Sometimes we only learn by making mistakes, and having stayed only one night in Carmelo taught us that we should have stayed longer there.
There are a lot of things to do in Carmelo. Things to do slowly, the way they do in a small Uruguayan town, where everything closes after lunch and reopens only after 4PM.
They are the reason Carmelo is becoming known to the world. And they are not large wineries. They are small ones with a limited production that is mostly sold only locally.
We visited Campotinto and Cordano.
Campotinto is a Boutique Winery, with a production of only 15k bottles a year. It is quite young, but it also has a small hotel and restaurant. It is where we stayed, had lunch and dinner.
Bodega Cordano is in its 5th generation making wines. Most of the production is table wine, and only a small part is fine wine – and they are excellent! The visit and tasting is at Almacen de la Capilla, a small rural market with great service. We arrive as guests and leave as friends 🙂
Other wineries we wished we had visited were Narbona, Irurtia and El Legado – if only we had stayed a couple more nights…
What to eat
We loved Campotinto’s restaurant. The food is great!
We did go to Narbona’s, but since we did not like the service when we arrived, we left. The prices are pretty steep and high prices do not go well with bad service.
The staff at our hotel said the restaurant at Puerto Dijama is quite good. And for a future visit, we also intend to go to Fango and Lo’Korrea.
Where to Stay
As important as what to do, is where to stay, especially in a place like Carmelo. Besides the attractions, you have to take some time do just relax and do nothing!
At Campotinto, we felt like we were at a farm house, with bikes available to wander around the area. As I’ve said before, it is great to ride a bike instead of just getting in a car to go from one place to another.
We drove by Puerto Dijama and it seemed very nice. Taking a look at the website we were impressed by its structure and location by the river.
Hyatt Carmelo seems to be fantastic and the prices are not too off for what the hotel offers. It is a place we want to stay in someday!
Narbona also has a lodge, similar to Campotinto.
Another place we would like to stay is Casa Chic Carmelo.
For those who want peace and simplicity, Bodega Cordano has a cabin in the middle of the vineyards: Entre Viñas. Just amazing!
What else to do
Visit Capilla de San Roque which is a cute little church!
Walk or drive around town and see the sunset at Playa Seré.
Visit Calera de las Huérfanas. It is the ruins of and old mission. It is free and there are signs showing what each structure used to be. It is a pitty we cannot get too close to the buildings. Visit it on the way to or out of the city, as it is a little far.
We can’t wait to go back to Carmelo!