Horseback Riding in Uruguay

Emerald Coast Estancias and Beaches


The long Atlantic coastline where you will ride with its clear, unpolluted water is a haven for marine animals such as dolphins, whales and seals as well as for fish and birds. Darwin himself was fascinated by the unique flora and fauna of this area and spent considerable time here when he came through on the Beagle.  Long stretches of these pristine beaches are uninhabited.

You will also ride in the interior where large ranches raise delicious local beef and lamb.  You will have a chance to share the life of the gauchos and help them work the cows.  Asado with grilled pieces of beef or lamb cooked over an open fire is a local food specialty.  There is also fresh sea food, vegetables, fruit and excellent local wines.  You will have comfortable accommodations in estancias, with one night at a permanent camp. This horseback riding vacation in Uruguay will give you a fascinating introduction to a culture where horses still play a major role.

The first and last nights  will be spent at a hotel near Montevideo city center. The rooms are clean and comfortable.

Out on the trail, nights are spent at a restored estancia, beachside hotel, a new lodge, charming ‘posada’ & guests also enjoy a night under the stars.

The fresh meat, seafood and vegetables are first class and the locals wines are a pleasure to drink. All meals are included with the exception of meals in the city of Montevideo prior to or following the ride and dinner on Day 1. Special dietary requests can be met with prior notice. We ask that you notify us of these at the time of booking. A glass of house wine is included with your dinner each evening.

  • Overview:
    The criollo horses are well trained, steady and are ready to move out at a good gallop on command. The horses have been bred and raised on local ranches. They are strong, fit, and well behaved animals. The style of riding is western and the horses respond to neck reining. Traditional South American saddles and bridles are utilized. Their thick sheepskin covers make them comfortable for long hours of riding. Saddle strings are attached to carry raincoats, water bottles, cameras, and binoculars. English saddles are available with advance notice. The gauchos accompanying the ride handle all the tacking up and are extremely helpful.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Criollo, Criollo crosses
  • Trip Pace:
  • Tack:
    South American saddles, English saddles
  • Weight limit:
    210 lbs

Separate activities can be organized, such as hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, canoeing or bird watching.


Trip Itinerary

Day 1


Guests are met at the Montevideo International Airport (Carrasco) upon arrival and driven to their well-located city hotel. Enjoy a stroll through the old city or along the sandy beaches of the famous ‘Rambla’ combined with fine dining in this cosmopolitan capital city.

Overnight at a Montevideo hotel. No meals included.

Day 2

Winery and ride

After breakfast, a drive eastwards towards the Atlantic coast. Guests will meet their horses at a traditional, recently renovated Estancia. Once everyone is comfortable you will ride out to a nearby vineyard and also through olive groves where delicious olive oil is produced for a tour
and lunch then we will continue our ride on through the cattle ranching ‘gaucho country’ and b ack to the estancia for a glass of wine on the
veranda at sunset and a delicious dinner awaits.

Lunch at a vineyard; Dinner & overnight at an 1890s recently restored Estancia.

B, L, D (approx 2. 5 hrs drive, 3-4 hours riding)

Day 3

Cattle work and asado

Ride out along dirt lanes to another Estancia where you join the gauchos (skilled local horsemen) to help out with the cattle work at a ranch. An authentic experience, riders helping out with the daily tasks. The day will depend on what work needs doing but often we have to count the cows (not as easy as it looks!), move herds to the corrals or different pastures and treat any injured animals. Once the work is over you ride on to your lunch spot for a delicious traditional ‘asado’.

The vehicle will then meet you and to head to a stunning coastal area for overnight at a horse farm where you will meet new trusty steeds and begin
another leg of your journey.

Overnight at individual ‘cabins  on the property or at small Posada in nearby beachside village.

B, L, D (approx 5-6 hours riding, 2 hrs drive to coast)

Day 4

Coastal riding

Once riders are settled, ride to the beach where the tide will determine how the group crosses an estuary – normally riders in a boat and horses swimming! On reaching the opposite bank, arrive in a large system of sand dunes. Lunch awaits the other side of the sand dunes in a restaurant on the beach of an isolated village.

