Culture & wine in Montevideo
Art & Culture – It’s hard to believe that a country like Uruguay, with a small population, has so many musical and visual artists with great deal of creativity. In terms of music, Uruguay is very popular with Tango and Candombe: the two rhythms that define us.Tango is the expression of an area in the River Plate; a rhythm that combines nostalgia, seduction and the courageous spirit of manhood. Candombe, on the other side, is the ironic sad expression of happiness of a nation which derived in our carnival. The first signs of Carnival can be traced back to 1760, when this celebration was somehow regulated and only in some certain special dates were the slaves allowed to leave their tasks and celebrate with their songs and dances. It does not have the majesty and color of the show performed in Rio de Janeiro’s Sambodromo for it is something else. There is a national saying within Uruguayans: “It´s Carnival all year round!” –
Wine is another chapter in the Uruguayan gastronomic culture: the mysterious “Tannat”. Being a nation of immigrants that arrived mostly from Europe and a country moved by passions and feelings, Uruguay is not indifferent to the love for food and wines. The country’s wine heritage goes back to the first Spanish and Italian immigrants who brought the grapevine some 250 years ago. . Tannat proved an excellent match for the soil and climate in Uruguay, and it has become the country’s leading variety, as closely associated with the place as “Malbec” has become the trademark variety for Argentina.
DAY 1 – Mercado del Puerto – Walking Tour with Museums.
Reception at Montevideo’s Port or Airport and private transfer to hotel (downtown) with guide.
In the afternoon, meet your guide and begin the walking tour of the old city. Discover the historic city center of Montevideo in depth. You will be taken from your hotel to the starting point of the tour: the former town gate located at the Independence square. Get to know the history of the adjacent buildings, including the historic Palacio Salvo, the President´s office and the mausoleum of national hero José Artigas. Afterwards, dive into the historic city center, where you will stroll along Sarandi pedestrian area, and quickly arrive to the Matriz Square, where the Cathedral of Montevideo and the town´s Cabildo are located. Continue through the streets of the historic city center, until arriving at the Port Market, which is nowadays a vibrant market hall, with a huge variety of restaurants and typical Asado Grills. A perfect spot to enjoy lunch. On your way you will visit as well two museums which we will choose accordingly to your preferences (please communicate them in advance) and opening hours: The Torres Garcia Museum and the Gurvich Museum, mainly dedicated to their eponymous artists; and the MAPI – Museum of Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art.
Please note that the tour may also take place starting at the Port Market and the visits to museums and theatres are subject to their opening/closing time.
After finishing your tour, you will be taken back to your hotel.(Gurvich Museum is closed on Sunday). Return to your Hotel.
Included: Lunch, ALMA HISTÓRICA, Reception at Port or Bus Station and Transfer to Hotel; • Walking Tour with Tour Guide; • Admissions to museums.
DAY 2 Visit to Wine region and The Modern Montevideo
Breakfast. Morning pick up for a short panoramic city tour of the neighborhoods of Montevideo their most important attractions. Continue to a typical winery, 40 minutes north of Montevideo, for a tour with a wine tasting and a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of “Modern Montevideo” visiting the different neighborhoods.
Old City Walls on September 1829. You will visit downtown Montevideo including a stop at the studio of Lobo Nunez, a Candombe drums luthier very renowned in the music world who has made drums for celebrities like Mick Jagger. He introduces people first hand into the world of Candombe and why it is so important for Uruguayans. Prepare to listen to all his family anecdotes including how his reatgrandfather, bought his freedom out from slavery, selling brooms in the old city. He is someone with many things to share and anecdotes to tell. This visit will help you understand the roots of our carnival and how important it is in the local culture. Continue along our main avenue “18 de Julio” named after our Independence Day. This avenue crosses downtown from the Independence sq. to the Obelisk. After a visit to the Carriage Monument, visit the Centenario Stadium (entrance not included), located within the “Parque Batlle” neighborhood named after Luis Batlle y Ordoñez, one of the first presidents of Uruguay. Continue onto the distinctive neighborhood of “Punta Carretas” and down to the coast of the River Plate. Bordering the beautiful Coastal Rambla built between 1900 and 1910. We will get to “Pocitos” (small holes) which owes its name to the slave lavenders who used to go to this beach area and dig holes to get water and wash their clothes. You will then visit the Virgilio Square from where a panoramic view of the city can be appreciated before continuing onto the residential “Carrasco”, former summer area of the first inhabitants (Please note that depending on where clients are accommodated this tour can be adapted). Transfer back to your Hotel.
Included: Lunch, ALMA HISTÓ, Two (2) Half Day Tour with a local Tour Guide. • Visit typical wineries with tasting; • Visit Lobo Nunez Studio;
DAY 3 Transfer
After breakfast, transfer (without guide) to Montevideo Airport, Port or Bus Station (or continue to the next tour).