Many people might think of Uruguay as a 'deeper cut' - somewhere
to go once you've well and truly caught the Latin American bug in
the big guns like Brazil, Argentina or Peru. Well, there's a
certain logic to that, but Uruguay has more than enough attractions
for the Latin American first timer as well, with the added
advantage that these attractions are in relatively easy reach of
each other - particularly when compared to the distances involved
in either of the country's vast neighbours.
Some scene-setting statistics - Uruguay has just 3.5 million
inhabitants in a space about the same size as Britain, meaning it's
a whole heap less crowded than the place we call home, and those
wide open spaces just happen to be extremely attractive, too, made
up of endless pristine beaches, beautiful rolling hill country and
vast plains of cattle grazing pastures. Add a healthy dose of
fascinating colonial history, a burgeoning wine industry and
boutique hotels to rival any in the continent and this is a
cracking addition to our Latin American portfolio.
It gets better - this is the sort of country that active types
will adore, be their chosen mode of transport a horse, a mountain
bike, a surfboard or a kite surfer. Riders can enjoy the full
gaucho experience and even try their hand at that most glamorous of
sports, polo; the many wineries can be explored by (increasingly
unstable, presumably) mountain bike and the coastline has beaches
and breaks to suit all standards of surfers, kited or
Uruguay also offers trekking and cooking courses and the chance
to spend time with some of Latin Americas most charming and laid
The trendiest of the beach towns, Punta del Este, Jose Ignacio
and Cabo Polonia, play host to an impossibly beautiful crowd in the
summer months, so work on that tan and toning regime before you
arrive and then prepare to party hard. They also attract a serious
crowd of jetset party animals come Christmas and New Year.
Fortunately, the hoteliers we work with can open all the right
social doors so you can join in the fun.
If you can drag yourself away from all this hedonism, a
combination holiday with Argentina works a treat as the best way to
arrive in Uruguay is flying into Buenos Aires and hopping across
the River Plate.