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Highlights of Uruguay tour

Highlights of Uruguay

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 2,522 $ 315 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Uruguay is full of untouched gems, from its dazzling colonial architecture to postcard-perfect resort towns.
  • With its shady plazas, riverside promenades and historic buildings, Montevideo is all capital city charm without the crowds.
  • Get into the true Gaucho spirit in San Jose, an area deep in the Uruguayan countryside known for cattle ranching.
  • See the bright lights and experience the big-city feel of Punta del Este, considered the Miami Beach of South America.
  • Do as the locals do! The most popular drink in Uruguay is mate, a caffeine-rich beverage of yerba mate leaves steeped in hot water.

Short Description

South America's best-kept secret awaits! See the fabulous sights in Montevideo, San Jose and Punta del Este as you enjoy incredible architecture, countryside, breezy coastline and fine wine.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Montevideo
End City Uruguay

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip economy class airfare to Montevideo (MVD)
  • All airport, bus terminal and inter-city transfers
  • 2 nights in Montevideo at the Hotel Dazzler, or similar
  • Private Montevideo city tour (3.5 hours)
  • 2 nights in San Jose at the Estancia Finca Piedra, or similar
  • Lunch & dinner daily while in San Jose
  • City tour of Colonia del Sacramento
  • 1 night in Montevideo at the Hotel Dazzler, or similar
  • 2 nights in Punta del Este at the Atlantico Boutique Hotel, or similar
  • City tour of Punta del Este
  • Visit to Alto de la Ballena boutique winery, with wine tasting & snacks
  • Breakfast daily

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Montevideo!

Accommodation: Hotel Dazzler Montevideo

Bienvenidos a Uruguay! Arrive at Montevideo airport and enjoy a transfer to your first hotel. Uruguay’s capital is a city of contrasts, with its well-preserved historic landmarks on one side and modern buildings on the other.

Once you settle in, take a stroll on La Rambla (Montevideo's waterfront promenade), which provides access to over 18 miles of coastline.

Transfer to Montevideo hotel

Day 2: Montevideo

Wake up and enjoy a 3.5-hour tour of Montevideo's must-sees, including stately Art Deco and Beaux-Arts buildings, colonial churches and leafy squares. 

In the afternoon, consider booking a town car for the 20-minute drive to Bodega Bouza Winery. This beautiful winery is a front-runner in the local industry, creating hearty reds made with tannat, the signature Uruguayan grape, as well as tempranillo and merlot.

Don't miss seeing the 1964 Citröen D.S., Ford Model T’s and a droll Messerschmitt 1957 minicar in the owner's vintage car showroom!

Private Montevideo city tour (3.5 hours)

Enjoy a comprehensive city tour of Montevideo including the Cuidad Vieja (Old Town) with its famous Mercado del Puerto, Plaza Constitucion, Metropolitan Cathedral and Colonial Town Hall, Teatro Solis, and Plaza Independencia. At the center of Plaza Independencia stands a monument dedicated to national hero, José Gervasio Artigas and his mausoleum. Facing the square is the Government House (museum of the Presidents).

Continue to the main commercial street Avenida 18 de Julio, named after the date the first Constitution of Uruguay was written: July 18, 1830. Stroll past shops and cafés until you reach the Legislative Palace (Palacio Legislativo). Known as the pride of Uruguay, the palace was constructed between 1908 and 1925 with 52 shades of local marble and 12 types of wood. Inside visits are only possible on weekdays, depending on Parliament activities.

Drive past the Prado neighborhood which has one of the oldest parks in the city. Prado Park is home to the famous sculpture La Diligencia (The Stage Coach), a monument to the last indigenous people the Charruas, and the Rose Garden. You will continue to Batlle & Ordoñez Park, passing the Obelisk, La Carreta (Covered Wagon) monument, the Soccer Stadium and the residential area of Carrasco.

Finally, stop at Plaza Virgilio with a monument dedicated to the Fallen Soldiers of the Navy. Here you'll enjoy excellent views of the city before returning back to your hotel.

Day 3: Montevideo - San Jose

Accommodation: Estancia Finca Piedra

After breakfast, transfer to the Estancia Finca Piedra in the province of San Jose, at the foot of Mahoma mountains. This wonderful Estancia (ranch) is the ideal place to relax and take part in outdoor activities.

After arrival, you will have a short tour of the ranch and then tour the area by mountain bike. Later, visit the rheas and capybaras that live on the Estancia and have lunch. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Transfer to San Jose!

Day 4: San Jose

Today is yours to spend at your leisure. Enjoy the various activities offered at the Estancia like horseback riding, hikes around the area, or take a bath in one of the two open swimming pools or in the closed heating pool.

Uruguayans are a kind and welcoming people with a great love for mate, a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink. Mate, along with asado (barbecued meat) is Uruguayan cuisine in a nutshell.

