Breezy beeches, colonial history, wine & gastronomic traditions.
Regions to Explore
For many years one of South America’s best-kept secrets, Uruguay is the perfect mix of sophisticated and traditional, with way more than a hat tip to gastronomy and wine, even as simple pleasures like a long sunset on a quiet beach are never far off. Understated is the name of the game in Uruguay, and surprise beauty, and a casual boho chic washes over many of the country’s tourist hotspots, with splashes of art, architecture, fashion and design all over. As we are partial to wine, we love Uruguay for its three main wine regions, some of which are responsible for the world’s finest Tannat. Not a fan of red wine? Uruguay has got you covered, with fruity (white) Albariño refreshing many a languid afternoon.
Uruguay’s Wine Regions
For wine lovers, Uruguay has something for nearly everyone. The country’s warm daytime temperatures and refreshing Atlantic winds are especially kind to its most well-regaled varietal, Tannat, which originated in southwestern France. But refreshing and fruity Albariño (which many compare to a Viogner) also takes its place among award-winners, and less common wines such as sparkling rosé, Verdello, and even a Tannat-Viogner blend. A few hand-picked wineries and hotels offer top-notch wine experiences, with spas, horseback riding and other leisure activities to round out your days.
Sampling Uruguay’s Finest Food
The food from Uruguay could not be fresher, and locally-sourced food is not a new ethos, but a way of life Uruguayans have ascribed to for centuries. Grilled meat is king, but seafood also makes an appearance, and two of the finest restaurants, not surprisingly are in or near the chilled-out town of José Ignacio, often referred to as the Saint Tropez of Latin America. Or if comfort food is more your style, Uruguay has the chivito, a national sandwich, piled high with sirloin, ham and eggs.
Design and architecture are alive and well in Uruguay, and you’ll notice it from the moment you land at the Carrasco Airport that serves Montevideo, designed by famous Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, who also designed the round bridge near José Ignacio. Elegant, almost bare lines grace many a vacation home along the Ruta 10 that runs parallel to the coast to tony and understated José Ignacio. Back in Montevideo, you’ll see a great collection of 20th century greats, including the iconic Palacio Salvo. Or head to Colonia del Sacramento whose cobblestones streets are bursting with colonial charm.
Horseback riding through vineyards, cycling from winery to winery in Carmelo, kayaking and kitesurfing are all on the itinerary in Uruguay, or take a long stroll at sunset on Montevideo’s Rambla, a 22-km long sidewalk that runs along the Río de La Plata, and where you’ll find groups of Uruguayan friends and families taking in fresh air every evening.