Uruguay Art Trip: 2015

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Discover the Arts in Uruguay

There’s a reason I return time and time again to Uruguay.  Quite simply, it’s a perfect destination.  The purity of the landscape, almost wild in places, and free spirit of the people combine to form a relaxed and welcoming country where I feel restored.  And that’s why Uruguay – specifically Estancia Vik José Ignacio, the Spanish Colonial retreat with cool vibe – is the favored setting for my annual mid-winter art trip.

Six adventurous women, now trusted travel  friends, and I recently fled the chilly Arctic air of east-coast America to spend a wonderful week there, enjoying the warm weather and beautiful surroundings while tapping into our creativity.  All of the Vik retreats feature an eclectic mix of regional art, which makes them mini museums themselves, but we experienced art first-hand through painting and photography workshops taught by artists Eduardo Cardozo, my friends Kiki Badaro and Alejandro Turell.  (For now, you won’t see our masterpieces hanging on walls other than our own, but we got some great tips.)

When not painting, we rode horses and biked, soaked in the sun, practiced our dance moves, and took day trips.  An outing to Cabo Polonio was particularly memorable as the remote beach was populated by bohemian locals, happy sea lions, and kitchy shacks stocked with unusual crafts.  It was like a sunny Woodstock on steroids.

And when we weren’t exploring, we were eating.  And cooking.  And tasting.  And sipping.  The culinary arts were on fine display at Garzon, Francis Mallman’s renowned restaurant in the town of Garzon, where we had dinner one festive evening.  We took a cooking class at La Susana and learned the art of “asado,” grilling over an open fire, which is the preferred way of searing meat in South America.  Every morsel was delicious.  In fact, the words I would choose to describe the food – simple, rustic, earthy, casual, satisfying – apply to the trip as a whole.

You don’t have to wait another year to experience Uruguay.  The Vik retreats, including the new Bahia Vik with beach bungalows, await.

Caroline Travels the World…And So Can You.

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