Aug 31, 2020|
Last updated on January 15th, 2021 at 10:27 am
Where to Go in Uruguay in 2021
Updated August 31, 2020
Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, and one that often gets overlooked by travelers, even those visiting neighboring countries such as Argentina and Brazil.
The top three most visited destinations in the country are Montevideo, the capital city, Colonia del Sacramento, a famous day tour destination for people from Buenos Aires, and Punta Del Este, South America’s most exclusive beach resort.
Uruguay has a mild climate all year round, but if you’d like to enjoy it while the temperatures are warm, the best time to visit Uruguay is from September till May. If you are looking to spend some time in the country’s many beaches, the best months to visit are late November to late March.
1. Montevideo, Uruguay
Why Visit Montevideo
Uruguay’s capital is an exciting port city, home to nearly half of its population, and a great starting point for any tours in the country. The city has a charming old town, lots of beautiful parks, and a broad beach promenade or “Rambla,” as locals call it. Some of the best attractions are the Palacio Salvo, Solis Theatre, and the old buildings located in the historical center. The city’s port market is a must for anyone interested in Uruguayan food, and in the evening, try and enjoy some of the local music and dances, such as Tango and Candombe.
Best Time to Visit Montevideo
As the rest of the country, the best time to visit is from September till mid-May, and if you want to see the famous Montevideo Carnival, please watch out for each year’s carnival dates (usually around February – March).
How to Get to Montevideo
Uruguay’s main international airport is located in Montevideo, and flights depart in Miami, arriving every day in the capital city. Many passengers arrive in Montevideo with a flight connection in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where most airlines travel to. From Buenos Aires, you can also get a two-hour ferry to arrive in Montevideo.
2. Colonia, Uruguay
Why Visit Colonia
Colonia is a charming old town, one of Uruguay’s UNESCO protected heritage sites and a popular day-trip destination for people traveling from Buenos Aires. Located on the country’s west coast, it is also close to some of the country’s best wineries and vineyards. Enjoy your time sampling unique wines, strolling the quaint streets of Colonia, and even visiting the nearby the small town of Carmelo.
When to Visit Colonia
Colonia is a great destination to visit all year round, and if you’d like to see when temperatures are warmer, try to stay during the period from October to April.
How to Get to Colonia
Colonia is located two hours away by land from Montevideo, with numerous buses operating between the cities throughout the day. Buenos Aires is reachable by a one-hour ferry ride, making Colonia an excellent option for a day trip into neighboring Uruguay.
3. Punta del Este, Uruguay
Why Visit Punta del Este
Set on the east coast of Uruguay, Punta del Este is one of South America’s most famous beach resorts, and the most exclusive one. There are plenty of things to do in Punta del Este. Hosting an array of VIP parties and events during the summer and holiday seasons, Punta del Este comes alive with rooftop cocktail hours, art gallery popups, and beach parties.
When to Visit Punta del Este
As the majority of beach destinations in Uruguay, the best time to visit is during the Summer months, that is Mid November through late March.
How to Get to Punta del Este
Punta del Este has an airport that serves flights from Buenos Aires and other South American destinations while on high season (summer months). It is also reachable by land from Montevideo, located two hours away by car or bus.
4. La Pedrera, Uruguay
Why Visit La Pedrera
This small seaside resort located about 100kms north of Punta del Este, in Rocha’s department, is known for its relaxed atmosphere, rocky beaches, and big waves: one of the main beaches attracts many surfers and water-sport enthusiasts. For anyone looking for the best balance between the hippie town of Cabo Polonio (where there’s no electricity or cars) and the big city of Punta del Este, La Pedrera is perfect.
When to Visit La Pedrera
Like any other beach resort in Uruguay, the best time to visit is during the Summer months, that is Mid November through late March.
How to Get to La Pedrera
La Pedrera can be reached by car or bus from Punta Del Este (about 1.5 hours) or Montevideo (3h)
Recommended La Pedrera Tours
Montevideo & Punta del Este Uruguay Trip
5. The Countryside, Uruguay
Why Visit the Countryside
Uruguay is divided into four different regions: the Countryside, the littoral, Greater Montevideo, and the coast. The largest of them all, the Countryside, is an agricultural area mostly devoted to cattle and sheep ranches. Over the last few decades, some of these ranches have opened up for tourism, and visiting one can give travelers the chance to get to know the local traditions, activities, and food culture.
When to Visit the Countryside
You can see this area in Uruguay all year round, as each season has its beauty. If you’d like to enjoy the warmer temperatures, we recommend November through late April.
How to Get to the Countryside
Most of the ranches opened to tourism are located in the Florida and Lavalleja departments, not too far from Montevideo, at around 1 or 2 hours distance by car.
Recommended Countryside Tours
Uruguay Bird Watching Tour & Montevideo Trip
6. Piriapolis, Uruguay
Why Visit Piriapolis
Piriapolis is one of Uruguay’s most traditional beach destinations. It is the country’s first beach resort, which we can still witness from its Belle Epoque buildings and historic hotels such as the “Gran Argentino.” You can visit Piriapolis all year round, for a perfect day out on the beach. During summer, it is an excellent destination for families looking for a relaxing beach spot.
When to Visit Piriapolis
Being a beach destination, we recommend visiting Piriapolis anytime between November – late March. Still, for sightseeing purposes, from Montevideo, there are great day tours that can take you to Piriapolis for a day visit, which you can do all year round.
How to Get to Piriapolis
Piriapolis is located only one and a half hours by car from Montevideo, where Uruguay’s biggest and most important airport is located. If you are staying in Punta del Este, you can also visit Piriapolis for the day, since you can get there in only 30 minutes by car.
Recommended Piriapolis Tours
Colonia & Montevideo Uruguay Trip Package
7. Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Why Visit Jose Ignacio
Jose Ignacio has recently changed from a small fishermen’s village to Uruguay’s most exclusive and chic beach destination, where celebrities and locals mingle in this laid back spot of the Uruguayan Atlantic coast. It is a great place to relax for a few days at the beach, enjoy the town’s great restaurants, and find the perfect destination for anyone looking for a quieter destination to nearby Punta del Este.
When to Visit Jose Ignacio
Jose Ignacio’s primary touristic season is summer, and as all beach resorts in Uruguay, the best time to visit is between late November to late March. If you want to avoid crowds, try not to travel during Christmas and the first couple of weeks in January. Carnival dates are also trendy dates amongst locals.
How to Get to Jose Ignacio
Jose Ignacio is located two hours by car from Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city, and the main airport. The town is also a great day destination if you stay in Punta del Este since it’s located only 30 minutes away.
Recommended Jose Ignacios Tours
Montevideo & Punta del Este Uruguay Trip
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