Uruguay is a dream destination.
I suspected it before, but now that I’ve actually been I can attest that Uruguay has it all. What a wonderful country, with an enviable outlook on life. I can’t wait to go back! Here are some of the reasons why, in pictures.
The historic town of Colonia del Sacramento is a UNESCO world heritage site and a popular entry point into Uruguay.
Despite the tourist crowds arriving from Argentina, Colonia del Sacramento remains a wonderfully relaxed and romantic little town.
Beautiful cobbled alleys are characteristic of the historic town of Colonia.
The historic lighthouse in Colonia del Sacramento was first lit in 1857.
Colourful street art can be found all over Colonia del Sacramento.
If you’re lucky you might get a chance to observe one of the many street artists at work.
A typical tree lined road in historic Colonia.
A delicious Milanesa Carne from Los Farolitos.
Cattle are an essential part of Uruguayan culture, with four times more cows than people.
Gauchos are a symbol of Uruguay and represent skill and tradition, but also a moral code and way of life.
Every visit to Uruguay should include a stay on a traditional estancia. El Ceibo is a working family estancia a few miles outside Florida, with dozens of cattle, sheeps, chickens, several horses and three friendly dogs.
Lavalleja department is known for its rugged, hilly landscape.
Minas, a little town with a beautiful central square, is the capital of the Lavallejo department.
Old timer cars can be found all over Uruguay, some in enviable condition others not so much.
The village of Villa Serrana is an eclectic mix of B&Bs, Guesthouses and restaurants dotted around the Villa Serrana hills.
The national park surrounding Salto al Penitente is great for hiking and other outdoor activities.
San Francisco del Sierra is not only a family friendly holiday park but also a working farm, where visitors can observe daily workings on a cattle farm such as the milking process.
Mate is the Uruguayan’s favourite drink and a symbol of their laid back, sociable life style. The cup is stuffed with tea leaves and continuously refilled with hot water from flask – both of which Uruguayans take literally everywhere! Mate is drunk through a metal straw and often shared with friends.
La Pedrera Beach is one of several charming coastal towns, each with their own distinctive character.
The wreck of a sunken cargo ship makes for an unusual landmark on La Pedrera beach.
The lighthouse on the beach in La Pedrera’s neighbour La Paloma.
El Bauro Gigante from the restaurant with the same name in La Paloma can only be described as an ingenious, humongous, delicious cottage pie sandwich.
The historic fishing village of Jose Ignacia has become a chic beach resort popular among wealthy South Americans.
Punta del Este’s famous landmark ‘ The Hand’ is on Brava Beach, the Atlantic side of Uruguay’s most popular beach resort.
Mansa beach is on Rio de la Plata on the west side of Punta Del Este’s peninsula, with calm and shallow waters.
El Pinars beach is a beautiful gem hidden behind hilly sand dunes and yet to be discovered by tourist crowds.
The iconic Plaza del Indepencia centres on the mausoleum of independence fighter Jose Artigas and connects the old town with downtown Montevideo.
There is no shortage of meat at the historic Mercado del Puerto – a big market hall full of parillas and restaurants.
Like everywhere in Uruguay, there are numerous monument dotted around the city.
The Palacio Legislativo is the seat of the Uruguayan parliament.
Gauchos from all over the country come to Semana Ciolla to compete in various rodeo contests – a fascinating spectacle.
The Sunday market at Tristán Narvaja is a highlight of every visit to Montevideo.
There’s nothing one cannot find at Montevideo’s Sunday street market.
Semana Criolla celebrates Uruguayan gaucho culture, including the traditional wood fired Asado meat feast.
You can read about our full itinerary here.