle is also waiting for you and few staples in the fridge to get you started.
The house is adjacent (about 100 ft) to the original adobe hacienda now being used for storage. In front of the patio is our roping ring, where horses are selected and riding lessons given. Next to the house is a two acre pasture where the horses are kept when not being used, sometimes shared with the sheep. The sheep corrals are all on the far side of the barn, not in sight (or smell) of the house.
There is a fenced in garden with swingset between the house and barn, not to keep kids in, but to keep stray animals out. This is a working ranch and the odd sheep, horse, or cow may just decide to stop in for a visit and a chew on the bougainvilleas!
The house perches on the side of the mountain almost at the bottom with wonderful views. The road to the village of Santo Domingo (a tiny hamlet of about 80 families), about a mile away, runs above the house. Gala, your housekeeper, and David, your horseman, live there and love to share their numerous and extended
The house perches on the side of the mountain almost at the bottom with wonderful views. The road to the village of Santo Domingo (a tiny hamlet of about 80 families), about a mile away, runs above the house. Gala, your housekeeper, and David, your horseman, live there and love to share their numerous and extended family and their activities and homes with you. Given the size of the village, this means pretty much everybody!
From the house to the top of the mountain is about 1800 ft and there is an easy trail to get to the top for the gorgeous views. The ranchlands themselves are about 300 acres, but endless trails used for moving cattle and tractors crisscross the valleys in every direction and you have free access to neighboring ranches to explore and enjoy our varied flora, fauna and perfect climate.
The largest town where you can pretty much get anything from US cakes mixes to fresh produce, is Tenamaxtlan, population 8,000+ founded circ. 1530, once a major stop on the silver route to the coast. One of the few towns left in Mexico where the Sunday evening ¨serenata¨ is still practiced where the girls walk in one direction, the boys in the other and join up when the girls accepts his flower.
The owners, Katrina and Tasha Michel, live most of the time in Guadalajara, as Tasha continues to study for the French BAC, and Katrina to give technical support in sheep production to many ranches around the country. We decided to rent the house and share what has been our home and livelihood for almost 20 years, thus being able to keep employing our loyal and wonderful workers, Gala, her family, and David, our cowhand.
The pastures and fields of the ranch are rented in part to a neighbor who runs horses and cattle there, and the rest is used by our own sheep. Katrina comes out several days a week to check on our Katahdin hair sheep herd, and we usually try to be there to greet and orient you when you arrive to make sure Gala and David know what services you will want them to provide (they don´t speak English). We also have contracted a wonderful guide who has worked in the US for many years and is from nearby Tenamaxtlan.He is bi-lingual (English-Spanish) and can offer you his services and extensive knowledge of riding, flora and fauna of the area, and his van to provide transportation.
The fees for horse, housekeeping and guide services go directly to Gala, David and Quirino. Moonbeam Rancho continues to be a working ranch and there are no ¨staged¨events. You may see us vaccinating sheep one day, another day our neighbor moving his cattle to different pastures, branding, or bringing in the new born calves. There are 300 acres on the ranch, but the neighboring ranches are open to all, and thus there are endless trails and places to explore. If your riding skills are non existent or rusty, or if your sense of direction a bit faulty, you may prefer to hire David or Quirino to show you around.