A laidback town on the coast of Uruguay, Carmelo offers plenty of wine-tasting and outdoor activities.
For a window into the relaxed Uruguayan way of life, look no further than Carmelo. This tiny town on the Rio de la Plata is an authentic gem of a place, home to family-run wineries and delightful natural scenes, where you can go fishing, play a round of golf or head off on a canoe to explore the Parana Delta.
Just over the border from Argentina, Carmelo lies on the edge of the Rio de la Plata in an area of natural beauty. This is a wonderful insight into Uruguayan rural life, where streets are framed with trees and little parrilla eateries, and you don’t need to look far if seeking a spot of wine-tasting. Most wineries in Carmelo are family-run affairs, producing varieties like tannat, chardonnay, syrah merlot and cabernet, some dating back to the 19th century.
Take a walking tour of Carmelo and admire its main square, riverside beaches and Uruguay’s first ever swing bridge. Go fishing, horseback riding or cycling; meet the locals who make Carmelo such a friendly place, and learn how agriculture and wine-making are such an important part of the economy. In Carmelo, it’s all about taking it easy and soaking up the rural lifestyle.
El Legado Winery
Visit El Legado Winery (‘The Legacy Winery’), a family-run establishment that has for decades been much cherished in this region of Uruguay. Enjoy the trademark hospitality that will be bestowed on you by the owner, Bernardo, while he leads you round the idyllic grounds and the charming winery.
Almacén La Capilla
This store was set up in 1855 by Antonio Cordano with the aim of providing both a hub for local trade as well as a meeting place for friends and family. The building itself has retained all its old charm and character while the atmosphere conjured up whilst walking through the Almacén makes it easy to imagine what must have been an energetic place, once central to the locals’ daily existence.
Take a tour of Carmelo to explore such highlights as the sandy shores of Sere Beach; Giratorio Bridge, a marvellous feat of machinery; the Rambla de los Constituyentes, which lines the river and leads to the delightful Artigas Plaza; a key site in Carmelo’s history featuring age-old pillars entangled with vines.