Buen Dia Montevideo Uruguay! This is a great time to visit Uruguay
The South American travel scene is hot with 2014 FIFA World Cup fast approaching, and Uruguay as a travel destination is super hot. Uruguay is a hot topic, with its progressive government, its informal president and its social society. Its football team gearing up for 2014 FIFA World Cup in South America, hot. And its climate, beaches and scenery, hot. Those embers under the parrilla grill, loaded with masses of Uruguayan Beef Asado, hot!
It’s Small, It’s Far and It’s Uncrowded!
Roughly the area of the state of Washington, and a population of approximately 3.3 million, Uruguay averages around 3 million visitor per year, mostly from Brazil and Argentina. I flew from Vancouver, Canada. Travel times one-way from YVR to Montevideo, Uruguay are anywhere from 24 hours to 44 hours, depending on the number of stop (minimum of two) and duration of stops. Most flights to Montevideo have at least two stops, and are routed either via Santiago (SCL) or Sao Paulo (GRU). It is a bit of a long and gruelling journey, especially if you’re in economy (as I was). The good news is that Uruguay is only four hours ahead of Vancouver (PST) time during our summer, and six hours ahead in our winter, so the jet lag is minimal!
Stroll the streets of Ciudad Vieja Montevideo, this barrio is filled with crumbling spanish colonial structures and beautifully vibrant graffiti street art.
Charms of the City – Playas, Plazas, Ramblas, y Ciudad Vieja
Montevideo is best appreciated on foot. It has a climate that is temperate, and the city offers excellent foot paths and quiet streets to enjoy strolling.
Enjoy a Yerba Mate or stroll the plaza and browse the antique vendors at Plaza Matize, Ciudad Viejo, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Asado, Dulce de Leche, y Mate
If you like beef, you’ll love the Mercado Del Puerto in Montevideo’s Ciudad Viejo near the Port and Ferry Terminal. Open daily for lunch, you’re guaranteed an excellent beef Asado eating experience here. In Uruguay, there are 3 cows to every Uruguayan. Uruguayans eat beef on average 10-12 times a week. Grilled in Asado Style on the Parraillo Uruguayan Grill. Meats often come with Chimichurri, a fresh salsa made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar.
If it’s not meat, the seafood is excellent, from fresh local fish to an abundance of squid and octopus. And then there is the Dulce de Leche, a caramelly distillation of milk.
It’s spread and poured on everything. Can’t have breakfast without a quantitiy of Dulce de Leche on some bread. The home style flan, lovely, comes with a healthy drizzling of Dulch de Leche. Is Nice!
And then there’s the ever present Yerba Mate, or just Mate. Learn about Mate, the drink of Uruguayans.
Montevideo, For the Dogs
Whether the narrow street of Ciudad Vieja or surrounding the apartment blocks of Pocitos, dogs were ever present. As was the care necessary to side step some deposits along the pathways and back streets. Is this how the Tango was invented?
Tiny Uruguay, 3.3 million people, and they have a giant of a football club. When they have games, it is rumoured that a third of the entire population attend. I wish them well in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, South America.
Tourist Office at Montevideo Airport
Drop by the Uruguayan Tourist Office at Montevideo Airport, if only to say Hi to the poor guy who sits there all day. There are a lot of great brochures and maps in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – Uruguay Profile
I flew United Airlines to Montevideo, Uruguay.