Rancho Pitaya sits nestled as the base of the western foothills of the valley of Tlacolula, the eastern arm of the great valley of Oaxaca. While the ranch is only 20 minutes from Oaxaca's center, a UNESCO world heritage city with all the cultural experiences it has to offer there are countless fascinating destinations within 20 miles of the ranch. Traditional Mexican architecture in wooden beams, wild cane and hand-painted tile defines the design of the adobe brick construction. The three spacious bedrooms, each with private en suite bathroom and kitchenette opens on to a 900 sq. foot open-style terrace with expansive vistas of untouched back country. Just up the stone walkway is the ranches’ spacious open-style kitchen, dining/living room where you will have your own local cook to prepare fresh Oaxaca specialties. Rancho Pitaya is about outdoor living and the old-fashioned verandas duplicate the interior space with big vistas southeast down the valley and west up into the mountains. Activities at Rancho Pitaya: Guided Horse Riding Tours, Birdwatching, Self-guided hiking and cycling. Owner Mary Jane Gagnier specialises in guided horseback riding. Rancho Pitaya has well-trained, well-cared for horses that like their job. And the riding is a spectacular way to explore the area; trails wind through a rare biosphere of old growth elephant foot yucas & massive organ cacti. Or ride to nearby destinations like the fantastic but 'untouristy' 16th century church in Tlacochahuaya & the archeological site of Dainzu. Rancho Pitaya has horses for all level of riders from total beginners to experienced riders. Horseback rides begin at $60 U.S. for 2 -hour guided adventure You can visit our dedicated horse riding site www.horsebackmexico.com HIKING: On your own or with a guide explore the breathtakingly beautiful biosphere that borders the ranch. Groves of ancient and massive cacti intermingle with exotic 'palmillo' yucas while big sky vistas of both the northern and southern sierras dazzle the eye. COOKING CLASSES: Rancho Pitaya is renowned for its fresh & delicious cooking focused on regional Oaxaca cuisine. Learn, in a hands-on informal way, to prepare authentic, moles, pipian ( nut or seed based sauce ), roasted salsas, tropical beverages and ices then enjoy these dishes with family and friends on the ranch's dining veranda. Cooking class: $75 U.S. per person including meal. COMPLIMENTARY BICYCLES: Tour the many sites of the valley of Tlacolula on the ranch's complimentary mountain bikes. The flat & fertile valley is perfect for touring on two wheels. Safe and easy cycling on the quiet country lanes give you a bird's eye view of traditional village life. You'd cycle back horse-drawn carts, oxen plowing the fields, herds of goats grazing and fields of emerald green alfalfa, aromatic garlic & onion crops & in the rainy season corn fields as far as the eye can go. Sites within a couple of hours of cycling from the ranch include: 2,000. yr. old tree in El Tule, 16th century church in Tlacochahuaya, Zapotec ruins at Dainzu, rug weaving in Teotitlan, basket weaving in Santa Cruz Papalutla.