Visit Uruguay in 2020

Uruguay countryside | Discover Your South America Blog

Visit Uruguay in 2020

For those in the know, Uruguay has been a much-loved travel destination in South America for many years. But now that Lonely Planet have released their Best in Travel List for 2020, naming Uruguay as one of the top 10 countries to visit, the secret’s out. For us at Surtrek, this comes as no surprise. We are thrilled that Lonely Planet recognises Uruguay’s unique draws, from the wild countryside to exciting cities, breathtaking beaches to rolling winelands. So, keep reading to find out why you should visit Uruguay in 2020 and how you can make your trip totally unforgettable.

Uruguay | Discover Your South America
Vineyard (Pixabay)

Visit Uruguay in 2020 for… its people

One of the most remarkable things about Uruguay is just how warm the locals are here. Not only will you encounter ‘laidback, welcoming and down-to-earth people’ (as the Lonely Planet describes), but you’ll also find a forward-thinking society. For one, Uruguay is considered the most gay-friendly country in South America, generally promoting a tolerant and accepting atmosphere for members of the LGBTQ+ community. As an example, homosexuality was decriminalised in 1934 (compared to 1967 in the UK) and gay marriage was legalised at the start of 2013. Additionally, other aspects that reflect Uruguay’s progressive policies are its stance towards sustainable tourism and even marijuana legalisation. Of course, that’s not to say that Uruguay is a perfect country, but it’s certainly taking the steps towards inclusion and tolerance.

Montevideo Wine tasting in Uruguay
[Holiday Photos / “The Wine Experience, Montevideo”] [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Visit Uruguay in 2020 for… the buzzing cities

Populated as it is with young and entrepreneurial people, Uruguay is such an exciting place right now. Across the cities, there’s electrifying nightlife, trendy bars, hip cafés, imaginative restaurants and quirky boutiques too. Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, is the beating heart of it all. Here, you can gorge on moreish street food – like Choripan, Sopaipilla and Empanadas. Or, experience elegant fine dining at distinguished steakhouses. You can also witness fine art at top galleries and museums – such as the Art History Museum and Decorative Arts Museum. Or, admire vibrant street art splayed across the walls of El Bajo in the Ciudad Vieja. In addition, Montevideo was the birthplace (along with Buenos Aires) for tango, and is still a major hub for the hypnotic dance. So, be sure to catch a live performance during your stay here. We love the venues Primuseum and El Milongón, both of which offer an exquisite meal paired with the tango show.

Tango in Montevideo - Montevideo city guide
[Bicentenario Uruguay / “Instrucciones Año XIII – Tango por el Ballet del SODRE”] [CC BY 2.0]

Visit Uruguay in 2020 for… the beautiful countryside

Uruguay is significantly smaller than its neighbours, Brazil and Argentina, but it still boasts plenty of beautiful, rolling countryside. The landscapes comprise fertile lowlands, undulating plains, woodlands and wild meadows, carved up by the Uruguay River which leads to the Rio de la Plata estuary. The latter meets the Atlantic Ocean between Argentina and Uruguay, with the total coastline of the country unfolding for 660km. As such, the result is a picturesque confection of natural scenes, prime for horseback rides with local gauchos, long walks through the countryside, and relaxing moments spent soaking up the view from your hotel’s veranda.

Uruguay countryside | Discover Your South America Blog
Mai Rodriguez, ‘Canon AE1’ (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Visit Uruguay in 2020 for… the beaches

Speaking of coastline, Uruguay is one of the best destinations in South America for beach holidays. Punta del Este is the most famous resort town of all, beloved for its calm, sandy beach on the Rio de la Plata side, La Mansa; and the wavy, surf-friendly waters of La Brava beach on the Atlantic Ocean side. It’s also where you’ll find the famous La Mano sculpture – a huge hand rising up from the sand. However, there are plenty of other beach towns to discover in Uruguay: Cabo Polonia, Jose Ignacio, Punta del Diablo, Piriapolis, and others too. Whether a lively coastal town or quiet fishing village, each of Uruguay’s coastal hubs is well worth a visit.

Cabo Polonia, Uruguay | Discover Your South America Blog
Cabo Polonia, Uruguay (Pixabay)

Visit Uruguay in 2020 for… the wine

We’ve praised the wine-tasting experiences to be had in Uruguay before on our blog, but it can’t be overstated how fantastic it actually is. European immigrants brought the tradition over in the 18th century, and would be delighted to know that their descendants are still producing exquisite wines in Uruguay to this day. There are so many boutique bodegas that are open for wine-tasting tours, including the Varela Zarranz, Los Cerros de San Juan, Irurtia and Garzón Bodegas – just a few of our favourites. Then, in terms of top wine regions, you have Canelones, Maldonado, Colonia, Rivera, and even the outskirts of Montevideo. Our advice? Visit Uruguay and taste its mouth-watering wine in 2020, before the secret is well and truly out!

Varela Zarranz - Wine tasting in Uruguay
Varela Zarranz

Tempted to visit Uruguay in 2020? Start planning your trip today using our free online tool. Handpick the hotels and activities you want, adjust the durations depending on how long you want to stay in each place, and have fun in the process! Surtrek is always at hand to help out. Call us on 1 866 978 7398 (Canada and USA) or 080 8189 0438 (UK) to talk to an expert, and Discover Your South America with Surtrek!

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