Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Self-Drive Journey in Uruguay



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
  • Day 2
    Montevideo - Colonia del Sacramento
  • Day 3
    Colonia del Sacramento - Carmelo
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
    Carmelo - Paysandu
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
    Paysandu - Montevideo
  • Day 8
    Montevideo - Jose Ignacio
  • Days 9-10
    Jose Ignacio
  • 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.


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. The outdoor terrace for al fresco dining is located by the beach, giving a typically casual dining experience but maintaining the highest of standards.

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.

View Property

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. The farm is home to cattle, sheep and horses and guests can assist in the daily activities on the farm. The riding is spectacular. Alternatively, enjoy the countryside from the comfort of a chair on the patio.

View Property

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.

View Property

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.

View Property

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.


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
From £2,650 Per person

When to travel

Uruguay in January

The long warm sunny days make this a wonderful time to visit, but accommodation fills up quickly. Kiwis have their summer holidays so add to visitor numbers

Uruguay in February


The warmest month for much of the country. Kiwis go back to work, easing some pressure on accommodation. A great time to enjoy South Island summer

Uruguay in March

The best month to visit, as summer crowds disperse but beautiful warm weather generally prevails. An ideal time for a more spontaneous trip

Uruguay in April

Temperatures fall, especially in the South Island. The autumn colours can be spectacular, and you may still get away with shorts in Auckland.

Uruguay in May

Autumn sweeps through the North Island, reinvigorating the green rolling hills. A quiet time of year to travel, after summer and before ski season.

Uruguay in June

The start of the ski season in the North Island, with the first snow showers beginning to fall. Crisp clear sunny days can still be found on the South Island.

Uruguay in July

The snow begins to settle and international snow sports teams can be spotted doing their off-season training.

Uruguay in August

The coldest month, but still plenty to see and do. Ski season is in full swing, and humpback whales can be spotted near Kaikoura on their way north.

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

The snow melts and the rivers are at their peak, making for an exciting time to do white water sports. Longer days allow for more time to enjoy the outdoors.

Uruguay in November

A beautiful time of year, with wild gorse and vibrant lupins dotting the fields, making the countryside particularly colourful. Snow can still be seen on the tops of the mountains.

Uruguay in December

Temperatures heat up, but early in the month it’s still relatively quiet. Christmas and New Year’s celebrations can be enjoyed in true Kiwi style – on a beach or in the expansive wilderness.

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.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes

Get in touch

  • This page is attached to this enquiry

  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.