Laguna Negra Estancias

Uruguay Uruguay: (IT-URRT01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/uruguay_laguna_negra.aspx

Introduction
Uruguay Uruguay
On this ride you will discover the most diverse landscapes of a small country, taste its delicious local wines and excellent cuisine, and be rewarded with the hidden treasures found on paths less traveled!

For those who have a passion for nature, the beach, and being in close contact with the traditions of the countries they choose to visit, this horseback riding tour combines some of the oldest and best preserved haciendas with breath taking scenery, in one of the least known countries in South America - truly a hidden South American gem!

We ride from the traditional cattle breeding region of the country to the Coast of "Rocha" where we will cross the "Bañados del Este" Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO recognized), filled with an enormously diverse bird population - more than 400 species - and other wildlife like the endangered capybara, sea turtle, and the franca whale.

Enjoy the thrill of fast paced riding along the firm, sandy beaches pf Uruguay and across the vast grasslands on well trained and responsive riding horses. Enjoy breaks for traditional barbecue lunches and picnics, then ride on each day, over sand dunes, through palm groves, beside inland lakes teeming with wild waterfowl and on to the old Portuguese fort or your beach side hotels to admire stunning sunsets. Dolphins feeding in the beautiful bays, black-necked swans gliding across the lagoons, chattering parrots flying over, capybaras wading in the reeds - these are all things you can expect to find on a typical week in this paradise.

Incredibly friendly locals and skilled gauchos may accompany us and talk of their unique lives and their traditions. Listen to fascinating stories of the ancient battles and shipwrecks, including one of Nelson's fleet... and all this in one of the safest South American countries, still remarkably untouched by tourism despite all it has to offer! While staying at the working ranches – estancias – you can ride with, and help the gauchos with their cattle work and drives. You will undoubtedly come to feel connected to the traditions of this unexplored country by the time your vacation is over.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so you will be staying in different locations during the trip.

Description
The accommodations provided in this program include the most interesting and charming seaside hotels and ranches available in the areas we visit, all of which include private bathrooms (except maybe at Posada Valizas - depending on group size, clients may have to share bathroom for 1 night). They are clean, comfortable and provide very good service. You will be able to get good night’s sleep in the pleasant surroundings. If you are sharing your room, please let us know in advance if you prefer twin or double beds. 

There is access to laundry facilities during this trip for an extra fee.

Night 1: Don Boutique Hotel in Montevideo
This charming boutique hotel is located only a 5-minute walk from the beach and features an art deco architecture with modern interiors. Each room is unique and all include free high-speed Wi-Fi, LED TV´s, air conditioning, mini-bar, phone, safe box and a private bathroom. The hotel also has a panoramic rooftop with amazing views of the city and an outdoor pool.

Night 2: Fortín de San Miguel in Dieciocho de Julio
This hotel is located in a historic building, conveniently located just across the beautiful Fuerte San Miguel. The rooms are simply decorated and each offers amazing views of the surroundings and a private bathroom. The accommodation has free Wi-Fi access and offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool where guests can relax.

Night 3: Hotel Parque Oceánico in La Coronilla
This hotel is set amongst a beautiful park with elegant palm trees, just on the outskirts of La Coronilla, facing the Atlantic Ocean. The rooms are all air-conditioned and heated, depending on the season. Each room is equipped with wireless internet access, a TV and a private bathroom. Guests are welcome to walk in the garden or go for a swim in the indoor or outdoor swimming pool.

Night 4: Posada Terrazas de la Viuda in Punta del Diablo
This accommodation is located only 50 meters away from Punta del Diablo’s beach. Rooms are simple and brightly decorated, featuring large windows, a TV, small fridge, coffee machine, A/C and a private bathroom. There is free Wi-Fi available in public areas and an outdoor swimming pool.

Night 5: Posada Valizas in Rocha
This small coastal accommodation only has 6 guestrooms (2 of which with ensuite bathrooms) that are simply decorated and comfortable at the same time. There is a common area where guest are welcome to play board games or read a book. The property also has a lovely garden and an outdoor swimming pool. WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.

Nights 6 and 7: Estancia Guardia del Monte in Castillos
This estancia offers simple accommodations, in a charming building made out of stoned walls and surrounded by nature. The estancia is decorated with local objects that each tells a story. There is a big common area where guests can relax by the wood stoves. Each bedroom has a private bathroom and Wi-Fi is available.

