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Coastal Beaches and Vineyards

Overview

The resort of Punta del Este lies about halfway along Uruguay's coastline and sits on a narrow peninsula, meaning that the coastline has two regions: Brava (Spanish for Fierce) and Mansa (Spanish for Tame). The Rio de la Plata marks the split between the two, as well as a sculpture called Mano de P…

Highlights

  • Canter down beaches alongside the crashing ocean
  • Swim the horses in tranquil lagoons to cool off
  • Ride amongst vineyards and olive groves
  • Flexible itineraries perfect to add to a longer trip
  • Ideal for families or groups with mixed abilities

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95 kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Description

The resort of Punta del Este lies about halfway along Uruguay's coastline and sits on a narrow peninsula, meaning that the coastline has two regions: Brava (Spanish for Fierce) and Mansa (Spanish for Tame). The Rio de la Plata marks the split between the two, as well as a sculpture called Mano de Punta del Este (the hand) which was designed to warn swimmers about the dangers of rough waves. Beaches on the Mansa side have thick, golden sand, whilst those on the Brava side have fine white sand.

These horseback rides explore the area around Punta del Este - the vibrant and fashionable La Barra, and the tranquil and relaxed Jose Ignacio. The beaches themselves invite you to canter, whilst tranquil lagoons offer opportunities to swim the horses and cool off hot riders. Inland there are vineyards aplenty and you can ride through the vines and olive groves. Large, private estancias have trails running across them which means you can ride for miles without hardly seeing a soul.

We have two itineraries to offer you: one is a week long and perfect for those who want to truly discover this beautiful area whilst one is a short break. All itineraries can be scheduled at any time of year (except winter) and can be tailored to suit you, with groups of between 2 and 8 riders.

Due to the private nature of these rides, all abilities can be accommodated and so they are ideal for families or groups of friends where some riders are less experienced than others. The wonderful Criollo horses are selected to each rider according to their experience and so competent riders can still canter along the beach whilst beginners enjoy the spectacular views at a more sedate pace.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Local saddles are simple wooden structures with sheepskins over the top for comfort. They are perfect for long hours in the saddle. Bridles are simple and often made with rawhide. The horses are used to being neck-reined so you maintain a very light rein contact on their mouth.

Horses

The horses used on these trails are local Uruguayan Criollo and criollo crosses. Having been specially bred and developed in Uruguay they are incredibly sturdy, hardworking and ideally suited to the terrain you will be riding through. The horses are not overly tall, typically ranging between 14.2hh–16hh, but are all responsive, forward going and enjoyable to ride.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Eastern Coast and Vineyards is a trail ride
  • Jose Ignacio on horseback is a trail ride

Ages

Children are only accepted as part of a private group and would have to be confident riding a horse of c. 14hh.

Health

There are no specific health requirements but you should be fit and generally healthy.

Weight

95 kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Food & Accommodation

Food

Meals reflect the local cuisine and include lots of fresh, local produce. As you are riding across Estancia famed for their beef production, red meat does feature highly in the diet, but fish is also popular. Vegetarians can be catered for with advance notice.

Breakfasts and lunches are always included, but some dinners are not included - this is so that you can choose from the many high quality restaurants in the area. See the individual itineraries for details of which nights have dinner included.

Mineral water is provided throughout but other soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be purchased locally from the bars and restaurants that you visit.

Accommodation

You will stay in a mixture of Estancia, local guesthouses and B&B's depending on which ride you have chosen. Please see individual itineraries for more details on these. All rooms have private bathrooms.

Itineraries

Eastern Coast and Vineyards Standard accommodation.

Jose Ignacio on horseback Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

There are plenty of other activities on offer in the local area, some of which will incur additional costs, such as surfing, biking or canoeing. There are also many opportunities to go hiking and bird watching if you wish, as well as local sight-seeing, particular on the nights when you stay in Jose Ignacio.

Travel

There are currently no direct flights to either Punta del Este or Montevideo from the UK.

Indirect flights using either one or two stops are possible through European hub cities such as Madrid/Amsterdam or the USA or Brazil.

If you want to visit Argentina as well as Uruguay then you can also take a ferry across the estuary from Buenos Aires to Montevideo if you prefer not to fly.

Transfers from Punta del Este airport or bus station are included.

Transfers from Montevideo airport are possible for an additional cost.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

On arrival you will be transferred from the airport to your accommodation in La Barra. No meals or riding included today.

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

This morning you are transferred to Aguaverde Vineyards where you start your horseback adventure. Ride through the vineyards and follow trails through the landscapes of hills and countryside, stopping for lunch along the way. 

Dinner and overnight at La Rosita, a typical B&B.

Day 3

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

After breakfast you are transferred back to your horses and ride to the Atchugarry Foundation, which was founded by a renowned local artist - Pablo Atchugarry. Ride along private trails, bordering local estancias and stud farms until reaching the Sculpture Park and exhibition centre. Stop for a picnic lunch. Continue riding onto Chacra La Magdalena - a cosy local farm which is pleasantly situated within the countryside. Here you enjoy a typical asado (BBQ) hosted by your local gauchos.

Overnight at Chacra La Magdalena or locally available accommodation.

Day 4

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

Today you ride along the Camino Medellin and onto the isolated beach of La Boyita. Here you can experience the freedom of cantering along the coast before arriving at the Jose Ignacio Lagoon where you stop for lunch at the trendy La Huella. In the afternoon you continue riding along the beach and cross a lovely pine forest to reach the horse barn. You are then transferred back to the town of Jose Ignacio to overnight - dinner is to your own account tonight so you can sample some of the local restaurants.

Overnight at Posada La Viuda de Jose Ignacio.

