Our Story

Jesus Arvizu, owner of Cocoraque Ranch, riding a horse and holding a lasso, with cattle in the background.
"Black and white photo of cowboys roping cattle at Cocoraque Ranch, with mountains in the background and dust swirling around."



The tale of Cocoraque Ranch is one of rich history, western heritage, and a passion for sharing the cowboy lifestyle with others. As Jesus Arvizu, the owner and operator of Cocoraque Ranch, puts it:

“I started the dude ranch business back in 1999. My main goal is to have my guests experience the western, cowboy lifestyle. The freedom we feel when we are out on the range is unthinkable, and we strive to pass this onto our guests.”

Jesus Arvizu is a Tucson native and third-generation cattle rancher whose ancestry traces back to Nacosari and San Pedro de la Quierva, Sonora, Mexico. As an avid roper and genuine cowboy, Jesus brings authenticity and deep-rooted knowledge to every aspect of Cocoraque Ranch.

Our ranch’s story, however, begins long before Jesus took the reins. Cocoraque Ranch was homesteaded in the 1890s by Oscar Robles Sr.’s grandfather, making it one of the oldest working cattle ranches in Southern Arizona. The ranch is a testament to the region’s complex history, having been part of a large Mexican land grant before becoming U.S. territory after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

Located in the Avra Valley, approximately 7 miles west of the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, Cocoraque Ranch spans an impressive 16,000 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. Our land is steeped in history, from ancient Hohokam petroglyphs to the days of Apache encampments and U.S. Cavalry arrivals.

The heart of our ranch is the historic Cocoraque Ranch House, a two-bedroom, 1200 square foot burnt adobe home built in the 1890s. This “casita” offers spectacular views of saguaro-studded landscapes and serves as a gateway to the Old West for our guests.

Since opening our doors to visitors, we’ve expanded our offerings to include a wide range of authentic western experiences. From cattle drives and trail rides to rodeos and jeep tours, we provide a true taste of cowboy life. Our Cocoraque Pavilion has become a sought-after venue for events, offering a unique blend of rustic charm and modern amenities.

At Cocoraque Ranch, we’re not just preserving history – we’re living it. Every day, we work to maintain the traditions of the American Southwest while sharing the freedom and beauty of ranch life with our guests. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into a bygone era, we invite you to become part of our continuing story here at Cocoraque Ranch.

Cocoraque Ranch