My recent trip to Uruguay was an absolutely awesome one. This lovely little country has so much to offer, and the people there are incredibly kind and welcoming. There is also a very unique feel to it, given that the culture here is somewhat of a blend of European and South American influences. One thing that has a long tradition in the country is horseback riding, so we decided that we mustn’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy these majestic animals. Finca Piedra was the place we ended up going to, a wonderful ranch of more than 600 hectares where you can really come and enjoy the scenery. Here’s how the visit went.
Getting to Finca Piedra
Finca Piedra is located about halfway between Montevideo and Buenos Aires, so it’s easy to reach from both of those cities – about two and a half hours’ drive is all it takes from Buenos Aires, even less from Montevideo. Despite that, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we came there fairly late (about 11 PM local time), but were nevertheless greeted very warmly. The hosts made us feel right at home and a wonderful dinner was served immediately: slow-cooked lamb in a wine sauce with mashed sweet potatoes. I tell you, after a long day, I couldn’t have wished for a better meal! The dining hall was beautiful too, with a wooden ceiling and beams dominating it. The atmosphere is lovely and somehow intimate, so you really get to enjoy your meals to the fullest.
At this point, I have to say that the ranch is quite amazing with plenty to see and offers a whole lot for your money. They have their own vineyards, their own winery, and corn fields, so you can explore it for days and be surrounded with beautiful nature in the process. There’s even a wonderful infinity pool you can enjoy, with an awesome view to help you just chill out and relax. Awesome!
After a good night’s sleep I was ready for the next day. There was a lot in store for us, but first we went down for breakfast. I have to say that the rooms were extremely comfortable, with bathrooms having some wonderful marble details. It is a wonderful place to just come and relax, especially if you want to take your family to a vacation somewhere.
The breakfast left the same great impression as dinner, because not only was the food excellent, but the hosts really tried to make us feel welcome and relaxed, which I appreciate a great deal. It all resulted in a very homely atmosphere in which you have the feeling like you’ve known these people for years. Of course, the food was excellent, as well.
Once the breakfast was over, it was time to meet the horses. They were all incredibly docile and friendly creatures, so even if you have no horseback riding experience you’ll quickly make friends with your animal. My white mare was a joy to ride, and the whole experience was somehow relaxing and exciting at the same time – you get to see some incredible nature, but you’re riding these majestic animals, which is really a special feeling.
Riding through the ranch
When you mount your horse and head into those vast open areas, you really get the feeling that you could just go on riding forever. The ranch is absolutely huge, with greenery stretching as far as the eye can see no matter where you look. During the two hours we spent this way, our guide told us a whole lot about Uruguay and its traditions and why this ranch is set up the way it is. It’s a great way to learn about the country’s past and culture from knowledgeable locals, and the fact that you have a guide brings all of that to a whole new level.
Unfortunately, I had to leave shortly after lunch that day, but there is no doubt in my mind that this is the place you should come to, no matter if you’re with your family, your significant other or if you’re just touring this awesome country on your own. There are many activities other than horseback riding you can do here (take cooking classes, go bird watching, paragliding, practice golf, help milk cows… the list just goes on and on), so it’s a wonderful place if you want to spend a few days away from busy city life. There are plenty of activities for children too, so don’t be afraid to take them with you – they’ll love all the animals they’ll get to see here.
The bottom line
My trip to Finca Piedra brought me nothing but joy, and I’m really sad that I couldn’t stay longer and enjoy everything this fantastic ranch has to offer more. But even during my short time here, it became very clear to me that the people running the place are very dedicated to what they do and that they will stop at nothing to make their guests feel welcome.
Not only that, but they will teach you a lot about Uruguay, its culture and its history, which makes this place perfect for all foreign tourists who want to experience something authentic and do some serious relaxing in the process. Simply, no matter if you’re traveling solo or with your family, you really should stop here and enjoy the nature and the animals a bit.
The location is quite accessible, and even if you’re in Buenos Aires you can easily reach it, which is certainly a big plus. So, the bottom line is that there is an huge number of reasons to come – if you’re a nature lover, if you love animals, or if you’re just looking for a peaceful place where you can stop and take a moment for yourself, this is the place you absolutely need to visit. Don’t waste any more time and book a room here. You won’t regret it!
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Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).