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Route:

Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile: Easy. Walking tours up to 6 hours per day. All activities require good physical conditioning but they can be adapted to more or less demanding according to group requirements.

Travel Season: Daily departures, from January 9 - September 15, 2022
Blackout Dates: December 20 – January 9; February 25 – March 1 (Carnival); April 14 – April 16; April  21
– April 23 and August 12 – August 15

*Group rates available for this tour.  As this is a guided tour, the pricing improves with more people participating. Please ask us for details.

Accommodation:

Variety of 4* boutique hotels, deluxe rooms all with private facilities

Our 20 day Authentic Uruguay itinerary packs more travel thrills into a single vacation than you can imagine. You will really have the chance to get under Uruguay’s skin and learn firsthand about our culture, traditions and wonders. Meet lobo Nuñez drums luthier to discover the African roots of our carnival and why this rhythm is so important for our people. Meet local sommeliers and winemakers who will introduce you to our emblematic Tannat wine and pair our wines with our delicious and diverse gastronomy of asados, caviar, extra virgin olive oil, chimichurri sauce, dulce de leche and world class restaurants. Travel deep into our countryside and meet rural families in the estancias (local ranches) who will share with you their daily lifestyle. Visit Colonia del Sacramento UNESCO site for some history from the times of the colony and constant battles between the Portuguese and Spanish empires! Finish your trip with some active - yet relaxing days in the region of José Ignacio, walking barefoot along the white sand beaches of the east! 

Itineraries

Day 1

Reception at Airport and Transfer to Hotel

Take a private transfer with guide from Montevideo Airport to the hotel. Today is set aside to rest and relax

Day 2

Montevideo City Tours

Montevideo Walking Tour of the Old City (With Guide): Discover the historic Old city of Montevideo in depth. Get to know the history of the adjacent buildings, including the Independence Square, the historic Palacio Salvo, the President´s office and the mausoleum of national hero José Gervasio Artigas. Dive into the history of the capital city where you will stroll along Sarandi Pedestrian Street, and the Matriz Square, where the Cathedral of Montevideo and the town´s Cabildo are located. Continue to the Port Market, which is nowadays a vibrant market hall, with a huge variety of restaurants and typical Asado grills. A perfect spot to enjoy lunch (included). Visit two museums of your choice (please check the opening hours in advance): the MAPI – Museum of Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art, the Torres Garcia Museum and the Gurvich Museum, mainly dedicated to their eponymous artists. (Gurvich Museum is closed on Sunday). Meet with your local guide to enjoy the following tour: Tour of Modern Montevideo with visit to Lobo Nuñez drums luthier included. Visit the different neighborhoods of Montevideo that started developing after the demolition of the Old City Walls on September 1829. Unlike the Old City, La Ciudad Nueva (the new city), was planned with wide and tree lined streets, with magnificent stores and residences. From the “Plaza Independencia” we can admire the main avenue 18 de Julio. A few blocks away, we will visit the Plaza Fabini or “Plaza del Entrevero", with a magnificent sculpture of a horse battle between the first Spanish settlers and the native inhabitants, masterpiece of the Uruguayan artist José Belloni. From this spot, we have a clear view of the Palacio Legislativo (Congress) a multi-colored marble building, one of the most sumptuous of Latin America. We will then continue onto the “Ciudad Abierta” (the open city), the area of Montevideo, which gradually grew into an open city of green parks, famous monuments, and residential areas. We will see the famous “Estadio Centenario” (Sports Centre - entrance not included), Monumento a la Carreta and the residential area of Carrasco and Punta Gorda. During the tour, we will include a very special visit to the studio of Lobo Nuñez, an Afro-Uruguayan drums luthier and percussionist considered a “legend” within the Uruguayan Candombe music genre. You will learn about the Carnival in Uruguay, which traces back to 1760, when slaves were only allowed to celebrate in certain special dates. This memorable cultural encounter will give you insider access to the secret world of the Uruguayan drums!

Day 3

Transfer (no guide) to Colonia del Sacramento (180 km /2 hours); Walking Tour of Colonia del Sacramento with museums & mate tasting

Explore the city of Colonia del Sacramento declared World Heritage by the UNESCO. Founded by the Portuguese and disputed for years by the crowns of both Spain and Portugal, Colonia´s magical history remains intact. Walk along the charming cobbled streets guided by your local guide and discover the different sites such as the old city gate (Porton de Campo), the historical street Calle de los Suspiros (Street of Sighs), the lovely squares and the local church Iglesia Matriz. Mate tasting and entrance tickets to local museums are included.

