Punta del Este, Uruguay © Jimmy Baikovicius
As one of South America's smallest countries, the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is largely overshadowed on the tourism map by its more popular neighbours, Brazil and Argentina. That said, this largely flat destination of rolling plains and hilly meadows has much to offer travellers, who among other things, can lounge on fine sandy beaches, tour the atmospheric capital, Montevideo, and savour some of the world's cheapest and most delectable steaks.
The capital ought to be any visitor's first stop in this delightful destination, as its stunning architecture, dazzling food scene and breezy promenades will not disappoint. From there, easy-going travellers should visit the cobbled old town of Colonia del Sacramento for its leafy plazas, 18th-century Portuguese architecture and all around laidback atmosphere, or unwind in the iconic, off-grid fishing village of Cabo Polonio. Thrill seekers should venture to Uruguay's cattle ranches, where rugged gauchos (cowboys) labour on the open plains, or head to the upscale international beach resort of Punta del Este.
All in all, Uruguay is a must for travellers who want a fresh South American adventure full of charming locations and welcoming people.
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