Day 5

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

After an early breakfast, ride between some of the last big estancias in the area to cross the circle bridge of Garzon Lagoon. Stop for lunch in the protected are of El Caracol in the middle of a forest. After lunch continue along a virgin isolated beach towards La Lengueta where the Garzon Lagoon reaches the ocean. Adventurous riders may wish to swim their horse in the lagoon before continuing to ride along the private trails of local estancias back to the horse barns.

A second night at Posada La Viuda de Jose Ignacio and another chance to sample a local restaurant (dinner at own expense).

Day 6

Riding: 3 hours

After re-joining the horses you ride across country deep into the Uruguayan countryside. Ride across wetland areas, native forest and private estancias to discover a great diversity of landscapes. A typical picnic lunch is taken at a local estancia where the horses overnight. You are then transferred to the sleepy town of Garzon. There are many stories surrounding this town: initially settled around 1890 near to a stream where local travellers stopped en-route to Rocha, the town enjoyed four train services (two in each direction, towards Rocha and towards Montevideo) as well as a bus service to San Carlos plus various carriages. Unfortunately this vibrant town suffered during the economic crisis, the trains stopped arriving, the mill closed and many inhabitants moved to San Carlos or Rocha. Now only c. 200 people reside here, most employed in rural activities. A renowned Argentine chef, Francis Mallmann, together with an Argentine wine-maker, Manuel Mas, founded the Garzon restaurant and hotel which brought old-time charm and spirit back to the town.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Garzon.

Day 7

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Today you are transferred by vehicle to Bodega Garzon where you visit the winery and taste the wines. After your wine tasting you ride along hilly trails passing through olive plantations and vineyards which have earned the area the nickname "Tuscany of Uruguay". A picnic lunch is taken before you reach the old railway station in Garzon and eventually you ride into the town and say goodbye to your horses. Farewell dinner is provided at your hotel in Garzon.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred back to Montevideo or Punta del Este, whichever you prefer.

Accommodation

You stay in local guesthouses and B&B's which are clean and comfortable.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities can be accommodated but there is no instruction so some basic knowledge would be beneficial. Those with more experience will get the chance for faster riding.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 4, 2021 - May 31, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing twin/double room
£2870 $3995 €3365
Included 7 nights accommodation as described in itinerary, 7 days riding, breakfasts and lunches each day, some dinners, mineral water with meals, transfers from Punta del Este airport or bus station on arrival and departure.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, transfers from Montevideo airport, dinners in the first, fourth and fifth nights, soft or alcoholic drinks, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Airport Transfer £58 $80 €67
Paid to Far and Ride
Montevideo airport transfers, per person each way (min 2).
2021 - Extra Horse Supplement $250
Paid locally
Riders weighing more than 95kgs pay for an additional horse - this may be charged locally.
2021 - Single Supplement £760 $1060 €890
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

On arrival you will be transferred to Aguaverde Vineyards where you start your horseback adventure. Ride through the vineyards and follow trails towards Finca Narona where you stop for lunch overlooking the vines of this vintage winery. Ride back to Aguaverde Wine Lodge for a typical Uruguayan Mate Tasting.

Dinner and overnight at La Rosita, a typical B&B.

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

After breakfast you are transferred to your horses and ride to the Atchugarry Foundation, which was founded by a renowned local artist - Pablo Atchugarry. Ride along private trails, bordering local estancias and stud farms until reaching the Sculpture Park and exhibition centre. Stop for a picnic lunch. Continue riding onto Chacra La Magdalena - a cosy local farm which is pleasantly situated within the countryside. Here you enjoy a typical asado (BBQ) hosted by your local gauchos.

Overnight at Chacra La Magdalena.

Day 3

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

Today you ride along the Camino Medellin and onto the isolated beach of La Boyita. Here you can experience the freedom of cantering along the coast before arriving at the Jose Ignacio Lagoon where you stop for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon you continue riding to the town of Jose Ignacio. Dinner is not included so that you can sample some of the local restaurants - we can recommend La Huella which is a famous beach restaurant.

Overnight at Posada La Viuda de Jose Ignacio.

Day 4

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

After an early breakfast, set off riding along the beach towards La Lengueta, where the Garzon Lagoon reaches the ocean. Adventurous riders may wish to swim their horse in the lagoon before continuing to ride along the private trails of local estancias. Lunch is a typical Uruguayan asado in the middle of the forest.

A second night at Posada La Viuda de Jose Ignacio and another chance to sample a local restaurant (dinner at own expense).

Day 5

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home or onward travel.

Accommodation

You stay in local guesthouses and B&B's which are clean and comfortable.

Night 1: La Rosita, Punte del Este
Night 2: Chacra La Magdalena
Nights 3 and 4: Posada La Viuda de Jose Ignacio

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities can be accommodated. As there is no instruction, some basic knowledge would be beneficial. Riders with prior experience will be offered faster riding.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 3, 2021 - May 31, 2021

At any time during: Sept. 1, 2021 - Dec. 23, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing twin/double room
£1435 $1995 €1680
Included 4 nights accommodation, breakfasts and lunches, dinners on two nights, riding
Not included Flights, transfers from Montevideo to Punta del Este, dinners on two nights, drinks, insurance, tips

Extras

2021 - Airport Transfer £58 $80 €67
Paid to Far and Ride
Montevideo airport transfers, per person each way (min 2).
2021 - Extra Horse Supplement £72 $100 €84
Paid to Far and Ride
Riders over 95kg pay extra for an additional horse. This may be charged on location if you haven't prepaid it.
2021 - Single Supplement £445 $625 €525
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Sole Rider Supplement £550 $770 €645
Paid to Far and Ride
To confirm this ride for just one rider.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.