For a relatively small country, Uruguay offers some of South America’s most diverse and picturesque riding holidays where you can combine your love for riding with the chance to spot local wildlife, relax on (and gallop along!) gorgeous deserted beaches and experience the traditional rural ranch life that makes Uruguay so special – a country made for riding!
A riding holiday along Uruguay’s beautiful Emerald Coast is perfect for experienced riders. The scenery varies every day as does the pace with plenty of opportunity to gallop along gorgeous beaches and over grassy plains. Spend a week riding through sand dunes, through cool pine forests and alongside freshwater lagoons that are havens for a variety of birdlife from hummingbirds, rheas, flamingos and kingfishers to name but a few. Ride along the coast, stopping in idyllic settings for a gourmet lunch followed by a refreshing dip in the ocean. Look out for dolphins, whales, turtles and sealions as you explore along the quieter northern stretches of Uruguay’s coastline.
Like its neighbour Argentina, Uruguay has a very traditional way of life on its working ranches, linked to the fierce national pride in the gaucho culture, as seen at various gaucho festivals around the country, notably at La Patria Gaucha Festival held in Tacuarembo in March. Experience for yourself these old traditions as you meet your local hosts and enjoy sumptuous dinners paired with surprising local wines. Arrive each evening either at a delightful little beachside hotel or at a working estancia, where you can head out with the gauchos to do cattle work if you still have the energy! Then after your week’s riding, take some time out to relax at hip little beach towns north of the busier resort of Punta del Este or discover some of the interesting wine varieties being produced at wineries here.
Less visited than its neighbours to north and south, Uruguay makes for a very special and memorable holiday and taking to horseback allows you to explore some of its truly charming hidden gems and corners.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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