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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Uruguay (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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View from Fortaleza General Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay


Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Uruguay (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: Considering a move to Uruguay but uncertain about where to settle? Venturing on an exploratory trip to visit multiple popular expat destinations can be incredibly enlightening. Here's a list of recommended places to consider during your exploration of Uruguay.

Embarking on a Look-See trip to Uruguay is a crucial step for anyone considering relocation. This exploratory journey offers a firsthand experience of the country's lifestyle, culture, and communities. It allows potential expats and digital nomads to assess the local amenities, housing options, and social environment, ensuring that their decision to move is well-informed and tailored to their personal preferences and needs.

Recommended Itineraries

For a comprehensive Look-See trip in Uruguay, it's essential to visit a variety of cities, towns, and regions to get a true sense of what the country has to offer. A 10-day itinerary could include the capital city of Montevideo, the coastal town of Punta del Este, the historic city of Colonia del Sacramento, and the laid-back beach town of Piriápolis. For a more extended 20-day trip, consider adding the bohemian village of Garzón, the vibrant city of Salto, the tranquil town of Carmelo, and the picturesque Rocha coast, which includes La Paloma, Cabo Polonio, and Punta del Diablo.

Montevideo

Montevideo, the capital and largest city of Uruguay, is a vibrant metropolis with a population of over 1.3 million. It offers a blend of cultural activities, historical sites, and modern amenities. Expats and digital nomads are drawn to its diverse neighborhoods, high-quality healthcare, and the bustling Mercado del Puerto. The cost of living is reasonable, and the city's coastal promenade, La Rambla, is perfect for leisurely walks and sunset views.

Travel Tip: While in Montevideo, visit the iconic Solís Theatre for a taste of the city's rich performing arts scene.

Punta del Este

Punta del Este is Uruguay's premier coastal resort town, known for its beautiful beaches, luxury accommodations, and vibrant nightlife. It's a favorite among well-to-do South Americans and expats who enjoy its high-end lifestyle. The town has a smaller population but swells during the summer months. Living here can be pricier, but the quality of life is exceptional, with plenty of dining, shopping, and cultural activities.

Travel Tip: Check out Casapueblo, the extraordinary hotel and art gallery designed by Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró, located just outside Punta del Este in Punta Ballena.

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a rich history and a charming, laid-back atmosphere. Its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture make it a picturesque place to live or visit. The town is small, with a population of around 27,000, offering a peaceful retreat with a lower cost of living compared to larger cities. Expats enjoy the town's tranquility and its proximity to Buenos Aires, Argentina, just a short ferry ride away.

Travel Tip: Spend an afternoon exploring the historic Barrio Histórico and its well-preserved 17th-century convent ruins.

Piriápolis

Piriápolis is a charming beach town located between Montevideo and Punta del Este. It's known for its family-friendly atmosphere, scenic waterfront, and the surrounding hills, such as Cerro San Antonio and Cerro Pan de Azúcar. The town has a modest population, offering a quieter lifestyle with affordable living costs. It's a great place for those who enjoy nature and a slower pace of life.

Travel Tip: Take a chairlift ride up Cerro San Antonio for stunning panoramic views of the coastline and the town below.

Garzón

The small village of Garzón is a hidden gem for those seeking a bohemian and rural lifestyle. With a tiny population, it offers a close-knit community feel and is becoming increasingly popular among artists and creative expats. The region around Garzón is known for its vineyards and olive groves, contributing to a serene and picturesque living environment.

Travel Tip: Enjoy a gourmet dining experience at the renowned restaurant of celebrity chef Francis Mallmann, located in the heart of Garzón.

Salto

Salto is Uruguay's second-largest city, known for its warm springs and vibrant local culture. The cost of living is lower than in Montevideo, and the city offers a mix of urban life and natural attractions. Expats and retirees appreciate the friendly community and the slower pace of life, as well as the proximity to the Argentinian border for easy travel.

Travel Tip: Visit the Termas del Daymán, a popular hot springs complex just outside of Salto, for a relaxing day in the therapeutic waters.

Carmelo

Carmelo is a tranquil town situated along the Rio de la Plata. It's known for its wineries, beautiful river beaches, and laid-back lifestyle. The town is small, with a population of around 19,000, making it an ideal spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The cost of living is affordable, and the community is welcoming to newcomers.

Travel Tip: Explore the Bodega Boutique El Legado, a family-run winery, for a taste of local wines and a tour of the vineyards.

Rocha Coast

The Rocha coast is a stretch of pristine beaches and small towns that offer a more rustic and natural living experience. La Paloma, Cabo Polonio, and Punta del Diablo are popular towns among expats and travelers seeking a connection with nature and a simpler way of life. The cost of living is lower, and the communities are tight-knit, with a focus on eco-tourism and conservation.

Travel Tip: Visit the Cabo Polonio National Park to see the local sea lion colony and the iconic lighthouse.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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View from Fortaleza General Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay

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