8 Reasons Why Uruguay Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Uruguay is a country in South America that is rich in culture and history. As the second-smallest country on the continent, Uruguay is often overlooked by travelers and overshadowed by its neighbors Brazil and Argentina. But this magical coastal country is well worth adding to your travel bucket list, and here are just a few more reasons why.
Perched on the coast of the Atlantic, Uruguay has numerous beaches with stunning backdrops. Punta del Este, La Barra, Manantiales, and Jose Ignacio are go-to beach destinations.
This capital city truly embraces Uruguayans’ casual attitude toward life. You can walk most of the city and be sure to visit the Ciudad Vieja and Barrio Sur neighborhoods for a good taste of traditional life.
Uruguay is a major beef exporter, and grass-fed cattle is the norm and a staple in their daily diets. When visiting, try chivito (a stacked steak sandwich) or pamplona (fillet stuffed with cheese and red bell peppers then wrapped in bacon).
From energetic street parties to traditional cuisine, Carnaval in Uruguay is a feast for the eyes and the soul. The two-month celebration usually begins in mid-January and is largely based on candombe, dance, and rhythms devised by African slaves in the 19th century.
Colonia del Sacramento
Go back in time with a visit to Colonia del Sacramento, a town founded by the Portuguese in 1680 and barely touched by modernity to this day. This UNESCO-protected village is home to a 17th-century convent, lighthouse and drawbridge not to mention vintage cars and cobbled streets.
Wine is Thriving
Although Uruguay’s wine country is small, it is thriving and growing. There are four wine regions along the coastline where you can sample wine made from the best grapes in the country while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
Uruguay’s natural landscape is perfect for exploring the outdoors and partaking in its many outdoor adventures. From hiking to kitesurfing or hot air ballooning, there is no shortage of activities for the thrill-seeking traveler.
Marijuana laws are extremely progressive in Uruguay. In 2013, the sticky green was legalized and now locals can sell, buy and grow marijuana legally. Although visitors can’t legally buy pot, they can certainly accept gifts and smoke it freely.