Staying at Guardia del Monte was one of the most amazing travel experiences my husband and I have ever had because we felt we were experiencing authentic Uruguay life in amazingly beautiful surroundings. The ranch house, dating from the mid-1700's, is set on a knoll surrounded by gently rolling cattle fields on three sides and the Castillos lagoon on the west side. Sitting on the porch watching the sun set over the lagoon was an unforgettable experience.
Alicia, the estancia owner, exudes warmth. She gently helped us structure our two days and nights at the ranch, first welcoming us with torta frita upon our arrival and then setting up a horseback ride with Carlos, the gaucho. The gentle horses took us near the lagoon where we saw roseate spoonbills, through an open field where the resident young cattle and horses greeted us, and through the ombue forest. On the second day Alicia took us for a walking tour through the ombue woods, explaining their unique features and how she is trying to foster the growth of more of these young and rare trees.
Dinners and breakfasts were superb, cooked using local ingredients and techniques. Cooking is done on a large wood-burning stove that was salvaged from a shipwreck off the coast in the 1800's. The second night we shared the dinner table with two other couples and conversation was lively thanks to a combination of the other guests' good English and a little of our Spanish.
Our comfortable room had a beautiful view over the rolling cattle fields, tiled floors and nice sized-bathroom. The silence in the middle of that ranch was wonderful.
This was Uruguayan hospitality at its best, and I highly recommended it.
- Also Known As:
- Estancia Guardia Del Monte Uruguay/Castillos