Making the most of your time in Uruguay

15/09/2017 16:00

Written by Bradt Travel Guides

From the laid-back capital city of Montevideo to historic estancias (ranches), Uruguay is a destination that has much to offer. Whether you're only visiting for a week or you've got a bit more time to spare, check out our sample itineraries to guarantee that you make the most of your time there. These are feasible by bus or with a rental car.

One week

Montevideo, Uruguay by byvalet, ShutterstockBegin your trip in Montevideo © byvalet, Shutterstock

Begin your trip in Montevideo and take a stroll along the rambla  waterfront boulevard. 

Cabo Polonio, Uruguay by Ksenia Ragozin, ShutterstockHead east towards Cabo Polonio © Ksenia Ragozin, Shutterstock

Then head east along the coast, perhaps going to La Pedrera, La Paloma, Cabo Polonio or José Igancio (depending on taste and budget) rather than Punta del Este.

Wine, Uruguay  by Ana Raquel S. HernandesTaste some Uruguayan wine at the Canelones wineries © Ana Raquel S. Hernandes

Next, head inland to Minas and back to Montevideo via the Canelones wineries, where you can sample some of the country's finest wines.   

If you have time, add on an extension westward to Colonia. 

Two weeks 

From Montevideo go west to Colonia, Carmelo and Fray Bentos, where the former meat-packing plant has reopened as an industrial heritage museum.

Fray Bentos Uruguay by Fernando Pangaré FlickrThe meat-packing plant at Fray Bentos is now an industrial heritage museum © Fernando Pangaré, Flickr

Follow the litoral north to Paysandú or Salto, then head east to Tacuarembó. 

Tacuarembó, Uruguay by Kobby Dagan, ShutterstockTacuarembó is definitely worth visiting © Kobby Dagan, Shutterstock

From here either go south to Montevideo via the Canelones wineries, or via Minas to the beaches of eastern Uruguay and then back to Montevideo, maybe with a day trip to some wineries from there. 

Three or more weeks

From Montevideo go west to Colonia, Carmelo and Fray Bentos. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay by kastianz, ShutterstockGo west to Colonia © kastianz, Shutterstock

Then follow the litoral north to Paysandú or Salto, where you can stop off at the Termas del Daymán hot baths.  

Termas de Daymán, Uruguay by Leonardo Correa, Wikimedia CommonsStop off at Termas de Daymán whilst in Salto © Leonardo Correa, Wikimedia Commons

Head on to Artigas and Rivera, then south to Tacuarembó and then east to Melo and Treinta y Tres, then down to Rocha and the beaches of eastern Uruguay.

Aguas Dulces Beach, Rocha, Uruguay by Kseniya Ragozina, DreamstimeRelax on one of the beaches of eastern Uruguay such as Aguas Dulces in Rocha © Kseniya Ragozina, Dreamstime

Fianlly, head back to Montevideo, maybe with a day trip to some wineries from there.


Inspired to visit Uruguay? Check out our guide for more information.

Uruguay, the Bradt Guide by Tim Burford

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