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10 best places and things to see when you visit Uruguay

The 10 best places to visit whenever you are in Uruguay!

Visiting a place for the first time leaves you with a certain feeling you can’t describe. However, it is always an exciting feeling altogether when you are visiting Uruguay for the first time. The reason is that it feels almost like an adventure. Whether you are visiting Uruguay for the first or not, it is a beautiful country to visit.

You are wondering what the best places and things you’re going to see when you visit Uruguay would look like. Don’t overthink it. Yet, you should not undermine this Latin American country located in the South of America. Uruguay, although one of the countries of South America that is most likely unheard of, Uruguay holds some of the world’s wonders that you have not heard of nor seen.

This excitement is something that you cannot describe. However, it can be cut short if you know little about Uruguay and the beautiful places you can visit. This means that you need to know about Uruguay, at least on an average level, to enjoy the beautiful things it offers.

Keep reading to find out about the best places and things to see when you visit Uruguay.

About Uruguay

Uruguay is a Latin American/ South American country with a beach-lined coast flanked by a verdant interior. It is one of the developed countries in Latin America. It ranks first in high-income economies, democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, press freedom, prosperity, size of the middle class, and e-government of all the Latin American countries.

Furthermore, Uruguay ranks the third-best country in the South American continent in terms of Human Development Index, GDP growth, innovation, and infrastructure. It also ranks the second-best country in the continent in terms of economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income, and inflows of FDI.

The Republic of Uruguay has edges divided into eastern, southern, and western edges. It is also characterized by flat plains to these edges ( eastern, southern, and western). The littoral zones of the Río de la Plata and the Río Uruguay gradually merge into hilly interiors and are somewhat broader too. It is also characterized by a marshy and sandy Atlantic coastal plain that is also narrower.

One of the country’s peculiarities is that cannabis, prostitution, same-sex marriage, and abortion are legalized. Uruguay is one of the original founding members of the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), and Mercosur (a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994). It has borders against Argentina and Brazil and adopted several African heritage traditions and celebrations.

Ten best places to see when you visit Uruguay

Despite being one of the overlooked countries in the South American continent, Uruguay is one of the safest countries in the continent. The places or things to see when you visit Uruguay include but are not limited to; Santa Teresa National Park, Piriápolis, Punta del Este, La Paloma, Punta del Diablo, etc. Its cities are fascinating to explore.

Below are the places to explore when you visit Uruguay.

#1. Santa Teresa National Park

The Santa Teresa National Park is one of the beautiful places to feed your eyes with aesthetics when you visit Uruguay. It borders Punta del Diablo and encompasses diverse landscapes, ecosystems, fauna, and flora.

The park has loads of pleasant sights to keep you astonished. Also, there is a wildlife reserve that resides within the park. Visiting the Santa Teresa National Park allows you to reconnect with nature. In addition, it leaves with lots of memories about history because, on its ground, the large battle when Uruguay was fighting for its independence took place.

#2. Piriápolis

Whenever you visit Uruguay, even if it is not for tourism, try as much as possible to visit Piriápolis. Piriápolis, one of Uruguay’s earliest resorts, sits on the country’s Southern Atlantic coast. The Mediterranean feel that this resort has makes its beaches great for lounging. City on southern Uruguay’s Atlantic coast. Also, the long promenade surrounding its waterfront is the best fit for taking relaxing strolls.

The city has popular spots, including the waterfront Rambles (the most popular), the Pira’s castle, and the Hotel Colon.

#3. Punta del Este

When you visit Uruguay, you will discover that the Punta del Este is situated in the Southeastern part of Uruguay. The city sometimes is called “the Pearl of the Atlantic,” the Monaco of the South,” “the Miami Beach of South America,” “the St. Tropez of South,” and the “the Hamptons of South Africa.”

The city shares a name with the surrounding municipality. The La Mano giant sculpture, the Arboretum Lussich, the resort of La Barea, the Museum of the Sea, the Santorini-styled complex Casapueblo, Gorriti Island, and the Rafael Viñoly are its popular landmarks.

Although it is quite more expensive than the rest of the country, it is fun to visit. This is because it has loads of bars, restaurants, and clubs around the beautiful beachfront.

#4. La Paloma

This small city of Uruguay lies to the east of Montevideo, on the Southeast coast of Uruguay. To the west of Montevideo lies the Los Botes beach and Laguna de Rocha ( a wetland reserve with migratory birds). These and many more features single the summer beach resort out as one of the popular beach resorts among Uruguayans, South Americans, and some foreign citizens who visit Uruguay for tourism or vacation.

La Paloma has peculiar features such as;

  • the Anaconda Beach, from where you can watch the Sun set over the ocean.
  • The Lighthouse of Coba Santa Maria is near the traditional fishermen’s cottages and overlooks the Atlantic.
  • The Bahía Chica and Bahía Grande are sandy bays with calm waters situated near the Lighthouse of Coba Santa Maria.
  • the Centro Cultural La Paloma, a cultural event host.

#5. Punta del Diablo

Although an hour from Punta del Este, Punta del Diablo (Devil’s Point) offers a variety of cuisines and accommodations overlooking the rocky waters to visitors. When you visit Uruguay and are looking to head to a beach and bask in the rays, Punta del Diablo is a lovely place to visit.

