Carmelo Journals

The Other Uruguay--Upriver in Carmelo

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A February 2004 trip to Carmelo by hajecj

Uruguay Photo, Carmelo, Uruguay More Photos
Quote: When people hear "Uruguay," thoughts go to the big-time party beaches of the coast. However, there's a lovely resort at Carmelo, hours upriver from Montevideo.

The Other Uruguay--Upriver in Carmelo

Overview

Quote:
Carmelo, Uruguay, is not exactly a tourist trap. But Four Seasons Hotels have taken over a small resort here in the last few years, and it’s worth the trip if you happen to be in the neighborhood. It’s around round-trip from Buenos Aires on the Four Seasons plane, which can be booked through the hotel. Trying to drive from BA was too complicated for serious consideration. There are other places to stay in Carmelo, or more romantically, in the old town of Colonia, about an hour away. Part of me wishes there were less expensive options than the Four Seasons, but on the other hand, having only this fantastic 44-room resort means that you are not elbowing any big tourist crowds. ...Read More

Punta Narbona Winery

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Attraction

Quote:
I don’t know why I was skeptical when someone first mentioned to me that the wine in Uruguay was really quite good. Why shouldn’t it be? Argentina makes some outstanding wines, very few of which, truth be told, are exported to the US. There are a number of wineries near Carmelo, and you can arrange a trip to one or all of them if you desire (if you have a car, ask the hotel to help with this, since the hours can be a little hit- or-miss at these stops). I only managed to visit the one nearest to the hotel, Punta Narbona. This wonderful little spot, about a 15-minute drive from the Four Seasons, produces its own wines, as well as an interesting cognac and a wonderfully spicy sharp cheese (which it...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

Punta Narbona Winery

Carmelo, Uruguay

Rio de la Plata

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Attraction | "Rio de la Plata tour"

Quote:
If you only do one day trip while in Carmelo, try this - really unbelievable. The hotel arranged for us to take a guided tour of the jungle estuaries around the Rio de la Plata by Zodiac. We left at around 3pm for what was billed as a 4-hour trip and set off in a little rubber boat across what seemed like a dauntingly large river. After touring up the coast of Uruguay a bit, we crossed into Argentinean territory to explore the interlacing backwaters of the various estuaries that feed into the Plate delta here. This was an amazing perspective on the intertwining relationships of old and new. Our guide told us that some of the small stilt homes along these rivers were inhabited by locals who fishe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

Rio de la Plata

Carmelo, Uruguay

Old Colonia

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Attraction

Old Colonia Photo, Carmelo, Uruguay
Quote:
This lovely little town on the banks of the river delta, about one hour from Carmelo, was stunning to visit and highly recommended. I hired a car through the hotel, the driver dropped me off at the old city walls at 10am, and we agreed to meet at 3pm to return to Carmelo. This was plenty of time to see the old city of Colonia, originally a Portuguese fortified settlement in the 1600s and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wandering the streets was a throwback not only to the early discovery age of South America, but to 1950s USA as well--I saw cars driving around that you only see in museums these days, from some working Model A Fords to nearly mint Studebakers and old ‘50s-style Chevys. If you do...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

Old Colonia

Carmelo, Uruguay

Four Seasons Resort - Carmelo

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Story/Tip

Uruguay Photo, Carmelo, Uruguay
Quote:
This is a bit of a departure for the Four Seasons, since it was originally built as an independent resort, and the Four Seasons only recently took it over. The resort design is Polynesian, which seems strange in the woods of South America, but it’s a beautiful spot for relaxing and slowing down. Most of the people I met here were either taking a weekend off after business trips in Buenos Aires or finishing up their heavy duty trips to Patagonia with a few days at the spa to heal their calluses. But with only 44 rooms and quite a bit of space, it never really seemed crowded, even at the weekend. I made a trip here as an add-on to my trip to Buenos Aires, and if I had to do it over again, I wou...Read More

About the Writer

hajecj

hajecj
geneva, Switzerland

Carmelo Tips & Stories

Four Seasons Resort - Carmelo