After her recent visit to Uruguay, Ker & Downey’s Tiffany DeSalvo shares why the country should be next on your travel bucket list.
Uruguay is sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina and is one of the best-kept secrets in Latin America. Because not many people think if it when planning a journey to Latin America, it has a more “off the beaten path” feel to it. The country is safe, politically and socially stable, and has little economic disparity. It’s a socially-progressive country with great infrastructure. And lastly, the food and wine throughout the country is amazing.
From Buenos Aires, Uruguay is easy to get to, with many people choosing to do day trips to Montevideo and Colonia. Just under two hours from Buenos Aires by ferry, Colonia especially is worth the trip. It’s a port town on the bank of Río de la Plata with a relaxed feel. Day trips are easy if you don’t have time to spare, but we recommend spending a little more time there. The town itself is charming and eclectic, with a mix of Spanish and Portuguese architecture.
Narbona Wine Lodge
Head about an hour outside of Colonia to Narbona Wine Lodge in Carmelo. Like Colonia, Narbona Wine Lodge is relaxed and has a charm that makes it feel like your favorite home away from home. The estancia has just five rooms, is surrounded by over 30 acres of vineyards, and has an onsite sommelier to assist with wine tastings and cheese pairings. Grappa, olive oil, dry pastas, cookies, yogurts, and cheeses are all produced on the grounds too.
Narbona Wine Lodge’s restaurant is a destination in its own right, housed in a restored building that was once a grocery. Dine al fresco beneath the canopy of wisteria or inside within view of the antique bar, exposed brick walls, and dozens of wines on display.
Tiffany’s suggestion: Don’t miss biking through the vineyards around Carmelo and enjoying a wine and cheese pairing at Finca Narbona, guided by the winemaker. It includes three different Narbona wines and seven choices of cheese made onsite.
Bahia Vik and Estancia Vik
You’ll find Bahia Vik less than 5 hours from Carmelo in the resort town of San Ignacio on the Atlantic Ocean. Bahia Vik is one of those places that’s difficult to capture in photos; they simply don’t convey the essence of the place. The 37 suites scattered about the property are effortlessly cool, each individually decorated with works from contemporary Uruguayan and international artists.
With its location on the coast, Bahia Vik has direct access to offshore swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, and kite surfing.
Just 10-15 minutes from Bahia Vik, you’ll find its sister property Estancia Vik. The two make an excellent combination. Estancia Vik is a traditional estancia located on 4,000 acres of Uruguayan countryside and offers completely different experiences.
Here too, each of the rooms are individually designed and painted by a Uruguayan artist.
Tiffany’s recommendation: Be sure to partake in daily estancia life at Estancia Vik – from horseback riding along the river with gauchos to polo lessons on the private polo field, the experiences really enhance the trip here.
Uruguay’s Art Scene
If you are an art lover, Uruguay should be on the top of your list. The art scene throughout Uruguay is really interesting. From hotel rooms to art galleries, you can find a lot of really great art throughout the country.
Tiffany’s recommendation: Pack a picnic of local pastries and mate tea and head to the Pablo Atchugarry Sculpture Park outside of Punta del Este. The sculpture garden is an outdoor museum with 75 acres of grounds full of sculptures made of marble. You can even poke your head into the onsite shop to see artisans at work; it’s a neat up-close look at how these massive sculptures are made.
Start planning your journey to Uruguay by contacting one of our Luxury Travel Designers.