Uruguay - Atlantic Coast Ride
'...I yearn to be back in Uruguay, I loved everything about it...'


We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £2,967 or €3,480

Horse Riding Holidays Uruguay – Atlantic Coast Ride


The Atlantic Coast Ride: Prices 2020

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7 nights

  • $4,092
    • GBP: 2,967
    • EUR: 3,520
    per person sharing
  • $578
    • GBP: 419
    • EUR: 497
    single supplement

There is a small group supplement for 3 or less riders tbc at time of booking

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

The Atlantic Coast Ride: Dates 2020

29th February to 7th March 2020
21st to 28th March 2020
7th to 14th November 2020
28th November to 5th December 2020

Included – All the riding, accommodation, meals and airport transfers.

Excluded – Flights, dinner in Montevideo on the first night, personal expenditure including bar bills, laundry & telephone calls, tips.

Getting There
International flight to Montevideo, usually via Buenos Aires or Sao Paolo.

Only a 25 minute transfer to the 4 star Balmoral Hotel or similar in the centre of Montevideo.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.


Uruguay is an amazing destination for a horse riding holiday – the Atlantic Coast Ride follows a coastal adventure where you will ride over the fertile rolling grasslands where cattle are farmed, staying in authentic estancias on the way and follow the wonderful coastline of the Atlantic ocean giving way to long, unspoilt, sandy beaches, perfect for galloping.

The experienced English horse woman Sally Vergette runs the Atlantic Coast Ride and you can expect top class horses and a good mix of authentic accommodation, where you’ll be warmly received. Joining you on your ride are local gauchos, which add to the cultural experience of this Atlantic Coast adventure, they’ll tend your horses and tell fascinating stories of their lives and traditions in this little known South American country.

The Atlantic Coast Ride route itself takes you over large estancias through some of Uruguay’s protected National Parks. You’ll also ride across sand dunes and along deserted sandy beaches, through groves of enormous palm trees and past inland lakes teeming with wildfowl – the name Uruguay means ‘river of the painted birds’ in the traditional Guaraní local language. The going is really good and there are lots of opportunities for exhilarating canters.

The Atlantic Coast Ride gives you the chance to visit historic Portuguese forts, spending your nights in authentic working estancias and beach-side hotels – you may even see dolphins, black necked swans, parrots and capybaras (the giant guinea pig like creatures of the South American wetlands) as you ride.


Horses – Mostly local Uruguayan Criollo, crossed with Thoroughbred & Quarter Horse. Generally between 14.2hh to 16hh, well suited to the terrain, responsive and forward going. There are at least two changes of horses during the ride (sometimes more) with one or more spare horse accompanying the group.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced.

Tack – Western style with sheepskin covered saddle, which are very comfortable for the long hours of riding.

Weight Restriction – 210 lbs / 95 kgs / 15 stone.

Heavier weights can be accommodated with prior notice and a supplement for an extra horse.

Group Size – 2 minimum and 12 maximum.


A carefully chosen combination of local hotels and estancias. The older traditional properties have wonderful charm and are very comfortable, but the standard does vary and on some nights the accommodation is smaller and simpler. All rooms have their own private bathrooms.

Food on the Atlantic Coast rides is good quality and includes a combination of European and typical Uruguayan dishes, you’ll enjoy excellent beef and plenty of ‘asados’ (barbecues).

We have travelled the world testing a huge variety of horse riding holidays to make sure we offer you, our client, the best horse riding holiday experience possible.

Our horse riding holidays are thoroughly researched – we consider all the elements that go towards making our horse riding holidays collection the best in the world. We check the quality of the horses, if they are fit for the job, well produced and looked after. We make sure the riding terrain is good going, the countryside is interesting and, for example, on Classic Dressage horse riding holidays, the arenas are in good condition. We make sure the accommodation, whether it’s a five star hotel, a farmhouse or camping, is clean and comfortable, and offers a great night’s sleep. The food is all important too – we take the time to make sure we tell you if it’s cordon bleu, home cooked, or regional and locally sourced – above all it has to be delicious, plentiful and nourishing. Last but not least, we choose the horse riding holidays that have the best hosts, who are friendly, warm and welcoming.

