Uruguay - an introduction
Uruguay holidays are quite possibly one of the world's worst kept travelling secrets! Years ago it was just the South American's who knew about this little piece of paradise with its stunning beaches, amazing scenery and friendly locals. Nowadays, it looks as though everyone who has visited Uruguay has told a friend or loved one about their adventures here, who in turn have told someone they know, and so on and so on. Until it has become one of the most popular touring destinations in the world, slightly losing its mysterious edge, because everyone now knows about the wonders to be found here. Another plus for all those looking to holiday on a budget is the Uruguay currency, the peso, crashed making escorted tours here a lot more affordable than they once were.
Many people tend to visit Uruguay because of the pristine beaches and fascinating cities that all have a tale to tell. High on the escorted touring itinerary is a visit to Montevideo Uruguay, the nation's capital and one of the most vibrant places you'll get to explore. There's the wonderfully exclusive residential suburb of Carrasco and downtown is where the city's history lies with plenty of art deco and neoclassical buildings to admire. Travel across town and you'll find extensive shopping malls and funky beach communities such as Punta Carretas and Pocitos, both you should visit for a relaxing day at the sea. Delve into the very heart of Montevideo and you'll find colourfully painted cafes, interesting galleries to wander around and a thoroughly buzzing entertainment scene.
Another must-see on your Uruguay holiday is Punta del Este especially if you love nothing more than settling by the beach and watching the world go by! Admire stunning seaside homes, expensive hotels and glamourous restaurants all vying for your attention. Don't be surprised if you have very little holiday money left after your visit here. Punta del Este Uruguay is one of the most glamourous places to visit in the country and is rather expensive so be prepared if you choose to include a tour here. No wonder so many A-List celebrities have chosen to holiday in Uruguay over the years such as Ralph Lauren, Zinedine Zidane and Shakira has an estancia nearby! Anyone looking for a buzzing nightlife, visit La Barra or Punta Ballena where the clubs are amazing.
Take a huge step back in time when you visit Colonia del Sacramento where you can meander along the winding, cobbled streets of this former smugglers port where back in 1680 the Portuguese used to smuggle goods across the Río de la Plata into Buenos Aires before the Spanish captured it in 1762. If you have the appetite for it, visit Mercado del Puerto and see if you can eat your way through one of their infamous mighty steaks – a definite case of Man VS Food! Escape the main tourist haunts and take yourself off the beaten track to wonderful Tacuarembó which is known by many as real Gaucho country and is rumoured to be the birthplace of Carlos Gardel.
Holidays to Uruguay usually include; return flights, transportation whilst in the resort, accommodation in good standard hotels, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions to make your time here unforgettable!
Tips & Advice
The beauty of travelling in an escorted tour is that you'll be in the safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Uruguay, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Before travelling to Uruguay it is wise to check with your Doctor to see whether you will need any vaccinations or preventative measures whilst away.
In Uruguay, medical treatment tends to be pricey so make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance before you leave the UK. You should also have access to additional funds which can cover the cost of medical treatments and repatriation should it become necessary. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
Those travelling from countries that have Yellow Fever will require a vaccination prior to entering the country.
There is an increased number of people living with HIV in Uruguay so travellers are advised to take normal precaution to avoid exposure.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst holidaying in Uruguay, dial 911 to ask for an ambulance.
Pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur in Uruguay so visitors should always maintain a high level of awareness. Valuables should be left in hotel safes where possible or leave them at home before you travel to Uruguay. When using ATMs, try to use machines that are off the street. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you and refrain from wearing expensive jewellery.
You will not require a visa to enter Uruguay if you are a British Citizen. Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your stay, you will not need an extra period of validity beyond this.
Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) can be used when entering, exiting and for airside transit in Uruguay.
You will not be allowed to import dairy or animal products, nor fruit and vegetables into Uruguay due to strict Custom controls.
Any other nationality looking to visit Uruguay must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
Plenty of information about Uruguay can be found from the official tourist office website here at uruguaynatural.com.