Uruguay is the second-smallest country in South America, facing the South Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by Brazil to the North and Argentina to the west. Majority of the population of the country is of European descent. Its capital, Montevideo, is rich in cultural heritage and is also the venue of the first ever FIFA World Cup held in 1930. Uruguay has unique untold beauty, lovely culture and a remarkable hospitality that drives thousands of nature-loving tourists into this destination.
You can reach Uruguay by plane, train, bus or boat. The Uruguayan carrier Pluna has connecting flights from Sau Paolo, Madrid, Asunción, and Santiago de Chile. American Airlines has a once-a-week non-stop flight to Montevideo and connects via Buenos Aires three times a week. The Spanish carrier Iberia connects Uruguay to the rest of Europe while LAN offers flights from Australia and New Zealand via Chile. Copa Airlines on the other hand links the country to the rest of South America.
There are commuter and tourist trains within Montevideo but are rare and do not have a fixed schedule. To get their timetables, you have to go to the train station and wait for announcements. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you travel by bus as it is a more common means of public transport.
Several buses operate from Brazilian cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and Sao Paulo. These buses traverse the city of Montevideo and the rest of the country, with main stations in Agencia Central, Terminal Ciudad Vieja, and Terminal Tres Cruces. There are also buses that regularly traverse Uruguay from Asuncion in Paraguay, Santiago de Chile, and from provinces in Argentina like Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Entre Rios, and Mendoza. However, political conflict between Argentina and Uruguay over a cellulose plant has blocked the bridge connecting the two countries. But in general, travelling by bus in the area is very safe and the service of high quality, comparable or even better than those in Europe.
As an alternative to buses, several ferries can take you to Uruguay from Buenos Aires in Argentina. One is Buquebus that can take you to either Montevideo or Colonia del Sacramento. The 3-hour ferry ride to Montevideo costs A$ 147 while the fast-craft ferry that can take you to the capital in one hour costs A$190. Other operators that can take you to Colonia are Seacat Colonia and the Colonia Express.
Since Uruguay faces the South Atlantic Ocean, there are more beach houses than hotels in the country. There are also what they call “estancias” located in serene, nature-embraced environments where you can enjoy viewing flocks of migrating birds. Accommodations in Uruguay are generally affordable, except during the first two weeks of January.
Enjoy basking under the sun with a variety of beaches to choose from – Punta del Este, La Paloma, La Pedrena, Cabo Polonio, and Priapolis are among the top destinations. Drop by Santa Teresa for some camping adventure. Must-see also is the game between Nacional and Peñarol, two of the most famous football teams in the country.