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Eco Tours

URUGUAY'S ESTANCIAS

Code:FURU05
Tour:URUGUAY'S ESTANCIAS
Duration:9 Days
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 Historic family ranches or ‘estancias’ are found throughout Uruguay. These estancias provide a glimpse into the history and culture of a time when gauchos and grazing cattle were abundant across the rolling hills and green pastures of Uruguay. This tour focuses on the estancias with visits in Colonia del Sacramento, Montevideo, and the coast to Cabo Polonio.There is ample time for horseback riding, hiking, birdwatching, or just sitting back and enjoying the scenery.

For more information about this tour, or for information about other tour options available, please CONTACT US.
DAY 1: COLONIA - ESTANCIA LA VIGNA
Arrive in Colonia del Sacramento by ferry from buenos aires and begin a walking city tour along the cobbled streets of the old town of colonia. this is an exciting opportunity to visit the best sights of the city of colonia. due to its colonial beginnings, the city's layout is different from the majority of uruguayan cities. its cobbled streets and houses alternate with small bars, excellent restaurants, art and craft shops, museums and a large yacht harbor. the trip can be customized based on the specific interests of the group, but travelers will often visit the beach promenade, real de san carlos with its bullfighting arena, the old town, and the museums.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the bus station and take an hour and a half ride to Colonia Valdense where you will be met by a local guide from Estancia la Vigna who will take you to their charming farm for dinner and your overnight.

DAY 2: MONTEVIDEO
After breakfast, visit Martilu or la Brida farms, local producers of blue cheese. After the Second World War, many Swiss immigrants settled in this area of Uruguay, founding “Colonia Suiza” and “Colonia Valdense”, and creating some of the best cheeses in Uruguay. After lovely cheese tastings and lunch at la Vigna, an hour and a half bus ride will take you to Montevideo, and a private transfer will drive you to your hotel in the old town. The evening is free to enjoy dinner at one of montevideo's restaurants or the nightlife that ranges from cozy tango bars to trendy, modern discos.

DAY 3: MONTEVIDEO CITY TOUR AND WINE TASTING
This morning take a guided city tour of this cosmopolitan city and visit the lively port market and the Ciudad Vieja (the colonial historic neighborhood). In the afternoon, take a wine tour to the best vineyards near Montevideo (typically visit bodegas bouza and juanico) with tastings included. A bus (four hour bus trip) will take you to the province of Treinta y Tres named after the thirty-three soldiers that fought in one of the most important battles that were won for the independence of Uruguay. You will be met and transferred to Estancia Pinos de la Quebrada, a lovely estancia located next to the Quebrada de los Cuervos National Park.

DAY 4: QUEBRADA DE LOS CUERVOS NATIONAL PARK
Drive to the Quebrada de los Cuervos National Park and hike down the beautiful gorge that is formed at the junctions of the Yerbal and Olimar Rivers. These waterways cut through the rolling hill country and provide a cool habitat for a variety of plants and wildlife, particularly birds, capybaras, and armadillos. A picnic lunch is provided during this three hour hike, and we can arrange for your visit to be on horseback for an additional fee. Return to the estancia in the evening for dinner.

DAY 5: ESTANCIA BALCON DEL ABRA
After a short bus drive (an hour and a half) to the small town of Mariscala in the province of Lavalleja, you will be driven to a small posada called Balcon del Abra, a charming farm surrounded by hills and dedicated to the breeding of horses. After lunch, your afternoon is free for hiking, horseback riding, or relaxing at the pool.

DAY 6: HORSEBACK RIDING
Today is a full day horseback trip among the rolling hills to a neighboring estancia where lunch will be waiting. return to the estancia balcon del abra in the afternoon and to relax in the evening. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

DAY 7: SALAMANCA GROTTOS - FOREST OF OMBUES - CASTILLOS LAGOON
After breakfast, a private vehicle drives us along the winding trails towards the province of Rocha near the coast. We will make a stop at the Salamanca Grottos to enjoy a picnic lunch and a short hike to the caves.
In the afternoon, guests will arrive to Estancia Guardia del Monte, a working estancia and wetlands refuge located on the Castillos Lagoon, home to a variety of birds and native scrublands. Visit the forest of Ombúes, a unique tree that grows in fantastic shapes with thick, twisting roots that spread out over the ground and is typically a solitary plant in other parts of uruguay. but here, centuries-old ombúes (some over 500 years old) grow in clusters and have trunks with a diameter of six feet. the afternoon will be spent exploring the forest and the castillos lagoon before returning to the estancia for dinner. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

DAY 8: ESTANCIA GUARDIA DEL MONTE
Today is a free to enjoy the estancia and its surroundings. Horseback riding, fishing, bird-watching, hiking, or simple relaxation are all options for today. Mount up on horses for a ride to the mysterious Palm Forests; despite a number of stories, no one knows how the palm trees (some 300 years old) got here since this species is not native to the area. Experience the gaucho lifestyle and participate in the rural activities of the day, or head out for some bird watching. The wetlands are teeming with bird life with more than 400 species in this area, including the graceful black-necked swan (world's largest population is here), the rare white goose, and the largest bird in South America, the ‘ostrich-like’ ñandú (rhea), otters, coypus (a "beaver without the tail"), and capybaras also inhabit the marshlands and streams. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

DAY 9: CABO POLONIO - MONTEVIDEO
After breakfast at the estancia, travel to Valizas Village where a local guide will be waiting to start an unforgettable tour to Cabo Polonio village. Start the adventure by crossing the Valizas stream by boat before we continue on foot or horseback (just let us know your preference) for a 4 mile hike along the sand dunes and sea lion colonies until Buena Vista Hill with its fantastic views of the ocean and Cabo Polonio. Visit the lighthouse and sea lion reserve (the biggest one in the world!). This afternoon take a bus for a four hour return to Montevideo. We can arrange additional hotel nights or transportation to the airport for an evening flight to return home or to the port for a ferry to Buenos Aires.


Included:
8 nights accommodations (1 night hotel & 7 nights lodge)
8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
3 days private Guide Service
6 days locally hosted guide service
Both international arrival and departure transfers are included.

Does not Include:
Travel insurance
Gratuities
Airfare
Airport Departure taxes
Quebrada los CUervos National Park Entrance Fee
Optional Excursions
Ferry Tickets


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