Room Occupancy
If you attend as a single rider willing to share but we are unable to find another rider to share, the single supplement fee applies.


Meals
All meals are included on this trip, except for dinner in Montevideo on the first day.
After a full day riding, it is comforting to know that you can return to fully prepared meals that reflect the local cuisine. All meals are prepared with completely natural and fresh products of the region. Red meat, fish and wine are specially recommended. All breakfasts and dinners are eaten at the accommodations where we spent the night. Lunches are picnic-style and out on horseback.

Alcoholic drinks are not included in this trip and guests are not able to bring their own. It is possible to purchase alcoholic beverages directly at the restaurants.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all dietary restrictions with advanced notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
We can accommodate all levels (from someone who has been on a horse but who does not necessarily feel comfortable at all paces to advanced) of riding for this trip and adjust the itinerary as need-be. Groups can be separated based on riding levels. We ride between 3-6 hours per day, which can also be adjusted.

Horses
During our rides we work very hard to maintain the same set of horses throughout the whole tour. Our intention is that riders can actually build a bond with their horse and enjoy not only the landscape and ride but also the company of their horse. Depending on the size of the group, one or more spare horses will accompany us in case a change is needed. The horses are the local Uruguayan Criollo breed and criollo cross, ideally suited to the terrain.

Tack
We use local, ‘western’ type saddle with a sheepskin. Neck reining (western ‘one-hand riding). Help will be given in adjusting to this tack, which is very suitable for long days in the saddle. 

Emergencies
In case of accident, our guides will always carry a mobile phone, which they will use to contact local assistance. All of the towns along our route count on a medical emergency service.

Weight Restrictions
If your weight is more than 95 kilos (~210lbs) there is a surcharge so we can take an extra horse - so the weight is not too demanding for one horse.

Non-Riders
Non-riders are welcome on this trip. Non-riding activities include sight-seeing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, trekking, canoeing and bird watching.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1: Montevideo – Tour of the capital city & Port Market
Today is set aside to relax and explore the coastal city of Montevideo. Transfer along the wonderful coastline called “Rambla” to the downtown hotel. Enjoy lunch at the lively Port Market and a short walking tour of the “Old City” of Montevideo.
Accommodation at Don Boutique Hotel. L.

Day 2: 18th century Fortín de San Miguel
After breakfast, we will be driven to the Brazilian border and into Rocha, arguably the most beautiful province in Uruguay with pristine beaches, emerald shores and a great network of lagoons. We will arrive to Estancia “La Rosada” located next to the small town of La Coronilla. After lunch, enjoy a wonderful ride along the estancia in order to get to know our horses. After a typical “merienda” (snack), continue onto Fortin de San Miguel, built in the same stone as the nearby Portuguese fortress. We can admire the views out across an enormous stretch of fresh water - one of the largest fresh water reserves of South America, the "Merín Lagoon"; we are right on the Brazilian border. This area is home to a wide variety of birds and we will see many different native trees and bushes.
Accommodation at “Fortín de San Miguel" Hotel. AB, L, D.

Day 3: Barra de Chuy beach – Brazilian border & a ride along a pristine beach.
After breakfast, we will be drive to ‘Chuy’, a very curious town straddling the border where guests can step into Brazil and hear the locals speak a strange language made of a mix of Spanish and Portuguese. Continue onto our horses to start a nice 3-4 hours ride towards the coast!
After a special picnic lunch, riders may have a pleasant “siesta” discovering that gauchos’ saddles are so comfortable to ride as to sleep! In the afternoon, we will enjoy a fast-pace ride along the wonderful, isolated ocean beach of ‘Barra Chuy’. Visitors seldom reach this beach so we can enjoy a long, exhilarating canter with no signs of habitation as we ride across the pure white sands alongside the Atlantic Ocean. We arrive 22km (12 miles) further south to "La Coronilla" and stay at small beachside hotel.
Accommodation at a small beachside hotel. AB, L, D.

