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.
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, the little-visited interior of Uruguay and the beaches of José Ignacio. There’s about 850km of driving over nine days and you’ll have the support of pre-booked accommodation allowing you to explore at your leisure.
- 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: Self-guided walks
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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 waterfront capital.
Guided walking tour of Montevideo.
Drive to a traditional rural inn of Uruguay's interior
At leisure in the countryside
To the coast: Drive to the small and upscale beach resort José Ignacio.
Days 11, 12
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
Loi Suites Recoleta
Uruguay / Colonia and Carmelo
Uruguay / Colonia and Carmelo
Uruguay / Montevideo
Cottage Hotel Puerto Buceo
Estancia El Balcon del Abra
Uruguay / Punta del Este beaches and coastline
La Viuda de Jose Ignacio
Argentina / Buenos Aires
What our clients say
An excellent holiday which met our wish to revisit some parts of Brazil and explore new areas; Pantanal was a real discovery and better for seeing wildlife than Manaus.PMR, Blandford Forum
Climbing Villarica Volcano on a beautiful sunny day. Reaching the summit to see incredible views over the Andes and Lake District, the skyline peppered with snowy cones of of the volcanos, then peering into the gently smoking crater to see lava bubbling beneath us. Totally awesome!!!AP, Norwich
Education about the history and current situation of the country. Also enjoyed seeing many distinct parts of the country less visited by tourists such as Baracoa.GW, Crieff
The amazing scenery - every kilometre of the Carretera Austral, every turning, offers stunning views which never cease to surprise...I am impressed with the way it is possible to combine group tours with individual travel and with the flexibility available on the tours to meet individual needs. I find the whole booking experience from enquiry to final plans, very easy with great response from your office. The tour leaders are absolutely brilliant at what they do - I am in awe of their multiple skills!SC, Penryn
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
The Journey Latin America experience greatly enhanced my enjoyment and understanding of the culture and customs and Chile.JT, York
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
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert
Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
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.
Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert
Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.