It’s only when all these elements come together that we add a horse riding holiday into our hand-picked collection of horse riding holidays.

Horse Riding Holidays like the Atlantic Coast Ride are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays Uruguay.


Uruguay, with the gaucho culture and pristine coastline, is made for riding.
Discover the charms of this tranquil South American gem while journeying through the beautiful province of Rocha on excellent horses in the company of the local horsemen. Along deserted beaches, across pastures, through wetlands & woodlands, over rolling hills; passing historic forts and shipwrecks and skirting lagoons to arrive at estancias and laze on verandas in idyllic locations. We spot a great variety of fascinating wildlife as we ride through UNESCO reserves & national parks and sample the delicious local food and Uruguayan wine with our delightful hosts.

Day 1 – Montevideo

Arrival in Montevideo and check in to your hotel. This is a day to relax and explore this coastal city. Dinner is to your own account, so you have the option of where you eat.

Overnight at Don Boutique Hotel in Montevideo (or similar).

Day 2 –  Morning departure from Montevideo, on the banks of the wide Rio de la Plata estuary in a private vehicle
(approx 4hrs), arriving on the Atlantic coast in the stunning province of Rocha. After lunch, once guests are comfortable on their horses, a bilingual guide and second guide will take them on an        afternoon circuit ride (3hrs) to a hidden lagoon. Riding out in the shade of pine woods and returning via the beach. On the drive from Montevideo, we usually spot rheas (huge south american flightless bird) as well as other bird species; here on the
coast, we often see dolphins close to the shore and also whales at certain times of the year. Dinner at a local restaurant serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine & overnight at Posada Valizas, a charming small hotel with a lovely hostess.

Day 3 – After breakfast, the ride starts with taking the horses across the mouth of a small estuary, ridden or towed by boat, depending on the tides. A full day ride that takes us through a fascinating dune system, now a national park, to Cabo Polonio -a fishing village turned ‘low key’ beach resort. The villlage is only accesible through these shifting sand dunes making the village a facinating outpost. An important lighthouse sits on the point but, due to the treacherous seas and various battles over the centuries, many shipwrecks litter the seabed. Sea lions lounge on the rocks during most of the year (the largest colony in south america) and arriving at the beachside village riders can visit the basking sea lions and lighthouse and also swim in the beautiful bay. Lunch at a beach side restaurant, with fresh fish, seaweed and paella on the menú. In the afternoon, we ride back to Valizas via pine forests, often seeing the small burrowing owls that are out hunting prey during the day. The ride ends alongside the
estuary with fascinating bird viewing. (4-5 hrs ride). Dinner & then a second overnight at the Posada.

Day 4 – Today we ride inland, crossing pastureland with a chance of faster paced riding and also the opportunity of seeing this area’s diversity of wildlife and plants – most of today’s ride will be in UNESCO protected areas. We arrive at a wood with ombu ‘trees’ situated on the shores of the Castillos lagoon. The ombu is a very unique shape and, despite its’ size, is actually a shrub and not a tree and to find ombus growing like this together not at all common, they are usually a solitary plant. Strangler figs are also found here and other native trees. The knowledgeable guide will be happy to chat about the flora and fauna we pass along the way. Lunch is ‘gaucho style’ with a feast of ‘chorizos criollos’ (local sausages) and empanadas (filled savoury pastries). After a siesta, the afternoon ride to the working ranch (Estancia Guardia del Monte) takes riders on another wonderful, scenic route (2.5 hrs). The wetland areas we cross are home to hundreds of different birds, amphibians, fish and wild animals. The black neck swans, ibis, southern screamers, herons and roseate spoonbills abound. Migrant birds such as flamingoes visit. We leave the lagoon shores and ride to the estancia house for an overnight stay. The original building was strategically placed here over two centuries ago and manned by soldiers to prevent the Portuguese taking over the Spanish territories further south. The estancia is now owned by a local farming family and guests have an ideal opportunity to see the gauchos in action. Dinner is a traditional ‘asado’.

