Tourism is quite important in Uruguay’s economy. The country is in fact a popular tourist destination in South America. The main tourist attractions of Uruguay are undoubtedly the beautiful and lively seaside resorts of the coast along the Atlantic Ocean. That is, the seaside resorts located along the coast between Montevideo and the border with Brazil.
The capital Montevideo is also a popular tourist destination and is the main entry point into the country thanks to an international airport well connected by flights with all of South America. Very often, those arriving by plane in Montevideo will collect the previously rented car directly from the airport. Then after a quick visit to the capital city of Uruguay continue to the holiday resorts located along the east coast of the country.
A LONG EXTENSION OF SEASIDE RESORTS
Along the coast of Uruguay, hospitality is guaranteed by a wide range of hotels of all categories, from low-priced to truly luxurious, there are also apartments and small guesthouses. In all structures it is however advisable to book well in advance.
To the east of Montevideo there are beautiful seaside resorts connected to each other by a coastal road. The coastal road that continues for over 300 km between beaches, seaside resorts, coastal lakes and wooded promontories. It also touches the seaside resorts of Atlántida, Piriápolis, Punta Colorada, Punta Negra, Punta del Este, La Paloma, Cabo Polonia, Punta del Diablo, La Coronilla – with the colonial fortress of Santa Teresa – and Chuy – with the colonial fortress of San Miguel. Along the coast there are also the Lobos islands – with a colony of sea lions – and the national parks of Santa Teresa and San Miguel rich in fauna and with interesting natural landscapes.
Along the coast along the Rio della Plata west of Montevideo there is one of the tourist attractions of Uruguay. This is arguably the country’s most important historical attraction: the Portuguese colonial city of Colonia del Sacramento. This historic jewel faces the Argentine capital Buenos Aires along the Rio de la Plata. Located about 180 km from Montevideo, Colonia del Sacramento is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This town is full of picturesque views and historic buildings that bring the tourist back to the era of the struggles for control of the area between Spain and Portugal.
CAVES, THERMAL BATHS AND FOLKLORE
Tourist attractions in Uruguay also include nature attractions. In the interior of the country there are some natural attractions such as caves, landscapes and waterfalls that are located near the town of Tacuarembó: Valle Edén, Pozo Hondo, Gruta de los Cuervos, Gruta de los Helechos. Near the city of Trinidad, the limestone formations of the Gruta de Palacio are worth seeing.
In the city of Paysandú once a year, during the five days of Holy Week (therefore between March and April), the famous Semana de la Cerveza de Paysandú takes place. This is one of the most important tourist events in the country. While north of Paysandú are the Termas del Guaviyú, the Termas de Almirón and the Termas de San Nicanor. Still further north around the city of Salto are the other spas: Termas del Arapey, the Termas de Salto Grande and the Termas del Daymán. In recent years, eco-tourism has also had a certain development, activities such as birdwatching, canoeing and fishing are practiced.
THE GAUCHOS AND THEIR ESTANCIAS
The interior of Uruguay is much less visited but not without interesting places. There are undulating grasslands where the famous gauchos live in their estancias (farms) they represent the traditional and typical lifestyle of the country.
This has helped to encourage rural tourism. In fact, many farms have recently developed the tourism section of their business. In some farms it is possible to stay in the typical estancias. Live part of the day with the gauchos. Eat typical foods and buy local products directly from the farm, including wine, beer, meats and cheeses. Thanks to this, food and wine tourism is undergoing a strong development. Excellent Uruguayan meat is the main course of any meal. You can taste it roasted on a spit (asada), grilled (parillada), stewed with salami and legumes (puchero) or stewed with rice and cooked fruit (carbonada). The wine produced in Uruguay is of excellent quality. The rodeos of the gauchos are another attraction for those who visit the country. This especially during the Easter period when the semana criolla takes place with dances, music and rodeos.