Perched on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, Colonia’s old town provides a picturesque image of colonial Uruguay. Days here are spent exploring fragrant cobbled streets, shady plazas and ancient forts (this was an old Portuguese settlement before they were ousted by the Spanish in 1828). Its neat colonial houses, faded paintwork, vintage cars and flowering ceibo, jasmine and lapacho trees make it a perfect spot for a night or two of relaxation – and we’ve got just the posada for you.
Half an hour to the north and slower-paced even than Colonia, the little town of Carmelo sits amidst a profusion of vineyards, orchards and olive groves. The Four Seasons has an excellent hotel here and, hidden in shady corners, a couple of delightful little restaurants for lazy afternoon lunches.