At a glance:
- Uruguayan locals will love showing you round
- Visit funky capital city Montevideo and charming Colonia del Sacramento
- For something a little more off-the-beaten-track, head east to the beaches or stay at an Estancia (ranch) in the interior
Why we love Uruguay
- The fashion-hippy chic atmosphere of Punta del Este is one of our favourite weekend escapes from Buenos Aires
- Watching the sunset in Colonia, just across the river from Buenos Aires, always captures our imaginations
- We’ve stayed at a few Uruguayan estancias in the countryside, learning more about the ways of the Gaucho and devouring Assado (BBQ) each night – delicious!
Looking for more of those authentic, ‘not made for tourists’ moments on your South American holiday? Then add Uruguay to your itinerary. Dotted between Brazil and Argentina on the Atlantic coast, this little bang-for-your-buck country is home to charming cobblestone streets, beautiful beaches, hot springs and plenty of fascinating Gaucho culture.
The capital city of Montevideo is a great place to start. Eclectic, friendly and with a vibrant history, explore the beautiful beachfront communities of Punta Carretas and Pucitos or discover cosy little tango bars and elegant old theatres. Home to nearly half of all Uruguay’s population, chances are you’ll notice the locals clutching cup-like gourds with straws poking out of them – this is mate, a traditional caffeine-infused drink and an obsession in this part of the world.
If you follow the coast West from Montevideo, you’ll come to Colonia del Sacramento – just across the river from Buenos Aires, Colonia is a charming, picturesque town that’s also a Unesco World Heritage site. Cobblestone streets, leafy sycamore trees and spectacular sunsets make this town a treat to visit for a night or two.
In the east lie Uruguay’s beach towns of Punta del Este, Cabo Polonio or Punta del Diablo. The further north you go, the more rustic and relaxed the offering. In the interior of the country, Gaucho culture is alive and well – go horseback riding on an estancia (ranch) and drink mate around a roaring fire.