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Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Self-Drive Journey in Uruguay

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

11 Days

Prices Start from

£2,650pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Couples Adventure Traveller Solo Traveller Photographers

Our classic self-drive route through Uruguay unveils the highlights of this often-overlooked nation. From strolling the old dockside markets of Montevideo to cheese and wine pairing in Carmelo, we can curate a fully-tailored trip bursting with extraordinary experiences.

Navigate between sleepy fishing villages and traditional estancias, roam colonial towns, sip your way around vineyards and stroll along the Atlantic.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay 1

Cobbled Streets

Spend time in the quaint UNESCO World Heritage town of Colonia del Sacramento.

Gaucho Festival, Argentina 2

Estancia Stay

Ride out with local Uruguayan gauchos and stay on their traditional estancias.

Lighthouse in Jose Ignacio near Punta del Este, Uruguay 3

José Ignacio Beaches

Feel the fresh ocean breeze during a stay on the beaches of Jose Ignacio.

Pouring Red Wine 4

Carmelo Wineries

Make the most of the many opportunities to sample Uruguay’s distinct wine.

Why we like it

Unveiling some of the most visually stunning landscapes in Uruguay, this trip journeys from golden beaches to local Jesuit ruins. Encompassing stand up paddle boarding, the opportunity to join a private cooking workshop with a professional chef and time spent riding traditionally bred Uruguayan horses with local gauchos, this customisable itinerary is designed to give a comprehensive introduction to the country known for delicious food and great wines. Befitting culture enthusiasts, the route beautifully combines ambles through UNESCO villages with afternoons spent dunking breads into homegrown olive oils.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Uruguay on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1

    Montevideo

  • Day 2

    Montevideo - Colonia del Sacramento

  • Day 3

    Colonia del Sacramento - Carmelo

  • Day 4

    Carmelo

  • Day 5

    Carmelo - Paysandu

  • Day 6

    Paysandu

  • Day 7

    Paysandu - Montevideo

  • Day 8

    Montevideo - Jose Ignacio

  • Days 9-10

    Jose Ignacio

  • Day 11

    Jose Ignacio - Montevideo

Day 1

Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay

Experience Montevideo’s rich architecture and distinctive flair for Art Deco and grand neo-classical designs

Day 2

Montevideo - Colonia del Sacramento

Day 3

Colonia del Sacramento - Carmelo

Day 4

Carmelo

Carmelo Harbour, Uruguay

Travel to Carmelo with the option to visit Jesuit ruins and the wineries en route.

Day 5

Carmelo - Paysandu

Day 6

Paysandu

cattle at Estancia Santa Modesta, Uruguay

Spend several days at the family-run Estancia Santa Modesta.

Day 7

Paysandu - Montevideo

Day 8

Montevideo - Jose Ignacio

Days 9-10

Jose Ignacio

Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

Relax on the glamorous beaches of Jose Ignacio, perhaps trying canoeing or stand-up-paddle boarding.

Day 11

Jose Ignacio - Montevideo

Now for the details

Narbona Wine Lodge, Carmelo, Uruguay
Narbona Wine Lodge, Carmelo, Uruguay

Sip Wine in Carmelo

Travel to Carmelo, detouring to visit Jesuit ruins and local wineries en route. Carmelo is one of Uruguay’s best kept secrets and is renowned for its golden riverfront beaches and a swing bridge that has long been considered a masterpiece of modern engineering. Hop on a bicycle to ride alongside the little boats that ply the town’s waterways, and stop for leisurely lunches at a local parrillada restaurant.

Gaucho Festival, Argentina
Gaucho Festival, Argentina

Berets & Bombachas at Estancia Santa Modesta

Spend several days at the family-run Estancia Santa Modesta that dates back to 1870 and combines the charm of an authentic colonial farm with the wells and courtyards that recall the time of its construction. Gauchos sport berets and bombachas, followed closely by their friendly dogs, and guests are welcomed to pitch in with the work when not visiting the local hot springs and the interesting town of Frey Bentos.

Lighthouse in Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Lighthouse in Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

Relax in Jose Ignacio

Journey to Uruguay’s striking south-eastern coast, which rose to fame when Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood was photographed strolling the boardwalks of its beaches. Ever since, its appeal has yet to wane. Stay in a sought after property and dine amongst the dunes in world-class restaurants such as La Huella. During downtime, join a cooking workshop, try a spot of canoeing, go horseback riding, attempt stand up paddle boarding or simply lounge on the beach.

Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo, Uruguay
Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo, Uruguay
Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Montevideo & Colonia Del Sacramento

Tour the historic centre and old dockside markets of Montevideo to discover its rich French and Italian-inspired architecture, as well as its distinctive flair for Art Deco and grand neo-classical designs. Also journey to Colonia del Sacramento, known for its cobblestone streets and painted houses fronted by sycamore trees, to join a privately guided walking tour of its old forts and Portuguese heritage.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Playa Vik £££££

  • Uruguay

Playa Vik is a striking avant-garde beachfront hotel in the stylish and bohemian village of Jose Ignacio. One man’s design and the dream of another, Playa Vik is a piece of art in itself. The vast fifty-five-foot facade of the main house features a magnificent sliding wall of glass giving way to majestic views of the coastline. The main house is flanked by six small casas, each comprising of two or three bedrooms and private gardens. Each house features a fireplace and has a distinctly unique design, typical of the Vik Group. Facilities include a forty-foot wine cellar, a playroom, gym and two treatment rooms.

