So what kind of vacation will you have in Uruguay?
The unassuming South American nation of Uruguay is off-the-radar to most Europeans and North Americans. But Brazilians and Argentines have been flocking here for over a century—millions of the world’s most infamous pleasure seekers can’t be wrong.
Walk deserted beaches year round
Roam the sandy streets of hippie hideaways next to the Brazilian border in Rocha, commune with thousands of seals in the Hebridean solitude of Cabo Polonio and chill out in Jose Ignacio, a laid-back fishing town frequented by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Shakira. Uruguay has an extremely short high season when glamour puss hot spots team with Brazilian magnates and Argentine super models. The remaining ten months of the year you’ll have the entire beach pretty much to yourself.
Step back into a kinder, gentler time–the untouched Uruguay interior
Uruguayans refer to anywhere beyond Montevideo and the coast as “the interior” or “Uruguay profundo”. As you head into Deep Uruguay, the land is virtually untouched by development. You’ll cross more gauchos on horseback—South American cowboys—than cars. Take a few days to step back into a kinder, gentler time.
A few nights on one of Uruguay’s traditional cattle and sheep ranches known as estancias is unforgettable. There are options, from elegant country hotels to rustic farms, to suit all tastes and pockets.
Experience the friendliest wine country ever
If you’re wondering why you haven’t tried Uruguayan wine yet, it may be because the entire wine production of Uruguay is equivalent that of just one medium-size vineyard in neighbouring Argentina. Seriously.
A visit to a winery in Uruguay is still a uniquely friendly and personal experience. Your host will often be the actual owner or wine-maker, the great grand son or daughter of Italian immigrants. These are people who produce their award-winning wines themselves and bottle and label them by hand. There’s no standing on ceremony. No pomposity. Just love of wine.
Savour tomatoes that taste like tomatoes used to taste
Until five years ago “Uruguayan cuisine” was principally a slab of grass-fed beef accompanied by a ‘mixta’—a lettuce, tomato and onion salad. Noble ingredients. Super tasty. But simple. Things have really changed in the capital and on the coast with a boom in gourmet but still affordable eateries. Nowadays it is even relatively easy to be vegan.
Jeans just fine 100% of the time
Uruguayans take pride in being a very egalitarian society. No one likes to stand out and that includes regarding attitude and dress. Uruguayans dress down even at the most exclusive of locations. At the beach and in the countryside the dress code is so laid-back as to be non-existent. Do yourself a favour. Leave the formal wear at home and save space for the wine you’re going to want to bring back.
Take your pick of seasons
Uruguay is in South America but it’s not tropical. It’s a temperate country with four seasons in the opposite order to seasons in the UK and USA.
December-February (our summer) are the hottest months with daily averages of around 90°F. Around New Year temperatures can rise above 100°F but just for a few days.
March-May (our fall) You can swim until April when the waters are warmest after heating up all summer. These months are particularly lovely weather-wise, days are mild (70°F), and there are frequent Indian summers.
September-November (our spring) With temperatures around 70°F, spring is a wonderful time to visit. It may be a bit cold for most people’s idea of swimming but it’s the prefect time to visit an estancia as the countryside is in full bloom with newborn animals.
June-August (our winter) Even during the coldest months, the average sunlight hours are 6-7 hours a day. And even if you hit rain, like Matt Landau of The Vacation Rental Show during his July visit to Montevideo, imbibe of the wine and live music.
So get planning your vacation in Uruguay
Equip yourself with the only travel guides ‘made in Uruguay’. Being so small, Uruguay typically gets relegated to a chapter in a guidebook to Argentina. It’s not because there’s little to do, it’s because up until now all the travel guides have been written by people who jet in for a few weeks. Now Uruguay has the guides that do it proud. The author of this website and the Guru’Guay guides is a Brit who has lived almost twenty years in Montevideo and has accrued all the contacts and secret destinations that only a local could have.