Uruguay has to be one of South America’s best-kept secrets. As a cruise holiday destination it has just about everything you could want – glorious beaches, atmospheric cities, quaint towns and beautiful rolling countryside. Undoubtedly, one the must-see places to visit is its capital, Montevideo. This cosmopolitan city oozes with art deco buildings, wonderful shopping districts, a beachfront promenade and all the bars and restaurants you could want. [ReadMoreMob]
The narrow cobbled streets of the old town, Ciudad Vieja, are packed with historic buildings and buzzing plazas. Whilst in the city, you must visit the aptly named Bouza Winery to taste some of the local produce.
When it comes to eating, most restaurants are parrilladas (grill-rooms) with plenty of chorizo, seafood and meat on offer, plus you’ll also find a lot of Italian food on the menu.Its compact size means that during your cruise to Uruguay you will be able to see a good part of the country, but you’ll find yourself wanting to return to check out the parts you missed first time round.
La Rabida Ranch
More than three quarters of Uruguay is accounted for by its estancias (ranches), which were inhabited in the 18th and 19th centuries by nomadic, heroic cowboys known as ‘gauchos’ (a national symbol). La Rabida is a working example, over a century old.
No visit to Uruguay would be complete without a mouthwatering chivito – a sandwich consisting of beef, tomato, mozzarella, olives and mayonnaise. Other common additions include bacon, ham, fried egg, lettuce and bell peppers.
Isla de Flores
This small island, reachable by boat, is, among other things, a former political prison, and has a historic lighthouse. Over 30 species of bird reside on the island. It has been nicknamed ‘Seal Island’ due to its vast quantities of South American fur seals.
Candombe derives from African slaves and has been an integral part of Uruguayan culture for centuries. Its unmistakable rhythm is created by three drums: chico, piano and repique. The combination of music, dance and costume creates a carnival atmosphere.
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Isla de Lobos
The ‘Isle of Wolves’ is in fact home to the largest colonies of South American sea lions and South American fur seals in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, southern elephant seals and orcas have been known to frequent the area.
South America is known for its warm climate and beautiful beaches. Within the Punta del Este area, both Playa Mansa and Playa Brava are popular choices, the latter also home to an unusual sculpture titled La Mano (The Hand) which emerges from the sand.
Between June and October, southern right whales migrate to the waters off the coast of Uruguay, and in some places where the water is deep enough, these magnificent creatures will come close enough to the shore to be spotted from the beaches.
Chivito sandwich - Punta del Este
Uruguay's national dish translates as 'little goat', despite goat meat not typically featuring in this delicious sandwich. More commonly you will find thinly sliced beef, mozzarella, olives, tomato and mayonnaise, served alongside French fries.
Cruises to Uruguay
Exploration of South America and the Antarctic • L2301Save to favourites
- An unforgettable South American & Antarctic discovery
- Revel in the sights and cultural highlights of iconic cities
- Witness the wonders of the Galapagos, Andes and Patagonia