Overview & Highlights
Self-drive in friendly Uruguay, a peaceful little country wedged between Brazil and Argentina. The well-paved, empty roads are a pleasure to drive and you stop off along its unspoilt coast and inland at welcoming ranches and wine lodges.
- Buenos Aires: Walking tour of Montserrat and San Telmo
- Colonia: Guided walking tour with traditional cheese and wine tasting
- Montevideo: Guided walking tour with market barbecue lunch
- Countryside ranch: Activities on the estancia
Uruguay, wedged between the behemoths of Brazil and Argentina, is a holiday destination offering a real sense of breathing space. It's the size of England but with a population of just 3.5 million, not much greater than that of Wales. The gently rolling countryside is dreamily bucolic - the famous beef cattle graze nonchalantly accompanied by a multitude of birds, whose song at sunrise is as enchanting as the unspoilt little towns and increasingly chic range of hotels and restaurants.
Getting around is most satisfyingly achieved with the freedom of your own hire car. Our self-drive holiday explores the UNESCO jewel of Colonia, Carmelo’s vineyards, Montevideo’s art-deco streets, Rocha's glorious countryside and the beaches of José Ignacio. There’s about 900km of driving over nine days and you’ll have the support of pre-booked accommodation allowing you to explore at your leisure.
Arrive Buenos Aires, transfer to your hotel in Recoleta.
Guided walking tour in central Buenos Aires.
Ferry across the River Plate to Colonia in Uruguay.
Collect your hire car, drive to Carmelo at the head of the estuary.
Day at leisure at a wine lodge near Carmelo.
Drive to Montevideo, Uruguay’s pleasant capital.
Guided walking tour of Montevideo.
Drive east shadowing the coast to Rocha.
At leisure on a working estancia.
Drive to the small but upscale boutique-style beach resort José Ignacio.
At leisure in José Ignacio.
Drive back to Montevideo airport to drop off your car and take your international flight.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
Argentina / Buenos Aires
Uruguay / Colonia and Carmelo
Uruguay / Colonia and Carmelo
Narbona Wine Lodge
Uruguay / Montevideo
Oliva Luxury Hotel
Uruguay / Punta del Este beaches and coastline
Estancia Guardia del Monte
Uruguay / Punta del Este beaches and coastline
La Viuda de Jose Ignacio
Uruguay / Montevideo
Cottage Hotel Puerto Buceo
Uruguay / Colonia and Carmelo
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
It was a fantastic trip. There is an obvious division in Cuba between those who come into contact with tourists and those who don't and so, like a magnet around iron filings our very presence distorts and changes what we see. This is perhaps more the case in Cuba than elsewhere but as more people visit I hope this will reduce. It is, for the moment, part of the character of the country and part of the experience. I really can't fault the organisation of the trip and would just like to say again that our guide was fantastic at bringing the history and culture of Cuba alive for everyone.RN, London
We have toured the USA, Europe and China before but the experience we had with JLA was the by far and away the best we've ever had!PD, Stockport
“Having previously travelled to Patagonia on a Classic tour we knew what the standards are and didn't consider anyone else. Our confidence was fully justified.”IJB, Birmingham
"This was a very important holiday for us and we were a little apprehensive but it was a wonderful experience."HB, Perth
I had an absolutely wonderful holiday and saw things I had been longing to for a long time. Thank you.CK, Clacton-on-Sea
I can't think of anything to improve on the itinerary. As I had an extra five nights at the beginning and three nights at the end, I was able to do many extra things and visit many extra places, which I'm really glad I did.JC, Birmingham
Everything exceeded expectations, from the printed itinerary to the excursions.SB, Mansfield
Excellent professional service both before and during the holiday. Would certainly recommend Journey Latin America as a company to discover South America with.EW, Weston-Super-Mare
An amazing mix of experiences right from the start - sites/sights/sounds/climates/flora/fauna/city/country & so on!DR, Baldock
"Cuba exceeded my expectations : it is beautiful architecturally and naturally, fascinating historically, politically and economically and so full of life. Thanks to JLA for letting me get under the skin of Cuba just a little."HF, London
Overall, the whole JLA experience has been first class. Would have no hesitation in recommending JLA to friends and family.MH, Leighton Buzzard
An excellent choice of nature highlights in a great country, guided by a tour leader who understands both worlds and can provide unique insights. I drew energy and inspiration from this experience by visiting so many and diverse sights yet I had a very good rest - the perfect holiday. The standard of accommodation in Brazil was a bit of a disappointment for me; it looks Brazil offers in general lower standards for the same price by comparison to Europe. I think Journey Latin America have done a great job at finding a good compromise between price and quality for us.
