It was time to plan my vacation and I knew I wanted to spend some time in Europe during summer.
So I had some other options in different countries saved to my wishlist, but El Cortijo de los Caballos was the only one which only had 5 star reviews.
As I only had 2 weeks I wanted to be sure my experience would be incredible so I chose that place. Besides that, it would be a great chance to practice my Spanish!
2. How was your routine as a Worldpacker?
Peggy was my host and she is amazing! She picked me up in Marbella's coach station, drove me to the supermarket (they do not offer any meal, but have a full equipped kitchen for you to cook) and then drove me to El Cortijo.
Every Worldpacker there has their own bedroom! Mine had a beautiful view to the huge swimming pool and garden.
There was another Worldpacker there when I arrived and we quickly became friends. So we would go out, travel and cook lunch together.
My daily routine started at 7am. They hold a lot of wedding in El Cortijo and my first day was just after a party. There was so much to do!
I used to help Alejandra to clean the common areas and also the guest's bedrooms. It wasn't hard at all, but it could be a bit tiring sometimes.
The other Worldpacker was helping in the garden, cleaning the pool, moving some tables around, that sort of thing.
We helped for only 4h per day and had the whole day to do whatever we wanted.
It was mid-June when I was there and it was insanely hot! So I would spend the day reading and listening to music by the pool and around 8pm I would go out to Marbella.
Malaga is pretty close to, and Manolo, the gardener, lives there, so you can get free rides!
After a few days another Worldpacker arrived. She had been there before and loved it so much she had to go back! She would cook lunch and dinner to Peggy’s dad and make him company.
3. Which places did you get to meet in your free time?
I had 3 days off per week, which was perfect to travel!
I've been to Granada and Malaga. If I had had more time, I would have gone to Ronda, Cordoba, Tarifa, Seville and even Tangier, in Morocco!!
It's super easy to travel around that region. There are buses to a lot of cities and even better: Blablacar, the car sharing app. It's safe and cheap to use it in Andalucía.
If you like beaches, you have pretty good ones in Marbella and in other smaller cities around.
4. How much did you spend with food, transportation and leisure?
I spent USD380 for two weeks.
I ate out a lot of days, so this could have been even less. It's so hard to say no to Spanish food!
It's quite common in Andalucía to have restaurants and bars where you ask for a drink (beer, sangria, coke...) and they offer you a free tapa! Amazing!
5. What’s the most amazing thing about this host?
The place itself.
El Cortijo de los Caballos looks like a fairy tale. It's so beautiful and the fact you have your own bedroom makes the experience so comfortable.
Besides that, everyone is super nice. Peggy, Manolo, Alejandra and everyone else who work there are super friendly and make you feel at home. I miss them so much and I was so sad to leave!
6. For what kind of traveler do you recommend this host to?
This is the perfect place for travelers who are looking for relaxation and silence. This is not a party place! (at least not for Worldpackers!).
El Cortijo is a bit far away from the city so you will spend a lot of time in the garden and in the pool. You can go out at night, of course, but you gonna have to help early in the morning, so it's not a good idea to get wasted the night before.
Most of the times there will be other volunteers there, but not always, so if you don't like being on your own, it might be better to look for another host.
I would also recommend to have this experience during spring and/or summer, as there is not much going on in the area during winter.
And of course, travelers must be willing to help in cleaning and gardening! They need a lot of help to keep their place fantastic for the guests, brides and grooms!
This was my first Worldpackers experience and I have had other 3 since.