Wedged between Brazil’s gargantuan thumb and Argentina’s long forefinger, Uruguay has always been something of an underdog. Yet after two centuries living in the shadow of its neighbors, South America’s smallest country is finally getting a little well-deserved recognition.
Progressive, stable, safe and culturally sophisticated, Uruguay offers visitors opportunities to experience everyday ‘not made for tourists’ moments, whether caught in a cow-and-gaucho traffic jam on a dirt road to nowhere or strolling along the beachfront of Montevideo, the capital, with locals offering you their mate, the most consumed infusion in Latin America, prepared with yerba mate leaves.
Short-term visitors will find plenty to keep them busy in cosmopolitan Montevideo, picturesque Colonia and party-till-you-drop Punta del Este. Montevideo - or San Felipe y Santiago de Montevideo, which is its complete name – is the capital and home to nearly half of Uruguay’s population (approx. 3,478,000 inhabitants in total)! There, you can taste a delicious asado (barbecue) and start dancing tango.
Go wildlife watching along the Atlantic coast, hot-spring-hopping up the Río Uruguay, or horseback riding under the big sky of Uruguay’s interior, where vast fields spread out like oceans.
The beaches in Uruguay remind of Miami or Copacabana, especially Punta Carretas and Pocitos.