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

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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

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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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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

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • 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.

  • Charlotte
    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.

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Alex Walker
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

  • 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.

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