Uruguay is a South American country by the Atlantic Ocean between Argentina and Brazil. Montevideo, the capital is a major city along Montevideo Bay.
Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales is housed in Parque Rodo and holds the largest collection of paintings in Uruguay. Here you’ll find the artwork of Blanes, Cuneo, Figari, and other famous Uruguayans.
Mercado del Puerto is a colorful market found in Montevideo’s old port market building at the foot of Perez Castellano. Here you’ll find many fine parillas or steak restaurants. On weekends there is a colorful display by the artists of the city, craftspeople, and music from street musicians.
Plaza Independencia is the city’s largest downtown plaza. It commemorates independence hero Jose Artigas.
Just off of the Plaza is the impressive Teatro Solis which is the city’s premier performance space. It first opened in 1856. There are regularly scheduled tours.
Palacio Salvo is located on the east side of the Plaza. This is a 26-story structure. When it opened in 1927 it was the continent’s tallest building.
Right in the middle of the Plaza is the Mausoleo de Artigas. The above-ground part is a 17m, 30-ton statue of the country’s independence hero Jose Artigas. Below in the mausoleum honor guards stand on duty 24 hours.
At the west end of the Plaza is the Puerta de la Ciudadela. This is a stone gateway and the only remnant of the colonial citadel demolished in 1833.
Plaza Matriz is also known as Plaza Constitucion. This is a shady square in the heart of colonial Montevideo.
On the west side is Iglesia Matriz Montevideo’s oldest public building, completed in 1799.
Opposite you’ll find Cabildo, a neo-Classical stone structure completed in 1812.
Palacio Legislativo dates back to 1908. This is the three-story neo-Classical Parliament Building and is open for guided tours.
Uruguay’s second biggest city is Salto. It has been named after the point where Rio Uruguay makes a “big jump”. Visitors come here for the hot springs and there are outdoor activities. This is a lovely riverfront town. The hydroelectric dam which is located a short distance from the city has become a popular tourist site.
Paysandu is the third-largest city and is joined to Colon, Argentina by the Puente Internacional General Artigas Bridge. It was founded as an outpost for cattle herders and today is the source of most of the meat for all of Uruguay.
Carmelo is a lovely town with cobblestone streets. Visitors come here for water activities like yachting, fishing, and exploring the Parana Delta. There is a lovely harbor situated near the convergence of the Rio Uruguay and the Rio de la Plata.
Across the bridge you’ll come to the lovely Playa Sere Beach, offering camping in the adjoining park. There is also a casino to enjoy.
Chuy sits on the Atlantic coast and is right across the street from its twin sister city Chui in Brazil. The Main Street between the two towns is the actual border between Brazil and Uruguay.
Here you can get a look at Fuerte San Miguel, an 18th-century fort that played an integral part in the independence of Uruguay.
In a national park, you’ll see the Fortaleza de Santa Teresa, a National Historic Monument.
Colonia was founded in the 17th century. It has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many lovely old colonial buildings and cobblestone streets. The main attraction is the old historic center. Here visitors can see eight small museums. You can get a wonderful view of the city and the river from the town lighthouse. Of interest are the abandoned Basilica del Sanctisimo Sacramento and an old bullfighting ring.
Durazno is a small town on the Yi River. It was built in the 19th century and named after the Brazilian Emperor Pedro I. Casa del General is a fine regional art museum with exhibits on Uruguayan archeology, Gaucho art, and local history. Sports fans enjoy the sports museum and children love the Durazno Zoo.
Punta del Este is a beach resort town with yachts and casinos. It has been referred to as the Monaco of South America. There is great surfing in La Playa de los Dedos and some beach art too. There are tree-lined streets with beautiful seaside mansions. There are many museums to explore. Isla de los Lobos has the largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere.
Piriapolis has a great beachfront promenade. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was created for tourism. Visitors enjoy seeing the Castillo de Piria or Pira’s Castle and the Argentino Hotel. The ten- block area of coastline has fine shopping and restaurants. You can enjoy water sports here. Two of the country’s highest peaks are nearby.
Tacuarembo is gaucho country. The rolling hills of Cuchilla de Haedo are the backdrop for this rugged cattle country. This is the birthplace of tango legend Carlos Gardel. There are beautiful plazas, tree-lined streets, and in the heart of town the quaint Plaza 19 de Abril.
Highlights include the Museo Carlos Gardel, the Gruta de los Helechos, the Catedral de Tacuarembo, and the amazing Pozo Hondo, a grotto and waterfall just outside of town.
Nueva Helvecia locals love to relax in the town square. There is the impressive Founder’s Monument, commemorating the immigrants who worked and sacrificed to build the town. In August the town hosts the Swiss Festival where you can sample Swiss dishes.