Filled with nature and liveliness, Uruguay is probably the most underestimated country in South America. Have you heard of Colonia del Sacramento, Montevideo, or even Punta del Este? If not, you are in the group of people that often lets Uruguay be overshadowed by its neighbouring countries, Brazil and Argentina. Truth is, this verdant and sea fronting country, has more to offer than you might think, and even more so if you are a lover of everything laid-back and beautiful.
So, what exactly makes Uruguay so special? Everything from the summery Atlantic beaches of Punta del Este, to the UNESCO awarded city Colonia del Sacramento, to the several fantastic estancias and wineries where you can really detach yourself from the modern world and get back to our more basic roots: nature.
On this 8-day trip you will visit 4 cities and make countless new memories. The best part? You drive! You can explore the cities independently and make all the decisions along the way. There is more freedom for spontaneity, and all the privacy that you want, as you won't be part of a big group of people. You can still do guided activities and benefit from the guide's knowledge, but in the end, you get back to your car and your own plan.
As guidelines for this trip we suggest that you start your adventure in the UNESCO awarded Colonia de Sacramento, followed by one night at the fantastic Estancia Finca Piedra, before making the journey to Montevideo for some more great Uruguayan heritage, finally ending your holiday at Punta del Este; the resort city in South America that everyone loves.
Colonia del Sacramento
Estancia Finca Piedra
Punta del Este
Any element of this holiday can be truly individual to your requirements, including the places you want to see and the things that are important to you. Just contact one of our Travel Specialists today.
Your Uruguay adventure starts in Colonia del Sacramento. Upon arrival at the port you will pick your rental car before going to your accommodation. You will stay at the Colonia del Sacramento Hotel for 2 nights and breakfast is included. After checking-in at the hotel, you can spend the rest of the day at your leisure. You could drive or walk around, the important thing is to start discovering this irresistibly picturesque town.
Enjoy the day at your leisure in Colonia del Sacramento:
Colonia del Sacramento is the southwestern Uruguayan city located on the East bank of the Río de la Plata. It is very famous for its colonial-era houses, narrow streets and old-fashioned charm. Founded in 1680 by Portugal, the city is one of the oldest in Uruguay, making a day there quite impossible to forget. The biggest proof of that, is the UNESCO World Heritage stamp it acquired in 1995. The Historic Quarter (or Bairro Historico) surely has contributed for it - this irregular colonial area of narrow cobbled stone streets, located on a small peninsula jutting into the river, takes you right back to the 17th century. Truth is, up until today, this area has been kept as a perfect example of the nature and objectives of the European colonial settlement. But the Historic Quarter is not the only spot that makes Colonia del Sacramento a memorable city - the Street of Sighs” or Calle de los Suspiros (a narrow pedestrian way with no sidewalks and paved with wedge stones that dates back to 1720), is an equally impressive corner of the city. It is also worth visiting places such as; the Main Square, the ruins of the San Francisco Church, the Lighthouse, the Governor’s House and the Sacramento Basilica. After a day of driving and walking around the city, there is no better way to end the day, than with one of the famous Colonia del Sacramento sunsets, right at the riverfront venue.
After breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Estancia Finca Piedra. You will be able to stay there for 1 night (FAP). Once you have arrived and got settled you can start exploring:
Estancia Finca Piedra is as an authentic ecotourism ranch so you can expect nothing else from this place, but to find a spot where everything is in absolute balance with nature. As you will have one full day you will want to make the most of it. There are plenty of different activities for you to try so here's a few suggestions: you can be alone in nature, go horse backing riding (with a friendly 'gaucho'), cart rides, bird watching, trekking, savouring delicious homemade meals (the Estancia offers their best selection of 100% natural meats), vineyard tours, wine tasting, and so much more. The Estancia also features a dreamy swimming pool overlooking the vineyards where you can spend as much time as you like relaxing. There is also a boutique offering traditional Uruguayan souvenirs, a spa, a game room, a large arena for rodeo events as well as the typical rural infrastructure for breeding cattle. You can go on guided activities or take a walk and explore the surrounds. There are also a few wild animals living here that you can see; foxes, rabbits, lizards, anteaters and beautiful birds. Your host speaks Spanish, English and French, so communication will not be a problem. Last but not least, the sunsets here are absolutely divine so make sure to grab a glass of wine and enjoy the magic of the moment.
