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Uruguay Highlights - Montevideo and Colonia


WPV12M
12 NIGHTS
FROM £3,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Explore the winelands & countryside of beautiful Uruguay on this holiday, that visits both Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento. Enjoy a city tour of the lovely capital, before heading inland to Villa Serrana in the scenic Lavalleja region & the Carmelo winelands. Visit the charming colonial city of Colonia del Sacramento, then take the hydrofoil to exciting Buenos Aires. Transfers & English speaking guides included.
Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento
• 
Montevideo
• 
Plaza Independencia
• 
Villa Serrana
• 
Penitent's Waterfall
• 
Olive Farm
• 
Carmelo
• 
Western Vineyards
• 
Colonia del Sacramento
• 
Buenos Aires
• 
Tango Show
• 
Montevideo
• 
Plaza Independencia
• 
Villa Serrana
• 
Penitent's Waterfall
• 
Olive Farm
• 
Carmelo
• 
Western Vineyards
• 
Colonia del Sacramento
• 
Buenos Aires
• 
Tango Show
Day 1
You will be met at Montevideo Airport and transferred to your hotel.
 
Check in and relax in this vibrant and culturally rich capital city, situated on Montevideo Bay and home to nearly half of Uruguay's population.
Day 2
Enjoy a half day tour of Montevideo with its many monuments, parks and scenic waterfront.
 
At the heart of the city is the Plaza Independencia, which separates the city's Downtown ('Centro') from the Old Town ('Ciudad Vieja') with its fascinating colonial and art deco buildings, the towering Palacio Salvo landmark and the neo-classical Solís Theatre. Other buildings of interest include the Catholic Cathedral, Constitution Square, Government House and the Town Hall.
 
Avenue 18 de Julio, the main commercial street, is lined with shops, cafes and commercial buildings.You will also see the impressive Plaza del Entrevero (the Parliament), built using 52 different colours of marble and 12 types of wood. The arts, music and theatre scene is very much alive in this city – from elegant older theatres and cozy tango bars to modern beachfront discos.
 
We continue driving through the Prada residential neighbourhood, one of the oldest in the city and home to a famous sculpture, La Diligencia (The Stage Coach) as well as a monument to the last of the Charrua Indians and a Rose Garden. We pass the Obelisk and La Carreta (Covered Wagon) monuments as we continue to Ordonez Park in the Batlle district. We also stop at the Plaza Virgilio monument to fallen naval soldiers, from where there are excellent views over the city. At the end of our tour, we return along the coastal road with its lovely beaches.
Day 3
Today transfer 2-hours northeast from Montevideo to Villa Serana in the beautiful Lavalleja region, known for its rugged countryside, granite hills, caves and rivers.
 
Check into your hotel and enjoy your scenic surroundings.
Day 4
At leisure to independently explore Villa Serrana and its surrounding countryside.
 
Activities vary by hotel but include walking to view the splendid Salto del Penitente (Penitent's Waterfall), hiking in the mountains and horse riding.
Day 5
Today we travel 5-hours from Villa Serrana to the wine producing region of Carmelo, situated on the Rio de la Plata.
 
Along the way we visit an Olive Farm to learn more about the production of extra virgin olive oil. We also stop at Viña Eden Winery for a wine tasting and included lunch.
 
Afterwards check into your hotel in this region that is surrounded by vineyards.
Day 6
At leisure to soak up the atmosphere of the Carmelo wine producing region and independently explore.
 
Optional wine tasting tours are available on request (pay locally).
Day 7
Today we explore the Western Vineyards - the birthplace of wine in Uruguay:
 
We travel to the ruins of La Calera de las Huerfanas, where in 1741 the Jesuits built a chapel and planted fruit trees, breed cattle and produced lime. After the Jesuits were expelled by the Spanish crown, Don Juan de San Martín took control of the ranch and planted the first 1,500 vines.
 
In this region we visit two family-owned 'bodegas' (wineries), where we visit the vineyards and wine production areas. Also enjoy tasting some of their excellent wines.
 
Afterwards we travel 1.5-hours to the charming colonial city of Colonia del Sacramento. Check into your hotel in this picturesque town that was formerly a Portuguese colony and is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 8
This morning enjoy a 2.5-hour tour of historic Colonia del Sacramento, situated on a small peninsula that juts out into the river.
 
We start with a visit to the Real de San Carlos area, stopping at the San Benito Chapel and the Mihanovich Complex that dates back to 1910 and includes a 10,000 seater Bullring, a 3,000 seater Fronton (court for playing the Basque sport of jai alai), a casino hotel and a racecourse. We continue driving through various residential areas and along the river's west coast beaches to the Downtown shopping area. From here we enter the historic Old Town on foot and explore its narrow cobbled streets. Also view the Portón de Campo - the reconstructed 1745 city gate which contains remnants of the old city walls.
 
The balance of the day is free for you to explore this historic city independently.
Day 9
At leisure to independently explore the historic colonial city of Colonia del Sacramento.
Day 10
Today transfer from your Colonia del Sacramento hotel to the the Hydrofoil Terminal and take the 45-minute high speed ferry across the Rio de La Plata to Buenos Aires in Argentina.
 
You will be met on arrival in Buenos Aires and transferred to your hotel in this sophisticated city, situated on the estuary of this great river -  the 'River of Silver'.
Day 11
This morning enjoy a half day shared tour of Buenos Aires - a cosmopolitan city that has been influenced by the many immigrants who helped form it and offering beautiful architecture, history and culture.
 
Our tour starts at the Plaza de Mayo, the historical, political and cultural centre of the city. Here you can see the Pink House (Presidential Palace), the Pyramid de Mayo and Metropolitan Cathedral. We continue down Avenida de Mayo, with its wide avenues and spacious green areas, past the Obelisk to the neighborhood of San Telmo, one of the oldest in the city with cobbled streets and colonial houses. Every Sunday an antiques fair takes place here around the Plaza Dorrego. The vibrant area is the centre for most of the tango parlors, restaurants and bars of the city.
 
Going further south, we visit the Italian port neighborhood of La Boca, with its colourful houses in Caminito Street and many “cantinas” (small restaurants). Also the trendy modern neighborhood of Puerto Madero, where the old piers have been converted into upmarket offices, apartments and restaurants with views of the Rio de la Plata. We visit the residential neighborhood of Palermo with its elegant mansions surrounded by spacious parks, before arrivinge in glamorous Recoleta, where there is the option to visit the famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, with its rich architecture (pay locally). Next to the cemetery is the church of Our Lady of Pilar, the Recolete Cultural Centre (originally a convent) and the Palais de Glace exhibition centre.
 
In the evening you will be collected for a Tango Show. Born in the brothels of the city amongst a racial mix of Gauchos, Italian, Spanish and African immigrants, this dance and its music originated as a combination of Cuban and Spanish rhythms, with some polka and African beat. Enjoy the show and dinner, including mouth-watering Argentinian beef and Malbec wine.
Day 12
At leisure to explore more of Buenos Aires independently.
 
Alternatively enjoy a full day optional excursion to Santa Susana Ranch to admire the skills of the Argentinian gauchos (cowboys) who live in these fertile pampas grasslands about 2-hours from the city. With a distinctive culture that combines their European and Native American heritages, gauchos play an important role in regional cultural tradition - including folk songs, dancing and equestrian shows of traditional gaucho skills, such as ring races, cuadreras (horse races) and entrevero de tropillas (horse games). Note: Ranch is closed on Mondays.
Day 13
Transfer to Buenos Aires Airport for your flight home.

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