Uruguay: A small country with a big heart
Pristine beaches, impressive cities, colonial towns, huge steaks, happening nightlife and a year-round mild climate.
Nestled between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay may be South America’s second smallest country but it manages to pack plenty in, from windsurfing along sandy beaches; bathing in thermal springs; dune walking; taking in the colonial architecture and watching cowboys stunt riding.
Uruguay has many great places to visit; here are some of the highlights:
Known for its miles of beaches, luxurious hotels, restaurants and never-ending reasons to party, Punta del Este is one of South America’s most popular beach resorts.
Come summer or winter there are always plenty of activities on offer – rent bikes, skates, or beach rackets; learn to surf; take a city tour; go to Gorriti Island and check out the 18th century fortresses and charming beaches or just enjoy the incredible sunset of Punta Ballena.
A great city to visit any time of the year, Uruguay’s capital is place of Spanish-Italian art deco designs and cultural diversity. This vibrant, eclectic place has charming small museums, traditional markets, beaches and 30km of beautiful coastline.
Visit the Football Museum at the Estadio Centenario, where the Uruguayan football team won the 1930 World Cup, or take a walk around the Plaza Independencia, the city’s most important square, meeting place and central hub.
Montevideo is also home to the Montevideo carnival, the longest carnival in the world lasting more than 40 days between January and March. Everyone eats, breathes and dreams of carnival time, when the streets are filled with theatre, song, comedy, dancing and drumming.
Check out our hostels in Montevideo and see where to stay.
Colonia del Sacramento has winding, cobbled streets, a vibrant history and a wonderful view overlooking the Río de la Plata. Visit the city’s museum, lighthouse, drawbridge and bullring; go to the oldest church in Uruguay, the ‘Iglesia Matriz'; or check out the many restaurants, bars and nightlife spots. Stay at the El Galope Farm Hostel, a small hostel outside of the city ideal for relaxing, horseback riding and exploring the countryside.
Punta del Diablo
A small rural fishing village, Punta del Diablo has a rustic charm, great surfing and miles of beach coastline. In the summer you’ll find people sunbathing on the beach, surfing or partying the night away in one of the town’s nightclubs. In winter it’s a much quieter affair, with deserted beaches and the chance to enjoy this idyllic setting away from the busy city.
Stay at the Unplugged Hostel Punta del Diablo, located close to the beach.
Hostelling International offers hostels throughout Uruguay – check out our Uruguay page for a full list of hostels and make your booking today!