Exploring Epic Uruguay
Spend two nights exploring Argentina's capital, then head to Uruguay for beaches, vineyards and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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At a glance
Uruguay may be small in comparison to its neighbours, but it is a country home to great beaches, vast swathes of vineyards and a scattering of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This nine-night trip takes you to this often overlooked corner of South America and shows you exactly what makes it so special.
You’ll start your adventure with two nights in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, exploring its bustling streets, wonderful heritage and vibrant restaurant scene. A short flight will bring you to Jose Ignacio, one of South America’s most glamorous resorts, nestled on Uruguay‘s southern coast. Discover its many beaches, colourful houses and port then head out to discover its olive oil plantations and vineyards.
Your next stop is Montevideo, a fascinating city to explore on foot thanks to its rich mix of architecture with influence from the British, Spanish and French. Weave your way in and out of the many art galleries and markets and take a stroll along the Rambla, an avenue that goes all along the coastline of Montevideo.
You will then enjoy three nights in Carmelo, exploring the cobbled streets of Colonia del Sacramento, Jesuit ruins and vineyards that prouduce some of Uruguay’s best wine. A fast ferry will bring you back to Buenos Aires, from where you will catch your return flight home.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer to your hotel in Buenos Aires
Accommodation in Buenos Aires
- Two restaurants
- 2 restaurants
- Outdoor pool
Perhaps the best luxury hotel in Buenos Aires, the Four Seasons is really very suited to the luxury traveller. With beautifully decorated and well equipped rooms and communal areas, the sense of quality and refinement is pervasive throughout the hotel. They also have by far the best pool area in the city which has a strict guests only policy. Service, as you might expect, is absolutely first class making this the hotel of choice in Buenos Aires for many visiting dignitaries and celebrities.
- Two restaurants
- 2 restaurants
- Full Spa
- Indoor Pool
- Lobby bar and cafe
- Cigar bar
The Alvear Palace Hotel opened its doors in 1932 and has remained one of the city’s most iconic hotels ever since. Located in the exclusive Recoleta neighbourhood, everything about the Alvear is incredibly well thought through with lots of little touches that make it a really special place to stay. The hotel’s 192 rooms and suites are impeccable designed with a mix of Empire, Louis XV and Louis XVI styles. Sumptuous fabrics and elegant furnishing are complimented by decorative arts and paintings by Argentinian artists. The larger lounge suites offer butler service so you can make the most of your stay. Enjoy sophisticated French cuisine at La Bourgogne, and a decadent afternoon tea in L’Orangerie before sampling an expertly mixed cocktail at the lobby bar, which has long been a meeting place for well-known members of Buenos Aires society. Enjoying a tipple at the rooftop bar is also not to be missed, with its spectacular views over Alvear Avenue. When you’re not out exploring all that the Argentinean capital has to offer, relax and unwind in the spa, wellness area, fitness centre and rooftop pool with adjoining pool bar.
- 88 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
- Library bar
- Fitness centre
- Outdoor pool
- Cabaret show
The Faena Buenos Aires is a striking design hotel in the waterside neighborhood of Puerto Madero, the brainchild of local empresario Alan Faena and designer Philippe Starck. The hotel is located in the restored El Porteño building, an enormous silo built in 1902 that produced grain for post-war Europe. The decor encapsulates the grandeur of the belle epoque that characterised Buenos Aires at the turn of last centrury. A red, black and white colour scheme runs through the hotel teamed with exposed brick walls and concrete pillars that hark back to its industrious past. Rooms and suites are filled with eye catching touches such as hand embroidered throws and filifree mirrors and feature huge windows which look out over Ecological Reserve, the parks, Río de la Plata and the quaysides of Puerto Madero. Eating and drinking at the Faena is a real treat. Enjoy fine dining at Bistro Sur where the menu is inspired by the finest seasonal Argentinian produce, or opt for something more casual at El Mercado which is inspired by the country’s famous cantinas and the open air markets of Europe. The Library Lounge is an intimate space filled with antique books and crysal chandeliers, while El Cabaret, inspired by the city’s 1920s tango clubs, is where you can catch the award-winning show, Rojo Tango. The hotel also features a spa, fitness centre and an outdoor pool.
