• Uruguay
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  • Uruguay
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Uruguay

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
The smallest Latin American country is a calm country with the respected tradition of the siesta and a largely European population. Though tourists travel to Uruguay for the beaches and luxurious sea sides, the country's capital Montevideo is packed with music, theatre and cinema, all set within remarkable architecture. Lovers of meat and keen riders will be delighted to encounter the gauchos, who will show you the 'old country' through hunting and walks.

Our Editorial team's advice

During the tourist season from December to March, prices often double and it is a good idea to book in advance. After the summer period, many establishments are closed along the coast.
In order to cross the Rio de la Plata towards Buenos Aires, the older boats are preferable as they offer crossings in the early morning and evening and unlike the superquick ferries, the older boats offer outdoor decks.

pros

  • +Uruguay is a very rural country and one of the best ways of discovering it is to spend a few days with some true ?gauchos'.
  • +The country's small size means that visiting it can be combined with a visit to one of its neighbours, Brazil or Argentina.

cons

  • -Uruguay, together with its neighbouring country Argentina, is the most expensive country in Latin America.
  • -You will quickly tire of the landscapes in the centre of the country.

Food

In Uruguay, beef is served with every meal. All restaurants offer asados (grilled meat), be aware, though, that portions are often enormous! Chivitos are Uruguayen hamburgers, Pancho is a type of hot dog, Milanesa is breadcrumbed meat and Puchero is a beef dish served with vegetables, beans, bacon and sausages. In contrast, on the coast, all different kinds of seafood are available.
For dessert, there is the famous Chaja, a sponge gateau filled with cream and jam and for drinks, you must try Mate, a bitter tea which is drunk from a strange container with an iron straw. There is also 'Espillinar', a mixure of wine, fruit juice and pieces of fruit which is very refreshing in the summer heat.

Souvenirs

Leather works mean that Uruguayan leather jackets make excellent souvenirs. Items of jewellery also make ideal gifts, as amethyst, topaz, quartz and agate are all mined here and made into jewellery. Shops are open Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.