Most memorable experience? - Impossible to rank them, I loved every day.Eu, Switzerland
Everything was memorable, Chilean landscapes are so different...Patagonia (Torres del Paine) was my favourite because it's just stunning. Valparaiso: wonderful colourful city, Atacama Desert: incredible landscapes, and so varied from one another, Lake District: superb. Seeing so much wildlife was fantastic (penguins, vicunas, guanacos...). And great food too - fish is amazing.EG, Hove
Most memorable moment was sailing down the Baker River and then ziplining over it! Gonzalo our driver was one of the best, acting not only as a driver but also as a friend. The tour leader, is one of the best tour leaders I have encountered through my travels with various companies.AF, Enniskillen
This trip was an unqualified success. The hotels were charming , the itinerary sensible , the excursions interesting , and the guide was the best possible person to ensure an efficient and happy holiday.PK, London
The Alcion Tour is a an excellent trip to take if you want to travel to the less travelled countries in Central America. The tour covers all the essential sites but it is the colours and flavours of the cities and towns you visit and the warmth and kindness of the people, particularly in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, that really make this a wonderful trip. There are some long journeys but it is a real opportunity to see life as it is lived by the locals. Visit beautiful islands, see amazing wildlife, try fabulous local food and enjoy these wonderful countries. It's an adventure and an experience.CP, London
The most memorable part is every day we thought it couldn't get better and it did. Perito merino glacier, Torres del Paine end of world and Iguazu. Easter island was a childhood dream and it exceeded expectations. Mount FitzRoy walk was stunning.JC, Colchester
Chile is an amazing country - but much bigger and more diverse than I expected. Penguin gives an excellent dip into the Chilean experience - but leaves you wanting more.JR, London
Just top notch. Great group of fellow travelers. Great tour leader. Chile was a surprise to me and in a good way. More diverse culture than I expected. People were very friendly. So glad I made the trip.JW, USA
Another very interesting and well organised Journey Latin America trip.HM, Nuneaton
It was a terrific, well-designed tour to some of the most impressive historic sites in the world. The local expert guides were of a particularly high standard and our overall tour guide was excellent even giving each of us a going-home present from her home country Guatemala.DP, Chichester
Most memorable experience? "There were too many things but Bolivia in general and the Salt Plains in particular were amazing plus the flamingos. I also loved the night on Sun island. I never expected it to be so beautiful."JS, Leeds
This tour gives an excellent overall impression of each country visited.... leaving the option of digging deeper on future trips.SP, Bracknell
I travelled with a great group of people, a fantastic Tour Leader and amazing Driver. One of my best JLA experiences.JH, Woking
This is our 3rd trip with JLA and we look forward to our 4th. The best place to start planning holiday in South America, incredible wealth of knowledge and experience.LG, Richmond
"This was our third holiday with JLA and once again they did not disappoint."PP, Stafford
Most memorable experience? - Boat trip at Tortuguero. Watching a falcon catch and eat a snake! Seeing Honduran White tent-building bats roosting under a Heliconium leaf.ST, York
A superb holiday for those with an interest in wildlife and environment. It is intense, but this results in a highly rewarding experience. The whole holiday was greatly enhanced by having a single guide throughout, who had extensive local knowledge and experience.
Ever since hearing of Tierra del Fuego when I was a child of 8, I have longed to visit. The 'Land of Fire' sounded so magical. Now at 74, I have achieved a lifelong ambition and have had a holiday of a lifetime having visited the'End of the Earth' in a catamaran whilst travelling eastwards in the Beagle Channel to view the penguins and other wild life. Everyone in Chile, Argentina and during my brief visit to Brazil were very friendly and accommodating. The local transport provided was fine and allowed us to view the local scenery at close hand with adequate stops...All in all a brilliant holiday. Thank you.RH, Macclesfield
Where do we start? 25 condors at Colca Canyon, vicuna, llama and alpaca at every turn, fabulous weather, the surprising majesty of the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and the amazing Iguassu Falls in full flow after heavy rain in the interior. 6 equally wonderful experiences.MR, St Albans
A very well organised and fascinating holiday. An excellent tour leader who helped make the experience very special. Thank you all for all your efforts on our behalf.
Everything went smoothly, the flights were good as were the transfer vehicles. The bus to Puerto Natales was fine as were the minibuses for longer trips. I enjoyed the boat trips and the I really liked the zodiac trip on the Rio Serrano.PM, Wirral
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.