Uruguay’s thriving capital city and chief port sprawls some 13 miles along the Atlantic coast on the banks of the River Plate.

Founded in 1726, Montevideo boasts a rich heritage of architecture ranging from French to Italian and English influences coupled with a distinctive flair for Art Deco and grand neo-classical designs. Montevideo's heritage is best explored from Plaza Independencia, nestled at the heart of Ciudad Vieja and dominated by an enormous statue of Jose Artiguas, Uruguay’s national hero and father of independence.

Many of the city’s historical buildings are being renovated to accommodate art galleries and cafes with no finer example than the areas encompassing the lively Mercado del Puerto, Montevideo’s 19th century port market. Sheltering a cluster of Uruguayan parrillas (steakhouses) and seafood eateries, this bustling food court offers a tantalising bouquet to the senses, with street performers, antique dealers and artisans also populating this energetic spectacle on Saturdays.

Head east of the city and stroll the beautiful promenade that traces Montevideo’s spectacular coastline interspersed with beautiful beaches and rocky coves. For those seeking nightlife, the contemporary beach communities of Punta Carretas and Pocitos are a haven of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

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