Day 1: Colonia del Sacramento
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colonia del Sacramento is one of the oldest towns in country. It’s situated on the banks of the Rio del la Plata and is favored by the jet set for its exciting and eclectic nature and immaculately restored Colonial history. Of course, Colonia offers city tours and historic monuments and ruins, but it also is widely recognized for its free trade zone and delicate textiles, as well as its stunning harbor, spectacular theaters and galleries and funky shopping.
Today, you’ll enjoy lunch at the Charco Restaurant along the banks of the scenic Rio del la Plata in the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage city. Then, stroll through the cobbled streets to see the old forts and buildings, museums and other important monuments, including the city gate and wooden drawbridge, the Convent of San Francisco ruins, The Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, the Viceroy House, the Plaza de toros Real de San Carlos and many more).
When you’ve concluded sightseeing for the day, you’ll retire to the best kept secret in Uruguay— the small town of Carmelo and the Carmelo Resort & Spa just north of Colonia in the plains vineyards.
At the Carmelo Resort & Spa, you’ll take a deep breath and relax at the newest Hyatt Hotel in Uruguay. This 5-Star resort also is nestled along the banks of the Rio Plata and offers up an easy east meets west philosophy. There are 20 luxury bungalows dotted through the grounds and another 24 two-story suites. Choose from views of the the river, the vineyards or the forest.
Today, you’ll arrive to Uruguay via Carrasco International Airport and check into Carmelo Resort following a day of sightseeing in Colonia.
Day 2: Carmelo
You’ll awaken to the smells of eucalyptus and pine on Day 2 at Carmelo Resort. Enjoy your morning at leisure before embarking on a winery tour of the area, beginning with a visit to La Calera de las Huerfanas Jesuit ruins where the history of wine in the country is traced back to and where the Zubizarreta vineyards remain to this day. This is the same location where the first vines originally were planted and is the perfect starting point for the day (a visit to Bodega Zubizarreta is not included in this tour).
After this stop, we’ll continue on to the Cordano Winery where we’ll see the harvest, bottling or manual grape selection (dependent on the season) and enjoy a wine tasting.
Next, we’ll head onward to Finca Narbona Winery on the outskirts of Carmelo. Located on the lands that originally held Estancia Narbona (circa 1740), this winery is affiliated with famed French winemaker Michel Rolland. Expect to taste Pinot Noir, Tannat, Syrah and Petit Verdot.
Through it all, we’ll be jaunting around Carmelo before overnighting once more at Carmelo Resort & Spa. The town of Carmelo originally was founded as a pueblo in the 16th century but gained full status as a city in the 1800s. These days, the endearing region maintains much of the Colonial roots, but blends them seamlessly with a reputed wine culture and laid back vibe.
Once back at Carmelo Resort for the evening, be sure to avail yourself of one or more of the resort’s activities and amenities, including the swimming pools, sauna, spa, fitness center, tennis courts and golf course. There also are bikes and horses for riding and yoga and meditation sessions available. Or, simply grab a bite at the resort’s Pura Restaurant for a perfect cap to a lovely day.
Day 3: Montevideo
As Day 3 begins, you’ll be picked and and privately transferred to Montevideo. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at the Palenque Restaurant located at the vibrant port market and take a leisurely walking tour of the historic neighborhood (Ciudad Vieja), visiting several museums and the Solis Theatre.
An eclectic and vibrant city known for its high quality of life, thriving tech community and entrepreneurial spirit, Montevideo is the Uruguayan capital and home to half the country’s population. Here, you’ll find beautiful Spanish Colonial architecture, relaxing tree-lined squares and a casual atmosphere along the southern coast.
During your stay in Montevideo, you’ll create unique experiences from a home base at the Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa.
Step back in time to the golden era of Uruguay at a National Heritage site in the heart of the most exclusive Montevideo neighborhood.
Located in an exclusive Montevideo neighborhood at a National Heritage Site, the Sofitel exemplifies French elegance and Uruguayan hospitality. With a spectacular lobby that opens out onto the beach, the hotel is simply enchanting with 93 rooms and 23 stunning suites that capture the magic and charm of the capital city.