- 11 rooms
Set in the fashionable and leafy district of Palermo, Legado Mitico is a beautiful boutique hotel within easy reach of the city’s main attractions and restaurants. Located in a refurbished three-storey townhouse, the hotel draws on the rich historical culture of Argentina. There are 11 rooms each inspired by a famous figure such as tango dancer Carlos Gardel, writer Jorge Luis Borges, and Evita. A warm colour scheme runs throughout the rooms and wooden floors and period antique pieces give them lots of traditional charm. The cultural theme extends into the communal areas with a small library in the lounge where the more inquisitive guest can read all about the historic figures that inspire the decoration of the room. The library opens out onto a small patio where guests can relax with a drink.
- 11 rooms
- Rooftop terrace
- Wellness centre
Hub Porteño is a historic property set on a quiet street in the heart of Recoleta, and feels more like a home than a hotel. There are just 11 rooms, bright and spacious and filled with antique furniture and more recent pieces from local artisans. The hotel’s rooftop terrace is a beautiful spot with outdoor seating nestled among the lush greenery – a real city centre oasis. Here you can relax with a drink from the bar and a bite to eat or simply sit back with the morning paper. La Pecora Nera Grill specialises in new Argentinian cuisine while the cosy living room is the place to enjoy drinks and snacks. There is also a wellness centre with a sauna, gym and treatment room.
Buenos Aires is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest cities to visit and an important destination on many of our Argentina tours. Centre of the world's fifth largest economy at the turn of the 20th Century, the city an abundance of classical architecture and tree lined boulevards reminiscent of its European counterparts.
Buenos Aires has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world; this active social group of Argentines has been making its mark on the country's culture since the 1860s.
This tour follows the traces and traditions while visiting the Jewish neighbourhood of Once, and in an informal way we will meet some of the area's residents who will explain us all the benefits and turmoil of living in Buenos Aires.
This visit will mostly be a sightseeing tour with our guides introducing the lives and living of this important Argentine community. If available, we will be able to meet a rabbi (subject to confirmation) who would gladly share his thoughts with the visitors.
Spend your time relaxing and exploring this wonderful city. You have our top recommendations for activities, restaurants and shopping so that you can make the most of your time here.
Private transfer to Buenos Aires International airport with guide
Flight from Buenos Aires to Punta Del Este
Private transfer to your hotel in Jose Ignacio
Accommodation in Jose Ignacio
- 12 rooms
- Gym and spa
- Wine cellar
- BBQ room
- Dining room
- Kitchen garden
- Games room (snooker, ping pong)
Estancia Vik is an extraordinarily creative marriage of a traditional Uruguayan ranch with contemporary artistic flair, design and imagination. The Hispanic adobe structure has 12 rooms each individually designed and decorated by a different, famous Uruguayan artist making every suite a very visual and sensory experience. Their en-suite bathrooms are all wonderfully intricate and modern with hand-made wooden bath tubs, mosaic walls and stone carved basins. Every room seems to grab you and whilst you might not ever think to put this there or hang that there, you appreciate that this is very uniquely Uruguayan and the entire property is an unashamed dedication to its multi-faceted culture and style. The striking BBQ room is adorned with corrugated tin and slashed with paint and graffiti-like drawings. The main sitting room has a surrealist map of the country on the ceiling, huge rock gems mined from the north on its walls and a large marble sculpture by the celebrated sculptor Pablo Atchugarry right in the centre. The red brick dining room and wine cellar is heavy with the traditional but this makes for a very warming and atmospheric place in which to dine on their deliciously delicate food and well selected wines. Outside, an arched patio elegantly frames the sweeping views across the pastures and where the sun loungers sit next to a fresh water swimming pool, which has lights embedded in the bottom that mirror the sky’s constellations above. The estancia’s estate covers 4,000 acres of the Jose Ignacio countryside marked by rolling pastures, lagoons, copses and the views from the rooms play these out nicely. Also the choice of activities is broad and encourages you to make the most of the outdoors. The team of staff here are all local residents with a true passion for the area and its way of life – you will feel quite at home.
Punta del Este is definitely one of South America’s most glamorous resorts, home to beaches, elegant seaside homes, high-rise apartment buildings, luxury hotels and glitzy restaurants. This tour will take you through Punta del Este’s main attractions, including the Juan Gorlero Avenue, the artisans' market, the port, the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church and the lighthouse. You will also drive over the bridge to La Barra with its beaches, favoured by surfers, and colorful houses. Stopping in Punta Ballena you will see Casapueblo, a unique and quirky building constructed by the famous Uruguayan artist, Carlos Paez Vilaró. Here you will see the most stunning views of the ocean and a spectacular sunset.
