Most popular car hire locations in Uruguay
Uruguay Mini Guide
Tell me about Uruguay
It’s one of the most stable countries in South America and regularly tops the table for quality of life on the continent. The people are friendly, despite there being not many of them – the population is just over three million. The geography of the country is quite different for South America; instead of rainforest or mountains or the Pampas, you have gently rolling hills with its highest point being a little under 2,000ft and much of the country covered in lush plains watered by many rivers that cross the land. There aren’t many cities and Montevideo, the capital has nearly 60% of the population.
How do I get to Uruguay?
Montevideo’s Carrasco Airport is the main international airport but still only generally takes flights from neighbouring countries. The only flights from outside of South America are from Miami and from Madrid. Travellers from other parts of Europe should consider getting a flight to Miami and then continuing the journey with American Airlines or taking a budget flight to Madrid and flying with Iberia to Montevideo. The airport is nine miles from the city centre and buses operate to take travellers to the city. If you don’t fancy the squash on the bus, consider hiring a car at the airport which can then be used for the rest of your stay.
What to do in Uruguay?
There’s a wide range of historical sites to visit as well as the modern attractions of the capital. The Colonia del Sacramento is one of the oldest pre-Columbian settlements in Uruguay and a UNESCO site. There are ruins of the ancient civilisation that lived there including temples and burial chambers. Montevideo’s central attraction is the promenade or rambla, where many of the citizens congregate of an evening to share gossip, meals and a beer or two. Such is the friendliness of the Uruguayans that it is likely you’ll be invited to join them for a drink and a bite to eat. Uruguay has some fabulous beaches that have not been discovered to any great extent yet by international tourists. Punta del Este and La Paloma are two of the most popular and both have extensive beach facilities so you can make a day of it. Elsewhere, the beautiful lush countryside is a big attraction and hiking is popular over the gentle terrain, stopping to look at the local flora and fauna.
Eating out in Uruguay?
Uruguayan food is big on meat and fats so you should look out for chivito, an open sandwich with meat and cheese but also with a salad. Try the empanadas, the equivalent of pasties, pastry cases filled with meat or cheese and great for snacks on the go. For dessert, dulce de leche, a caramel cream is popular, on its own or stuffed into pastries. Uruguayan beef is excellent and steaks should be tried at least once during your stay. They’re inexpensive and succulent.
- Despite being nowhere near Asia, Uruguay’s official name is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay
- Only Suriname is smaller than Uruguay in South America
- Uruguay began with discovery by the Portuguese but eventually became Spanish
- Nearly 90% of the population has European roots
- It’s classed as the best South American country to live in