View Property

Charco Hotel £££££

  • Uruguay

Charco Hotel is located in the historic centre of Colonia del Sacramento, with great views across the River Plate. The White Rooms are tastefully decorated in a colonial style, bright, spacious and white. Charco Hotel offers just eight rooms and therefore attention to detail and great service also. For dining, Charco Hotel has a small bistro with wonderful meals that are made only from the freshest ingredients. Dine while enjoying the views of the river. For those who like a bike ride, the hotel provides bicycles to get around the city.

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Estancia Santa Modesta £££££

  • Uruguay

Located in the department of Paysandu, Guichon area, Estancia Santa Modesta, dating from 1870, has the charm of an authentic colonial estancia with wells and courtyards that recall the time of its construction. The old town combines tradition and the magic of history with the convenience and comfort of the best country hotels. With just seven beautifully decorated rooms, there is lots of space and the estancia is a great place to relax and enjoy the environment. Food served at Santa Modesta is home-cooked and traditional. Asados are a signature event.

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Narbona Wine Lodge £££££

  • Uruguay

Part of the Relais & Chateau group, Narbona Wine Lodge, is located just 20 km from Carmelo. Narbona Wine Lodge offers just five rooms, each decorated with antique furniture, either overlooking the winery or vineyards. The lodge offers a wide selection of activities and excursions covering the wine industry and the possibility of sampling excellent wine accompanied by delicious food. Facilities include guided tour of the winery, outdoor swimming pool, mountain bikes, cart rides, gym and reading room.

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Oliva Luxury Hotel £££££

  • Uruguay

Situated in one of Montevideo’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, Oliva Luxury Hotel has just 30 rooms including eight suites. The cool and contemporary character of the rooms is given a Uruguayan touch with a selection of artworks by local artists. Many rooms boast large windows that look out onto the hotel’s beautiful internal garden. Rooms are comfortable, spacious and well-appointed and come with numerous features and amenities. Hotel facilities include a spa, swimming pool, dry sauna and gym.

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La Baguala £££££

  • Uruguay

La Baguala is an estancia from the 1940’s which has been renovated to provide modern comforts whilst preserving the old charm, by keeping original timeless pieces. It is located in the rural area near the city of Montevideo, on the shores of the Rio de la Plata, with wonderful views of the sea and the countryside. The hotel is surrounded by exquisite landscaped parks and gardens. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, white sandy beaches, tennis court, driving range, fitness centre and the possibility to take part in activities such as biking, horse riding and trekking.

View Property

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

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We left Uruguay feeling like we had really had an insider's experience. James sent us to some of the highlights destinations, but also to some lesser-visited spots where we came across no other tourists.

Destination: Uruguay
Travel Expert: James

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £2,650 Per person

When to travel

Uruguay in January

January and February are the warmest months to visit Uruguay, with temperatures peaking at over 30°C in some inland areas. It is the busiest time of year for both local and foreigners to travel in the country, so be sure to book well in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Uruguay in February

January and February are the warmest months to visit Uruguay, with temperatures peaking at over 30°C in some inland areas. It is the busiest time of year for both local and foreigners to travel in the country, so be sure to book well in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Uruguay in March

March is a great time to visit Uruguay, with the locals having gone back to work. This leaves the country’s beautiful beaches quiet, but with warm air and sea temperatures. Carnival and other festivals are in full swing, so there is still plenty going on.

Uruguay in April

April and May bring autumn across the country, although the sea is at it’s warmest. This makes it a great time to explore the beaches or dip in hot springs along the Rio Uruguay.

Uruguay in May

April and May bring autumn across the country, although the sea is at it’s warmest. This makes it a great time to explore the beaches or dip in hot springs along the Rio Uruguay.

Uruguay in June

June to August is winter in Uruguay, and is the quietest time of year for travel. Winters here are mild and can be quite dry, so it can be a good time for a cultural trip, exploring Montevideo and the quaint smaller towns. On the coast, southern right whales can be spotted as they come to breed.

Uruguay in July

June to August is winter in Uruguay, and is the quietest time of year for travel. Winters here are mild and can be quite dry, so it can be a good time for a cultural trip, exploring Montevideo and the quaint smaller towns. On the coast, southern right whales can be spotted as they come to breed.

Uruguay in August

June to August is winter in Uruguay, and is the quietest time of year for travel. Winters here are mild and can be quite dry, so it can be a good time for a cultural trip, exploring Montevideo and the quaint smaller towns. On the coast, southern right whales can be spotted as they come to breed.

Uruguay in September

Spring is in sight, but there is still plenty of snow on the mountains. Newborn lambs can be spotted in the vibrant green fields.

Uruguay in October

Spring arrives in late September and October, with temperatures rising quickly into the 20s. Hotels and restaurant start to re-open, although the beaches remain quiet.

Uruguay in November

November and December is a beautiful time of year to visit Uruguay, with long, pleasantly warm days but before peak season. If you are planning to visit towards the end of December over Christmas and New Year, you should secure your accommodation well in advance.

Uruguay in December

November and December is a beautiful time of year to visit Uruguay, with long, pleasantly warm days but before peak season. If you are planning to visit towards the end of December over Christmas and New Year, you should secure your accommodation well in advance.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

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