Why Uruguay is Top of Our 2022 Travel List

Why Uruguay is Top of Our 2022 Travel List

Sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil, less-explored Uruguay is at the top of our 2022 travel hit-list. Here’s why it should be high on yours, too.

overlooked by travellers making their way straight for

is an off-the-radar travel destination for most
Europeans, despite its familiar-looking landscape. With an economy
largely based around agriculture, the country is nicknamed “the
of South America” for its rolling hills and pea-green pastures.
Look beyond its verdant farmland, though, and you’ll be met with
thumping nightlife, clean-as-they-come beaches and a sizzling
culinary scene. Just get there before everyone else does.

Five reasons to visit Uruguay now


1. Its coastline is pristine and (genuinely) untouched

“Untouched” might just be the most flexibly used word in modern
travel writing but, in the case of Uruguay’s coastline, it is
appropriately employed. One of the least-populated shores in the
world, the country’s entire south-east coast is laced with pristine
beaches that are empty for 10 months of the year. Coastal towns
range from hippie hideaways like Rocha, near the Brazilian border,
to pounding Punta del Este – dancefloor to South America’s starry
elite – and José Ignacio, a chilled-out fishing village that’s home
to Posada
, an artist’s retreat we’ve earmarked as our favourite
waterfront bolthole-to-book.


2. You can party from dusk till dawn

Uruguay might be known for its laid-back vibe, but head to its
big cities and you’ll find late-night restaurants, glamorous
partygoers and myriad reasons to stay up late. A magnet for the
country’s most up-and-at-it crowd, Montevideo offers every flavour
of nighttime haunt, from old-school bars and cocktail joints to
Irish pubs and big-beat clubs. Once you’ve maxed out on the
capital’s evening escapades, head east to party-till-you-drop Punta
del Este, where trendy types let off steam on the beach to the beat
of big-name international DJs.


3. Locals are friendly, and their love for their country is infectious

South America’s high crime rates are no secret but, fortunately,
Uruguay hasn’t been tarred with the same brush. As the safest
country on the continent and the 35th most peaceful place in the
world, according to the Global World Peace Index, it is home to
some of the most welcoming locals we’ve ever met. Most citizens’
love for their country means that if you stop to ask for direction,
they’ll happily show you around town themselves. There’s a
well-preserved historic quarter in almost every city, so there’ll
be plenty for you to be shown. Plus, the way things roll in
Uruguay, you may well wind up at a bar with your newfound local
friend that evening.


4. You’ll be in prime barbecue country

Although Argentina tends to steal the global limelight on the
steak front, its Uruguayan neighbours take the sport of barbecuing
just as seriously. One of the world’s most important beef
exporters, the country’s abundance of lush green pastures means
that grass-fed cattle is the norm, and steak sandwiches the usual
order of the day. Barbecues are so integral to Uruguay’s identity,
in fact, that in 2015 the country’s most significant meat-packing
quarter, the Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape, received Unesco
Industrial Heritage status.

5. You’ll return with a sense of inner peace

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, mindful
is the next big thing. For the uninitiated, that means
embarking on adventures that go deeper than your average
wellbeing trip
and fast-track you to a place of inner
stillness, usually through nature. Uruguay is known for its
slow-as-you-go pace and outstanding natural beauty, with scores of
remote spots to find yourself in, so it’s no surprise we’re calling
it out as mindful travel’s hot-ticket destination for 2022. Prepare
for peace and quiet like you’ve never known before.

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