Uruguay is one of the top loved and affordable tourist destination in South America and it is mostly packed with visitors from December to February, especially with Brazilians and Argentinians.
November might be great time to visit, if you want to avoid crowd. Do not forget to try their national dish called Chivito. Uruguayans serve great grilled meat with their wine made from national red grapes ”Tanat”.
Compare to European cities, Uruguay is pretty affordable and you can enjoy raw experience of nature firsthand. In below article, I have listed famous places to visit in Uruguay in eight cities.
Montevideo is Uruguay’s capital city and one of its most popular tourist destinations. It has a cultural and historical architecture with modern art and style.
You can visit the Plaza Independence at the main square and Palacio Salvo, also known as the tallest building in South America until 1935. At walking distance, Gateway of the Citadel is one of the few remains of the old town of Montevideo.
Plus, this city is packed with multiple museums like Gaucho and Carnival, showcasing historical and cultural backgrounds in the old town of Cuidad Vieja, and Punte del Este, a resurrecting hand statue beside the sea.
Montevideo is the best place for tourism, and people come here to enjoy beaches, restaurants that offer delicious meat with wine, and historic monuments for enthusiasts.
Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento is an old town on the southwest coastal border of Uruguay. It features a couple of museums of different themes ranging from arts, the ruin of animals, and historical cultures.
It is labeled a World UNESCO Heritage site, mainly for preserved historical architecture and cobbled roads from the colonial era. Each building and house gives a vibe of some horror game.
The beach features some stunning views, especially at sunset time. At the coast, there is an old lighthouse from which you can view the whole city. People here are friendly, which is excellent, and restaurants here offer delicious food.
Cabo Polonio National Park
Cabo Polonio National Park/helmet is located on Uruguay’s eastern coast near Rocha province and is almost 7 to 8 kilometers from the road.
It features some of the country’s most stunning natural scenery, including dunes, lagoons, cliffs, and forests filled with wildlife such as sea lions, guanacos (wild llamas), and others.
Visitors can explore miles of unspoiled coastline on foot or horseback or participate in kayaking or fishing while enjoying spectacular views from atop Cabo Polonio Lighthouse.
Few people live here, and restaurants look like small shops or stalls. Visitors live here in small hostels and gather at night for fun, like music.
La Paloma is a small beach town located on the Atlantic coast of Uruguay. This town has a vast coastal line, calm beaches, and small sea creatures.
People come here to escape the loudness, enjoy themselves with their families, and perform activities like surfing, sunbathing, flying kites, etc.
There is a lighthouse that you can enter by paying a few bucks and climbing up the stairs to get a 360-degree view of the beach and city. Most people enjoyed that experience.
La Paloma is also a little town with all the essentials to stay. You can visit the markets here and enjoy the hospitality of restaurants with a stunning sea view.
Salto, another gem of Uruguay, is known for its thermal hot springs that draw visitors from around the globe. The most famous are the Arapey Thermal Springs and Daymán Hot Springs, each offering soothing warm waters rich in minerals.
Another fascinating destination is the Salto Grande Dam, a large hydroelectric dam on the Uruguay River that is a marvel of modern engineering. For wildlife enthusiasts, Horacio Quiroga Park offers a chance to experience the region’s diverse flora and fauna.
The Acuamania Water Park is an excellent family spot with various water rides and slides. Lastly, visiting the Museo del Hombre y la Tecnología provides an intriguing glimpse into the region’s technological evolution.
Tacuarembó, often called the “cradle of Uruguayan tradition,” offers a rich cultural experience intertwined with stunning natural landscapes. Start your journey at the Carlos Gardel Museum, dedicated to the famous tango singer believed to have been born in Tacuarembó.
Visit the Indigenous Park, a fascinating site that offers insights into the life of the native Charrua people. For nature enthusiasts, the Ipora Lake provides a spot of tranquility, perfect for picnics and boat tours.
The Rincón del Bonete Lake is another scenic spot not to be missed, with its vast expanse of crystal-clear waters.
Immerse yourself in local culture at the Traditional Gaucho Festival, an annual event that showcases the Gaucho lifestyle through folkloric music, dance, and rodeo events.
Finally, visiting Valle Eden, the stunning natural reserve and tourist complex, is an absolute must, with its beautiful waterfalls, camping areas, and hiking trails.
Artigas, a city far north of Uruguay, is a haven for geology and gemstone enthusiasts. Artigas is best known for its gem mines, particularly those producing amethyst and agate.
The Yacaré Mine and Cuñapirú Mine are popular sites where visitors can witness the extraction process firsthand.
Artigas Square is another point of interest in the city. The peaceful and calm park is perfect for relaxing and soaking in the local flavor.
For history buffs, the Artigas Military Museum is a must-visit, offering a deep dive into the region’s military history.
The Cathedral of Artigas is another worthwhile stop with its unique architecture and peaceful ambiance.
Lastly, the free port of Artigas, located along the border with Brazil, is an excellent place for shopping, offering a variety of goods at duty-free prices.
Piriápolis, a charming coastal city in Uruguay, is heaven for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Nestled between the hills and the sea, Piriápolis displays a unique blend of stunning landscapes and architectural gems.
In Piriápolis is the ‘Cerro Pan de Azúcar,’ the third-highest peak in Uruguay. You can hike up to the cross at the top, and the view is worth the effort. You can see the whole coast on a clear day.
Castillo de Piria, this castle was the home of Francisco Piria, the founder of Piriápolis. The castle’s unique style and the history behind it are fascinating.
The Rambla of Piriápolis, a picturesque waterfront promenade, is the perfect setting for a stroll, or you can enjoy the sunset in the evening.
The Bottom Line
Uruguay is a must-go place, if you love beaches, history, and great food. It is like mini Europe in South America as most of the population is of European Origin because of the colonial past.
Besides this article, I have also written about famous places in different countries to visit and reviewed luggage brands to help you choose best one for your next trip.