Day 4: Santa Teresa national park, dolphins & shipwrecks.
Today we will ride south alternating beaches, sand dunes, pine forests and coastal hills where we might see dolphins feeding before getting to the immense Santa Teresa National Park. The center piece of the park is a fort started in 1762 by the Portuguese to defend the edge of their territories then completed by the Spaniards who took it by assault just a year later. This was just the start of a succession of conquering, losing and reconquering the fort; it was not until 1825 that the newly forming ‘Uruguay’ finally captured and held the fort. The fort is surrounded by 3000 hectares of forest containing over 2 million trees, most from other parts of the world. After a picnic lunch we will enjoy riding along the forest trails and down to the beach and we will pass a shipwreck buried in the sand, one of many along this treacherous coast; indeed, Cabo Polonio (where we ride later) is named after a Spanish galleon that went down just off the point. Luckily ‘Beagle’ with Charles Darwin aboard did not succumb to this fate and Darwin spent quite some time in Uruguay collecting species and most likely starting to formulate his theories of evolution. After a traditional picnic close to the fortress or on the beach, depending on the weather, we will continue along the coast towards the lovely town of Punta del Diablo.
Dinner and accommodation at Posada Terrazas de la Viuda. AB, L, D.

Day 5: Cabo Polonio – shifting sands & sea lions
The day starts with a drive to the ocean coast. We will meet our horses and ride to the hidden Brioso Lagoon and along the beach of Valizas. After enjoying a picnic lunch, we will ride into the desert! This area has been declared a natural animal reserve and a Biosphere Natural Reserve by UNESCO. We will ride to Cabo Polonio, a charming fishing village which can only be reached by horse or SUV trucks.
The fascinating part of the area is the huge area of shifting sand dunes, as we ride through it is possible to imagine that we are right in the middle of the Sahara.
Dinner and accommodation at Posada Valizas. AB, L, D.

Day 6: Wetlands, Lagoon & Ombu Forest
After breakfast, we will visit the light house, the seals and sea lions that populate the small islands and make up one of the largest populations of seals in the world; very occasionally we spot a migrating whale. Riders can swim in one of the most beautiful beaches of the country. We will then begin our ride towards the wetlands of Rocha. We will ride along the Castillos Lagoon and across an amazing untouched landscape of Palm groves and Ombu Forest. We will enjoy a picnic lunch on the way before reaching the lovely & charming Estancia Guardia del Monte, a traditional working estancia.
Accommodation and dinner at Guardia del Monte. B, L, D.

Day 7: The incredible wetlands of the Castillos Lagoon
The day starts with a lovely breakfast of homemade bread, jams and cakes, admiring the views of the countryside. We will start our ride towards the neighbor estancia Barra Grande. We will cross wetlands and a magic forest of Ceibos, Coronillas and native trees. We will enjoy lunch a typical ¨Uruguayan asado¨ before riding back to Guardia del Monte.
Dinner and accommodation at Guardia del Monte.  B, L, D.

Day 8: Cattle and sheep work with the gauchos on the estancia
Morning ride along the estancia´s fields. We will have the chance to work alongside the gauchos and their trusty dogs as they tend to the cattle and sheep on this working ranch. The work varies depending on the time of the year, but the gauchos always welcome a bit of help checking and moving the stock or putting animals in the corrals. Sometimes a lame animal has to be caught and tended to. The wonderful, friendly gauchos with their berets and their knives tucked into their colorful belts all seem to have been born on a horse and it is a delight to be riding with them. We will enjoy lunch at Guardia del Monte before riding towards the small town of Castillos where we will visit a local “gaucho store”. Traditional bridles, typical riding “bombachas” (riding trousers), gaucho hats and colorful ponchos will be available to admire and buy! We will then say goodbye to our horses before heading back to Montevideo – to the airport, port, the city, or to start an extension tour.
AB, L.


The above sample itinerary is subject to changes at the discretion of the tour operator.


SUGGESTED EXTENSIONS:

Extension 1: Haras Las Tordillas (3 days and 3 nights)
A lovely extension tour to the rolling hills of Pueblo Eden region, where guests will be able to ride for an extra three more days surrounded by a completely different landscape. Located in the region of Pueblo Eden, the cozy “Haras Las Tordillas” offers an amazing experience for horse lovers. Guests will discover wonderful trails to ride around the hills and countryside, crossing streams that lead to hidden cascades and amazing local wineries. This extension tour can be the perfect option to ride some extra days and enjoy beautiful Arabian horses. 

