Uruguay or officially the Eastern Republic of Uruguay is a country in the southeastern region of South America. The capital of the country is Montevideo. Uruguay shares its borders with Brazil and Argentina. The southeastern coast of the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Uruguay has a subtropical climate with warm winters (+15°C - +17°C) and hot summers (+25°C - +30°C). The best time for beach holidays in Uruguay is from January to April and those who like to get to know the history and the culture of the country should come here in spring or in autumn.
The official language of Uruguay is Spanish. The majority of the population are the Catholics.
Uruguay is the country with beautiful beaches. On Punta del Este Beach, Colonia del Sacramento Beach and Carmelo Beach you can sunbathe and enjoy the ocean and also go fishing, underwater hunting, sailing and yachting. Boat trips, diving and surfing are also available for the tourists.
Go to the capital city Montevideo for city entertainments. There you will see historical and architectural monuments, unusual museums and the eternally long esplanade.
A travel to Uruguay is a good chance to get to know the nature of this amazing country in South America. Near Montevideo, there is the amusement Eco-park Costaventura. Not far from the resort Punta del Este, on the Lobos Island, the tourists can see the seals and rare species of birds.
Several airlines offer transit flights from Russia to Uruguay with a stop in European countries.
The travelers can fly to Uruguay with a stop in Madrid or Frankfurt. The flight lasts almost 24 hours.
You can drive to Uruguay from Argentina or Brazil by car or by bus.
There is a ferry route between Buenos Aires and Uruguay.
The tourists from Russia do not a visa to travel to Uruguay provided that they will not stay there for more than 90 days.
The citizens of Belarus, Armenia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan must obtain a visa to travel to Uruguay.
It usually takes 25 days to process the documents for a legal travel in Uruguay and to obtain a visa.
To extend the period of stay in Uruguay, one must apply to the Direccion Nacional de Migracion.
There is no currency control at the Uruguay border. The tourists can import and export foreign and national currency without limitations.
The tourists can import duty-free a limited amount of alcohol and tobacco, perfume and foods (excluding meat).
The tourists are allowed to bring two video and photo cameras and their total cost must not exceed 150 US dollars.
It is prohibited to import plants, seeds and vegetables.
It is not allowed to export the skins of animals and birds and stuffed animals and birds.
The traditional cuisine of Uruguay is famous for its great variety of meat dishes. A typical side-dish for meat is vegetable salads.
In Uruguay, the tourists should try Churrasco (grilled meat with spices), Pariliada (beef on charcoal grill) and Chivito (a sandwich-style dish with vegetable and minced meat stuffing). Do not leave Uruguay without trying famous Gaucho.
Do not miss a chance to try a national alcoholic drink Grappamiel prepared with honey. You will also enjoy the taste of such wines as Filguera, Establisimento and Juanicy.
The ones with a sweet tooth will surely enjoy the national dessert Dulce de lece which is served both as an individual dish and used as a sweet filling for fluffy pastry and cakes.
Mate is a the most popular drink in Uruguay and you will be served it everywhere, in restaurants and beaches, cold and hot, with ice, sugar and even herbs. People in Uruguay have a cult of Mate.
The locals like low-alcoholic drinks such as Clerico (a mix of white wine and fruit juice) and Medio (champagne and white wine).
The national currency is Uruguayan peso (UYU).
In circulation are the bank notes (5-2.000 UYU) and the coins (from 50 centesimos to 10 pesos).
The tourists can exchange currency at banks, in exchange offices at the airports and in large hotels.
You can pay by an international credit card in large stores and hotels, however outside Montevideo credit cards are not accepted.
In large cities, there are ATMs but they typically do not accept cards issued by the European and North American banks.
The tourists can cash traveler's checks at banks and in large hotels. Anyway, the preferred payment method is cash.
The crime rate is low in Uruguay. This is one of the safest countries in Latin America.
Details of interest
If you get bored to lying on the beach, break the monotony of the holiday and get to know the culture and everyday life of the people of Uruguay.
In October, the travelers can participate in the gastronomic festival Food&Wine which takes place in the resort city Punta del Este. The Festival consists of several unique events. Not only the best Uruguayan chefs cook on this festival but also the chefs from Argentina, Brazil, America and Israel. You will have a chance to try several dozens of wines from all over the world. The main aim of the Festival is development of Uruguay and its acknowledgment as one of the central places for gastrotourism.
Uruguay offers an unusual entertainment for the tourists and it is whale watching. This type of ecological tourism gained enormous popularity in Uruguay. You even will be taught how to take pictures of whales correctly.
From April to June, on the plantations near Jose Ignacio, the local farmers hold the Olive Harvest Festival. On the festival, you will learn how to take care of the olive plantations and get to know the technology of producing olive oil of high quality.
In February, the tourists can take part in vivacious dancing and listen to the drum rhythms on the streets of Montevideo. This is the annual Afro-Uruguayan Carnival.
Sightseeing in Uruguay
On the territory of Uruguay, there is one of the UNESCO sites. This is the Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento. The city was founded in 1680 and changed hands many times during a long-lasting fight for the South American territories. In this old city of Colonia del Sacramento, the original Portuguese buildings still remain. That is why, this is a special place in Uruguay which is different from all the other cities.
In Uruguay, there are many other sights which are of great interest:
- A trip to Laguna de Rocha near La Paloma, Laguna de Castillos near Barra de Valizas and Laguna Negra near Punta del Diablo will be an unforgettable experience. You will enjoy the beauty of the lagoons, can do surfing, kitesurfing, go fishing, underwater hunting and diving.
- In the capital city, you can see the amazing architecture of the old city Ciudad Vieja which is an eclectic mix of the European colonial and modern South American styles. In Montevideo, visit such unusual museums as Gaucho Museum and Carnival Museum.
- In the Swiss colony Suiza which is to the west of the capital, the tourists can try the dairy products of Uruguay that can compete with the Swiss products made in the 19th century.
- In Punta del este, you can devote your time to parasailing, windsurfing, water skiing, fishing and spend lazy time on the beach. If you like night life and gambling, visit a famous casino Punta and luxurious night clubs.
- The tourists can improve their health in the hot mineral springs in wellness resorts Termas de Arapey, Termas de Dayman and Termas de San Nicanor.
If you stay in Punta del Este, you can buy many souvenirs which will remind you of your time in this country. Leather goods, jewelry with semi-precious stones and pottery are sold in the shops of the city.
Colonia del Sacramento, they sell wool clothes of a very good quality. Come her on Sunday and you will have a great shopping experience in the market of the city.
In Montevideo, buy the Uruguayan Mate.