Day 1: Colonia de Sacramento
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colonia del Sacramento is one of the oldest villages in Uruguay. It’s a spectacularly restored jewel of the Colonial era and boasts some of the most inviting accommodations in Uruguay. Although known primarily for its UNESCO status, Colonia offers much more than plentiful historic monuments and ruins and is also widely recognized for its shopping, theaters, galleries, delicate textiles and free trade zone.
While in Colonia, Charco Hotel will at once calm you and awaken your senses with its comfortable and intimate history, fine appointments and modern amenities— all nestled along the banks of the Rio del la Plata. There are just seven all-suite rooms and each has been individually designed to provide a tranquil respite. For larger groups or those who just want more space, there also is a private residence.
Once you’ve arrived at Charco, you’ll meet your guide for an afternoon visit to the Los Cerros de San Juan winery. Here, you’ll enjoy a tasting of Uruguay’s signature wine, the Tannat. For reference, Tannat is to Uruguay what Malbec is to Argentina. Tanner grapes hail from the southwest of France, but were brought to Uruguay nearly 250 years ago by a French Basque immigrant. Uruguayan varietals of Tannats are recognized for their softer tannins in comparison to those from the old vines of France.
Once back at the hotel for the evening, don’t miss the on-site Bistro for a healthy and delicious dinner prepared from only the freshest of ingredients. As an added bonus, the dining room overlooks the river and boasts a wonderful vantage point to catch the sunset while winding down from an exciting day.
Today, your flight will arrive at Uruguay’s Carrasco International Airport, where you’ll be greeted for a private transfer to check-in at Charco Hotel.
Day 2: Colonia de Sacramento & Calera de las Huerfanas
As day two begins, you’ll take a private transfer en route to the charming town of Carmelo. Today’s tour starts with a visit to the Jesuit ruins of La Calera de las Huerfanas, where the country’s rich winemaking history has its origins. Here, you’ll see the Zubizarreta vineyards, which still boasts amazing vineyards in the same location where the very first vines where planted (tour of Bodega Zubizarreta is not included). Next, you’ll head onto the El Legado winery, where you’ll witness the harvest, grape selection or bottling (depending on the season). After an enjoyable wine tasting, you’ll continue on to Bodegas Cordon winery to learn about the history of the vineyard and its production process before continuing on to Finca Narbona Wine Lodge for a delicious dinner and overnight accommodations.
You’ll call in love with the country’s past at the historic Finca Narbona Wine Lodge. A working farm, vineyard and intimate boutique hotel, Narbona is renowned for its stellar service and rich history of winemaking. There are only five stylish guest rooms overlooking either the winery or the vineyards and all boast living rooms, king-sized beds, fireplaces, private terraces or balconies and so much more.
Day 3: Finca Narbona
It’s Day 3 of your Uruguay Food and Wine Tour, and you’ll enjoy your morning at leisure to explore all this outstanding lodge has to offer. At midday, you’ll convene at the vineyards for lunch before a late afternoon wine and cheese pairing and tasting in the renowned Finca Narbona wine cellar hosted by the winemaker. This robust tasting includes three Narbona varietals and seven complementary cheeses.
After the tasting, you’ll be amazed by the sheer volume of available options at Narbona and in the nearby town of Carmelo. If you’re up to it, explore the 15-hectare property by bike, cart or horse or paddle the river by canoe or kayak. If something a bit more quiet is your cup of tea, grab a book and relax at the pool or sip a glass of wine in the library.
Day 4: Montevideo
Today, you’ll enjoy a final breakfast at Finca Narbona before enjoying a private transfer to the bustling city of Montevideo.
Montevideo is an eclectic and vibrant city known for its thriving technology community, entrepreneurial spirit and quality of life. It’s home to almost half of Uruguay’s population and is the country’s capital. Here, Uruguay’s rich history of quirky liberalism is clear, making it easy to see how it is known throughout the world. The region is consistently growing, but that hasn’t interrupted the historic Spanish Colonial architecture, serene tree-lined squares or casual atmosphere of this seaside urban retreat.
During your stay in Montevideo, you’ll create memories from a home base at Alma Historica Boutique Hotel.
Built in a restored 18th century palace, Alma Historica offers an exclusive and historical experience mere steps from Zabala Square. Here, comfort, culture and elegance merge to pay respect to Uruguay’s homespun identity. The hotel features 15 rooms in three categories that all offer a perfect blend of modern and traditional. All rooms are lovely, but we prefer the two Suites for their inspirational design, distinctive touches and authentic style.
After getting settled at Alma Historica, you’ll enjoy a meal at the vibrant port market and then take a walking tour of the Colonial neighborhood, Ciudad Vieja, where you’ll visit a variety of museums and landmarks, including the famed Solis Theatre before retiring to Alma Historica for a good night’s rest. Museums and landmarks may vary based on opening times and guest preferences.
Day 5: Estancia Charabon
Today, you’re heading to the off-the-beaten path village of Cabo Polonio, a charming village surrounded by coastal wetlands and beaches. But first, you’ll be whisked off on a brief city tour of Montevideo and a visit to a local winery.
