...Experience Uruguay the auténtico way!
Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and one of the youngest capitals of South America. The foundation process started only in 1724 and was a strategic military response of the Spanish Crown to the Portuguese presence and expansion in the area. The Ciudad Vieja, the historic center of Montevideo, was fortified with city walls and also had a citadelle, a small fortress right on present-day Plaza Independencia.
Approximately 1.3 million people live in urban Montevideo. It is pretty easy to get around by foot or by public transportation and the city has much for you to explore: Experience the local carnival culture, try some ¨mate¨ (pronounced ma-tay), the Uruguayan ¨coffee-substitute¨ or enjoy a great steak at one of the many parrilladas (BBQ-restaurants).
Walking Tour through the Old Town of Montevideo including guided tour of the Palacio Salvo and guided tour of the Carnival Museum!
Learn about Uruguay´s history, culture and traditions!
We start off the tour with a complete visit of the Palacio Salvo, the most iconic building of Montevideo located on Plaza Independencia: first we visit the viewing deck on the 25th floor from where we will enjoy a stunning view (approx. 90°) of Montevideo's Historic Center, the "Ciudad Vieja" and will learn about Montevideo´s early history. We then continue to the roof top terrace of the 10th floor for ¨open-air views¨ and will get to know some other areas of the impressive building, that was meant to operate as a luxury hotel. But the hotel project failed and the hotel rooms were converted into appartments. Nowadays, more than 1000 people live in the building - a true ¨vertical neighbourhood¨!
Afterwards we will continue our walk to see the most important sights of the Ciudad Vieja such as the Plaza Independencia, the Solis Theatre (guided tour INSIDE the Theatre NOT included) and the Constitution Square with its cathedral.
Our next stop will be the Zabala Square. Here we will have a little break and you will receive an introduction to the Uruguayan mate culture. Mate, pronounced „ma-tay“ , is a caffeine containing tea, that locals drink with a metal straw from a gourd – the tradition is also popular in Argentina and in the south of Brazil – however, most Uruguayos take it to the extreme and take their mate and thermos flask everywhere they go!
We will prepare some mate and you will learn all about the ritual and the etiquette – and of course, you are invited to try!
At the end of our tour, another highlight will be a guided tour through the Carnival Museum to get an insight into Uruguay´s unique carnival culture. Uruguay celebrates the longest Carnival Competition in the world: Starting at the end of January, local carnival groups compete for more than 40 days in 5 different categories for the annual Carnival title! However, don´t expect a street carnival as in Brazil. The Uruguayan carnival competition is held in the evenings on small stages, the so-called ¨tablados¨, located throughout the city. And during two nights in February, the city vibrates to the rhythm of the candombe drums during the so-called ¨llamadas¨, the drum parades.
The tour will end at the Mercado del Puerto, an old market hall filled with BBQ-restaurants - a great place for a typical Uruguayan BBQ-lunch (not included in the tour). If you want to have lunch here, I can help you order.
Start:In front of the entrance door of the Palacio Salvo (Plaza Independencia)
End: The tour ends at the Carnival Museum, right next to the Mercado del Puerto, the famous port market and a great place for a typical BBQ-lunch.
Duration & Walking Distance: 3 hours approx. & 2km/1.3 miles.
Difficulty: Medium-High - This Tour is only recommended for people who really enjoy walking! :) At the Palacio Salvo you have to manage several stairs (2 stairs á 10 steps) on the way up and an additional 5-6 stairs (approx. 50-60 steps down).
Temperatures can be very high in Montevideo in summer and you shouldn´t underestimate the effect the heat might have on your personal fitness - although we will always look for the shade, bring sun screen, a hat and a bottle of water on the tour.
- Guided tour of the Palacio Salvo (approx. 50min)
- Entrance fee and guided tour of the Carnival Museum (approx. 20min)
- Interesting information about the history & culture of Uruguay!
Languages: English, German or Spanish
1 Person: 130 USD
2 Persons: 65 USD per person
3 Persons: 60 USD per person
4/6 Persons: 50 USD per person
7-9 Persons: 40 USD per person
THIS TOUR IS OPERATED ON DEMAND AND IS SUBJECT TO GUIDE-AVAILABILITY - SO GET IN TOUCH TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATION!
FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS - THE TOUR CAN ALSO START DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE PORT ENTRANCE, ENDING AT THE PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA! OR ADD 1 MORE HOUR AND THE TOUR CAN START AND END AT THE PORT. CONTACT US FOR FURTHER INFORMATION!