Day 5: San Jose - Colonia del Sacramento – Montevideo

Accommodation: Hotel Dazzler Montevideo

After breakfast, say goodbye to the Estancia as you transfer to Colonia del Sacramento. Enjoy a 2 hr 30-min tour of the charming colonial city (the oldest in Uruguay) before heading back to Montevideo in the late afternoon.

Upon your return to Montevideo, head to Barrio Sur or Palermo neighborhoods to see comparsas, or troupes, put on street performances of candombe, traditional folk music of Uruguay.

Transfer to Colonia del Sacramento!

Transfer to Montevideo!

City tour of Colonia del Sacramento

Explore Colonia del Sacramento, the oldest city in Uruguay founded by the Portuguese in 1680 when Spain and Portugal were in the midst of confrontations. For over a hundred years, both empires fought over the city until the Treaty of Saint Ildefonso awarded it to Spain. The small colonial city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.

Visit the main square Playa de Maya and stroll the picturesque streets of Santa Rita and San Gabriel, Matriz Church, San Pedro road, the Bastion del Carmen and the famous “Calle de los Suspiros“ (Street of Sighs), often used as a set for historical films.

Day 6: Montevideo - Punta del Este

Accommodation: Atlantico Boutique Hotel

Today, drive about 2 hours to Punta del Este, the most popular beach destination on the southern tip of Uruguay. The city's beautiful beaches attract tourists from around the world, but mainly from Argentina and Brazil.

See the charming resort town of Piriapolis and the Museum of Casapueblo before arriving in Punta del Este. Tour the elegant residential neighborhoods, beaches, downtown and port before arriving at your hotel.

Transfer to Punta del Este!

City tour of Punta del Este

Drive towards Piriapolis, a coastal city located 19 miles from Punta del Este. Established during the Belle Epoque, the city resembles France's Côte d’Azur and was home to Uruguay's first resort. Visit the Argentino Hotel, built in 1930 and the most luxurious hotel in South America at the time. Admire the gorgeous art nouveau details in the hotel lobby.

The next stops will be Portezuelo and Punta Ballena for sweeping views up and down the coast. Visit the museum Casapueblo, home and atelier of the famous Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez Vilaro. The dazzling white complex, built in 1958 by Vilaro himself, resembles Spanish-Moroccan architecture and is situated on a rocky bluff overlooking the ocean. Narrow steps lead to a maze of rooms scattered on different levels and filled with the artist’s works.

Continue to the residential areas of Punta del Este (San Rafael, Cantegril, Parque Golf and Beverly Hills) and admire its elegant homes and sophisticated colonial architecture. Punta del Este is famous for its coastline and a wide variety of fine sandy beaches like Playa Brava, San Rafael and El Emir. Continue to the downtown area, main Avenue (Avenida Gorlero) and the port before concluding the tour at your hotel.

Day 7: Punta del Este

Spend the morning at leisure to relax and enjoy Punta del Este on your own. See Punta’s most famous landmark, the monster-sized sculpted hand protruding from the sands of Playa Brava.

In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of the boutique winery Alto de la Ballena. With beautiful views of the Laguna del sauce, this is the perfect setting to end your Uruguayan adventure!

Visit to Alto de la Ballena boutique winery, with wine tasting & snacks

One of Uruguay’s most impressive start-up wineries, Alto de la Ballena is located 10 miles from the sea off the coast of Punta del Este. With iron-rich soil of oxidized gray granite, schist and quartz, the winery is a haven for wildlife and has great views out across the Laguna del Sauce.

Álvaro Lorenzo and his wife Paula Pivel were high-flying executives, (he was also a member of Congress from 2004 to 2010) but decided to follow their passion and start a boutique winery in 2001. Their research identified southeastern Uruguay as ideal for dry wines, with sea breezes and temperatures on average of 85° F. Currently, they produce 30,000 bottles a year but aim to increase that to 50,000.

Their vineyards are planted with Merlot, Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Viognier grapes. The entry level line includes a clean, well balanced Viognier, a Merlot-Cabernet Franc-Tannat blend (with half the Merlot aged in French oak, but still a young wine overall with lots of tannin) and a rosé (60% Cabernet Franc, 40% Tannat, so like a light red wine). After visiting the vineyards, enjoy a wine tasting and snacks of cold cuts, selected cheese and homemade bread.

Day 8: Depart Uruguay

Your vacation ends today. Take a private transfer from Punta del Este to the international airport in Montevideo for your flight home.

Transfer to Montevideo airport (MVD)

Fly home!

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Price From $ 2,522
Price Per Day: $ 315 per day
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6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

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4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Value
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Highlights of Uruguay

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The customer service was excellent

5.0
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Meals5.0
When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
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Everything on the trip was excellent.

5.0
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Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
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Our trip was amazing!

5.0
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Meals5.0
This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
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Great customer service

5.0
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Value5.0
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Activities5.0
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Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
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Really enjoyed both of my trips

5.0
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Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
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Above and beyond our expectations

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Meals5.0
Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-HU-MVD

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