After breakfast you will check out from Estancia Finca Piedra and drive to Montevideo, where your next adventure begins. You will have accommodation there for 2 nights at your selected Montevideo hotel, and breakfast is included. Once in Montevideo you can check in and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Perhaps, take a quick stroll around the famous 'Plaza de la Independencia' as this spot is pretty much near everything else in Montevideo. You can leave the bigger plans for the next day, when you will have a full day in the city.
Enjoy the day at your leisure in Montevideo:
Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay, home to almost half of Uruguay's population. The city was established in 1724 and is situated in the southern coast of the country and on the north-eastern bank of the Río de la Plata. It is a city of contrast; the historic downtown business centre is filled with art deco and neoclassical buildings struggling for space, while next to it a completely different landscape arises as the worn-out skyscrapers are difficult to ignore. The city is also known for its shopping malls and modern beach communities, such as Punta Carretas and Pocitos. It is a city with that exhales beauty from the inside out as it has consistently been rated for having the highest quality of life compared to any other in any city in Latin America. It is a country with a very cheerful, eclectic, energy, and a great spot for pursuing cultural activities. Here you can find older theatres, lively tango bars and even modern beachfront discos. It is a town of old charm that is not afraid of trying new things. All that said, make sure to visit the 'Plaza de la Independencia', the exclusive beachside suburb of Carrasco (near the airport); wander around the gardens and parks; head to the Old City and visit all the main monuments such as the Constitution Square, the Cathedral, Colonial Town Hall, Solis Theatre, Independence Square and the Government House; head to the main downtown shopping street called '18 de Julio' for great coffee and treats; there's also the Parliament Building where you can go inside (access fee applies). You could also visit the Batlle & Ordoñez Park, the Obelisk, La Carreta (Covered Wagon) monument, or even the “Centenario” Soccer Stadium. Finally don't forget to visit the residential area of Carrasco and stop at Plaza de la Amada to see the monument dedicated to the country’s naval dead. The panoramic views here are fantastic so don't forget to bring your phone as you will want to take some pictures. If by now you still haven't spent some time in the beach area, then make sure to do so, before you leave the town.
As usual start the day with breakfast, check out from your Montevideo Hotel and get ready for your drive to a new destination: Punta del Este. You will have accommodation for 2 nights in Punta del Este at your selected hotel breakfast is included. Once in Punta del Este you will have to take some time to check in at the hotel, but afterwards you can take the rest of the day at your leisure for resting, walking or driving around. Punta del Este is famous for its fantastic beach lined coast, so this could be your first while in the city. Perhaps bring some fresh drinks with you and enjoy the sunset from the car or on the sand.
Enjoy the day at your leisure in the sunny peninsula of Punta del Este:
Punta del Este is a resort city on the Atlantic Coast in South-eastern Uruguay. The city is a known favourite among Argentines and Brazilians who come here every year especially in the summery months. It is easy to understand why the city is such a favourite among tourists, when all that you see when you are in it are; great beaches, dreamy seaside homes, yachts, high-rise apartment buildings, inviting hotels, as well as extravagant restaurants. The city has repeatedly been referred to as "the Monaco of South America", "the Hamptons of South America" and "the St. Tropez of South America", plus it has also been compared to Miami and Cannes. The expectations are high, so what can't you miss? The pristine beaches! This is a big attraction here and there are many to choose from. The beaches on the Mansa side are for example, have thicker and golden sand, while on the Brava side all sand is white and fine. You can also visit the tree-lined residential districts of San Rafael, Cantegril and Beverly Hills, where you can expect the most luxurious mansions along with their private, beautiful gardens. The laid-back atmosphere can be felt everywhere so any step you take in this city will be like a relaxation tour. Make sure to also visit the Tudor-styled San Rafael Hotel & Casino, as well as Punta Ballena which features incredible panoramic views of the city and coast. There is also Casapueblo, a Moroccan style atelier once home of the renowned Uruguayan artist, Carlos Paez Vilaro, where entrance is free. You can also pop at La Barra, a popular area for its beaches but also great for those who want to experiment with nautical sports or even fishing. In the evening, La Barra turns into a hotspot for younger generations to meet and socialize. Music, cinema festivals and haute cuisine are also big in Punta del Este, and of course, don't miss 'La Mano' (a famous giant sculpture), Casapueblo or the Museum of the Sea.
The last day has arrived. After breakfast, make sure to pack all your belongings and check out from your hotel. After, you will drive to the Montevideo Airport and say goodbye to this beautiful country.
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