Overview

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.

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Holidays Colonia and Carmelo

From expertly designed Private Journeys to trail-blazing Group Tours, browse our range of carefully crafted holidays.

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Group - Discovery

Argentina / Uruguay / Paraguay

Jabiru: Wildlife, wine and Jesuit Missions

14 days from £4,788pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

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Private Journeys

Argentina / Uruguay

Self-drive Uruguay: Classic highlights

13 days from £2,410pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

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Private Journeys

Argentina / Uruguay

Signature Uruguay: Land of vintage charm

14 days from £4,270pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

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.

Accommodation

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Where to go when - our guide to Colonia and Carmelo

Vintage Car Colonia

The weather in Colonia and Carmelo is wide and varied

Once a former smuggling staging post, the peaceful little port of Colonia is the oldest town in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pretty cobbled streets are shaded by sycamores, the vintage cars and faded terracotta roofs give it a feeling of timelessness. Even sleepier is Carmelo, perfect for gourmet-seeking visitors and now the centre of Uruguay’s burgeoning wine industry. Both have mild climates with rain spread throughout the year and can be visited year round.

View our Colonia and Carmelo weather guide

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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.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Millie
    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
    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.

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    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.

  • Chris
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

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