The world is bigger than we could possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. I am inspired by each of your stories, just waiting to be told. Uruguay is a small South-American country with a population of about 3.4 million people. Half the population live in the capital city. Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America after Suriname. It is situated to the West of Argentina and to the South of Brazil. It is easy to reach Uruguay by taking a ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento or by flying into the capital, Montevideo.Uruguay was occupied by the Charrua people for 4000 years, until the Portuguese arrived to Colonia del Sacramento in 1680 to establish their first European settlement. Colonia del Sacramento is the first stop for many tourists who arrive from Buenos Aires by ferry to Uruguay. Many tourists hop on a ferry only to visit this charming little colonial town on a day trip from Buenos Aires. Montevideo was established in the beginning of 18th century by the Spanish to signify their claims over the region. Uruguay became independent from Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil in the first half of the 19th century. Today, Uruguay is considered the most modern country in Latin America. It is peaceful, safe, democratic and it has a well-developed infrastructure. The Economist named Uruguay to be “the country of the year” in 2013, as the country had legalized the sale of Cannabis, same-sex marriage and abortion. The country is considered to be one of the most liberal places in the World.
Most tourists who visit Uruguay will visit Colonia del Sacramento. This old historical city is the first stop after Buenos Aires by ferry. Although, it is a small town, its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walking around its cobblestone streets made me feel like I flew back in time and I was exploring the streets of Portugal in the 18th century.
For the most romantic experience, take a horse carriage around to discover the town. After visiting all the main sites, tourists should go to the beach and take a stroll along the water. The town is fairly small and you wont need more than a day to discover all the places. There are a few churches to visit and a couple of museums that tell the history of the town. After a couple of hours, visitors can either head back to Argentina or continue the journey onto the capital.Montevideo is a wonderful city. It is situated right on the beach and it reminded me of Miami first. The city is not very large and it can easily be explored on foot. Visitors can take a ferry from Buenos Aires straight to the old town of Montevideo if they want to skip Colonia del Sacramento.
Tourists should stroll down the main avenue 18 de Julio and check out the stores. This avenue is the main boulevard of the capital and it is home to many beautiful shops and hotels. In the end of the avenue, visitors will find the main square of the city, the Plaza de Independencia. In the center of the square you can see the statue of José Gervasio Artigas a freedom fighter of the Uruguayan independence. Under the statue, tourists can see his urn at the Mausoleo de Artigas. It is open every weekend. Next to the square, visitors can notice the Palacio Salvo, which was once South-America’s tallest building.At the end of the Plaza de Independencia, enter the Puerta de la Ciudadela to explore the old town of Montevideo and the port. This part of the town was a bit of a disappointment for me. The old town looked a bit ran down. There was a big market near the port, where they sold souvenirs and other touristy things. I didn’t feel very comfortable in the old part of the city so I made my way back to the main street quickly. Next to Plaza de Independencia one can visit the National Theatre the Teatro Solis for free. There was a long line of people who wanted to take the free tour, so I ended up not participating, but it looked like a beautiful theatre inside.
There is also a Sexual Diversity Monument on Calle Policia Vieja between Plaza Independencia and Plaza de la Constitution. It was erected in 2005 and it is South America’s first monument dedicated to sexual diversity. After visiting the city center, a good place to finish the day is on Playa Pocito, where visitors can walk along the beach and enjoy the view of the sea and the surrounding palm trees and take pictures in front of the famous Montevideo sign. It is a very beautiful walk especially during sunset.Punta del Este, the famous beach resort town is only 2 hours away from the capital. It is famous for its beautiful hotels, casinos, lovely beaches and yachts and vibrant nightlife. It is also known as the Monaco of Latin America. The small beach town is full of tall, modern buildings. Every tourist should visit the symbol of Punta del Este on Playa de los Dedos. These are grey finger statues sticking out of the sandy beach. Punta del Este has two main beaches, Playa Brava, which is famous for windy beaches and some great surf spots and Playa Mansa on the other side of the peninsula is famous for its quiet, calm water. Casino lovers should visit the Conrad Hotel to see the fanciest Casino of the region. Party animals should head over to the port after midnight where the parties kick off late at night, usually at around 2am and go on until the morning. Lots of Argentinian and Brazilian tourists guarantee the fun during high season. The biggest party is on New Year’s Eve, when all the rich and famous from all over South-America appear here to celebrate.Uruguay is a small country that has a lot to offer to its visitors. It is safe, well developed and sunny. It is surely a good destination for tourists who are looking for a warm place to jet away from the Winter of the northern hemisphere.
Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger of Jet-Settera. She left her country when she was 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since she has lived in seven countries and visited 68. She blogs about exclusive destinations and the some of the most prestigious events around the World such as Venice, Cannes, San Sebastian Film Festivals, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris, yacht parties in St-Tropez as well as Prince Albert’s wedding in Monaco. She also writes about adventure travel across Asia, South-America and Europe. Read about her latest adventures to Indonesia on her blog. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
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