For decades Uruguay has flown under the traveler radar. Today however, the limelight is most certainly swinging over this tiny republic on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. This is mostly thanks to the chic resort of Punta del Este, the vibrant, upmarket beach town hailed as the Monaco of South America which is drawing the world’s glitterati. Dig a little deeper however, and a country of beauty, history, and laid-back charm is revealed, where colonial towns stand on the shores of the Río de la Plata.
Just when you thought you knew South America, along comes Uruguay with more than a few surprises to offer visitors. This tiny country of just over three million inhabitants (most of whom live in the capital of Montevideo), proves that good things really do come in small packages. Punta del Este dazzles with its casinos, beaches, and legendary nightlife, but for a more cultured experience visitors can step back in time at the UNESCO heritage site of Colonia del Sacramento. More than 400 years of history are revealed in the perfectly preserved cobbled streets and colonial architecture on the shores of the river. A short distance away is the small town of Carmelo, a perfect, relaxing mixture of provincial life and boutique hotels.
From kayaking expeditions on the river, to horse-back riding and fishing expeditions, Oyikil Travel offers a wealth of adventures which highlight the beauty of Uruguay and the friendliness of its people. Because Uruguay is the kind of place where strangers will invite you to share a “mate” (traditional tea which is sipped slowly) with them, proud to welcome visitors to their country.
At a Glance
Small and compact, it’s easy to get around Uruguay. Visitors can zip between the riverside towns, explore the golden beauty of the pampas, and indulge in the restaurants and nightlife of Punta del Este. The main gateway to the country is the capital of Montevideo, although river routes from Buenos Aires make for culture-filled daytrips. Uruguay is a perfect destination to combine with a trip to Argentina, its mellow vibe and pretty towns a pleasant respite from the hubbub of the Argentine capital. The country really springs to life during the summer months, with New Year and January its peak season as the warm weather means balmy beach days.