Carmelo is a city located in the department of Colonia and head of the homonymous town. For its proximity to Argentina, the place situated at the southwest of Uruguay, is perfect for a weekend getaway. The Arroyo de las Vacas runs along the east and south part of the city and flows into the Río de la Plata. This direct connection with the water is one of the main attractions of Carmelo, which with its beaches and its rural environment invites travelers to disconnect far from the hubbub of large cities. Carmelo receives tourism all year around with an excellent hotel offering, hostels, camping, restaurants, a casino and shops in the downtown area. It has also increasingly become a destination for wine lovers tourism due to the large variety of vineyards and wineries. Carmelo is an ideal destination for those looking for a place to relax, travelers who like walks along the river with the inevitable ¿mate¿ that some local will offer.
The city is located 75 kilometers from Colonia and 235 kilometers from Montevideo. From Buenos Aires, ships and ferries from Buquebus arrive every day to those cities, making it possible to take your own vehicle. To book a trip on the Buquebus online platform, it is necessary to indicate the number of passengers, and whether or not you have a vehicle. There are also land transport companies with daily frequencies that make trips from Montevideo and Colonia, reaching Carmelo via route 21. It is also possible to arrive to this city by river from Tigre, in Buenos Aires, through the delta of the Paraná River. The domestic Zagarzazú Airport (SUCM) is situated 5 kilometer from the downtown. It operates just with local and private flights.
The Swing Bridge is the most recognized attraction in this city, a must for those who travel to Carmelo. Opened in 1912, it is located on Arroyo de las Vacas and has the peculiarity that it is moved by human traction. It is the first one with this feature in Uruguay and throughout the region, reason why it has been declared National Historical Monument since 1994. Because of its appearance, there are those who call it the "Carmelitano Golden Gate".
Another reason to visit Carmelo is the wine route carmelitana. Wine experts welcome visitors in wineries and offer wine tasting and tour around the vineyards. The Tannat is the main grape that is recognized around the world. Some of the wineries that can be visited all year around are: Campotinto, Narbona, El Legado, Zubizarreta, Irurtia and Los Cerros de San Juan, the oldest winery in Uruguay and declared Historical Monument.
In most Uruguayan cities, the river is the center of activities, and Carmelo is no exception. Playa Seré is one of the most recommended spots in Summer, specially the sandy area on the banks of the Río de la Plata, close to the Hotel Casino in the city. Another relaxing tour is the yacht pier with a camping, barbecues and facilities to spend the day. Carmelo is synonymous with nature, a link that has one of its highest expressions in the Wildlife Reserve of the city.