Day 4

Transfer to Carmelo. We suggest a visit of Calera las Huérfanas

"La Caléra de las Huérfanas" National Monument (estimated distance: 70 km - 55' on route). The history of this place says that, during the XVIII century the Jesuits established in the north of the Province of Colonia in Uruguay, where they continued their mission and built the first buildings in 1741. This is where Indians, slaves, and priests would gather. After the Jesuits were expelled by the Spanish crown, Don Juan de San Martín took the administration of the estancia and found 1500 stocks of grapevine; this is how wine production was born in Uruguay. On arrival to Carmelo, enjoy lunch at Narbona Winery and Restaurant with visit to the winery.

Day 5

Winery Visits

Meet with your local guide, to enjoy a visit to the local wineries: Bodega Cordano is a small family run winery, which is led by Ana Paula Cordano and her family in the 5th generation. Discover a unique place in our lands: “Almacén de la Capilla”, a vintage grocery shop founded in 1855 by Antonio Cordano, and still looking like the old days. After a warm reception there, you will learn about the production areas and you will enjoy a beautiful walk through de vineyards, hearing the sweet sing of the birds. Winery visit includes the guided tour through the vineyards and production area, led by the winery owners themselves. Afterwards, you will enjoy a wine tasting. Bodega El Legado is a boutique family owned winery located in the Carmelo area. The winery’s name, which means “Legacy” was chosen in honor to Luis Mazurca, who bought the land and planted the first grapevines with the desire to make wine. Bernardo, his son, decided to continue the project and produce wines “not because of a family tradition in winemaking but fueled by a true passion in what we do”. Bodega El Legado not only refers to the material legacy but to the legacy of passing the tradition to the new generations the passion of the work and the love for the land. Winery visit includes the guided tour through the vineyards, wine cellar, and production area, led by the winery owners themselves. Afterwards, you will enjoy a taste of three different wines, accompanied by cheeses plate and olives. For lunch: a typical "asado" (the traditional Uruguayan barbecue). The lunch also includes dessert, soft drinks or water. In the late afternoon, drive to Puerto Camacho to enjoy an unforgettable experience: Rio de la Plata Sunset Cruise (1.5 hours service approximately). Enjoy a relaxing tour through the islands of the Delta, where the waters of Río de la Plata and Rio Uruguay meet; this spot is considered to be “kilometer 0” of both rivers. The experience begins just before sunset at the secluded marina of Club del Faro where we will board a classic boat guided by our captain. Discover the legends of the Uruguayan coasts and its shipwrecks and toast to an amazing sunset! Departure Time: Winter: 4:00 pm / summer: 7:00 pm.

Day 6

Transfer to Estancia La Bendicion in the Rio Negro

In the morning, private transfer (no guide) to the Province of Rio Negro (138 km / 2 hours). Stop at Fray Bentos to enjoy lunch (not included) and a visit to the Museum of Industrial Revolution and ex-Anglo Slaughterhouse, declared Human Heritage by UNESCO. Continue onto the Province of Durazno (180 km / 3 hours) where you will stay at “Estancia La Bendicion), a local traditional estancia located on the shores of the “Rio Negro” (Black River).

Day 7

Full Day at the Estancia

Full day at the estancia. You can enjoy 2 activities daily to choose from horseback riding, polo, water skiing, birdwatching, etc.

Day 8

Transfer to Valentines

After lunch, private transfer (no guide) to the town of Valentines in the Province of Treinta y Tres (245kms / 4 hours). A very authentic experience awaits: you will stay at a real estancia with a local family that will include you in their daily countryside routines. Prepare yourself to live the real gaucho life! Enjoy a Welcome dinner on arrival. The estancia includes daily activities such as horseback riding, cooking demonstrations, “asados” (barbecues), visits to the local town and rural daily activities.

Day 9 and 10

Full Day at the Estancia

Full day at the estancia. The estancia includes daily activities such as horseback riding, cooking demonstrations, “asados” (barbecues), visits to the local town and rural daily activities.

Day 11

Trekking Quebrada de los Cuervos National Park moderate level hike

In the morning, private transfer (no guide) to Quebrada de los Cuervos National Park (88km, 1 ½ hours) for a trekking adventure! Meet your local guide at the entrance of the National park and start the 3 hour mini trek that will take you down the gorge to where the Olimar and Yerbal Rivers converge. Enjoy a local picnic lunch specially prepared by your guide! In the afternoon, private transfer (no guide) to Sacromonte, located within the province of Lavalleja (214km, 3hours).

