The hidden beauty of South America flourishing in the neighborhood of Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is set on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and makes for a beautiful holiday destination. The country has got some of the best unknown beauties of the Americas. Pristine uncrowded beaches and diverse culture are the major attractions here. However, the country also has a great share of vibrant wildlife. Come here and find an amazing mix of American and European cultures. Admire their lifestyle and also get to explore a bunch of age-old marvels. Here are the top 10 things to do in Uruguay. Read on and plan to visit this unexplored gem of the Americas this season.
Top Things To Do In Uruguay
1. Take a History Tour of Colonia Del Sacramento
The historic centre of Colonia Del Sacremento is a must-visit place in Uruguay for it houses an incredible range of buildings to look out for. Founded in the late medieval period by the Portuguese, the historic vibes here take you on a tour back in time. Scrutinize the architecture of the city gate, the light house, the wharf and more and admire the artistry this UNESCO Heritage town boasts of. Take a walk at the waterfront or spot the old city map on ceramic tiles. The town has a lot to give to its visitors!
Average Cost: $10 – $12 per person
Timings: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm
Pro Tip: Sneak into the street leading to Iglesia Matriz as you would find a bunch of vintage cars there.
2. Visit the Hot Springs of Uruguay
You can not miss this great experience in Uruguay. Thermal hot springs are quite popular in the country and are loved by locals as well as international tourists for their therapeutic properties. Arapey is claimed to be the oldest thermal resort in Uruguay and hence, it witnesses visitors in a large number. Take a dip in these soothing warm waters where temperature ranges in between 39°C and 45° C. Feel your nerves revitalize as you lie in these comfortable waters. The places also offer beautiful cottages and green spaces.
Average Cost: $80 – $120 per person
Timings: 07:00 am to 06:00 pm
Pro Tip: If you have problems like arthrosis, rheumatism, or any other bone diseases, then do spend some time in these waters as they are good for healing.
3. Indulge in Horse Riding
The Pampas of Uruguay featuring unending green landscapes with hills adding extra charm to its existence are perfect for horse-riding in Uruguay. Exploring these natural expanses on a horseback is surely one of the best things to do in Uruguay. Take a breath of fresh air and relish the lushness the country stores. This unique landscape is best explored on a horseback and that’s why horse-riding has become popular amongst tourists visiting the country. Go on a ride with a cowboy and also learn about their daily lifestyle and culture.
Average Cost: $100 – $125 per guided horse riding tour
Ideal Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm
Pro Tip: Go online and you would find a number of places in Uruguay that offers horseback riding along with food and accommodation at decent prices
4. Experience Hiking at Punta del Diablo
A serene quaint village on the seaside with about a thousand residents, Punta Del Diablo is a quiet village that gets flooded with tourists during the peak season. People come here from around the country and beyond to mingle with the calmness it nurtures. Take a boat ride in the waters or spot beautiful birds roaming around. Lounge by the beach or find yourself lost in the richness of the nearby Saint Teresa National Park. The village has high-end restaurants, shopping centers, budget accommodation and more to look forward to.
Average Cost: $50 per guided hike during low season
Timings: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: If possible, stay overnight at Punta del Diablo so you can explore around early in the morning away from the tourist crowd. The place has a number of budget stays and hostels.
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5. Explore the Sands of Jose Ignacio
Another village of fishermen that has become a resort town, Jose Ignacio is often touted to be the world’s best beach town. Take a walk through its sands and explore the seaside cocktail bars, terraced restaurants, and more. Whether you are here on a family vacation or are looking for romantic air, Jose Ignacio serves the best. From going hippie in its streets to calmly lying by shores, there is a lot to do and enjoy while in this beautiful town. So, how about a holiday by the sea this season?
Entry fee: No entrance fee
Pro Tip: There is a scarcity of taxis in the area and hence, drive your own vehicle or rent one for the round trip as well.
6. Visit the Coastal Beauty of Punta del Este
Coastal beauties with an urban touch have been the most popular getaways amongst tourists for centuries and Punta Del Este is one such place where you can find extreme vigor on streets as well as tranquility on the coast. This modern city is the place where party never goes off and the touristy vibes are alive throughout the day and night. The place is quite popular amongst party lovers as every year a number of famous DJs host their programs in the city. Party all night, go shopping for international brands, try cocktails at bars and a lot more. Punta Del Este is also a favourite spot for numerous celebrities.
Average Cost: $30 – $50
Pro Tip: The best when you would find the city in full glory is from November to January.
7. Enjoy Wine Tasting at Carmelo
Uruguay is quite a winner when it comes to producing the best of wines in South America, though Argentina takes away the crown. But the kind of tastes Uruguay has is surely something every wine lover would appreciate. Carmelo produces some of the best wines in the Americas with its specialty in the Tannat grape. So, take yourself on this wonderful tour at family-run boutique wineries and savour the classic tastes of the beverage. Wine tasting at Carmelo is truly a beautiful experience!
Average Cost: $120 – $140 per group of 3 person
Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: Wine tasting is best done with utter patience. Hence, reserve a few hours for it.
8. Go offbeat at Cabo Polonio
How about taking the road less travelled and discovering hidden beauties? Well, Cabo Polonio is one such destination in Uruguay that would surely leave you awestruck with its picturesque setting. Due to its natural beauty and location off the coast, it is gaining popularity as a summer retreat. People who look forward to escaping the busy lives of cities can be found chilling in the quarters at Cabo Polonio. So, take a tour and explore its sunsets, shores, colorful houses and more.
Entry fee: No entrance fee
Pro Tip: The place is extremely offbeat and has a shortage of electricity and water. So, make sure you are prepared for it before you plan your outing.
9. Try Out the National Dish of Uruguay
Being the national dish of Uruguay it would be a sin to not try the delicious Chivito sandwich on your visit here. Prepared from asado-cooked beef and using mozzarella, mayos, bacon, olive, eggs and more, this flavoursome delicacy would surely leave a tasteful explosion in your mouth. So, get ready to serve the foodie in you as you go on a sandwich tour in the food markets in the cities of Uruguay. Chivito sandwich is the country’s everlasting flavour.
Average Cost: $6 – $8 per dish at an above average restaurant
Pro Tip: If you love snacks, then empanadas would make for a great eat-on-the-go option.
10. Partake in Carnival Bliss
The festival of culture and colour, the Carnival season is a long event in Uruguay that fills the country’s capital Montevideo with music concerts, dance performances and other shows. It is the longest and one of the most awaited festivals in South America as it lasts for more than a month wherein people from around the continent partake in various activities. Theatrical shows, open-air parades and traditional drumming are some of the major attractions in this beautiful carnival. After all, Uruguay’s festivals are often about celebrating culture and art.
Entry fee: No entrance fee
Timings: Between January and February
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