My father was born in Montevideo and my mother was born in Buenos Aires. My grandparents, born in Italy, emigrated to Uruguay and Argentina after World War II. As we were planning our honeymoon (which then turned out to be many smaller honeymoons), we decided to go to South America and finally experience the countries where my family once lived.
We were looking at designing a once in a lifetime trip and Chris W., our specialist, as well as the team at Audley exceeded all of our expectations. Chris catered to our specific needs and wants of the trip, while still working with our budget. The end result was a twelve day vacation that will surely last a lifetime with stories we hope to share for years to come.
We began our trip in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. It’s a really rustic, Portuguese town, small enough to walk around and explore by foot. While we were there, it was the beginning of the Carnaval festival, and we were able to witness the celebrations for one night. The streets were completely packed, and we talked to a local man who said it was the one time of year where people come from all over the country to celebrate together. The costumes were colorful and the parade so joyful, we were lucky to have that experience.
Next we headed to the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. We spent one day there and had a car service from Audley come and bring us to some of the excellent wineries. We ended up loving the wine so much that we bought a case to bring home with us.
In Montevideo, we met some of the local people and were able to spend a day with them, giving us valuable insight into the culture of some of the people who call South America home. We also took the chance to do our share of sightseeing, from visiting the local market to strolling through downtown.
We spent four days in Punta del Este where we were really able to relax. We stayed at the Serena Hotel and spent some quality time lounging by the pool and enjoying the areas white sand beaches.
Buenos Aires, Argentina was a special experience, as we were able to visit family there. This allowed us to see a part of Buenos Aires not many other people will get to see, through the eyes of actual residents. We intertwined this visit with family with Audley tours, having intimate family barbecues at my relative’s house one night and taking a bike tour with Audley the next afternoon. We visited with family and saw all the major monuments we’d been hoping to see.
One amazing memory was when we met a man who had actually known my grandfather. The President of the Dasa Social Club, Antonio Vivona, is originally from Calabria, Italy where my grandfather was born. Antonio remembered my grandfather from before he had moved to Argentina, and he even remembered the name of the street my grandfather moved to in Buenos Aires!