Enjoy a tour around the olive plantations and factory at Colinas de Garzon, where you will see how the humble olive is turned into one of the world's finest ingredients. You'll get to taste the olive oil along with wine and local cheeses. You will then head to Bodega Garzon, one of the biggest in the country, and enjoy a tour around the vineyards and winery, where you will get to taste the wines. Finally, you will enjoy a three-course lunch with wine and coffee.
The best way to describe La Barra is an exclusive yet quiet, semi-rural suburb on the edge of Punta del Este, and part of the popular ‘Uruguayan Riviera’. With its fair share of celebrity visitors and elite countryside estates, the peaceful village of La Barra enjoys a less crowded stretch of coastline yet is within easy reach of the entertainment and beaches.
Private transfer to your hotel in Montevideo
Accommodation in Montevideo
- 93 rooms and 23 suites
- Restaurant and two bars
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
Set along the beach in an exclusive part of town, this large, luxury hotel is fitted out with every indulgence you could need. Blending French style with a sense of Montevideo at the turn of the twentieth century, the Sofitel is housed in an iconic heritage building which has been restored to wonderful effect with contemporary accents. Rooms and suites are furnished to a flawlessly high standard with the latest technology – plus views of Rio de la Plata for the most luxurious. Meanwhile the restaurant, 1921, harks back to sepia-tinted days and two bars offer chic spots to relax with a cocktail in hand. Leisure is also perfectly taken care of here with a spa, indoor heated pool and fitness centre all provided.
Capital of South America's second smallest population, Montevideo has a presence and sense of culture that belies the small population of the country. There is a rich mix of architecture here, drawn from the influence of the various Europeans who chose to settle in the city, from the British to the Spanish and French, making it a fascinating city to explore on foot.
This four hour tour will take in the highlights of Montevideo and also visit some places in town that will give visitors a feeling of Uruguayan life and culture. Walk around the Old City and enjoy the European architecture of the buildings, visit the Gaucho Museum and the traditional Port Market, perhaps seeing Candombe performances, art galleries and visiting the different craft shops of the area. Finally, stroll through the neighbourhoods of Carrasco, Punta Gorda and Pocitos and the lovely Rambla along the coastline.
Private transfer to your hotel in Carmelo
Accommodation in Carmelo
- 44 rooms
- Outdoor Pool
- Full Spa
- Three restaurants
- Lounge Bar
- Championship Golf Course
- Two tennis courts
- Wine cellar
Located along Río de la Plata, the Carmelo Resort & Spa is a relaxing hideaway where you can enjoy Uruguay’s real natural beauty. The hotel’s 44 rooms each feature a private terrace or balcony that overlooks the garden and out towards the river, vineyards or lush forests. When you are peckish, Pura restaurant serves both local and international fare – the traditional Uruguayan barbecue comes highly recommended. For pre or post dinner drinks, relax at the Mandara Bar that looks out across the pool and vineyards. Al fresco dining is hard to beat at the Rio Bar which serves a locally inspired menu with fresh fish brought in from the Atlantic. The overall feel is one of impeccable luxury and service captured in the intimacy of a countryside estate. When you’re not relaxing at the hotel, be sure to explore your surroundings. Hop on two wheels and cycle or opt for four legs and horse ride through the forests.
Today you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Colonia del Sacramento. Wind your way through the stone streets discovering the fort, Spanish and Portuguese houses, and the port. You'll also explore the downtown area and the Rambla, which borders the Old City and where you'll fine the Real de San Carlos where the Plaza de Toros, the Hipodromo and the old harbor can be seen.
Visit La Calera de las Huerfanas, Jesuit ruins located in the outskirts of Carmelo. It was the Jesuits who first planted vines within this estancia and began the history Uruguayan wines in this region.
A wonderfully relaxed city, Carmelo is a serene spot along the River Plate and an ideal getaway for those looking for an alternative to the busier parts of the Uruguayan Riviera. The 100 acres of vineyards around Carmelo, make it only slightly smaller than the country’s largest wine regions, with a microclimate perfect for grape growing. The wine production here is small and often family-run, adding to its charm. Along with wine tasting, the surrounding areas offer numerous outdoor pursuits from canoeing, polo, fishing to horseback riding.
Private transfer to Colonia del Sacramento
Private transfer to Buenos Aires International Airport
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Exploring Epic Uruguay
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We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.