“Don’t get stuck there in Montevideo, Punta del Este, or Piriapolis, folks! Uruguay’s inland has plenty of magical places!” says Lucie, who grew up in Austria, traveled the world, and now lives in Uruguay's rural Department of Rocha.
What does Lucie like best about Uruguay? “Everything!” she says, “I love the way it lets me live my dream of making a living working with horses. I love how much wide open space there still is here.”
How Lucie came to Uruguay
Lucie's love for horses started early, competing in dressage and show jumping when she was young. As an adult she got the travel bug, visiting many parts of the world. In time, her love of travel and love of horses joined. She came to South America where horse travel is more accepted and journeyed 2,000 kilometers on horseback.
Lucie came to Uruguay from Costa Rica seven years ago. In Costa Rica she worked as a horse tour guide. “There were some friends who invited me to buy land with them in Uruguay,” says Lucie.
Lucie met her husband, Santiago, on a bus in Uruguay. “He sat beside me and claims to have fallen in love at first sight... It took me a little longer, but not sooo much longer,” says Lucie.
Together, Lucie and Santiago raise horses and provide horse tours in the sierras of Rocha. Their business is called Caballos de Luz (Horses of Light). Their tours include:
- Day trips, lasting from two-hours to all day
- Multiple-day tours in the sierras of Rocha
- Scheduled seven-day treks to the coast
Guests can also stay at their horse farm in one of three guestrooms and enjoy home cooked meals. Most of the vegetables served come from Lucie and Santiago's garden.
|Santiago and Lucie|
For Lucie, the most challenging part of starting a new life in Uruguay was being so far away from her friends in Europe and Australia. How did she overcome it? “By making new friends, of course! And, actually, starting a new farm and business kept me on my toes. There wasn't much time to get nostalgic about the past,” says Lucie.
What Lucie likes most about her life in Uruguay
“I love the way it has all the modern stuff like WiFi many places, but still has a laid-back feeling and rhythm to it. I love how rural it is. Some of the older folks I meet around here are total picture book characters.
“I love the area that I live in, the sierras of Rocha. It's sooooo beautiful. We have a river two minutes from our house where we can swim. We have a full view of the sierras and endless trails for riding our horses. But if I want to see something totally different one day, I can be at the beach within an hour and go surfing,” says Lucie.
Starting the business
In addition to raising horses and providing guided horse tours, Lucie and Santiago provide room and board for their guests. “I knew that I wanted to work with horses. Once I realized how amazing this rural area in Rocha is for trail riding, I knew I would also need rooms for guests. We had two guestrooms the first few years. Now we have one more, which is a geodesic dome with a deck facing the Sierras,” says Lucie.
Lucie and Santiago have been operating Caballos de Luz (Horses of Light) for five years. It is located in the sierras of Rocha, 13 kilometers northwest from the City of Rocha.
What is special about Caballos de Luz
“Well, if you like nature, silence, great horses, lovely healthy food and good company, everything about it is special. If you are more the 'I-love-loud-traffic-and-stress-and-going-out-at-night-and-getting-drunk' type, you might not like it so much.” says Lucie.
“We are open all year round, and we find that each season has its charms.
“Also, bring your instrument if you are a musician...we are!
“We have a website, www.caballosdeluz.com There is lots of information and pictures - of horses mainly.... My phone number is (598) 9940-0446 from outside Uruguay and 099-400-446 inside Uruguay. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org,” says Lucie.
Link to reviews of Caballos de Luz on Trip Advisor, along with 36 visitor photos