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Punta del Este beaches and coastline: Estancia Guardia del Monte

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Estancia Guardia del Monte

This is a gem of a working ranch set in the bucolic hinterland of Uruguay's Atlantic coast, within easy reach of bird-saturated wetlands, meadow pasture and the rolling sand dunes which define the shore. 

Utterly unspoilt, the early 19th century estancia is focussed on a country-cottage-style house where open fires and beams create a rustic, welcoming atmosphere. Each of the five quaint guest rooms has its own décor and layout, with generous use of local wood and stone and each is embellished with unique objets d'art, some selected from items washed up on the shore from shipwrecks.

This is where you really will get a feel for rural life in Uruguay, both past and present. The kitchen, preserving a 1920s style, features a cooker from that era; old leather saddles are scattered around the property, and there is a library dedicated to the history of the area and estancia, with old maps and informative books.

The immediate grounds are delightful, bougainvillea and hydrangeas add colour swatches to the lawns and courtyard, while beyond are views over a lagoon, gigantic umbrella-shaped ombu trees and fields of grazing criollo horses and beef cattle.

There are a few relaxing activities to enjoy during the day such as horse-rides, canoe trips, guided walks and bird watching. Back at the ranch you’ll savour wholesome country cooking and spend the evening sitting nursing a drink beside a roaring log fire. The property welcomes families and groups of friends as well as individuals and day visitors.

What our experts say

The proprietor Alicia is an absolute delight. If you have chance to meet her then  your experience will be enhanced. Not only does she have a lot of knowledge about the surrounding fauna and flora but also she is incredibly passionate about it all.

Barbara Zanotelli Rodrigues

Barbara Zanotelli Rodrigues

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