This small fishing town and seaside resort rest on the eastern coast of Uruguay. With fishing boats irregularly scattered all over Punta del Diablo, and the spectacular white De Artigas, it exudes an air of relaxation and offers some delicious seafood for visitors. Also, the nature reserves: Santa Teresa and Cerro Verde, are close to it and are worth visiting.

#6. Tacuarembó

Tacuarembó, situated in the north-central part of Uruguay, holds a specific significance in the history of Uruguayans. For example, this city is where Carlos Gardel (the legendary tango star ) is considered to come from.

Some of the features that single Tacuarembó out as a place you would want to see when you visit Uruguay are;

  • The Haedo Mountains dominate the adjoining area.
  • Orchids and hardwoods grow there, including quebracho, algarrobo, urunday, and guayabo.
  • The Indian Museum (Music del Indio) holds a representation of the Indian and gaucho past.

This city bore the name “Villa de San Fructuoso” but later adopted Tacuarembó, a Guarani Indian name. This country also lies on the railway from Montevideo to Brazil. Tacuarembó, although in Uruguay, has its culture, language, and food very different from the rest of the Uruguay states.

#7. Salto

Salto is Uruguay’s second-largest city, and it borders the majestic Rio Uruguay. It lies in northwestern Uruguay and is the terminus for the shallow-draft vessels that travel over the Uruguay River.

In this city of Uruguay, wine production, orange-drink bottling, and meat processing are notable among its industries. They mainly utilize locally grown fruits in their wine production, and their vineyards are also considered the best in the country.

So, if you have it in mind to visit Uruguay, it will be to your best advantage if you stay over in Salto. Moreover, the presence of soothing thermal springs at Dayman for you to unwind in makes relaxation in this area cozy and heavenly. It also has little riverside walks for enjoyment.

#8. Montevideo

Of the places to see when you visit Uruguay, Montevideo is the most fascinating to explore. This city of Uruguay serves as home to nearly half of Uruguay’s population. In addition, it is the capital of Uruguay, so it is a place full of life, with loads of theatres and music venues for performance and art galleries for sightseeing.

Montevideo has a lively cultural scene. In addition, there are lots of tango bars, trendy cocktail lounges, and discos all over the city.

Below are the characteristics that make Montevideo an exceptional sight to behold;

  • The presence of the Teatro Solis, which borders the impressive Plaza Independencia
  • The Mercado del Puerto is full of shops and restaurants that sell delicious local cuisine.
  • The scenic La Rambla borders the bay and is perfect for taking strolls.
  • Beautiful nearby beaches
  • The stupendous Estadio Centenario for football.
  • The Basilica del Sanctisimo Sacramento is wonderful to behold.
  • The Colonia del Sacramento known for its cobblestoned Barrio Histórico, and many more.

#8. Carmelo

Carmelo, home to beaches like Playa Sere, is a city that lies in the western part of Uruguay. It is a town on Río de la Plata (an estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River at Punta Gorda) and is also surrounded by wineries such as Narbona.

Carmelo has a central promenade (Rambla de Los Constituyentes), leading to a yacht and the Plaza Independencia (main square), which lies just north. Carmelo is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination. This is due to the wonderful old buildings and the cobbled streets that make up a greater part of the town. It has a lovely waterfront from which you can take boat trips to the Parana Delta. In addition, there are a variety of activities for visitors to check out, such as fishing, yachting, and other watersports.

#9. Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento is one of the oldest cities, if not the oldest city in Uruguay. This city of Uruguay has astonishing colonial architecture and picturesque old cobbled streets all around.

It is situated in southwestern Uruguay on the San Gabriel Peninsula, which juts into the Rio de la Plata across from Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the capital of the Colombia department, and its historic quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Currently, it produces textiles and has a free trade zone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which city is better for students in Uruguay?

The best city for a student in Uruguay is Montevideo. The reason is that Montevideo has a diverse culture, scenic views, and vibrant lifestyle, which is more accommodating to students.

Is English the official Language in Uruguay?

The answer to this is No! The official language in Uruguay is Spanish. However, about 15% of Uruguayans speak Uruguayan Portuguese, particularly those living north of Uruguay and towards the Brazilian border.

What this means for international students and foreign citizens who intend to travel to Uruguay is that they must know how to speak and understand at least the basics Spanish language.

Can foreign nationals own properties in Uruguay?

Yes, foreign nationals who wish to own properties in Uruguay can own one. The government of Uruguay did not place any restrictions on buying properties. The only thing that you need to do is to enquire to know the guidelines and procedures.

How can a foreign citizen apply for residency in Uruguay?

A foreign citizen can apply for residency in Uruguay, but they have first to enter the country as a tourist. After they enter the Uruguay territory, they can make their application in person at Uruguay’s national immigration office, Dirección Nacional de Migración (DNM).

Conclusion

If you’re visiting different cities in Uruguay, you need to contact your host or the hotel staff you booked beforehand and find out everything that you need to know; but in all, there are a lot of beautiful places and things to see when you visit Uruguay.

Make no mistake! A lot of things in Uruguay are not the same as in your country.