Uruguay

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Uruguay

Uruguay is somewhat hidden between Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay is below the tropical zone and has four seasons. The average high summer temperature is 82 degrees F, which cools down to 63 F at night. The average winter temperature is 57 degrees F, cooling to 43 F at night. Since Uruguay is in the southern hemisphere with opposite seasons, summer is in December, January and February. Besides the mild climate, Uruguay has a warm social climate. Here you will find less economic disparities than in any other part of Latin America. Uruguayan culture is known for tolerance and inclusiveness.

Uruguay is progressive, stable, safe and sophisticated from the cultural point of view, Uruguay offers visitors the opportunity to experience moments “not made for tourists” everyday.

It was one of the first on the continent to allow gay marriages, to legalize abortions in 2012 and to establish a welfare state in 1903.

And, of course, the marijuana for which it is so famous since December 2013, Uruguay has legalized the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana for recreational use.

Uruguay

Uruguay typical landscape

 

What to do.

 

Colonia del Sacramento

The historic district of Colonia del Sacramento is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its stunning colonial architecture and urban landscape. Colonia del Sacramento changed hands several times between Spanish and Portuguese, each leaving its own mark in the city that now also merges with contemporary society. The historic district surrounded by the city walls seems suspended in time, a very picturesque place near the Uruguay river.

Visit to the Polono Head

Cabo Polono is a hamlet located on the east coast of Uruguay in Rocha. It is a settlement of about 95 people in a national park, right on the tip of a peninsula.

It is a fascinating place to visit and very bohemian. It is popular with travelers and is well worth a visit as a day trip or overnight stay.

 

Walk La Rambla, Montevideo’s beloved catwalk

Uruguayans love to go out and walk when the weather is nice.

La Rambla, the 22-kilometer promenade that runs along the coast of Montevideo, is the perfect place to do some exercise and get a few people noticed.

Make sure you pass Pocitos, one of the most famous beaches in the city, and easily accessible from Ciudad Vieja.

 

Celebrate with the Jetset crowd in Punta del Este

From late December to February, Punta del Este hosts rich Argentine and Brazilian vacationers.

 

They come by boat and plane to sunbathe on Bikini beach and party until dawn at the clubs near La Barra.

The cost of accommodation is skyrocketing during this period, with luxury apartments costing thousands of dollars a week.

Punta del Diablo

The area surrounding Punta del Diablo is extraordinary. There is an ancient fortress called Santa Teresa, a nature reserve of the same name, campsites and several pristine beaches. Cerro Verde is another nature reserve nearby, on the beach where people take care of the turtles that run aground. Punta del Diablo is a charming fishing town with pristine beaches and excellent seafood.

There are no roads and you must reach it via a 7 km truck through the sand dunes.

Candombe dance at the Carnival

Candombe is a Uruguayan folk dance, originated by African slaves in the country during the 1800s. Now it is an important part of the carnival parade in the country that takes place in the streets of Montevideo every February.

Folk dance is a fusion of African traditions with choreography, wild rhythms, improvised steps and energetic, semi-athletic movements. Candombe was also registered in 2009 on the UNESCO list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The music is performed by a group of drummers called cuerda and the performance involves the reproduction of three types of drums in the shape of a barrel.

The carnival week in January / February is considered the nation’s annual national holiday and candombe is at the center of the scene.

Colonia del Sacramento

The historic district of Colonia del Sacramento is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its stunning colonial architecture and urban landscape. Colonia del Sacramento changed hands several times between Spanish and Portuguese, each leaving its own mark in the city that now also merges with contemporary society. The historic district surrounded by the city walls seems suspended in time, a very picturesque place near the Uruguay river.

Hot Springs

 

Visit the Salto and Paysandú spas for an extremely relaxing trip. Natural water is heated and flows from under the earth to the surface, where there are now water parks, spas, inns and hotels. Water has many minerals that make it particularly good for drinking and diving.