Day 12

Pueblo Eden, Wines & Olives

Morning pick up at Sacromonte, to enjoy an Experience Day Tour (including specialized Guide): The experience begins at Lote 8 Olive oil plantations where we will learn about the olive oil production in Uruguay and enjoy an olive oil tasting. We will then continue onto Viña Eden located on the rocky outcrops of Pueblo Eden and the panoramic Route 12, an exceptional place where wines combine the climate of the hills and freshness of the Atlantic ocean. Enjoy a tasting of the Eden Wines paired with lunch. Hectares of olive trees and vineyards surround the village, making this region known as the "Uruguayan Tuscany".

Day 13

Private transfer (no guide) from Sacromonte to La Pedrera (137km / 2 hours)

Free day to explore the area.

Day 14

Hiking from La Coronilla to Santa Teresa National Park (Full Day) easy hike, 2.5 hours

We will start our tour at the small town of La Coronilla, where we will visit the visitors´ Centre of the local NGO Karumbé (which means “turtle” in the local Guaraní language). A specialist will tell us about the different activities they are carrying out in the area and guide us in our hike to the Green Hill Protected Area. We will be looking for green turtles and dolphins (November to March). On arrival to the Santa Teresa National Park, we will enjoy a local picnic lunch and discover the Portuguese fortress and local history of the area.

Day 15

Tour of the Sand Dunes of Cabo Polonio (Full Day) 3 hours

Our tour begins at the small town of Valizas where we will cross the stream on a local angler’s boat to enjoy a marvelous four hour barefoot trek across the sand dunes to Cabo Polonio. Enjoy the lovely view of the ocean from the Buena Vista Hill before arriving at the small fishing village. Enjoy lunch overlooking the ocean at a seaside restaurant and climb the lighthouse to watch one of the largest colonies of sea lions of South America. In the afternoon, we will take a 4 wheel monster truck out of the village to drive back to your hotel.

Day 16

Encounter with an OCC specialist and hike to the Rocha Lagoon (Full Day) easy hike

Our tour begins at the lighthouse of La Paloma where a local specialist from the OCC NGO (Whale Conservation
Program) will share with us the investigations that are being carried out in the region. Depending on the season, we might look for whales or dolphins to watch. Hike to the Rocha Lagoon to enjoy lunch at the local “Cocina de la Barra” and a small tour of the angler’s community. During the afternoon, private transfer (no guide) to Jose Ignacio (90km / 1 ½ hours).

Day 17

Punta Del Este City Tour (Half Day)

Punta Del Este is definitely one of South America’s most glamorous resorts. You will be able to see many beaches, elegant seaside homes, highrise apartment buildings, luxury hotels and glitzy restaurants. This tour will take you through Punta Del Este’s attractions: the Main Avenue, Juan Gorlero, the artisans market, the yacht's port, the church Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, the lighthouse, the beaches and the residential neighborhoods of Golf, San Rafael, Beverly Hills, Rincon Del Indio and Cantegril. We will drive over the undulated bridge to La Barra with its beaches chosen by surfers, colorful houses, many restaurants and a more relaxed atmosphere. We will make a stop in Punta Ballena where you will see Casapueblo, a unique and quirky building constructed by the famous Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez’ Vilaró (entrance included). Here you will see the most stunning views of the ocean and a spectacular sunset.

Day 18

Tour Estate at Garzon Winery (Duration 45 minutes approximately)

Enjoy a beautiful view of the vineyards, learn about their terroir and the strains they develop, visit the winery and learn more about the production processes while tasting three of their Estate wines during the tour. Fixed times: 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Suggested lunch at Francis Mallmann’s Restaurant (not included).

Day 19

Free Day Jose Ignacio

Free day to explore Jose Ignacio

Day 20

Departure

Private transfer with guide to Montevideo’s Airport.

Prices

    Included:

    • 19 nights at selected accommodations throughout Uruguay
    • Daily breakfast
    • Private Transfers with Local guides throughout the itinerary 
    • Tours and Services according to itinerary details
    • Entrance to Museums, Natural Reserves or National Parks, and places mentioned in the description of the tour

    Not Included:

    • Meals that are not mentioned in the tour description
    • Beverages or tips during the meals
    • Tips for guides or drivers
    • Ferry or air tickets, to or from Montevideo

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