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Carmelo, Uruguay - Riverside Town With Day Tours From Buenos Aires

Uruguay travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2012   » View Photoset (25 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
The small city of Carmelo sits on the edge of the Rio de la Plata (river), northwest of both Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo and just 2hrs by boat from
Uruguay Photo - Street corner in Carmelo, trees and old buildings.
Street corner in Carmelo, trees and old buildings.
Buenos Aires with Colonia Express. I arrived in Carmelo from Mercedes 2hrs north on Route 21. I stayed the night and had a look around the city. Unlike other semi 'off the beaten track' places in Uruguay I was able to find a reasonably priced budget hotel. I celebrated this by eating dinner at a nice Chinese restaurant! Starting early the next morning I explored the city a little.

Plaza Independencia

Firstly to the main plaza - Plaza Independencia. The plaza is big and instead of a great monument in the middle, there's a huge tree! This is very unique for South America I must say. The plaza does however have a fountain and a set of 8 white statues depicting Hera, Dionisio, Zeus and other Greek mythological and religious figures. On the south side of Plaza Independencia is the church Templo Parroquial, its red-brick facade was glowing in the morning sun.

Down By the River

7 blocks south is the river 'Arroyo de las Vacas' which leads a short distance (maybe 1km) to the Rio de la Plata. I strolled down to have a look. The waterfront area has been restored in recent years, this is where the
Uruguay Photo - A man walks 5 dogs from his bicycle along a Carmelo street.
A man walks 5 dogs from his bicycle along a Carmelo street.
ferries depart for Buenos Aires. You will no doubt see the Puerte Giratorio de Carmelo - the great big orange swing bridge across the river built in 1912. You will also see various small yachts and river boats moored along the rivers banks. There is a park with a small clocktower, seating, lamps and a road and walkway along the riverfront. At the Rio de la Plata end of the river is the Nautico camping ground, Sere beach, yacht club, Hernandarias monument, fishing areas and amazing panoramic views. Carmelo has a zoo and fauna reserve on the other side of the Giratorio bridge not far from the citys theatre Teatro Verano.

Exploring Around the Center

Back in the center of town I went looking for the other main plaza - Plaza Artigas. There were a couple of horses and carts
Uruguay Photo - 2 horses and carts parked up in the shade beside plaza in Carmelo.
2 horses and carts parked up in the shade beside plaza in Carmelo.
parked up beside the plaza underneath shady trees when I arrived. This is a nice plaza with tall palm trees, the central monument is of course to General Jose Artigas. It has some historical buildings surrounding it. On the southern side of the plaza is the church Santuario del Carmen with its many arched doorways and windows. It has a clock face built into it below the 2 bells and cross at the top. Right next door to the church is the museum and archive - Museo y Archivo Parroquial del Carmen which has historical objects and documents, mainly religious. It has something like 5000 books. The building was built in 1848. The other sides of Plaza Artigas have more historical buildings from this period. The streets, buildings and houses in Carmelo in a way,
Uruguay Photo - This big tree is the main monument of Plaza Independencia in Carmelo.
This big tree is the main monument of Plaza Independencia in Carmelo.
are similar to that of Mercedes, but on a much smaller scale. On the north side of Carmelo, 7 blocks from the center is the park Parque Artigas and the Plaza de la Madre. I asked a taxi driver if it was worth taking a look, he didn't think they were anything special, so I didn't. On the way back to the hotel I walked past the old Gospel Gallery building. While I was waiting for a bus south-east to Colonia del Sacramento a man cycled past while walking 5 dogs at the same time!

Wine Tasting and Golf

If you enjoy more upmarket type activities like golfing and wine tasting, then Carmelo has one of South America's finest golf courses as well as wine tours.

Bus to Colonia

From Carmelo I travelled to Colonia, just 77kms southeast, 1hr and 20mins. The scenery along the way was of farms, vineyards, trees and lots of openness.

