For a long time, Uruguay has barely registered on the scale of popular South American destinations. But that might not have been a coincidence – some of the first people to discover it were determined to keep its profile low and enjoy their hidden gem while the world was none the wiser. But inevitably, word is getting out. Whether you’re drawn in by the posh beaches of Punta del Este or the still-vibrant gaucho culture deep in the countryside, Uruguay holds surprises and treasures that you might want to keep to yourself, too.
So let’s see why:
1. The people and culture
The warmth of the people of Uruguay made a strong impression on me during my ﬁrst trip there. Six years later, it still does.
You'll ﬁnd more basic respect between people here. At the same time, there are fewer social barriers, especially between teenagers and their parents, and young and old. In Uruguay, teachers often hug and kiss their students, doctors can have relaxed conversations with their patients, and co-workers often greet each other with a kiss on the cheek.
2. The beach
Uruguay is blessed with one looooong unending beach as its sandy coastline extends uninterrupted from the Rio Plata to Brazil. And with the government banning building on the beach itself, this means the beach will remain accessible and enjoyable for everyone despite the new developments popping up like crazy.
The unique mix. Where else can you find a South American destination that feels decidedly European, but with the sprawling, big-sky feeling of the American midwest? A big bonus: no American tourists (besides the lone travel blogger)!
3. The antiques
And by “antiques” I mean that the entire country feels like it’s left over from another era – in the best way possible. Whether you are on the coast a la the Hamptons in the 1960s, in the rustic colonial town of Colonia that seems to be frozen in time, or enjoying the 1890s Parisian-style buildings of Montevideo, Uruguay is full of beauty, charm, and romance. Dream of owning a colonial home? Vintage cars your thing? Uruguay is the place – especially for those for whom restoration isn’t a dirty word but a fantasy. I dream of scouring the villages and countryside for antiques, hardware, and tiling… preferably in a baby blue vintage Fiat 500.
4. It is a sporting country
If you ever want to enjoy a game of sport, perhaps you should head to Uruguay. It has state of art sporting facilities such as Centenario Stadium, Estadio Gran Parque Central, and Estadio Viera which are mostly used for soccer games. The stadiums come alive with sporting fans everytime there is a game. The carnival mood is always palpable and a visitor to the country will be thoroughly entertained.
5. Country laden with history
Sample this; the country has been under the influence of the Portuguese, Spanish, Brazil, and Argentina. All these countries left a piece of history worth show casing in any of its many theaters and museums. The most popular theater in Uruguay is Solís Theatre. Other historical attractions include; Casapueblo, Palacio Salvo, Monumento al Ahogado, Juan Manuel Blanes Museum, National Museum of Visual Arts and many more.
6. Uniform weather
Although the country is located in temperate weather conditions region, its weather is fairly uniform throughout the country and it is on very rare occasions that extreme variances in weather are experienced. In short, it is easy to predict the Uruguayan weather thus making it a good tourist destination.
Uruguay is a democratic republic that is governed under a president that serves as both her head of state as well as head of government. She is located on the south east corner of South America and is one of the most developed and prosperous country in South America. She is bordered by Argentina to the west, Brazil to the north and east, and Atlantic Ocean to the south and south east. The country is home to 3.3 million people, 1.8 million of whom live in her capital, Montevideo. She is the second smallest country in South America after Suriname at 68,000 square miles. But what makes the country as prosperous and as amazing as it is today? Below are a couple of the amazing things about Uruguay.
7. The Ambiance and the Architecture
Truly possessing that feeling of being thrown back in time Uruguay, especially immortalized by its capital Montevideo, has wonderful feel that resonates back to an era gone by in the 1900’s. Montevideao across its cityscape has wonderful Parisian looking buildings that leave a lasting residue of beauty, charm, and even romance. Traveling along Uruguay’s stretching coastline too will uncover any number of fantastic rural colonial towns.
8. Food and Drink
Connecting with some of the other points here eating and drinking in Uruguay are great experiences. With restaurants and bars dotted over its charming city and townscapes with great prices an excellent night out eating and drinking is all but assured. Combine this with wonderful mouth watering steaks, which is a real Uruguayan delicacy, and the recipe is there for a true gastronomic hot spot.
9. It is naturally endowed
Like all her South American Neighbors, Uruguay is endowed with physical features that leave many a visitor thoroughly awed. Some of the most significant natural endowments include; Negro River, Punta Colorada, Laguna del Sauce, Juncal Island etc.
Uruguay’s capital is situated at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, which spills into the Atlantic. That location means a few things: beaches, trade and more than a little back-and-forth between Montevideo and Buenos Aires, Argentina, which sits on the opposite bank. Visitors love the cultural mishmash of the city, where you can find cozy tango clubs, top-notch restaurants and shopping galore.
11. Punta del Este
If you’re a beach bum or a celebrity spotter, you’ll be in luck in this upscale city that stretches along the Atlantic coast. It’s a go-to destination for well-heeled cognoscenti, but even if you can’t afford to stay for long, it’s still well worth dropping in for a taste of the most exclusive resort town in the country.