After the morning tour and winery visit, you’ll enjoy a private transfer to Estancia Charabon. Here, you’ll enjoy the waning hours of the day at your leisure.
Estancia el Charabon brings agri-tourism to its fullest potential on 950 hectares of meandering streams, rolling meadows and natural grasslands. It’s a remote and wonderful property with 10 rooms, including four suites. Once back at the estancia, feel free to enjoy a glass of wine by the pool, head out on a photo safari, learn about cattle breeding or so much more.
Day 6: Valizas & Cabo Polonio
On Day 6 of your Uruguay Food and Wine Tour, you’ll have all day to explore the charming Cabo Polonio and all its natural wonders.
Today, you’ll enjoy breakfast at the estancia before beginning the day with a private transfer to the small village of Barra de Valizas. Here, a local guide will meet you to start the unforgettable journey to Cabo Polonio. Although this quaint village is tough to get to, it’s totally worth the trip!
After a short stroll about town, you’ll begin hiking along the coastline toward the stunning shifting sand dunes, where you’ll try up Buena Vista hill to appreciate the spectacular views of the ocean. After a four-hour trek, you’ll arrive at Cabo Polonio for a seafood lunch a local oceanfront restaurant.
Once you’ve re-energized from the delicious meal, you’ll continue onto the lighthouse and sea lion reserve, which is one of the largest in the world.
It’s been a long but outstanding day, so get ready for a thrilling 4x4 truck private transfer back to Estancia Charabon for the evening.
Day 7: Garzon
If you cherish peace, quiet and an off-the-beaten-track charisma, you’re going to fall in love with Casa Anna near Pueblo Garzon. The posada was originally built in the traditional architecture style of 1920s low built houses, but has been completely restored with five large casitas and even a separate studio apartment— all right next door to famed Argentine chef Francis Mallman’s restaurant.
Beyond the walls of Casa Anna, you’ll find a somewhat sleepy and sparsely populated village where sheep still graze along unpaved roads. Although it is relatively isolated and still evokes an old-world charm, Garzon is famed for its high-end winery and diverse cuisine. Upon arrival at Casa Anna, we recommend heading out to see the town and try some of its delicious cuisine. But, if you’d rather stay in, we’re happy to arrange a bit of in-room dining prepared by Mallman’s team. Whatever you decide, you’re sure to sleep well at Casa Anna!
Today, you’ll enjoy a private transfer Garzon, where you’ll visit the Colinas de Garzon Extra Virgin Olive Oil Boutique Plant. Here, you’ll be taken on a private guided tour of the production facilities before tasting your way through their award-winning olive oils paired with a selection of paired cheeses and locally-produced wines.
After such a tasty and educational day, take a stroll through the small picturesque village of Garzon before retiring for the evening at Casa Anna.
Day 8: Punta del Este
On Day 8 of your dream Uruguay vacation, you’ll get to know the gourmet side of nearby Punta del Este. You’ll start with a visit to the Altos de la Ballena Winery, which is one of the newest Uruguayan wineries and among only a handful of wineries in the area. After a wine tasting, you’ll continue on to the Nonno Antonio artisan cheese farm, where you’ll enjoy a tasting of homemade cheeses while learning about cheese production and witnessing the making of some of the most delicious cheese in country.
After exploring Punta del Este, you’ll enjoy a leisurely private transfer along the coast to neighboring Jose Ignacio and Hotel Posada del Faro, where you’ll spend the night. Check into Posada del Faro, and you’ll begin experiencing life the way it was intended to be. Originally built as a private home, the hotel today is a 15-room escape located just meters from the beach. Rooms include private terraces, modern amenities, fireplaces and some pretty amazing views.
Don’t miss the on-property dining room, where chefs serve up an appealing selection of handcrafted meals in a beachfront locale and complete your evening near the hotel pool with a self service cocktail or two. Then, get some sleep because tomorrow brings a whole new day of outdoor adventures!
Day 9: Estancia Anastasio
It’s your last full day in Uruguay, and we have a special treat in store! After breakfast, you’ll take a private transfer to Estancia Anastasio, were you’ll experience firsthand the amazing tastes of the region in a private cooking class designed to teach you all about the very best locally-made products. The cooking class is a truly lovely hands-on day of instruction by top local chefs. You’ll go home with amazing memories, as well as some fantastic recipes and techniques to add to your culinary repertoire.
After your cooking class, you’ll enjoy lunch near the lagoon at Refugio Anastasio, an adorable restaurant that formerly was a small home to local fisherman. Then, choose from canoeing, horseback riding or stand up paddle (SUP) to wile away the afternoon.
Once back at Posada del Faro, you’re free to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring the beautiful beachfront oasis of Jose Ignacio. Here, shopping in boutiques and art galleries, kicking back on the beach and whale watching are art forms, so grab a complimentary bike or golf cart and explore all this amazing town has to offer on your last night in Uruguay. Be prepared for traffic during holiday high season and a semi-rural yet cultured town the remainder of the year.
Day 10: Departure from Montevideo
After your last breakfast in Uruguay, you’ll take a private transfer back to the Montevideo International Airport for the return flight home.