The Big List of Why Uruguay Should Be in Your Travel Plans
Updated: Dec 11, 2021
Uruguay’s native charms come in many different shapes and sizes. The natural beauty and the picture-perfect coastal landscapes mirror classic horseback adventures that have taken the intrepid on off-the-beaten path for centuries. Journeys here are ideal times to slow the pace down and recharge the batteries-stepping outside the box and reconnecting with the natural world.
Shipwrecks and sand swept dunes appear on the horizon, plotting a new course that bring discoveries at each point on the compass and every pin on the map during epic days abroad.
A country of change that challenges the status quo, many measures of equality put in place by Uruguay's government preempted those adopted by larger nations in the world at large. Today, a new focus on authentic, sustainable, and genuine journeys for travel’s revival here-and in South America is leading the way towards fun adventures abroad.
Some of our top reasons to set your sights on Uruguay this year and in the not-so-distant future follow below:
The season starts during South American Spring in October and continues into February, March and April. Sunny days and star lit nights bring people from far and wide, following the intrepid routes of past explorers.
Uruguay is alight with open spaces. In terms of geographical size and population, it is South America’s second smallest country. Weighing in at about two-thirds the size of the UK, there are 61 million LESS people living in the country comparatively.
Uruguay was the first country in the world to provide every schoolchild with a free laptop and Wi-Fi access.
The average Uruguayan will spend 16 years in school. Primary, secondary and public university education are free of cost, and the student-teacher ratio is 14 to one. Putting the country on the same playing field as New Zealand, Spain, and Sweden.
Approximately 50% of the country’s population live in and around the capital of Montevideo and along the Rio Grande estuary. Leaving the whole of the countryside and coast to our clients and riders and their guests.
Uruguay’s seas make up a whale and dolphin reserve that was established in 2013. It is an important breeding and feeding ground for migrating whales from Antarctica on the way north towards the Galapagos Islands and beyond.
Whale season is at its peak during October when humpbacks, Orcas, Southern Right whales, Antarctic minke whales, and Pilot whales often appear in close proximity to the beaches of the Rocha region.
In the 1840s, Giuseppe Garibaldi was expelled from Italy and on the run with his Brazilian wife after taking part in the Ragamuffin War. He headed Uruguay’s Navy in their War of Independence against Argentinian and Brazilian Imperialism.
Garibaldi’s adventures from these times and those that followed as a key player in the unification of Italy live on through his memoirs that were published by Alexandre Dumas in 1861.
Uruguay gave women the right to ask for a divorce in 1913, the right to vote in 1932, and present-day laws require that all political parties include women candidates for each positions on the ballot to reform the predominately male government.
Including hydropower, Uruguay now produces more than 97 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. By 2016, wind farms across the country had lowered electricity generation costs by more than 200 million US dollars annually.
In 2006, Uruguay became the first country in Latin America to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces. In 2106, Uruguay won a court case against Phillip Morris over the right to restrict tobacco packaging.
Known as the “Switzerland of South America,” Uruguay is included on the list for being ranked among the world’s 20 “full democracies,” and as “the least corrupt and most democratic country in Latin America.”
The Tannat grape was introduced to the country by Pascual Harraigue, who brought it from the Basque region of France in the 1870s. Today, Uruguay produces more Tannat varietals than the French town of Madiran, where the vine originated.
Charles Darwin encountered Uruguayan Gauchos during his visit in 1832, describing them as ‘…invariably most obliging, polite, and hospitable: I did not meet with even one instance of rudeness or inhospitability. He is modest, both respecting himself and country, but at the same time a spirited, bold fellow.’
Descendants of the native Guaraní people, the Gauchos on our tours have adapted their nomadic lifestyle to the present day. Acting as ambassadors and warm and welcoming guides that shed a new light on the ancient culture and the sweeping terrain.
For ideas about travelling in Uruguay along its one-of-a kind coast where whales migrate annually and small villages welcome riders, feel free to get in touch while checking out the tours we offer on our site. We are also well-versed in arranging bespoke itineraries that include wine tours and extensions to more of South America including the Galapagos Islands and the jungle.