Extension 2: Vineyards and Horses (3 days and 3 nights)
An unforgettable extension tour to one of the prettiest areas in Uruguay: The province of Maldonado where the famous and renowned Punta del Este and Jose Ignacio are located. We will be staying at a Luxury Wine Lodge in the area of La Barra from where we will enjoy great rides along the vineyards, to local interesting places related to art and gastronomy and to the Beach. You will be able to visit the winery, enjoy a wine tasting combined with a lovely “farm to table” lunch overlooking the vineyards and visit art studios and exhibitions from local artists. This small extension tour is a perfect blend of horse riding, Uruguayan culture, wines and art.


Rates and Dates for Laguna Negra Estancias

Rates include:

Accommodations at estancias/inns, all meals and mineral water (except on Day 1), English speaking guide, 7 riding days with groom service, transfers to and from Montevideo airport and a Montevideo City Tour.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20198 day trip, AP Nights at estancias and inns$3690

Rates Note:

Extensions: Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Iguacu Falls. ** 50% deposit is required if booked within 60 days of tour

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Extensions: Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Iguacu Falls. ** 50% deposit is required if booked within 60 days of tour


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Transfer from Carrasco International Airport (included) $0
2019 Single supplement $520
2019 Small group supplement (2-3 pax only) $770
2019 Supplement for extra horse (riders 95+ kg) $415

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 11/02 - 11/09 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP Nights at es... 4 /8 Expired
A 2019 11/30 - 12/07 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP Nights at es... 4 /8 Reserve

Dates Note:
Additional dates are available for groups of 4+ riders.

Rates do not include:

Meals in Montevideo on Day 1, flights & departure taxes, beverages (soft and alcoholic drinks), personal expenditure (bar or hotel bills, telephone calls), gratuities, mandatory Medical Insurance.

Other Info
Meeting: Montevideo airport, bus terminal, ferry terminal or local hotel.
Airport: Carrasco/General Cesáreo L. Berisso International Airport
Transfer: Montevideo airport

Climate:
                                        José Ignacio area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

78

78

75

71

65

59

58

60

61

66

70

76

Average Low Temperature (°F)

66

67

64

60

55

50

48

49

51

55

59

64

Average High Temperature (°C)

25

26

24

21

18

15

15

15

16

19

21

24

Average Low Temperature (°C)

19

20

18

16

13

10

9

10

10

13

15

18

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The weather in Uruguay is variable, but you can expect somewhat warm spring and autumn temperatures, although we can also get some cool days (especially early in the morning or at night) and some rainy days too. Except for the winters (July to September) the climate is usually mild with rainfalls scattered throughout the calendar. 

What To Bring:
Clothes and Equipment: Clothes and equipment should be light to accommodate for riding. You will also need: Sun block, insects repellent, a warm coat, jacket or sweater, hat (sun/rain), footwear (boots or sneakers) bathing suit and wet weather gear for the eventuality of rainy days. Don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars. Remember that as your bags will be transferred from accommodation to accommodation by car, you can pack as much clothes as you want to feel comfortable.

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets

Passport

Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR

2 Pairs of riding trousers (or jeans with full or half chaps)

T-shirts and long sleeved tops (cotton polo necks are good for layering)

Riding boots (well broken in) or ankle-high multi-purpose ride/walk boots which work well when worn with half-chaps and can comfortably be worn for walking too

Riding helmet (riders not wishing to wear a hard hat do so at their own risk)

1 Pair of insulating and quick-drying gloves for riding

Wool cap or other warm hat

Waterproof/windproof (gortex or other suitable fabric) jacket with hood

Waterproof pants

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING

Wool sweater or fleece

Fleece Jacket or waistcoat

Sun hat or visor

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts

Jeans

Shorts

Underwear

2 Pairs of socks (including a couple of knee-high socks for riding)

Pyjama

Bag for dirty clothes

Swimsuit

2 Bandannas or scarves

 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING

Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

Sewing kit

Camera and enough extra films

Waterproof camera bag (or bring plastic bags to cover when in saddle bags i.e. Ziplocks)

Belt pack

Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm

Minimum 1 Litre water bottle or two half-litre bottles