Day 4: Montevideo Culture & Wineries
Today, you’ll awaken totally refreshed at the Sofitel, and set out on a short panoramic tour of the various Montevideo neighborhoods and attractions before continuing on to Juanico Winery just 40 minutes north of the city. Here, you’ll enjoy a wine tasting and delectable lunch and will have your afternoon at leisure. Of course, we also are happy to organize a visit to the local atelier where you’ll learn how artist Luis Alberto creates his leather sculptures through a hands-on session (atelier not included in package price).
Once you’ve had your fill of sightseeing for the day, return to the Sofitel to enjoy some of its bountiful amenities. Dine at the French-inspired Restaurante 1921, relax at the Sofitel So Spa, lounge by the swimming pool, work out in the fitness center, read in the library or get in some gaming at the expansive on-site casino.
Day 5: Punta del Este & Jose Ignacio
On Day 5 of your Uruguay: On the Chic Tour, you’ll be privately transferred from the Sofitel to Punta del Este where you’ll have ample time to explore the La Barra neighborhood (and its famed undulating bridge), as well as enjoy an afternoon tour of this small town often compared to Saint Tropez. You’ll visit many exciting Punta attractions, including the residential areas, the yacht’s port, Juan Gorlero Avenue and Brava Beach before concluding at the strange and lovely Casapueblo— a construction and museum designed by renowned artist Carlos Paez Vilaro.
After exploring Punta del Este, you’ll head to neighboring Jose Ignacio and Playa Vik, where you’ll spend the next three nights.
This self-sustaining hotel on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean is an avant-garde oceanfront retreat world renowned for its flawless, friendly service and interesting architectural style. The focal point of the retreat is the central building and your’e sure to be pampered with amazing ocean views, private gardens, fireplaces, contemporary art and unique themes in each room.
Day 6: Colinas de Garzon
Today, you’ll enjoy a private tour of Colinas de Garzon, where the very best olive oils are handcrafted. If you enjoy spectacular views, the taste of new experiences and high quality wines and olive oils, this visit will be truly unforgettable. Here, you’ll learn trade secrets and explore olive plantations and even a boutique production operation. Once the tour is complete, you’ll enjoy a tasting of fine wines and olive oils produced by Colinas de Garzon, accompanied by a selection of homemade cheeses. Between the months of March and June, you’ll also have the opportunity to help hand harvest the grapes and olives.
You’ll have the afternoon at leisure to explore the quaint village of Jose Ignacio and all its amazing boutiques, restaurants and beaches before heading back to the incomparable Playa Vik.
Once back at Playa Vik, relax by the 75-foot cantilevered swimming pool, at the rugged beach or at the spa. There also is a wine cellar, game room, library and gym at this VIP luxury resort.
Day 7: Anastasio
It’s your last full day in Uruguay, and there’s still time for a wonderful day spent in the beautiful countryside. Today, you’ll discover a full day of private outdoor activities at Refugio Anastasio, a quaint restaurant that formerly was a home to local fisherman. You’ll be able to choose two half-day activities during your visit to Anastasio and will be treated to a lovely lunch at the restaurant. Choose from SUP yoga, yoga, SUP, cooking classes, canoeing, horseback riding and biking. Your private full-day tour ends with a lovely afternoon merienda, including mate, biscuits and tarts before a private transfer back to Playa Vik.
If you’d still like to enjoy more of Uruguay in the evening, be sure to have dinner at the Playa Vik restaurant, where an internationally-acclaimed chef serves some of the finest cuisine in all of Latin America. We also can schedule a cooking class for you at an additional charge.
Day 8: Departure from Montevideo
After your last breakfast in Uruguay, you’ll take a private ground transfer back to Uruguay’s Carrasco International Airport for the return flight home. We also can arrange for you to take a domestic flight from the closer domestic Punta del Este airport in season for an added fee.