Friday, 3 May 2013

Uruguay travels: Party in Punta Del Este, get culture in Montevideo and history in Colonia Del Sacramento

Overview of Uruguay

Uruguay is one of South America's hidden treasures. The most famous location is likely to be the capital, Montevideo. However, many South Americans will associate Uruguay with being a playground of the rich and famous. The coastal resorts of Punta Del Este are very exclusive and expensive, and during the summer months much of the wealthy in Argentina make their holiday here.
Food in Uruguay - Decidely Argentinean

The food and drinks in Uruguay is very similar to Argentina, you will find steaks, malbec wine, Argentinian style coffee and medialunas. The accent is very similar to the Porteno accent (Buenos Aires) and for a foreigner it is difficult to tell apart.

PUNTA DEL ESTE - Author Summ and Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Places to see in Uruguay

Key places to visit when in Uruguay; Punta Del Este, Colonia and Montevideo. Punta Del Este is a very tourist oriented summer beach town. Well heeled South Americans, particularly from Argentina, will often own summer houses here. It is surprisingly expensive in the peak season. Drinks and meals can often be at more European prices and the hotels can be more expensive, as well. The town is around 1 hour north of Montevideo, which ensures that the water is clear of the brown colour that the mouth of the Pirana river creates. If you are in South America in January and February, Punta Del Este, will be alive. There will be plenty of nightlife, meanwhile all the restaurants and bars will be busy.

Montevideo is Uruguay's capital, it is approximately 90 minutes from Colonia (the first stop in Uruguay from the Hovercraft from Buenos Aires). The City has a few modern indoor malls and some great eats around the town. The old town has some great nightlife and restaurants, culminating in mercado del puerto. The mercado del puerto is a feast for all the senses. It is an old covered market place full of fresh parrillas cooking a wide range of meats.

A Parrilla in Montevideo at the Mercado Del Puerto - Image courtesy of Wikipedia / Author Gonzalo Velasco.

Colonia is the first town from the Hovercraft from Buenos Aires, which takes 30-40 mins. It has a great river view, but is also quite an old and quaint town. The majority of the centre of the town is cobbled. It is an old Spanish colonial town and one of the oldest settlements in that part of the continent. The town is quite touristic due to its proximity to Buenos Aires, therefore there are lots of places to eat on the river, art and craft shops and the like. Altogether the town has a lovely atmosphere and somewhat of an old European feel.

All in all, Uruguay has much to offer and is easily accessible from Buenos Aires. Here 3 places have been highlighted but there is much more to see