Places to visit...

 

Montevideo: Montevideo is situated in the south of the country, on the bank of the Rió de la Plata. Montevideo is the largest city, the capital and the chief port of Uruguay. The city has a population of 1.3 million and Uruguay has a total population of about 3.4 million. According to statistics from 2007, Montevideo provides the hightest quality of lif in Latin America.

Colonia del Sacramento: Founded in 1680 by Portuguese settlers, this UNESCO world heritage site charms visitors with its shady cobbled streets, cute restaurants, vintage cars, abundant museums and extensive beaches.  We recommend watching the sunset from the riverfront Rambla.

Salto and Paysandú: In the northwest of Uruguay these two provinces have natural hot water springs or termas which attract visitors particularly in the colder months, to enjoy the relaxing effects and health benefits of a bath in the steamy pools.  The springs at Daymán are the biggest but those at Guaviyú, Almiron and Arapey are worth visiting too.

Rocha: This province contains almost all of Uruguay’s Atlantic coast (anything west of Punta del Este is officially part of the Río de la Plata) and is well-known in and around Uruguay for it’s seemingly endless white-sand beaches.  La Paloma and La Pedrera attract surfers, Punta del Diablo and the Santa Teresa nature reserve are wild and natural, Valizas is known as a hippy hangout.  During the summer months there are bars, parties and beach bonfires in almost all of them, but out of season you could well have the whole beach to yourself.  There are several good places for birdwatching.  It’s nice to rent a car and take your time cruising the coast, stopping when you find a place you like.

Piriápolis: The town and beach attract summer tourists, and an aerial lift takes you up to the San Antonio hill where you can enjoy a view of the coastline in front of you and the hills behind.  Pan de Azúcar hill is one of Uruguay’s highest points (493m!) and you can even climb up inside the huge concrete cross at the top of the hill.

Punta del Este / MaldonadoAside from the famous resort with its 5-star hotel, casinos, beautiful beaches and fashionable visitors, this is a good place to arrange boat trips to see a sea lion colony or to go diving or try other watersports.  You can visit the iconic hand-in-the-sand sculpture and nearby is Casapueblo, a bizarre wedding-cake of a building built by and still inhabited by Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez Vilaró, where you can enjoy an exhibition of his work.

MinasThis hill town is a useful hub if you want to visit some of Uruguay’s prettiest natural landscapes such as the woodland, hills and waterfalls in Parque Salus, Cerro y Virgen del Verdún, or Arequita cave (where you might just see some bats).

Sierra de las ÁnimasThis protected area of wildlife owes its name to the indigenous Charrúa people’s tradition of lighting funeral pyres on the hilltops.  These days you can enjoy totally unspoilt nature by climbing the hills, having a picnic by the river or cooling off under a little waterfall or natural rock pool.

 

San Gregorio de PolancoYou can visit the birthplace of tango legend Carlos Gardel in this traditional gaucho town in the north of Uruguay, where some of the streets have been brightened up with murals and painted houses.

 

uruguay places to visit

Cigarette shop: low-cost cigarettes

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