A visit to Uruguay isn’t complete without a stopover in its famed capital, and for one of the smaller cities in South America, this hidden gem packs a punch. Montevideo has a lot to offer, including hectic fútbol matches, some of the best steak and seafood of your life, self-guided cycling graffiti tours, sandy beaches and sunny promenades.
The first 24 hours
See – Let’s start with fútbol. For a nation of only 3.4m people, it is pretty amazing to see that Uruguay’s national team is consistently a contender on the international stage. With a World Cup finish of 4th place in 2010, and players scattered throughout the major leagues around the world, one can’t help but to question where all this talent comes from. Montevideo is a breeding ground for world-class footballers and the best place to catch these future stars in action is at a local game. Tickets are easy to get from any vendor in the city. Pick whatever game suits your schedule and enjoy.
Do – I love renting a bike for the day in Montevideo. It’s a very easy city to navigate on two wheels. The city is littered (pun intended) with amazing street art. Why not chart your course by following a self-guided graffiti route? Find a map of Montevideo’s graffiti here, which gives you photos and location directions for each incredible piece. If you like art and cycling this is a perfect way to spend a unique afternoon exploring the city.
Eat – The Mercado del Puerto (port market) at the edge of Pérez Castellanos neighbourhood some of the best steak and seafood options in the Southern Cone of South America. It is an incredibly colourful place offering many types of fresh delicacies. With the ocean on its doorstep, Montevideo has a vibrant fishing industry and everything comes straight to the Mercado del Puerto first. There are a number of great restaurants to choose from with a selection for all, so no worries if you don’t like fresh fish. But for those who do, enjoy.
The next 24 hours
Do – Walking or running on the promenade. My favourite morning activity in Montevideo is going for a run along the Ciclo via Rabla Promenade along Rambla Mahatma Gandhi road. This promenade has a super-wide space that has been set aside solely for runners, walkers and cyclists , and follows the natural curve of Punta Carretas for kilometres on end. It is a great way to start your day and get a bit of exercise in during your travels. And best of all, it’s free!
See – Day trip to Punta del Este for SA’s version of Miami Beach. 132 km (82 mi) from Montevideo is the famed Punta del Este beach town, one of the most intriguing party spots in all South America. It draws an eclectic and entertaining bunch of people, often playing host to an array of Argentine, Brazilian, Chilean and Uruguayan TV and movie stars. The town is full of pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants, and has the perfect golden beach to match. This is the place to party, especially in the summer months (Dec–Mar).
G Adventures runs a number of departures in Uruguay encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips here.