Private Journeys

Signature Uruguay: Land of vintage charm

14 days from £4,220pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Argentina / Uruguay


map marker Map

Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires. Transfer to your hotel in San Telmo district.

Arrive in Buenos Aires, an elegant, cultured and cosmopolitan city famed for its interesting museums and the fascinating port district of La Boca, with its cobbled streets and brightly painted houses – it’s where the tango was born. The centre of town is home to the colonial heart, government buildings and churches as well as chic shopping and residential districts which have a nostalgic Parisian feel.

The bohemian quarter of San Telmo is full of quaint old houses interspersed with antiques shops, tango bars and classy restaurants. Slightly further out of the centre is the Recoleta district (your hotel is here), even more evocative of the French influence, where Evita Perón was laid to rest.

Joaquin Dedomenici ©

Day 2

City tour with a visit to Teatro Colón.

Your guided city tour takes you along Avenida 9 de Julio, one of the widest boulevards in the world and studded by the Obelisk, an emblematic symbol of the city. Along this majestic highway is the 19th century Teatro Colón (guided tour included) which, in terms of its architecture and design, as well as its excellent acoustics, is considered one of world’s best.

On to the Plaza de Mayo, enclosed on 3 sides by the metropolitan cathedral, the town hall and the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace. The tour continues to bohemian, arty La Boca, which was settled and built by Italian immigrants and has streets lined with brightly painted corrugated iron-clad houses.  You also visit the district of Recoleta, where Eva Peron is biried in the famous cemetery.

Argentine Tourist Board ©

Day 3

At leisure in Buenos Aires; night time guided culinary tour.

The daylight hours leave you at leisure to explore Buenos Aires further: you might stroll around one or two of the lovely parks, such as the delightful Japanese Gardens, and maybe have an al fresco snack or lunch in trendy Puerto Madero, the sensitively restored Buenos Aires’ docklands, which has promenades festooned with industrial architecture, bars and cafés and a pretty little marina crammed with sailing boats.

In the evening you embark on a culinary-themed private guided walking tour. Shunning smart restaurants and tourist spots, you’ll dine out local-style, tasting authentic Argentine dishes in a variety of settings and experience the excitement of an authentic tango or peña venue. The evening usually takes place in the smart neighbourhood of Palermo, not far from your hotel.

After dinner, visit a milonga – a traditional tango hall – or a peña, also popular among locals but specialising in traditional music from the Andean north-west of Argentina.

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Day 4

By hydrofoil to Colonia, Uruguay.

Take the hydrofoil ferry across the River Plate to Colonia in Uruguay.  Travel along a forest-fringed estuary, dotted with upmarket residences, to this peaceful little port, and its UNESCO-protected historic centre where you can wander among cobbled streets lined with colonial houses. Founded in the 17th century by the Portuguese, the fortressed town was prinicipally a centre for contraband activities for many years. It’s a peaceful place now, retaining its distinctive Portuguese colonial style and with a villagey feel. Its evocative colonial grid of peaceful lanes is a photographer’s delight and you can view the whole place from the top of the lighthouse.

You’ll be taken on a guided exploration on foot of the quaint, historic town and port of Colonia, which was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

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Day 5

At leisure in historic Colonia.

Colonia brims with inviting cafes and restaurants and there’s plenty of time for you to explore and enjoy them at your own pace.

If you’d like to strike out further afield, we can pre-arrange a visit to a local winery or to the pretty small town of Carmelo, further upstream and a regional centre of wine production. Even a long day trip to Fray Bentos can be organised from Colonia with prior notice.

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Day 6

By road to Montevideo; guided tour of the capital and market lunch.

By road to the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, a journey of under three hours. In the lively waterfront city modern skyscrapers jostle with art deco façades and grand, monumental colonial buildings.

Born of the competing interests of colonial powers, the city, on the shores of a fine natural harbour on the River Plate, grew to be a prosperous port devoted to overseas trade. It attracted immigrants from all of Europe, resulting in an eclectic cultural mix which survives to this day.

Upon arrival you’ll have a guided walking tour of the historic centre. Stop for lunch at the atmospheric port market, its wrought iron structure designed by a British engineer in the 1860s and nowadays famous for its traditional parrilla restaurants serving grilled meats.

Mary Anne Nelson ©

Day 7

At leisure in Montevideo with optional winery visit

Spend today enjoying Montevideo. Perhaps join the locals on the panoramic oceanfront rambla (promenade) which stretches for several miles, have lunch in upscale Pocitos or Punta Carretas or mooch around delightfully retro bookshops, bric-a-brac stalls and cafes in the centre.

Alternatively we can pre-arrange a visit to one of the vineyards beyond the city. Whilst not as well-known internationally as Malbec, Uruguay’s signature Tannat red wine is rich, delicious and underrated. Many of the country’s wineries welcome visitors and offer the opportunity to tour the cellars and indulge in a tasting session.

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Day 8

Drive to a rural estancia.

Travel by road into the countryside to reach Estancia Los Platanos (4hrs), tucked away in the countryside north-west of Montevideo.

This tranquil farm has been in the same family for 6 generations. Now also a small, rustic guesthouse it is surrounded by the meadows and pastures and bucolic rolling countryside. The atmosphere is welcoming, sociable and informal. It’s especially popular with guests who enjoy horse riding but there is something here for everyone.

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Days 9-10

Activities at the countryside ranch.

At leisure at Estancia Los Platanos.  A stay on a Uruguayan estancia is often a highly personalised experience where you are likely to feel part of the family as well as a guest. Estancia Los Platanos is a fitting place for relaxation but you can also help out with activities on the farm and observe the gauchos at work. Alternatively, head out on a walk in the countryside, join an informal cooking demonstration or swim at La Salamanca, a natural pool in the vicinity.

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Day 11

By road to Punta del Este on the coast.

Drive to Punta del Este, a glamorous and sophisticated beach resort on a lovely stretch of Atlantic coast, particularly popular amongst Argentines. It dominates a narrow peninsular with a calm bay side, the rougher Atlantic waters on the other, and forests of pine and eucalyptus further up inland. Other than its excellent bathing, ‘Punta’ has a top class yacht marina, and offers premier fishing.

You’ll be staying at L’Auberge, one of the regions top classic hotels and one of the few with a bit of nostalgic character.

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Days 12-13

At leisure on the beach.

The upmarket resort Punta del Este is packed with classy hotels, holiday residences, casinos, boutiques, chic bars and restaurants. You have a couple of days at leisure to enjoy your attractive hotel and its grounds, explore the beaches and maybe indulge in some water sports.

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Day 14

Transfer to Montevideo airport for international flight home.

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
Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Kathryn
    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.

  • Ben
    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.

  • Carrie
    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.

  • Heloise
    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.

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Lina
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

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