During the afternoon ride back to the horse farm through pine trees, often spotting burrowing owls and possibly armadillos! Stunning sunsets are common, enhanced by a glass of Uruguayan wine. Another delicious dinner is served.

Dinner & 2nd Overnight at the delightful cabins or cozy Posada.

B, L, D (approx. 5-6 hours riding)

Day 5

Wetland rides

Today you ride inland, along grassy lanes, across pastures, through native forests and beside a lagoon the shores of which are inhabited by many bird species. The terrain allows for some long canters and then we plunge into the wetlands, sometimes occasionally swimming on horseback as we approach the ‘rancho’ where the group spends the night. Guests will see the very unique, usually solitary Ombu tree and can hear a lot about the local flora and fauna from the guides. There is a
night drive to a very rare Ombu forest.

Dinner & overnight at a camping ‘rancho’ (permanent structure with veranda, tables, shower…) Night under the stars or in comfortable tents (thick mattresses) – a team will have already put your tent up for you and prepared some delicious dishes ready for your arrival.

B, L, T, D (approx 5-6 hours riding)

Day 6

Coastal village and tack shop

A chance to taste the ‘mate’ green tea that Uruguayans could not live without! Then a morning ride across grasslands with the opportunity of spotting rheas (ostrich like flightless native birds), road runners, caracaras, herons, spoonbills, southern screamers – to name a few! Pass strangler figs and palm trees along he trail and other native tree species. In the afternoon you will be driven up the coast to a Posada in a seaside village but, before this drive, there is an opportunity to call into a local gaucho store to buy some souvenirs and see all the local tack and
clothing used. Intricate leatherwork and high leather boots are sold here as well as berets – the gauchos’ surprising choice of

Dinner & overnight at a small, charming Posada.

B, L, D (approx 3 hours riding, gaucho shop visit, 45mins driving)

Day 7

Coastal fort

As you ride out along the coast, riders enjoy the empty firm-sand beaches across several bays and points. There is the possibility of seeing dolphins as you splash in the water and canter on the sand. Parts of the ride will be in forest and you pass an historic fort, first built in the 1700s -the guide can once again give you all the details about the battles that took place along these strategic shores and also the many shipwrecks that lie beneath the waves.

Arriving at the beachside hotel, riders spot the outdoor hot tubs; there are also indoor hot tubs and a swimming pool and a whole ocean to swim in, if you wish.

Dinner & overnight at beachside hotel with swimming pools & hot tubs.

B, L, T, D (approx 6 hours riding)

Day 8

Beach canters

The final morning ride takes you onto a seemingly endless beach – that continues on into Brazil. Perhaps you might meet one or two fishermen, otherwise flocks of shore birds are the only other inhabitants of this expansive beach. Having enjoyed some exhilarating canters, if they wish, riders can take the saddles off and ride bareback into the ocean, paddling with the horses and crossing an ‘arroyo’ (small estuary) on the way back to the hotel for lunch and the departure back to Montevideo.
Shower & lunch back at the hotel.

Drive to Montevideo.
B, L (approx 3 hours riding, approx. 3½ hrs drive)

Day 9

Departure from Montevideo

Transfer to the Montevideo airport for departure.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary if flexible and may be modified at the guide's discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Other dates between October- December and late February-April may be available for private groups.

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Feb 24, 2024
Mar 3, 2024
Nov 8, 2024
Nov 16, 2024

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $4,820Based on a group with 6 guests
  • Single Supplement
  • $645
Additional Pricing Information:
50% deposit of trip price required for this ride. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time the deposit is paid.

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Contact Megan Barrett

The Uruguay trip is a real winner! We were totally embraced by the hospitality of our hosts and their eagerness to make our riding holiday the best it could be. We can’t wait to go back. The people, the country and the landscape are totally unspoiled. The mild climate and beautiful green open spaces are perfect for riding.

Sandy and Chico