Uruguay is a small country in South America that offers a variety of experiences for travelers. From the vibrant capital city of Montevideo to the charming colonial town of Colonia del Sacramento, there is something for everyone in Uruguay. Whether you are a first-time visitor, returning to explore more, or an experienced traveler seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations, this travel guide will provide a recommended order of visiting cities in Uruguay.
For First-Time Visitors: 1. Montevideo: Start your journey in the capital city, Montevideo. Here, you can explore the historical sites of Ciudad Vieja, stroll along the Rambla, and soak in the local culture at the bustling Mercado del Puerto. Don't miss visiting the iconic Solís Theatre and indulging in traditional Uruguayan cuisine.
2. Punta del Este: After immersing yourself in the city life of Montevideo, head east to the glamorous beach resort of Punta del Este. Enjoy the pristine coastline, visit the famous "Hand in the Sand" sculpture, and experience the lively nightlife of La Barra.
3. Colonia del Sacramento: From Punta del Este, make your way west to the picturesque town of Colonia del Sacramento. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and stunning views of the Río de la Plata. Take your time to wander around the charming historic quarter and visit the 17th-century Portuguese Museum.
For Next Visits: 4. Rocha: For those interested in more natural beauty and outdoor activities, Rocha is a must-visit. Explore the stunning beaches of Cabo Polonio and La Pedrera, try sandboarding at Santa Teresa National Park, or take a boat tour to the Valizas River.
5. Salto: Head up north to Salto, a city famous for its thermal springs. Relax in the thermal baths of Termas del Daymán or Arapey, explore the historical sites such as Salto Grande Dam, or take a boat trip along the Uruguay River.
6. Mercedes: For a tranquil retreat, visit the lovely city of Mercedes, nestled on the banks of the Río Negro. Enjoy fishing, boat rides, and horseback riding in this serene location. Don't miss the picturesque sunset views from the Costanera.
For Experienced Travelers: 7. Tacuarembó: Delve deeper into Uruguayan culture by visiting Tacuarembó, the birthplace of the iconic tango singer Carlos Gardel. Explore the Carlos Gardel Museum, learn about the Gauchos' traditions, and witness a lively rodeo at the Tacuarembó Rural Association.
8. Paysandú: Discover the rich historical heritage of Paysandú, situated on the Uruguay River. Visit the imposing Cathedral Basilica, explore the Historical and Regional Museum, and take a river cruise to the beautiful San Francisco Island.
9. Carmelo: For wine enthusiasts, Carmelo is a hidden gem. Embark on a wine tour, visit the flourishing vineyards, and sample exquisite wines. Enjoy the tranquillity of the area as you take scenic bike rides or explore the picturesque islands of the Paraná Delta.
Uruguay offers a diverse range of destinations, each with its own unique appeal. Whether you are a first-time visitor, a returning explorer, or an experienced traveler, following this order of visiting cities in Uruguay will ensure you have a memorable and enriching experience. From the vibrant city life to serene retreats, Uruguay has it all. So pack your bags and get ready to uncover the wonders of this captivating country!