Colonia del Sacramento, 2 hours west of Montevideo, was founded by Portuguese settlers from Brazil in 1680, as a rival to the Spanish Buenos Aires on the other side of the River Plate. It has (in the Barrio Histórico) some of the only, and best-preserved, colonial architecture in this part of South America, including interesting museums and churches.
There are good beaches nearby (the best is Playa Ferrando, 2km east), although the water is fresh and brown!
Our preferred accommodation
means that the hotel is one of our Dream Destinations.
Beach hotel - near CarmeloA low-rise resort hotel by the River Plate around one hour from Colonia (and formerly managed by Four Seasons Resorts). There is a huge outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a terrace. Facilities include a restaurant and separate spa area with indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi.
Country hotel - Outskirts of ColoniaA beautifully renovated house with a mature garden and orchard of lemon trees with an outdoor swimming pool. It looks rather like an old English railway station but surrounded by a verandah. The owner Mario lives there all the time.
Inn/Posada - ColoniaA charming, small posada on the banks of the River Plate, a short walk from the central square. The colonial building has been renovated maintaining many original features. There is a small garden and restaurant.
Country hotel - near CarmeloJust outside the small town of Carmelo and surrounded by vineyards, this winery lodge is ideal for those looking to spend a couple of days relaxing and sampling Uruguay's famous wines. The hotel also makes its own dairy products, including cheeses, yoghurts and ice creams, which are available in the restaurant.