This story is about a summer vacation in the bohemian chic fishing village of José Ignacio,
a coastal state of the postage-stamp Uruguay.

Ever heard that saying "the more secluded, the more appealing"?

Earlier last year we planned a trip to this South American hotspot to clear our minds off the amount of moving we'd done in the first weeks of january.

 

Being a travel designer, I wanted to stay in two hotels I heard very good things about - a beachfront villa and a working ranch, both owned by the art-collector Vik family and within 5-miles (albeit worlds away) of each other.

 

My boyfriend Fabio was especially happy he took a bunch of camera gear with him, it's all very photogenic.

 

Hope you like it!

Mariana & Fabio

Neighbor/Vecino/Vizinho

Uruguay shares a border with Brazil, so it can be quick to get to José Ignacio. No matter how you get there though, the best way is indirectly.

Our itinerary allowed us to arrive just in time to set a camera up in a steep viewpoint and capture the renowned sunset.

 

A summer evening in José Ignacio typically involves gazing at the twilight-orange sky.

  The Rustic Appeal

Here, the green Uruguayan pampas collide with the rugged coastline. The landscape is a beautiful tapestry of greens and blues - dramatic, then calm, then dramatic again.

And a stone throw away from the relative bustle of the peninsula is Estancia VIK, an architectonical and artistic reference in the region.

 

It's a Spanish colonial-style working ranch, built as a summer house for the owner's family and filled with art they collect.

There are only 12 suites, each designed by well-known Uruguayan architects, all with the same impressive view.

The food in this place is amazing, but that's a constant almost everywhere we ate in José Ignacio. Breakfast was literally a bancquet, served in a beautifull family-style dining room.

You'll have a hard time choosing the best part of the Estancia. I mean, check out this pool:

Those lights at the bottom are meant to emulate the starry night sky, which creates an awesome effect.

 

Once you see the actual one though, you understand their inspiration:

The Water's Edge

The coast here is lovely because the beach doesn't drop off suddenly into the sea. The water is a little like in our country, Brazil. Warmer, good for surfing but not too choppy.

A perfect day here would comprise of riding a bike around the village in the morning, tasting a local beer on a beachside restaurant such as 'La Susana', chillin' by the pool and having fun in the ping-pong room.

And then, one of the most important parts of the experience, you rest. But can you really shut your eyes with this view from the room at Bahia Vik?

All in all, José Ignacio is peaceful and offers a glimpse into the simple life, but at the same time it's like someone tapped into a reservoir of beautiful and famous people, put them around the most luxurious beach houses to watch the best nature has to offer, eating next to the coolest people in some of the trendiest restaurants in the world.

 

We imagined and it became real.

Where will our imagination take us next?

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