Cabo Polonio

This is a protected area that can only be accessed on a special route with special transport, or on foot or on horseback from a nearby town called Valizas. The journey from Valizas is a great excursion along the beach, through large sand dunes and a stream. Cabo Polonio is basically made up of small ranches and a large lighthouse. Next to the lighthouse, you can watch sea lions in their natural habitat, also protected.

Laguna de Castillos

The lake of Castillos is the ideal place for swimming and fishing, since natural water is a refreshing change compared to the usual salt water of the sea from the beach. You can take a boat to Mount Ombú, a special place that houses huge shrub-shaped trees that are empty inside. There are also very high palm fields that are very distinctive in the area.

La Aurora extinguishes

It looks like a typical country farm … until you discover the great mysticism behind it. Thousands of people visit each year because they believe they have special energy that, for some reason, attracts UFOs. Many people have extraordinary stories about the sightings that occur here. You can also find the religious figure of Padre Pío, which some people believe gives blessings to the pilgrims they visit. However, it is an interesting place to try your chances for some supernatural events.

Bare everything in Playa Chihuahua

While Uruguay may not have the white sands and imposing palm trees of neighboring Brazil, it shares the same sun. If you are looking for a complete tan, head to the famous nudist beach in the country, Playa Chihuahua. Here you can discover everything together with the bronze sun worshipers of nearby Punta del Este.

Excursion to Minas

The closest thing to a mountain in Uruguay is Cerro Arequita in Minas, about two hours northeast of Montevideo. Prepare a pair of trekking boots and set off on a hike through the mythical Ombú hill forest, or go underground to spot millions of bats in the Gruta Colón of the Cretaceous age or in the Columbus Cave.

Find whales from the beaches of Piriápolis

By mid-year, between June and November, the southern Atlantic right whales reproduce off the coast of Uruguay. Punta Colorada and Negra, near the picturesque coastal town of Piriápolis, have some of the best scenic spots up and down the coast. Start early when the waves are calm and look for the seagulls in a circle to get the best chance of spotting whales in the waters.

 

Where to stay in Uruguay

 

Bahia Vik is located right against the coast, on a grassy hill above the sand, but with most of the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the ocean. The accommodation is in a collection of bungalows and suites on the beach, decorated with clean lines and great works of contemporary art. There is a choice of pools besides the beach and you have just come out of José Ignacio.

La Posada Arenas de José Ignacio is a relaxing five-minute walk from the beach in the sleepy village of José Ignacio. There are 12 rooms, decorated in a contemporary style. José Ignacio is near a beautiful lagoon and also a great kitesurf spot.

Le Club in Punta del Este offers everything you could want from a break on Punta del Este beach: 14 beachfront rooms with large windows, a trendy restaurant and great access to local bars and cafes, as well as beachfront facilities.

Casa Bikini is a ten-room boutique hole between the forest and the sea in Punta del Este. All the suites have been individually decorated and are named after writers: book the Coehlo suite for a private terrace and bathroom. There is a fantastic library and even a swimming pool. And you’re just moments from the beach.

For seaside romance, consider the Serena Hotel in Punta del Este, an adult-only hotel with 31 rooms located right on the sand. Ok, so the restaurants and terraces are on the sand and the rooms, with their modern decor and large windows, are right behind those.

The Hotel Art & Spa Cumbres is located in a beautiful rural area just a few kilometers from Punta del Este. All of its 28 rooms and suites are elegant and spacious with peaceful views. You’re close to the beach, the food is exceptional and there’s a spa, just as the name suggests.

 

El Garzón is one of the hottest restaurants in Uruguay, run by its most famous chef, Francis Mallmann, and is hidden in the small, but pretty rural town of Garzón. it

it has only five bedrooms, all different, but all luxurious, decorated with chandeliers, antiques and elegant fabrics.

The first Hyatt Centric hotel in South America is their 178-room offer on Montevideo’s historic waterfront. There is a boutique atmosphere and elegant rooms with many luxury finishes, and there is a first-rate restaurant and an indoor pool. The location is also excellent.

 

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