Estancia La Sirena - A view from our expert author

Founded in the 18th century, this delightful ranch is one of the best tourist estancias in the country.

The wonderfully hospitable Bruce family created one of the first tourist estancias in Uruguay, while also raising Hereford cattle and collecting tennis cups. There are two bedrooms in the main house with the kitchen and dining room, and six new rooms in a converted barn, with fans but no air conditioning or television. It can seem like being sucked into an endless family holiday, with horse riding in the morning, followed by lunch and a siesta, then boating on the Río Negro, then perhaps sundowners on a sandbank and an asado. With luck Lucía will get out her guitar and teach you the gaucho version of Blue Moon’. Water-skiing is available, and they hope to offer two-day canoe trips from the Palmar dam and four-day horseback trips. Day rides are included, for US$120 per person full board (on a double basis).

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