Uruguay is one of South America’s undiscovered travel gems, with surprisingly varied trips for travellers seeking an authentic holiday experience.
Nestled between Brazil, Argentina and its rugged Atlantic Ocean coast, Uruguay features a large number of sandy beaches.
It is also home to rolling hills and vast, wide open spaces in the countryside as well as friendly people, great food and tango.
The capital, Montevideo, is vibrant and features some beautiful French and Italian colonial buildings.
Local also have a fervant passion for tango. The most famous singer of all time, Carlos Gardel, is claimed as a Uruguayan and has a museum dedicated to him.
And for wine and barbecues – say it quietly, but this country can more than rival the more well-known Argentinian varieties.
The coast has lovely beaches and warms seas, which the locals flock to, to relax, swim and sunbathe.
Inland and into the countryside you can stay at estancias to taste the rural life.
Uruguay has a charming, warm, friendly population of only 3 million, and a little-known but perfect destination made for horse riding.
Self-drive trips around the coast and the interior are also lovely, laid back ways to see this delightfully relaxed country.
Below you will find a few of the many attractions Uruguay has to offer for your holiday.
Uruguay’s 660km of white sand coastline, capes and dunes are almost completely deserted and unspoiled.
Drive north past Punta del Este and into more remote areas for wild and beautiful coast.
The fishing village of José Ignacio is the new up-and-coming place to stay, while La Pedreda calls to surfers, kite-surfers and eco-travellers.
Cabo Polonio is another old fishing village now turned eco/hippy resort. It’s basic with little electricity, but has a huge sea lion colony, peaceful waters to swim in and beautiful sunsets and clear skies for star gazing.
Further up, Punta del Diablo has more of a nightime scene as well as good swimming beaches.
A famous former Portuguese colonial outpost, Colonia is a step into a bygone age. Wander slowly past old and pretty colonial buildings, set in picturesque, quiet streets
There are two or three good restaurants to try, a couple of small museums worth a visit and you can swim in the refreshing Rio de la Plata river.
El Buen Suspiro (the good whisper) is Colonia’s most famous street. Some say its name derives from the enticing whispers of the prostitutes that worked here, others that it was the last breath of animals that were slaughtered here.
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First of all I’d like to say thank you for organising this amazing trip for us, the whole holiday surpassed my expectations.
The trip to Bolivia was a highlight, the organisation and the landscape, enhanced by our Bolivian guide Roger, and our driver Abel. Hotel Tayka del Desierto was a great experience - the starry night!
We were really impressed with all your local partner companies, when you start looking you can see there are so many out there, and wouldn’t know where to start if doing it yourself, it felt like using Andean Trails we got a guarantee of quality.
Our experience of Andean Trails has been excellent, from the work you did and the kindness and reassurance you showed me when I got stressed. When you went away Tom was very prompt and knowledgeable when answering my queries.
Also, who knew we would end up using the Emergency contacts, WhatsApp was invaluable, and Kathy was the BEST.
A Harrison, UK, Oct 2019
The highlight of our holiday was the amazing trek and being in such a remote location surrounded by the most majestic, beautiful mountains. It was absolutely awesome.
Accommodation: It was great in Lima and comfortable in Huaraz with a fantastic rooftop breakfast!
Food: The food on the trek was excellent - we are vegetarian and the cook (Estaban) provided us with delicious, creative and beautiful food throughout and plenty of it. He was like a magician, conjuring up the loveliest food whilst camping in a remote setting.
Guide: Our trek guide (Yunmer) was great. He was extremely informative, had a great sense of humour and was really enthusiastic. He helped carry Jane's water and bag at times - not that we asked him to. He insisted! I have recently had my collarbone plated and he was keen to relieve me of the burden of carrying anything to heavy.
Trek staff: Our donkey / horse driver (Gusman) was brilliant, hard working and quietly helped around camp, setting up, taking down and moving us from one home to the next. The trekking team as a whole were exceptional, really supportive and kind and worked really well together.
Overall organisation was excellent. We felt we were in good hands and looked after well both before and after the trek.
Acclimatising: Acclimatisation walk around Huaraz with Rodolfo was a perfect start to the holiday. Rodolfo is extremely reliable, efficient, well informed and a lovely person. It was great to gain a little insight into the people and culture of the region.
The acclimatisation walk to Laguna Churup with David was another fantastic day. David has been living in the mountains for many years and shared some of his experience and knowledge with us as we surveyed the landscape of peaks, glaciers and lakes.
Benefitting local communities: The local people benefit from the presence of tourists as we provide them an income. Visiting tourists encourages everyone to look after and help maintain this pristine environment- those in the remote communities and also our own trekking team. Visiting tourists also need to respect this. The local people were very grateful that we visited them and also very grateful to Andean trails for their support. They encouraged us to return or send other friends and family. We had some great interactions with our little team and a lot of fun. Sharing our time with these lovely, charming people was very special and we felt that they benefitted as well as us.
Overall: We would strongly recommend anyone who loves nature, being outside and has a sense of adventure to do it.
It is a very special, magical place. Having seen people undertaking the trek unsupported, we felt that having a supported trek was perfect for us as we could really enjoy just being there.
Jane & Greg Windsor, Aus, Sep 2019
» Cordillera Huayhuash Trek, Circuit Walk
South America Travel Special - mailchi.mp/cad4bbf7fc36/south-…
1st November, 2019 3:14 pm
Patagonia National Park in the Chilean region of Aysen was formed in 2018 and is the combination of the Lago Jeinimeni National Reserve, Lago Cochrane/Tamango Reserve and the Parque Patagonia also known as Patagonia Park in the Chacabuco Valley. The new National Park covers an area of over 300,000 hectares. Doug and Kris Tompkins Conservationists Douglas Tompkins, the founder of The North Face and Esprit, and Kristine Tompkins first visited the Chacabuco Valley in 1995. They were captivated by a valley which they saw could become the heart of a world-class, wildlife focused national park. This would be the …
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