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Eco Tours

HORSEBACK RIDING IN URUGUAY GAUCHOS AND ESTANCIAS

Code:FMVD 01
Tour:HORSEBACK RIDING IN URUGUAY GAUCHOS AND ESTANCIAS
Duration:8 Days
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 Uruguay is classic Gaucho country and raising cattle is the major business. Green pastures with rolling hills extend as far as the eye can see in every direction and cows can graze all year long in the mild climate. Horseback riding is the only way to work cattle here and most people take riding for granted, almost like walking in other parts of the world. The Criollo horses are well trained, steady and ready to move out on command.

The country has a very low rate of crime and the people are unusually friendly and hospitable. The fresh meat, sea food and vegetables are first class and the local wines are pleasurable to drink. We found our accommodations in all three estancias extremely comfortable and the whole ambiance was always picturesque.


For more information about this tour, or for information about other tour options available, please CONTACT US.
DAY 1: MONTEVIDEO
Arrive at Montevideo airport or port (there are frequent ships which take a few hours from Buenos Aires) in the afternoon and spend the night at the Hotel Radisson in the center of town. There is an optional tour of the town arranged for 3:00 for those who arrive in time and dinner will be in a local restaurant. Transfer to the hotel and the overnight at the hotel are included in the trip price. Dinner and the tour are not included.

DAY 2: MONTEVIDEO ESTANCIA CEIBO
After breakfast you will be driven to El Ceibo Estancia by bus where you will arrive about 11:00 to meet your hosts, the staff and the horses. Lunch will be at about 1:00 and will consist of a traditional barbecue and criollo cuisine. Then head out on horseback across the fields to visit a local winery called Bodega de la Cruz at about 2:00. If there is time, you can taste some of the wines. The ride is about 15 miles. A typical Uruguayan dinner and local dancers performing to music rounds out the evening.

DAY 3: SAN PEDRO DE TIMOTE ESTANCIA
After breakfast we will head out again on horseback toward San Pedro de Timote Estancia which is 40 miles away so we will go only a part of the way on this day. You ride along grassy tracks where the footing is excellent for cantering. A picnic lunch will be cooked for you near a half way point on the ride and after a rest you will ride on with more good places for a canter. The landscape is reminiscent of Ireland with green fields and rolling hills, but this countryside comes without the bogs and the paved roads. At the end of the afternoon’s ride leave the horses to graze for the night, and return to El Ceibo for a hot shower, cocktails and another feast.

DAY 4: SAN PEDRO DE TIMOTE
After breakfast return by bus to the horses which are saddled up and ready to make the final leg of the ride to San Pedro. This morning wind through groves of eucalyptus trees and across fields arriving in time for a late lunch. The first view of San Pedro de Timote is striking. The large buildings stand on top of a hill surrounded by lovely old trees. This estancia is one of the show places of Uruguay and has been declared a national monument. It was established in 1854 and was the headquarters for a huge ranch of 100,000 acres or more. Now it has been complete refurbished with comfortable bedrooms most of which have private bathrooms. There are an indoor and outdoor swimming pools, enormous fireplaces blaze away in the sitting rooms and the décor is in the classic old Hispanic style. After lunch you can ride again for two or three hours to explore some of the estancia’s fields and forests. The estancia has a fine restaurant and after a delicious dinner you will be entertained by guitar playing and drinks by a campfire.

DAY 5: SAN PEDRO DE TIMOTE
After breakfast there will be an excursion to a neighboring estancia which belongs to Ms Cecilia Gallinal. This beautifully managed dairy farm raises jersey cows and produces cheese. You will return to San Pedro for lunch, a rest and an afternoon of riding in the surrounding area. Return to San Pedro for dinner and overnight.

DAY 6: ESTANCIA LA PAZ
After breakfast you will be driven by van to the northern department of Paysandu to Estancia La Paz, a beautiful old colonial 18,000 hectare estancia founded in 1856. This is also a working estancia which grows crops and breeds Charolais cattle. After lunch you will have the opportunity to ride around the wheat fields and among the cattle grazing in the pastures. This part of the country has its own distinctive character. At the end of the afternoon you can relax in the
estancia’s spa, or enjoy a drink under the starry sky while awaiting dinner. The cuisine at LaPaz is excellent; combing the influence of its Belgian founders with Uruguay’s national dishes.

DAY 7: ESTANCIA LA PAZ
After breakfast you will again ride over estancia land; crossing rivers and cantering through woodland, returning to the estancia for lunch. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to ride over so far unseen areas of the estancia. Dinner and overnight at Estancia LaPaz.

DAY 8: MONTEVIDEO
After breakfast the bus will return you to Montevideo and to the airport or port. We suggest that those who have time enjoy lunch at the Mercado del Puerto which is the very busy, picturesque restaurant near the port, known for its good food.

Note: This itinerary is flexible and changes may occur due to weather or other unforseen circumstances.


For more information about this tour, or for information about other tour options available, please CONTACT US.
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