Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America, situated between the great Argentina and even larger Brazil, that’s probably why it’s never been especially famous as a tourist destination. This small country has plenty to offer, and the fact it isn’t such a favorite spot makes it even more fascinating. Captivating landscapes, gorgeous beaches, bustling towns and quiet areas rich in unspoiled nature, it’s all in Uruguay. Tourist attractions vary, so whether you prefer partying, sports, museums or spas, you’ll easily find something to do. Here’s a list of 5 tourist attractions in Uruguay, each one of them entirely different than another.
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Punta del Diablo
Small Punta del Diablo, once a quiet fishing village, is now a popular tourist destination with some of Uruguay’s most famous beaches. Los Botes, the so-called Fisherman’s Beach, is a lovely stretch of golden sand with lots of colorful boats. Rivero is popular among surfers, but it’s also a great place to go out in the evening and have a drink in an open bar, with the sea in front of you and the starry sky above. La Viuda has the best dunes and thus offers fantastic dune boarding. In the summer you can meet many locals and visitors playing music and singing. Punta del Diablo also has lots of bars, clubs, and restaurants where live music shows are being held. This little bohemian town is a perfect place for relaxing holidays.
Colonia del Sacramento
With magnificent colonial buildings and narrow cobbled streets, Colonia del Sacramento is one of the most lovely spots in Uruguay. Tourist attractions are numerous, even a simple walk around the town’s historic center is one of them. There’s a beautiful lighthouse you can climb, tons of delicious ice-cream and spectacular sunsets to be seen every day. Located on the riverside, Colonia del Sacramento is truly enchanting. Because of its proximity to Buenos Aires, the town’s often visited by Argentinians, yet it’s still cozier than most tourist cities.
Punta del Este
A bounty of beauty in various forms: seaside homes, lovely beaches, luxurious yachts and glamorous people, that’s Punta del Este. Dressed up celebrities walk the streets and gaze around through their sunglasses. Elegant tourists buy beautiful boats or rent yachts and sail in the sun. Young party animals go wild in vibrant clubs. Vacationers enjoy glitzy hotels and dine in fanciful restaurants. Surfers look fabulous on the beaches, both when they’re catching the waves or taking a break to sunbathe a bit.
Punta del Este is as expensive as glamor; accommodation is pricey, restaurants as well. It doesn’t keep away the tourists, though; plenty of them come to bath themselves in the blue waters and luxury. It’s especially popular with Argentines and Brazilians, but it’s the visitors from outside of South America who’ll find it most exotic. Punta del Este is a great mixture of South American exoticness and high-class comfort.
Salto and the spas
Located on the east bank of the Rio Uruguay, Salto has a beautiful riverfront and some charming 19th-century architecture. It’s the place where you can find some of the most famous thermal spas in Uruguay. Tourist attractions are mostly situated a bit outside of the town’s center. 6 kilometers north of Salto there’s the Fuente Salto, a great healing thermal spa. South of the city, also nearby, Termas del Dayman offer swimming pools, a water park and a big grassy area for making picnics or napping on the grass. The surroundings of Salto Grande hydroelectric dam are also an excellent place to visit; it’s a recreational area and a favorite tourist spot.
Cabo Polonio, a national park full of nature wonders, is one of the wildest places in Uruguay. Tourist attractions are not what one usually thinks when this phrase comes up. Cabo Polonio isn’t a touristy place, it gets some visitors, though, mostly those who seek nature, seclusion, and wilderness. Sitting on the tip of a moon-sliver shaped peninsula that extends into the ocean, Cabo Polonio offers some extraordinary views. There’s not much of electricity in the area, no banking services, the technology hasn’t reached Cabo Polonio. The limited electricity is derived from wind power and a few generators. That’s about what’s not to be found there, but there’s also a lot of interesting things to see and do. The region houses a large colony of sea lions. There’s also the picturesque Atlantic Beach, sand dunes and little cabins you can rent. A unique experience guaranteed.