Tailor-Made Holiday

Self-Drive in Uruguay

12 days

from £2,645pp (excluding flights)

Uruguay is an ideal country for self-drive. Compact with good infrastructure and english widely spoken, ten days exploring the country at your own pace is a great way to discover the highlights. Stay on working estancias, discover the delights of the wine region and end your holiday at the effortlessly stylish Playa Vik.

  • Discover the UNESCO town of Colonia
  • Stay at wine lodge
  • Experience an Olive Oil tasting
  • Ride out with the Uruguayan gauchos
  • Relax on the glamourous beaches of José Ignacio

On arrival to Montevideo you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a night before collecting your hire car and embarking on a self-drive journey through Uruguay.


Just two and half hours west of Montevideo, Colonia is a must see.  A charming UNESCO town boasting Portuguese colonial heritage and the main port for passenger ferries shuttling commuters between Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The historic centre is the one of the few places to view the colonial heritage of Uruguay with its colonial buildings, cobbled streets and city walls.


Driving north, stop in Carmelo.  Carmelo is a delightful town accessed by the first swing bridge to be built in 1912.  Historically, Carmelo was at the centre of mining, producing a highly sort after grey granite. These mines are now lakes used for water-sports and it is one of the key yachting centres in Uruguay. Moreover, the microclimate around Carmelo lends itself to a successful wine producing area.  Stay at Finca Narbona wine lodge.

Estancia Life

Located in the province of Paysandú is Estancia Santa Modesta.  Staying on a working estancia is a great way to experience country life.  Few traditions have changed since the 19th Century and livestock is still managed in the traditional way. The horse riding opportunities are out of this world. Mount a traditionally bred Uruguayan horse for endless riding along the ridges and rivers with the gauchos. 

Olive Oil

Uruguay has become one of the leading destinations for the exportation of Olive Oil.  While it may not have the initial appeal of supping on fine wines, olive oil tastings can be great fun and quite enlightening. In the village of Garzón, experience an olive oil tasting. Usually served with some delicious bread and cheeses; swill, swish and sniff a number of oils with a variety of flavours from nutty, woody and peppery to buttery, peachy and fruity.

José Ignacio

Continue your journey to the striking southeast coast and the resort of José Ignacio. Its golden beaches have shot to fame since A-list celebrities began frequenting their shores.  Stay at the sought after Playa Vik hotel and dine amongst the dunes in world-class restaurants such as La Huella. 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2645 £ 850

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Montevideo

Half day city tour
A half day tour of Montevideo visiting its many monuments, parks and gardens. Visit the old city, constitution square, Cathedral, Colonial Town Hall, Solis Theatre and Independence Square with a monument dedicated to Uruguay’s national hero, Jose Gervasio Atigas.

Montevideo boasts a rich heritage of architecture ranging from French to Italian and English influences coupled with a distinctive flair for Art Deco and grand neo-classical designs. Combining an old historic centre, seaside resort, old dockside markets and the country's financial centre, Montevideo offers a fascinating blend of music, culture, food and people.

You will be staying at Oliva Luxury Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Car Hire

Half day city tour
Private half day tour of Colonia, visiting the main highlights such as the lighthouse, San Carlos bullfighting arena and the town’s various museums.

You will be staying at Charco Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Car Hire

On the shores of Rio de la Plata, Carmelo is Uruguay's little secret. Carmelo is a relaxed town with bicycles as the main transport, golden riverfront beaches and an increasingly popular wine region.

The cobbled streets and Independence Square are perfect for pottering, with interesting museums and Ignacio Barrios' House, today the House of Culture. The area is also a centre for yachting, fishing and exploring the Parana Delta. It is the swing bridge however, that is Carmelo's greatest accolade. It is considered a masterpiece of modern engineering and has become synonymous with the town.

You will be staying at Narbona Wine Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Choice of Activities
Day at leisure to relax at Finca Narbona. Alternatively a wine tour of the area can be organised or a cheese and wine pairing activity. Visit Fray Bentos or explore the local Jesuit ruins.

You will be staying at Narbona Wine Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Car Hire

Opportunity to visit Fray Bentos en route to Estancia Santa Modesta

You will be staying at Estancia Santa Modesta, Full board

Day 6

Day at leisure

You will be staying at Estancia Santa Modesta, Full board

Day 7

Car Hire

You will be staying at La Baguala, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Car Hire

José Ignacio located on the Atlantic Coast of Uruguay is a small fishing village which has shot to fame and celebrity status in recent years.

Its golden beaches have long since been popular with well-heeled South Americans. However the rest of the world is catching on and the rich and famous from across Europe and the United States of America have made José Ignacio, the beach resort of choice in Latin America.

You will be staying at Playa Vik, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Cooking Class at Estancia Anastasio
Transfer to Estancia Anastasio to experience first hand the great tastes of this region. A special cooking class is a great way to be exposed to the best local produce on offer. Spend the day with a professional chef and learn some delicious recipes and techniques to add to your own collection at home. Lunch and afternoon by the lagoon. Choose from canoing, horseback riding or stand-up-paddle boarding.

Activities at Refugio Anastasio
Optional outdoor activities at Refugio Anastasio include canoeing, biking, horse riding, stand up paddle boarding and yoga.

You will be staying at Playa Vik, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Days at Leisure
Days at leisure to relax on the beach and soak up the Jose Ignacio scene. Activities and excursions can also be organised including water sports, boat trips, fishing, bird watching and a good day trip is to go sand dune trekking from the remote and beautiful Cabo Polonio.

You will be staying at Playa Vik, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Car Hire

Fly Montevideo to Madrid overnight

Day 12

Fly Madrid to London


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

Playa Vik

Playa Vik

Playa Vik is a striking avant-garde beach front hotel in the stylish and bohemian village of Jose Ignacio....

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Charco Hotel

Charco Hotel

Charco Hotel is located in the historic centre of Colonia del Sacramento, with great views across the River Plate....

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Estancia Santa Modesta

Estancia Santa Modesta

Located in the department of Paysandu, Guichón 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....

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Narbona Wine Lodge

Narbona Wine Lodge

Part of the Relais & Chateau group, Narbona Wine Lodge is located just 20 kms from Carmelo....

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Oliva Luxury Hotel

Oliva Luxury Hotel

Situated in one of Montevideo's most prestigious neighbourhoods, Oliva Luxury Hotel has just 30 rooms including eight suites....

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La Baguala

La Baguala

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....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Uruguay

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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