Just a fifty minute hop on the hydrofoil from Buenos Aires, a trip to Colonia is like stepping back in time. With perfectly preserved Portuguese colonial architecture, the town is a UNESCO heritage site. For great views of the buildings, and the port that pirates once used for smuggling, climb the old lighthouse that overlooks the Rio de la Plata.
Further up the estuary, where it turns into river, you’ll find more laid back charm in rural Carmelo (and have another opportunity to try the asado (BBQ) specialities). This combined with river beaches, pine forests, and pure Four Seasons hotel luxury equals absolute bliss.