NEW 2018 itinerary
Beaches & Estancias, Uruguay
- riding between exceptional locations through stunning, varied scenery
- sea lions, dolphins & rheas, just some of the animals often seen
- ride across deserted beaches, pine forests, wetlands & pastures
The Beaches & Estancias ride is more modestly priced than the Emerald Coast tour as private bathrooms are not available each night.
A progressive ride. Start and end point is Montevideo.
Run as a set date departure and also a private group ride.
Uruguay, with the gaucho culture and pristine coastline, is made for riding. Discover the charms of this tranquil South American gem while journeying through the beautiful province of Rocha on excellent horses in the company of the local horsemen. Along deserted beaches, across pastures, through wetlands & woodlands, over rolling hills; passing historic forts and shipwrecks and skirting lagoons to arrive at estancias and laze on verandas in idyllic locations. We spot a great variety of fascinating wildlife as we ride through UNESCO reserves & national parks and sample the delicious local food and Uruguayan wine with our delightful hosts.
Day 1: Morning departure from Montevideo, on the banks of the wide Rio de la Plata estuary in a private vehicle (approx 4hrs), arriving on the Atlantic coast in the stunning province of Rocha. After lunch, an afternoon circuit ride (3hrs) to a hidden lagoon. Riding out in the shade of pine woods and returning via the beach.
Day 2: The hose ride starts with taking the horses across the mouth of a small estuary, ridden or towed by boat, depending on the tides. A full day ride that takes us through a fascinating dune system, now a national park, to Cabo Polonio -a fishing village turned ‘low key’ beach resort. The villlage is only accesible through these shifting sand dunes making the village a facinating outpost. Lunch at a beach side restaurant, with fresh fish, seaweed and paella on the menú. Horseback ride back to Valizas via pine forests. 4-5 hrs horse riding
Day 3: Today we ride inland, crossing pastureland with a chance of faster paced horse riding and also the opportunity of seeing this area’s diversity of wildlife and plants – most of today’s ride will be in UNESCO protected areas. After a gaucho style lunch, an afternoon horse ride to the working ranch takes riders on another wonderful, scenic route to wildlife filled wetlands (2.5 hrs). We leave the lagoon shores and ride to the estancia house for an overnight stay.
Day 4: A horseback ride into the rolling hills today, first crossing meadows and passing through a band of palm trees and after a picnic lunch, we ride into rockier areas, up to an excellent viewpoint – from this vantage point we can see the both the previous days’ routes and also the next days’ routes. Vultures soar overhead and colourful parakeets screech at us as we pass by. An idyllic location to fall asleep listening to the horses grazing around the tents. 4.5 - 5 hrs riding
Day 5: Leaving the rocky outcrops we ride northeast towards the Brazilian border through another area of palm trees, often seeing woodpeckers sitting in holes they have drilled out of the palm trunks. This is a big ranching area and we sometimes meet herds of cattle accompanied by the gauchos and their dogs. The afternoon ride along empty beaches with firm sand allows riders to enjoy some fast paced riding, an exhilarating afternoon. The chance of sighting dolphins as we enjoy these pristine beaches, scattering flocks of seagulls and a host of other birds as we canter by . 4.5 - 5hrs horse riding
Day 6: Horseback riding northwards up the coast, we take a break atop a small hill, where a very successful turtle protection project is in action. We then ride into the forests of Santa Teresa national park, the restored historically important fort is the centre-piece of the park. A picnic lunch and then a horse ride further up the beautiful national park beaches. Passing a shipwreck almost totally buried in the sand, we arrive at Parque Oceanico. A great location for our final night – a hotel in parklands set back just off the beach, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools. 4 hrs riding
Day 7: An incredible horse ride to end on - the ‘infinity’ beach. Miles of firm sand on an empty beach and the impression that you can just keep riding for ever – you can just keep riding and end up in Brazil! Occasionally we pass a local collecting a shellfish that the beach is famous for, otherwise we have the beach to ourselves. We do eventually have to stop and, at around midday, and then a drive back to Montevideo – to the airport, to the city or on to another activity/estancia stay/trip to Buenos Aires that we can help you organise.