     

View all photos in the Carmelo Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Carmelo (Uruguay) to:


Map location: Carmelo, Uruguay. The small city of Carmelo sits on the edge of the Rio de la Plata, northwest of both Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo and just 2hrs by boat from Buenos Aires. It's very peaceful here!
 A : Mercedes to Carmelo - Uruguay 51 kms 51 kms straight distance | 1hr 1hr by car (65 kms) | 1hr 12mins 1hr 12mins by bus (65 kms) (65 kms)
 B : Colonia del Sacramento - Uruguay 66 kms 66 kms straight distance | 1hr 6mins 1hr 6mins by car (78 kms) | 1hr 19mins 1hr 19mins by bus (78 kms) (78 kms)
 C : Mercedes - Uruguay 84 kms 84 kms straight distance | 1hr 36mins 1hr 36mins by car (109 kms) | 1hr 55mins 1hr 55mins by bus (109 kms) (109 kms)
 D : Buenos Aires to Montevideo - Uruguay 92 kms 92 kms straight distance | 1hr 34mins 1hr 34mins by car (110 kms) | 1hr 52mins 1hr 52mins by bus (110 kms) (110 kms)
 E : Fray Bentos - Uruguay 96 kms 96 kms straight distance | 2hrs 10mins 2hrs 10mins by car (147 kms) | 2hrs 36mins 2hrs 36mins by bus (147 kms) (147 kms)
 F : Buenos Aires - Argentina 73 kms 73 kms straight distance | 4hrs 33mins 4hrs 33mins by car (180 kms) | 5hrs 27mins 5hrs 27mins by bus (180 kms) (180 kms)
 G : Montevideo - Uruguay 199 kms 199 kms straight distance | 2hrs 43mins 2hrs 43mins by car (222 kms) | 3hrs 15mins 3hrs 15mins by bus (222 kms) (222 kms)
 H : Colon - Argentina 197 kms 197 kms straight distance | 3hrs 26mins 3hrs 26mins by car (271 kms) | 4hrs 7mins 4hrs 7mins by bus (271 kms) (271 kms)
 I : Paysandu - Uruguay 187 kms 187 kms straight distance | 3hrs 39mins 3hrs 39mins by car (273 kms) | 4hrs 22mins 4hrs 22mins by bus (273 kms) (273 kms)
 J : Maldonado - Uruguay 319 kms 319 kms straight distance | 4hrs 39mins 4hrs 39mins by car (362 kms) | 5hrs 34mins 5hrs 34mins by bus (362 kms) (362 kms)
 K : Punta del Este - Uruguay 325 kms 325 kms straight distance | 4hrs 49mins 4hrs 49mins by car (369 kms) | 5hrs 46mins 5hrs 46mins by bus (369 kms) (369 kms)
 L : Tacuarembo / Durazno - Uruguay 330 kms 330 kms straight distance | 5hrs 25mins 5hrs 25mins by car (424 kms) | 6hrs 30mins 6hrs 30mins by bus (424 kms) (424 kms)
 M : Rosario - Argentina 256 kms 256 kms straight distance | 7hrs 2mins 7hrs 2mins by car (446 kms) | 8hrs 26mins 8hrs 26mins by bus (446 kms) (446 kms)
 N : Parana - Argentina 328 kms 328 kms straight distance | 6hrs 9mins 6hrs 9mins by car (471 kms) | 7hrs 22mins 7hrs 22mins by bus (471 kms) (471 kms)
 O : Santa Fe - Argentina 350 kms 350 kms straight distance | 6hrs 10mins 6hrs 10mins by car (492 kms) | 7hrs 24mins 7hrs 24mins by bus (492 kms) (492 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Carmelo, Uruguay:

Hotel Oriental, Carmelo, Uruguay - Large Photo
Hotel Oriental, Carmelo, Uruguay (May 2012 - 1 night) - Finally I found a budget hotel made for travelers in Uruguay. Small basic room in the middle of town at a good price. If Uruguay had more hotels like this, they would get many more backpackers! Recommended.

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Carmelo, Uruguay - Riverside Town With Day Tours From Buenos Aires. The small city of Carmelo sits on the edge of the Rio de la Plata, northwest of both Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo and just 2hrs by boat from Buenos Aires. It's very peaceful here!

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