Ultimate Uruguay - Uruguay

Ultimate Uruguay

5 star rating   27 February 2019

Chris who has been on 7 In The Saddle rides. Great trip in a fascinating country | I had said in advance that I had a bad back and would like a narrow horse with smooth paces. My first horse met this brief well and the second was amazing - one of the most flowing walks I have ever sat on. There was less scope with the third set of horses who were basically trekking horses. But our excellent guide and the gaucho in charge of the horses there did their best for me. I was very grateful to everyone for the care they took over this which was crucial to my enjoyment of this holiday.
As my back objected to too much fast work I was fine with the quieter pace made necessary by the hot weather. And we had some good fun canters along the beaches.
The variety of terrain was part of the charm of the holiday. The birdlife on the wetlands was mind-blowing and the beaches were stunning. But I was disappointed that the promised day on a working cattle ranch never materialised and no explanation or apology was given for this. I had been looking forward to that. [ITS comment: We are sorry that there was no cattle work for you to become involved in during your stay. We will make this clearer in the itinerary that this is season dependent.]
Overall the first three days were interesting and fun and the middle section was wonderful riding in beautiful surroundings. The final two days would have been better described as an opportunity to relax rather than part of a riding holiday. We had a couple of pleasant two hour treks each day on adequate horses and our guide and the gaucho in charge did their best to offer us a decent second ride each day. The gaucho even let us take turns riding his own horse. But the proprietors of the hotel seemed to have had no idea that we were on a riding holiday. [ITS comment: We have followed this up with our partners and in the future there will be more riding on these last two days, although it is also a beautiful place to relax.]

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
5 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
4 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
5 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
5 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

Some of the places we stayed were idiosyncratic but everyone (with one exception) was extremely warm and welcoming. And some of the venues were quite amazing. I especially appreciated the swimming pools. Great way to restore aching muscles. The food was great and everyone took great care to help me with my need to be gluten free.
Unfortunately, while the horse and kitchen staff at the final venue were as welcoming and helpful as everyone else we met in Uruguay, the owners were not. [In The Saddle note: Thank you for your feedback, we will follow this up with our partners.]

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
4 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
5 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

Might be better to make it clear that the final two days are time to chill and to see a very different part of Uruguay - an opportunity for some scenic treks rather than a continued riding holiday.
And might make it clearer that the trip to the working cattle ranch may drop from the programme.
If it was possible, I would have really appreciated a simple guide to help identify the birds we would see. Perhaps an A4 sheet with diagrams and short description.
But as ever, the standard of information was very high - I am being picky!

How could we improve the way we handled your booking and payment?

No idea. Exemplary helpfulness and efficiency as ever.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

We had an excellent guide who looked after us beautifully and was great company. I knew almost nothing of Urugauay before this holiday and really enjoyed learning about it. The various lunchtime walks to places of interest were a great way to learn more of the country and to stretch in between bouts in the saddle. But the best things of all for me were the lovely little mare that I rode in the middle section of the trip and the amazing birdlife.
Thank you for another brilliant holiday.