Often overlooked, Uruguay is a little gem tucked under the arm of Argentina and certainly worth considering for a holiday either as a sole destination or combined with Argentina.
Why we like Uruguay
Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, with the engaging capital city of Montevideo, the beautiful colonial town of Colonia, a large number of long sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes. We love Punta del Este and José Ignacio, the playgrounds of the rich and famous and for those with their finger on the pulse. We also love the wild coastlines and remote hamlets, providing authentic and unusual travel experiences.
Uruguay has an extremely successful olive oil production, exporting high-grade oils that are receiving international recognition, alongside its increasingly popular wine industry. Wine bodegas and olive oil farms can be found countrywide, offering tastings and farm stays. Along with its wonderful bread and cheeses, Uruguay is a leading gastronomic destination.
Uruguay is also one of the easiest countries to travel in within South America. It is safe, English is widely spoken and it's small size means there's no need for domestic flights. With this in mind it is not surprising self-drive holidays are a very popular way to explore Uruguay.
What to expect on your Uruguay holiday
The chic sophistication of Punta del Este and José Ignacio is the talking point of Uruguay and these towns are fast becoming South America’s most glamorous beach resorts. Move outside and you find rolling countryside, gauchos, herds of cattle and sheep and some beautiful estancias, some of which accept guests providing some idyllic riding opportunities.
Wine production is in full swing and you should try the various varieties including the red wine produced from tannat grapes. Travel to Colinas Garzón, reminiscent of the Tuscan hills, and sample the wonderful olive oils. Finally, do not miss the Spanish colonial heritage epitomised in the UNESCO site of Barrio Historico in the 17th century town of Colonia del Sacramento.
Some ideas for a Uruguay holiday
- Explore several colonial cities, including the French/ Italian inspired cosmopolitan capital Montevideo.
- Relax on the golden beaches around the bohemian centre of Punta del Este.
- Ride out with the gauchos and explore the rich countryside.
- Visit some wine estates and olive oil farms and sample the excellent produce on offer.
- Plan your holiday to Uruguay to coincide with the summer food and wine festival attended by celebrity chefs from across South America.