Uruguay attractions are numerous and diverse, which goes some way toward explaining why this tiny country on the east coast of South America has grown in vacationers’ esteem over the past decade or so. Tourist attractions in Uruguay range from the urban, as sightseeing is at its best in Montevideo and Colonia, to the rural, where the country boasts an envy-inducing stretch of coastline that makes for great fishing, surfing, and sunbathing. Planning your itinerary to the country inevitably entails deciding on which type of these Uruguay attractions most appeal to you.
Starting with the cities, Montevideo is often the first stop. Uruguay’s capital is located not far from the border with Argentina and its capital Buenos Aires, and it is one of those sleek, modern metropolises where city-slickers can feel at home. Tourist attractions in Uruguay located here include the Rambla, a thirteen-mile roadway that runs alongside the city’s coastline. Fishing, walking, chatting, and drinking tea are all pastimes for people who mill about here, especially around sunrise or sunset, as the sun touches the water off in the distance. Further inland, the barrio of Pocitos represents a lot of what modern-day Montevideo is about: high-rise apartments and shopping malls that are replacing older, more ramshackle living quarters.
Not so far away from the barrio is the Plaza de la Constitucion, which is widely regarded to be the capital’s throbbing heart. Urban Uruguay sightseeing is at its best here, with a monumental cathedral, a great National History Museum, and an intriguing fountain to take in.
Colonia, also known as Colonia del Sacramento, is Uruguay’s other frequently visited city. Life here is vastly different to Montevideo: slower, more easygoing, and tranquil. As it is a well-preserved city with a historic atmosphere, Uruguay sightseeing in Colonia involves walking around a lot of wonderfully evocative old barrios, where community life thrives on in narrow, cobbled streets. A lighthouse in the heart of the city is open to visitors; climb its stairs, and you get a wonderful view out across the buildings below.
Away from the cities, Uruguay attractions inevitably center around the beach. The country’s east coast borders the south Atlantic Ocean, making for excellent swimming, surfing, and sunbathing opportunities. Fishing is also one of the main tourist attractions in Uruguay. Big-game fishing in the sea is possible for tourists visiting the coastal area, while many sleepy fishing villages next to the river inland make for fascinating overnight stays where you can try to catch tasty fresh water fish.
One large fishing port, Punta del Este, has become a particularly popular place for vacation-goers over the years. This is resort land: If you’re not out on a fishing trip or on the beach soaking up the sun, you’ll either be in your luxury hotel enjoying some good pampering or out in one of the town’s many bars and clubs. Uruguay sightseeing is of an entirely different type here, and the difference between Montevideo and Punta del Este goes to show this small South American country does offer it all when it comes to vacation going.