Best places to visit in URUGUAY

Planning a trip to Uruguay and wondering what are the best places to visit in Uruguay?

Uruguay is the second-smallest nation in South America. Despite being small, Uruguay does not lack tourist attractions. Bustling cities, UNESCO listed historical towns, beautiful unspoilt beaches, luxurious resort towns, mouth-watering dishes and good wine.

This and so much more you can experience in Uruguay! And it’s highly likely that you’ll fall in love with it! But where to start? What to do in Uruguay? 

Start with our list of some of the best places to visit in Uruguay. Here it is.

6 best places to visit in Uruguay


Montevideo Uruguay

Exploring Montevideo is a must when visiting Uruguay!

Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. It has one of the largest city economies in the continent and is one of the highest income earners among major cities in South America. According to Mercer’s report on the quality of life, Montevideo is one of the best Latin American cities to live in.

Featuring a mix of Neoclassical, Colonial and Postmodern-style architecture, Montevideo is a great place to visit if you are an architecture buff. Montevideo has plenty of fascinating landmarks. 

Visit Motevideo’s historical neighbourhood, Ciudad Vieja. It boasts grand, centuries-old landmarks, cultural museums and important buildings. Montevideo’s main square, Plaza Independencia, is also located in the old town. Ciudad Vieja is home to a large market, Mercado del Puerto, where you can try local foods.

Montevideo is often called “the other city of tango”, as tango originated in the 1880s along the Río de la Plata which is the natural border between Uruguay and Argentina, and where the capitals of both countries are located. If you have always wanted to learn this dance, Montevideo is a great place to do it.

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay.

It is located in southwestern Uruguay, by the Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.

Colonia is famous for its historic quarter, Barrio Histórico, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the main tourist attraction in this city and is one of the best places to visit in Uruguay. The historic quarter has a well-preserved urban landscape and is home to a number of old buildings. Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial buildings can be spotted in the historic quarter of Colonia del Sacramento.

Punta del Este

Punta del Este

Punta del Este is a beach resort town with luxurious hotels and intense nightlife.

Often called “Monaco of South America”, Punta del Este is a playground for the rich. But despite this fact, it’s an interesting place to visit for budget travellers, too.

Punta del Este has several beautiful beaches. As it is situated on a peninsula, there are two coastlines to explore. Playa Brava is the most famous beach in the resort town, as it is home to the popular sculpture —La Mano (The Hand).

Casa-Pueblo is another very famous landmark in Punta del Este. It’s a resort museum with a unique exterior that somewhat reminds me of Mediterranean architecture style. It is one of the best places to visit in Uruguay.

What else? Head to Isla de Lobos which is located off the coast of Punta del Este. The little island is home to a large sea lion colony. Do not miss José Ignacio — once a small fishing village, now an upscale beach resort attracting wealthy tourists and locals. Located some 30 km from Punta del Este, it’s a popular place to visit for a day trip.

Punta del Diablo

Punta del Diablo

Punta del Diablo is a small, sleepy village with untouched beaches. 

Just an hour away from Punta del Este, Punta del Diablo is a much quieter beach destination than Punta del Este. 

There are several good beaches in Punta del Diablo. Check out the traditional fishing boats and try seafood dishes at Playa de los Pescadores. On this beach, you can see local fishermen returning from the sea with their catch. It’s also a good place to get some fresh fish and seafood.

Do not miss Playa de la Viuda — a quiet beach a couple of kilometres from the town centre. Playa Grande is a long stretch of sand on the opposite side of the town.

Definitely visit Santa Teresa National Park — a seaside forested area and an important national park of Uruguay. The national park is home to sandy beaches and the historic Fort of Santa Teresa.

Cabo Polonio

Cabo Polonio

Cabo Polonio is a village situated on the tip of a small peninsula.

It is home to only about 100 residents and is really remote. The village has no electricity or running water, only wind power and a few generators are used to power some buildings. There are no roads leading to Cabo Polonio. The only way to get to this tiny village is either by walking or by 4×4 vehicle.

However, it’s so worth it! Cabo Polonio is home to a large sea lion colony. Sealion watching in Cabo Polonio is one of the best things to do in Uruguay.

Cabo Polonio is also known for its sand dunes (Dunas de Cabo Polonio) which is the most prominent feature of the area.

Wineries of Uruguay

Wineries of Uruguay

Although Argentina is the largest wine producer in South America, the wines of Uruguay are great too.

Vineyards are dotted all over Uruguay, but the area around Montevideo is where most of them are located. A wine tour is one of the best ways to learn how wines are made. 

Best places to visit in URUGUAY

Uruguay travel tips

  1. You don’t need a visa to travel to Uruguay. Citizens of the EU (and many other countries) can visit Uruguay without a visa for up to 90 days (within a 180-day period).
  2. Combine a trip to Uruguay with a trip to Argentina. You can travel to Buenos Aires by ferry from Colonia del Sacramento, but just make sure you can travel to Argentina without a visa, or arrange a visa in advance.
  3. The best time to visit Uruguay is between November and February.
  4. The best way to get around in Uruguay is by rental car.
  5. Travel by bus is comfortable and safe. International bus services are available to neighbouring countries.