Anywhere whose address is "Mile 8" of a pot-holed dirt road is my type of place (even when your busted rental car shocks are creaking and only one headlight is working because the battery has bounced out of place). Arriving at Mountain Equestrian Trails Lodge is truly a reward; not only because it takes a bit of bumpy work to get there, but because it is more reasonably priced and packed with more authentic charm than the well-known upscale resorts of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
The small staff of horse-riding adventurers embraces you like family and makes everyone's stay a personalized experience with their endless knowledge of the land, animals, history, surroundings and active excursions. The rooms are cozy kerosene-lit Spanish bungalows with palm-thatched roofs. The Cantina, the central hang-out spot where meals are drinks are served, has electricity and Wi-Fi so that you're not completely off the grid but with views like the one pictured, you could care less even if you were.