Day 5 – We ride into the rolling hills today, first crossing Meadows and passing through a band of palm trees the fruit of which (butia) is used to produce a potent local hooch. We pause to visit Castillos and a chance to buy some
souvenirs at a gaucho store – for example boots and hats are on offer and the ‘bombachos’ that the local horsemen wear. If riders enjoyed the ‘mate’ tea that they tasted with the gauchos, they can purchase the gourds and silver straws vital in this green tea making ritual. After a picnic lunch, we ride into rockier areas, up to an excellent viewpoint – from this vantage point we can see the both the previous days’ routes and also the next days’ routes. Vultures soar overhead and colourful parakeets screech at us as we pass by. Armadillos dash for their holes as we canter across the pastures to our overnight stop – a very comfortable night in large tents awaits complete with a shower and toilet block with hot water, indoor and outdoor dining options and of course the camp fire. Each tent has a camp bed and mattress and an incredible array of stars far from any light pollution. An idyllic location to fall asleep listening to the horses grazing around the tents. (4.5 – 5hrs ride). ‘Glamping” tonight (other nights in ‘posadas’/estancias/beachside hotels).

Day 6 – Leaving the rocky outcrops we ride northeast towards the Brazilian border through another area of palm trees, often seeing woodpeckers sitting in holes they have drilled out of the palm trunks. This is a big ranching area and we sometimes meet herds of cattle accompanied by the gauchos and their dogs. Once again we reach the coast and lunch is served in an old style cabin, made of the palm trunks and thatched with the palm fronds.
The afternoon ride along empty beaches with firm sand allows riders to enjoy some fast paced riding, an exhilarating afternoon. (4.5 – 5hrs ride). The chance of sighting dolphins as we enjoy these pristine beaches, scattering flocks of seagulls and a host of other birds as we canter by . We arrive at Punta del Diablo by car, leaving the horses for a quick drive to this seaside village for an overnight in a lovely designed wood built hotel, Los  ativos. After a walk along the fishermen’s wharf and the beaches and browsing the craft stalls, a cold beer or a glass of Uruguayan wine can be found. The chef produces another excellent dinner for us and riders can relax on the hotel decks.

Day 7 – Riding northwards up the coast, we take a break atop a small hill, where a very successful turtle protection project is in action. We then ride into the forests of Santa Teresa national park, the restored historically important fort is the centrepiece of the park. The guide will regale you with the story of the capture of the fort by part of the
‘33’ Independence fighters, the fort already having changed hands a number of times between Portuguese and Spanish forces. A picnic lunch and then a ride further up the beautiful national park beaches. Passing a shipwreck almost totally buried in the sand, we arrive at Parque Oceanico. A great location for our final night – a hotel in parklands set back just off the beach, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools. (4 hours riding).

Day 8 – An incredible ride to end on: the ‘infinity’ beach. Miles of firm sand on an empty beach and the impression that you can just keep riding for ever – you can just keep Riding and end up in Brazil! Ocasionally we pass a local collecting a shellfish that the beach is famous for, otherwise we have the beach to ourselves. We do eventually have
to stop and, at around midday, say goodbye to the horses and are driven back to the hotel for a shower, lunch and then a drive back to Montevideo – to the airport, to the city or on to another activity/estancia stay/trip to Buenos Aires that we can help you organise.


Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.


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Uruguay Holidays Testimonials

Rosey on Atlantic Coast Ride, Uruguay

I yearn to be back in Uruguay, I loved everything about it - Life seems such a dismally gaucho-free zone. It's so dull without glimpses of their amazing belts, boots, hats and their absolutely virtuoso riding...

Rosey from London