Lesser known than its more glamourous neighbours Brazil and Argentina, South America's little hidden gem holds its own as an intriguing up-and-coming destination for adventurers eager to discover new frontiers and unleash their inner gaucho. Fuelled by charming rural estancias, rolling countryside, wooded valleys, colonial old towns, a jet-set beach scene, and home to one of the continent’s most cosmopolitan cities, a holiday to laid-back Uruguay feels wonderfully undiscovered and never ceases to amaze.
For such a compact country, Uruguay has plenty to offer travellers keen to admire nature’s artistry; from horseback riding under big skies to relaxing on pristine sandy beaches.
For faded grandeur but plenty of charisma, capital Montevideo is one of Latin America’s most cosmopolitan cities, and visit-worthy for its art deco buildings, tango bars, and harbour. Explore Ciudad Vieja (Old Town), visit the Carnival Museum, and embark on your meat-eating odyssey at the steakhouses around Mercado del Puerto.
Set on the east bank of the Río de la Plata, UNESCO-listed Colonia del Sacramento is an irresistible gem that lures with cobblestoned streets, ruined forts, Portuguese-influenced colonial architecture and an elegant promenade. Visit the historic quarter Barrio Histórico, and see dazzling city views from the whitewashed lighthouse.
For beach lounging perfection, the glamorous playground of Punta del Este is one of South America’s most exclusive resorts. Complete with luxury hotels, upscale restaurants, and a 200-kilometre stretch of sand, this has been the favoured summer destination of well-heeled Brazilians and Argentineans for decades. Head to the northern end of Punta del Este for La Barra, a charming beach town famed for its art galleries, cafes, seafood, and uncrowded sands.
Take a tour to the northeast for José Ignacio, the fishing village turned chic coastal retreat that lures with an understated and bohemian vibe. Head here to spend sun-soaked days on pristine sands, dine at casually elegant restaurants, and seek out tucked-away beach bars.
To experience the wide-open grandeur of Uruguay’s gaucho country, stay at one of the working ranches known as estancias. Dotted throughout the countryside, these authentic and family-friendly lodgings are where you can learn to ride a horse, go fishing, and perfect your asado (barbecue) skills.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942