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Overview to Uruguay: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
Squeezed in between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is the often overlooked coastal-counterpart to its more popular South American neighbors. As such, it could quite aptly be described as a small land full of big surprises.
Uruguay easily makes up for its diminutive proportions (it’s the second smallest country in South America) with the long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches that line its Atlantic-facing coast. Punta del Este is a famed playboys’ paradise, about 140km east of Montevideo.
Away from the coastline to the north of the country, Uruguay’s terrain is characterized by subtropical rainforests and numerous geothermal springs. Here, the towns of Paysandu and Salto, in particular, offer a number of relaxing thermal springs.
Inland, the country is dotted with massive cattle ranches, many of which offer tourist-friendly opportunities to try your hand as a ‘gaucho’. Right in the heart of the country, Lake Rincon del Bonete is also a popular destination (especially for lovers of water sports).
When it comes to cities, Uruguay doesn’t really offer any teeming metropolises. The capital of Montevideo is, however, an enjoyably laidback place, whose Old Town’s collection of colonial architecture marks it out as a definite highlight.
As with many less visited countries, Uruguay is happily cheap and wonderfully unusual in terms of culture and cuisine. Large markets (such as the capital’s Mercado Del Puerto) feature good home-grown produce ideal for the budget traveler.
Although it may not be high on many people’s list of destination priorities, Uruguay remains a truly rewarding little enclave of South America. It’s one of those places that allows you space to breathe – something that can make all the difference to the backpacker traveling through South America.