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Friday, 01 March 2019

Uruguay: Cycling on the Other Side of the World - Page 3

Written by Dale Fehringer
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West of Montevideo

There is another side of Uruguay, too, if you have time to explore further. West of Montevideo there is a vast open area that contains small towns, ranches, and wineries. This is the heart of the country. We boarded one of Uruguay’s clean and efficient busses for the hour-long ride to the small town of Carmelo, which became our base for the next four days. We explored the 17th century port town of Colonia del Sacramento, across the Plate River from Buenos Aires, which was founded by Portugal and fought over for a century. Today, it is a tourist attraction with a well-preserved historic section and good opportunities for shopping and dining.


The ranches near Carmelo compare with those in the middle of the U.S., and they reveal the lifestyle of many Uruguayans. We spent a day at a ranch north of Carmelo, where we studied their farming and ranching business, met the family, and enjoyed a traditional asado lunch, cooked over coals from a wood fire.


Uruguay is developing a burgeoning wine industry, which is becoming comparable to those in Chile and Argentina, featuring excellent, full-bodied red wines. We hired a taxi to drive us to four family-owned wineries within a few minutes of Carmelo where we were greeted by friendly family members who toured us through their establishments. The low-key nature and open dialogue reminded us of winery tours in the Napa Valley in the 1980s.

After we had our fill of wineries, we suggested to our driver that we might want to see the nearby Punta Gorda, the spot where the mighty River Plate (which separates Argentina from Uruguay) begins. We weren’t sure he would want to spend more time with us, but he said “Como no?” and off we went. It was fitting that we saw the beginning of the river since we had seen the end (where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean) when we started our bicycle ride. Jacaranda trees were in bloom and puffy clouds greeted us on the riverbanks as we looked across to Argentina. It was a beautiful end to a perfect day.


There to be Enjoyed

During our time in Uruguay we discovered friendly people, interesting things to do, excellent food and wine, and beautiful sights. This small country on the other side of the world has everything for tourists, and we suspect that it will become a more significant destination for Americans. But in the meantime, it is there to be enjoyed – uncrowded and inexpensive. We recommend it to cyclists as a place where they can enjoy easy-going and uncrowded cycling, good food and wine, and friendly people. And, if they ask whether we think they should put it on their travel bucket list, we use our new favorite answer: “Como no?”

Uruguay 3

©Dale Fehringer




The Guru’Guay Guide to Uruguay by Karen A. Higgs, Gugu’Guay Productions, 2017

Guides, Bicycle Rental, Tours

Bike Tours Uruguay:


Punta Trouville:

Punta del Este
Hotel Castilla:

Jose Ignacio
La Viuda del Diablo:

La Paloma
Proa Sur Hotel:

Cabo Polonio
La Posada:

Punta del Diablo
Terrazas del Diablo:

Los Muelles Hotel:

Ah’Lo Hostel Boutique:

Museums and Attractions

Museo Andes (Montevideo):

Museo Taller Casapueblo (Maldonado):

Museo de Madera (Carmelo):


Campotinto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Almacen de la Capilla: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

El Legado: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Narbona: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Last modified on Thursday, 28 February 2019

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