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Montevideo Tours and Excursions

Ciudad Vieja; Credit: Wikimedia

Montevideo is a vibrant city with a captivating cultural scene, teeming street life, romantic neighborhoods and a fascinating colonial Ciudad Vieja (“old city”).

All of this uniqueness and cultural charm is just waiting to be explored. A local guide can show visitors the hidden charms of his hometown on a private Montevideo tour. Below are five of the top tour operators in Montevideo.

1. Montevideo City Tour

Montevideo City Tour is possibly the most popular tour operator in the city. Many locals will say it’s the best way to discover and enjoy Montevideo and with family, friends or even alone.

The tour features three main stops with numerous points of interest along the way:

a. Independence Square. The highlight of the square is a bronze monument erected to honour General Jose Artigas. There are also other interesting buildings and structures such as the Gate of the Citadel Salvo Palace, the Estévez Palace (the old government house) and The Executive Tower building, the current headquarters of the Executive Branch.

b. The Old City. The Old City comprises Constitution Square that features the Matrix church, Carrara Marble Fountain, the old Town House, the Port Market and other spots of interest.

The tour lasts for three hours and includes a professional guide along with pickup and drop-off but excludes food, drink and gratuities.

2. Montevideo Shore Excursion

While in port in Montevideo, enjoy a private, four-hour shore excursion of Uruguay’s charming capital city. With a private guide, see top attractions located along the coast. This is particularly great for nature lovers and those looking for a relaxing experience.

This tour departs from the Montevideo cruise ship port and lasts four to six hours. The tour features professional guides, wine tasting (if option selected). Food, drink and gratuities are excluded.

3. Half-Day Montevideo City Tour

Half-Day Montevideo City Tour allows visitors to see the best that Montevideo has to offer on this three-hour excursion.  With a private guide and driver, visitors won’t miss a thing while exploring this beautiful city.

Included in this tour is pick up and drop off as well as a versatile English, Spanish or Portuguese speaking driver. This way, tourists will feel at ease and enjoy themselves as they explore in comfort with their bilingual private guide and driver.

This is a tour for visitors to familiarize themselves with the lovely historic city. Along the way, they will marvel at the Old City while travelling to the Port Market, Independence Square, Legislative Palace, El Prado and other sites that will convey the rich cultural atmosphere of this city and the flair that gives Montevideo a sense of wonder.

4. Real English Tours

Real English Tours claim that they will tell visitors the story behind all of Montevideo. Moreover, the operators tailor their tours to their clients’ interests and time.

The tour agency is owned and operated by Liz Cowley who is originally from the UK but has been living in Montevideo for more than 30 years.  As Real English Tour’s primary tour guide, Liz has come to know Uruguay and its history.

Real English Tours also boasts other experienced tour guides who are knowledgeable and come equipped with maps, photos, sketches etc. to enhance the experience and make the tour informative and entertaining.

A full day will include a van tour of the city and its surroundings, followed by lunch in a typical local restaurant and finished with a walking tour of the old city.

5. The Wine Roads

With the Wine Roads Tours, nature lovers get to travel along the picturesque suburbs of Montevideo where they will find fruit and vegetable cultivations surrounded by beautiful gardens and small farms. On this trip, wine gurus and aficionadas will get a chance to visit the best Uruguayan wine cellars and to taste all the different types of wines available.

The cost includes the services of a guide and interpreter, transportation and pickup at selected hotels. Meals and refreshments are excluded.

It’s without a doubt that the best way to experience Montevideo is through the eyes of a local private guide. Not only will visitors experience an almost customised, private trip, but also gain a wealth of information and suggestions so that they can discover the best of all that Montevideo has to offer.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

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