It's amazing when you realize that such a small country has so much talent among only 3 million human beings.
Uruguayans are few, and in a tiny territory too, but they have tremendous vibe.
From the plane, arriving to Uruguay.
They are far from being "another province of Argentina" (with all the respect that Argentina deserves).
Of Argentines? Only the accent.
Uruguayans could be defined as an enigmatic mixture between the divine Argentine petulance, and the humble, shyness and respect of t Charrúa's aborigines. It is difficult for me to think or remember people braver than the Uruguayans. Maybe it has to do with the same half-warrior blood of their ancestors that is still alive in them, in one way or another.
They are dreamers and of kind heart, creative and with the different artistic forms printed in their forms.
The Uruguayans stand out.
What is it about that small country with so few inhabitants that captivates in such a way?
I do not know yet...
In Uruguay you have the possibility to visit many tourist places in a very short time.
Montevideo, its capital, although it is the great city of the country, is a rather quiet. People walk relaxed through its streets with the thermos of mate under their shoulders. It seems like they had their own rhythm, a harmonious and slow dance, which, for those who come from outside and with an accelerated rhythm, can generate a slight despair.
Do not despair! They live in the country where, "The world out there may be falling, and in Uruguay we did not even realize it", as they say.
They live and move as if they were in a reality parallel to the crazy world that is beyond their borders. There, it doesn't happen; stress is not part of Uruguay, and observing them is tremendous therapy.
And what else do they need? They have talent and infinite virtues, "ta, what's the matter, it's ok" as they said.
In Montevideo I recommend staying in Pocitos or Punta Carretas neighborhoods. They are central and quiet (yes, even quieter), safe and organized.
A MANDATORY stop, without pretexts or excuses, is the famous Mercado del Puerto. Barbecue roasted on wood, with a smoky touch. Just delicious!
Unlike my country, in Uruguay EVERYTHING can go to the grill. Potatoes, vegetables, meat (of course) and ... really, all kinds of food! They believe they are very good for barbecue, because the truth is that they are. Do not miss the grilled potatoes with cheese, Provolone and a steak. (I'm not a big fan of meat, but Mercado del Puerto deserves it).
It is also a MUST try the famous Chivito Canadiense, the panchos with mustard of La Pasiva and the dulce de leche of Lapataia ...
About international cuisine, they are not far behind. Sushi in Uruguay is one of the best I have ever tasted. Without a doubt, the one I liked the most was a restaurant that didn't stands or looks fancy on its facade, but inside was so beautiful: SushiTrue. You can eat on the floor in the most authentic Japanese style, and the way they serve you is wonderful (in some wooden boats, all very well decorated).
Taste and eat everything! In Uruguay they eat very well and everything much more natural, without as much chemical as in other places.
I almost forget the Medio y Medio! which was consecrated as my favorite drink ... Mixture of white and sparkling wine !. I just love it.
In Montevideo, it is also mandatory to take a good mate shared in the rambla, with a view of the Río de la Plata, imagining what happens in the other side of the river, while here everyone relaxes with mate, marijuana and friends. There is no rush, but rather, much peace, laughter and good vibes.
I recommend going to Colonia del Sacramento for several reasons:
- First of all, for being a World Heritage Site, and, according to my vision, you can agree or disagree with that denomination, but the places awarded with this declaration, have something to tell us or show us and, therefore, they deserve to be visited.
In this sense, Colonia del Sacramento is striking for its Spanish / Portuguese colonial style streets dressed in cobblestones, and constructions reflecting military tradition. All those beautiful colonial buildings that date from the year 1600 are in front of the Rio de la Plata, in front of the crazy Buenos Aires.
It is a picturesque place, very very beautiful. Those who like period architecture will love this place.
- Second reason why I recommend Colonia is because you can do a historical / cultural tour. It is not very expensive and there are agencies that walk you, either on foot or by car. As is a small town, you can learn a lot in a short time, about the country and its culture.
I wanted to keep the best for the end...
PUNTA DEL ESTE
What an amazing vibe has Punta!
All women are looking cool and beautiful and with a immersed sense of fashion to go dancing at night or to go to the beach. Because in Punta del Este a bikini is not enough, so the most diverse and numerous amount of accessories is added to each outfit.
Men are not behind. They also worry about going out in style, looking handsome and very neat.
Punta del Este is located a few kilometers from Montevideo, and the road is nice and modern.
Although I am not very fond of painting, I think it is essential to visit Casapueblo, a building built by the Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. There is a museum and a cafeteria. You can learn more about the artist's life thanks to his galleries and short films with his biography. It is a beautiful construction, with thirteen floors and terraces that face the Atlantic Ocean, with a privileged view.
Places to stay and what to do in Punta:
- Hotel Il Belvedere: Beautiful, and allows you to combine the daily tranquility of Uruguay with beautiful landscapes, spa and jacuzzi, hiking, trekking and gym, all down the dirt road you find all the "madness with style" of Punta del Este .
I also enjoyed visiting Lapataia, tea room of the same brand of one of the most delicious dulce de leche I have ever tasted! The place is open only in summer and it is so touristy that it is convenient to book. It's like a beautiful country house!
However, a place to have tea with the most delicious varieties of waffles, which you can add from nutella to cheese (it can be sweet or salted) and with a French air in the middle of nature is L'Auberge. It is not in the center of Punta, but it is definitely worth visiting. I definitely fell in love with this place. It is elegant and homely at the same time, with that vintage touch so fashionable. Everything you choose there will be delicious (I checked, I went at least 4 times). I recommend it 100%.
If we talk about party, Punta is the best! - Not because of nothing have they called it the Latin American Ibiza-. There are open places with no time limit, and the summer weather favors the parties on the beach, in the middle of the sand and the sea. Amazing.
Instead of going to Ovo (from the Enjoy hotel), which is typical for tourists and finally has the same concept as the other clubs, I recommend going to Tequila, Ocean Club, or one of those bars in the beach side near the port. If you make friends with the place and invite you to a private party, even better! But beware, in Punta del Este the dress code is very important, everything very fashionable.
Finally, to go to lunch or to eat after a party, I recommend the restaurant Guappa, in Punta's rambla, obviously drinking a Paraguayan clericó. You will probably get a bit drunk again, but who cares! You're in Punta and it's summer: the party is the most important thing.
Date to go: Definitely JANUARY.