Sometimes a photograph makes you want to climb inside. Transported. That’s how I feel about the travel work of Gemma Hart Ingalls and Andrew Ingalls, the talented duo behind The Epicures, a beautiful online travelogue dedicated to their far-flung photography, which has made its way into magazines like Food and Wine and Martha Stewart Living. This particularly gorgeous, wanderlust-inducing trip to coastal Uruguay will have you climbing rocks, riding horses across the rugged landscape and eating seafood with your hands–in your imagination–in no time. A guiding report from Gemma and Andrew about the experience:
Once you head east beyond the high rise hotels and yacht culture of Punta Del Este, Uruguay’s coastline is peppered with beautiful and sparsely populated beach towns, and vast farmland rich with wild horses and flocks of birds farther inland. About 45 minutes east of Punta is Jose Ignacio, a chic beach town full of modern vacation homes and beaches crowded with umbrellas. This town was a bit too sceney for us, but we would recommend staying at Posada Del Faro is you want to check it out for a night or two. It is also worth a trip just to visit the fantastic restaurant La Huella, right on Playa Brava. They have a massive wood fired oven and cook all manner of the freshest seafood.
About an hour drive along the inland road (the coastal road is not yet complete) will take you to La Pedrera, a sleepy beach town full of surfers and families vacationing reminiscent of Montauk before the crowds. We stayed in a simple but pleasant yurt at Puebla Barrancas, an ocean front property with a nice restaurant. If you can spring for one of their luxury cabins, I would recommend it, as they are closer to the ocean and the walk from the yurt and tent cabin area is lengthy. The hotel beach was spotless and deserted, and it was a lovely 10-minute walk along the ocean brought you to the surfer backpacker town of La Pedrera for more restaurant choices and supplies.
[Photos: All images by Ingalls Photography]
With work by Uruguayan artists covering most of the interiors (literally), the Estancia Vik ranch, which sits on 4,000 sprawling acres, is the ultimate art hotel. The graffiti murals, oil paintings, friezes, sculptures and mixed-media installations are by the country’s biggest art stars. Its new, more modernist sister property Playa Vik, by Montevideo-born architect Carlos Ott (nearby, on a beach), follows the same design approach (this time bringing in some international talent): give artists free reign, so every square inch reads like an art installation you can sleep in.