The coastal province of Rocha is one of the most beautiful regions in Uruguay. A protected area and declared world biosphere reserve on Uruguay’s eastern border, it is known for its pristine beaches, emerald shores, shifting sand dunes, National Parks, and network of lagoons. It is also host to an incredible variety of birds, from hummingbirds and flamingos to kingfishers and rheas.

Rocha gives a glimpse of Uruguay’s ethos, the roots of casual elegance and unassuming beauty that shaped the now luxurious stretches of coast where Punta del Este and José Ignacio cater to the rich and famous. A drive through Rocha goes a long way toward explaining the down-to-earth sensibility that has preserved Uruguay’s sandals and cotton dress code.

Uruguay continues to astound visitors, who expect to find a mix of Argentina and Brazil. Instead they find a culture all its own, though accessible to both of its neighbors in a matter of minutes. It’s independent spirit, growing and developing according to frontier tastes, has made it a place for the soul to roam, a place to throw off the trappings of life, and truly discover one’s self. No where is this more clear than in Rocha.

This is the land of the gauchos, where charming seaside inns and working estancias allow visitors to feel connected with the traditions of the unexplored country. It is fitting, then, that the best way to explore it is by horseback in true gaucho style. Begin in the easternmost town of Chuy, a curious place where one can step into Brazil and hear the locals speak a strange Spanish-Portuguese hybrid language. Venture through Santa Teresa National Park and shipwrecks buried in the sand, uncovering surprising wines, excellent food, and hidden treasures along the paths less traveled.

Ker & Downey works with experienced wranglers and horsemen to provide true adventures through this inspiring landscape, sure to unlock your inner gaucho.