Holidays & Sabbaticals to Uruguay – In a Nutshell
Gone are the days of thinking Uruguay is a day trip visit from Buenos Aires. We’d recommend a far longer stay in this wonderful, under-the-radar country.
We love its gently rolling grassland, endless plains and 120 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches – and the sun shines year-round.
Buzzy Montevideo is an eclectic blend of cosmopolitan restaurants, live music and beautiful historical architecture in the Ciudad Vieja.Colonia del Sacramento is a UNESCO gem: colonial houses covered in fragrant jasmine and vintage cars purring along cobbled roads.Come to hang with the glitterati around Jose Ignacio – an exclusive beach enclave on the Uruguayan Riviera – or go off-radar for a few days to swing in a hammock and surf at laid-back Punta del Diablo.
And don’t miss the opportunity to overnight in an estancia and ride out with gauchos.
Travelling here is safe and easy, and Uruguayans are famed for their hospitality. Plus you can daytrip to Buenos Aires while you’re here!
How to Get to Uruguay
You can overland from neighbouring Brazil or cross the River Plate from Argentina, but if you’re flying in you’ll likely arrive at Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo. There’s also an international airport in Punta del Este, but it only operates seasonal flights.
There are no direct flights from the UK; you’ll need to come via Europe or the US. Flight times are approx. 14 hours.
There are direct flights from several US hubs; the average flight time is 11 hours.
Once here, you can take hopper flights around but air travel is expensive and this is an easy country to explore by road. Or consider renting a car, this is an easy country to self-drive.
When & Weather – Uruguay
Uruguay’s climate is sub-tropical, and sunshine is constant year-round. Summer (Dec to March) and autumn (April to May) are the most popular times to visit. Winter (June to Sept) and Spring (Oct and Nov) are milder seasons; they can be colder, windier and wetter, but not dramatically so however the Uruguayan Riviera is much quieter in these seasons.
Temperatures range between 7°C (44°F) and 32°C (90°F).
Who will Uruguay Appeal To?
The country’s white-sand beaches, lush national parks and vast plains are best suited to:
- Active travellers
- Keen horse-riders
- Foodies and oenophiles
- Wildlife enthusiasts
We work with luxury estancias (ranches), boutique city hotels, friendly guesthouses and exquisite beachside villas.
Off The Beaten Path
- Gallop along the deserted sands of Playa de la Moza in Santa Teresa National Park.
- Marvel at the ombú forests, which surround Castillos Lagoon. Their vast umbrella-like canopies stretch up to 50ft.
- Bathe in thermal hot springs near Salto.
- Explore the wild, northern coastline. In enchanting La Pedrera, the main road ends in a sloping staircase, which tumbles straight into the ocean.
- Or go completely off radar in Cabo Polonio, a tiny village with sandy streets and seafood shacks lining the shore.
- Rocha Lagoon is a birding paradise, home to rare flamingos and over 10,000 black-necked swans.
- Sea lions bask on the beaches at La Paloma and Cabo Polonio; climb the lighthouse at the latter for a view over the noisy colony.
- Spot Southern Right Whales and orcas in the waters around Punta Ballena (June to Sept).
- Day trip to Esteros de Farrapos National Park, a protected refuge for wild pumas and the elusive maned wolf.
Uruguay Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Step back in time in historic Colonia del Sacramento, founded in 1680.
- Stay at a homestay estancia and ride out with gauchos.
- Mingle in Punta del Este’s world-class restaurants and exclusive nightclubs.
- Carnival in Montevideo is a riot of exuberant colour and over 2,000 drums (mid Jan-mid Feb).
- Dine on superb steak at the bustling Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo.
- Taste some of South America’s finest wines from Carmelo.
- Fine dine in Pueblo Garzon.
Vida Silvestre Uruguay focuses on conservation work and is building a network of voluntary conservation initiatives on private farms (refugios) to protect Uruguay’s biodiversity. The NGO offers environmental education classes for young people and provides resources on ecotourism and environmental legislation.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Uruguay.
Consider visiting Uruguay in combination with its neighbouring countries, Argentina and Brazil.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the sample itinerary below to whet your appetite.
No matter how long you wish to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget.
Contact us to start planning a holiday or sabbatical to Uruguay.