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Uruguay: Colonia and Carmelo

The little port of Colonia is the oldest town in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fought over by the Spanish and Portuguese for a century, sturdy fortifications suggest Colonia’s history has been as turbulent as it is long. The old part of town is a faded clutter of terracotta roofs and narrow cobbled streets, shaded by sycamores, reminiscent of old Lisbon.  For a few hours daily, Colonia springs to life as a modern army of day-trippers arrives from Buenos Aires. The rest of the time, it’s a typically peaceful Uruguayan backwater.

Even sleepier Carmelo, an hour from Colonia, has long been a popular spot for a game of golf or relaxation by the River Plate. Nowadays, Carmelo is also being discovered by gourmet-seeking visitors as it awakes to its new-found reputation as a centre of Uruguay’s burgeoning wine industry.

Our holidays to Colonia and Carmelo

View all holidays

Self-drive Uruguay: Classic highlights

13 days from £2586pp

Vintage car Colonia

Signature Uruguay: Land of vintage charm

14 days from £3817pp

Things to do in Colonia and Carmelo

Walking Tour of Colonia

Walking tour of Colonia


Wine Tasting in Uruguay

Vintage Uruguay - a short ferry ride away

Explore Uruguay by hire car

What our clients say

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What our experts say

This hotel has a wonderful rustic charm and when you combine this with modern comfort and a well regarded restaurant, it merits its place as number one on review websites.



Dom Billins

Travel Consultants

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Wanderlust Reader's Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015

Latin American Travel Association – Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine – Specialist Tour Operator 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine – Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award2013

British Travel Awards – Best Small Tour Operator Central & South America 2011, 2012

Condé Nast Traveller – Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator: 2010, 2011, 2012

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards– Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2009, 2010, 2012

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