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  • Day21

    Zwöi Täg hei mr ez da in Colonia dal Sacramento verbracht. Es schön, gmüetlichs Kononial-Städtli! Nach eim Rägetag da hei mr de zwöiti bi Sunneschi dörfe gnüsse u gmüetlich dur dGässli schländere. Feini Pizzas u Chivito hei mr ou scho dörfe gnüsse😉

  • Day7

    Early start on the ferry this morning to make it to Uruguay. Then on the bus to Montevideo. Nothing like New Zealand bus trips thank goodness, so no sickness. Nothing but straight roads and reclining seats (with foot rests), very nice.
    Had a wander around Montevideo and explored an old palace and a museum dedicated to the Andes plane crash in the 70s.

  • Day8

    Today was a miserable weather day so thankfully it was spend in a warm bus to tour Punta Del Esta, a tourist town on Uruguay's coast.
    We were the only ones on the bus who spoke English but had a very impressive tour guide who said everything in 3 languages (Spanish, Portuguese & English) for the whole day.

  • Day17

    We fell a little bit in love with Montevideo after just a day there, and would recommend anyone to visit. After the hustle and bustle of Rio and BA, the city had a really chilled vibe, matched by its people who enjoy a slower pace to life. If I ever emigrate it may be to Uruguay!

    When we ventured out in the morning life had reentered the city, and the streets were busy with vendors, cafés and stalls. We wandered down from the old city to independence square where (of course) we met our walking tour guide sipping his matte (a herbal tea which most Uruguans carry around all day, clutching their hot water flasks like a baby). He was the most eccentric guide yet, and had a wonderful self depricating way of describing Montevideo and its inhabitants. Uruguyans are mostly lazy, friendly and progressive. Their loves are football and steak, and that is all you need to become Uruguyans, vegetarians beware.

    We followed him from one leafy square to the next untill we ended in the old market, now full of steak restaurants. With our new friends from the walking group we sat down to some more amazingly good steak and wine. We decided to meet up again in the evening and after a few drinks at their hostel we headed to a tapas restauraunt. We ended the night learning a new card game from Columbia which had been dubbed "Cuckoo". Tricky and conniving I hope we come up against more people who know this game!

    Next day and we're back in BA with a flight down to Patagonia tomorrow. It will be a nice change to go from hot busy cities to a colder climate, with amazing mountains to trek!
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  • Day101

    I am keen to exlpore the city , so after a shower we walk towards the historical centre. There are so many places of interest in this beautiful place and as soon as we step out the door the buildings on route attract our attention. Its really quite sad that so many of the wonderful buildings are left empty and with ony a small amount of money could be restored to there former glory. Glorious parks line the route and the city has a real ambience and hustle without feeling to hectic . We stop for a few minutes watching two guys playing chess in the street, they are mesmerising to watch and they play with a timer ,smashing there chess pieces down in a matter of seconds then smashing the clock with the same speed to keep within their time, they could honestly be proffesionals. As we continue our walk there is a huge building that dominates the skyline in front of us, this is the entrance to the plaza independencia. Artigas is a hero of Uruguay having defeted the English and giving Uruguay its indpendence his statue dominates the square astride his horse and behind this is where he is buried. We enter the crypt which is underground and has a real eeriness about it , two statues of guards are either side of the urn dressed in military attire and as i go to take a photo i am impressed with how life like they look......then he blinks.. i let out a gasp of fright and it takes him all his time not to laugh, but proffesionally remains perfectly still. Our next port of call is the theatre Solis, which was built 200 years ago for entertainment for the Europeans that had now inhabited the city. We ot for he guided tour here as its so beautiful we want to know a little more. Today is Womans Day and the philarmonic ochestra are laying here tonight, the tickets are free and have all gone, but we are treated as when we enter the presidents box they are rehearsing for tonights performance . The theatre has a program that allows people from the surrounding small towns (who would never be able to afford to come here ) to come here and experience a day at the theatre, they pay for their travel and even throw in lunch before they watch the evenings performance. All ticket prices in the theatre are the same as they dont want just the rich people having the best seats which reminds me of Ed sheeranspolicy at his concerts and is a fantastic idea. We contine exploring the endless museums and walk all the way to the river before stopping for a bite of lunch in a restaurant close by. We decide to treat ourselves and order a steak, which isnt cheap, but i am desperate to have one cooked how i like it Medium Rare . Although we have eaten a few steaks here they have generally been well done, and when it arrives it doesnt even touch the sides. It literally melts in my mouth and is worth every penny. We explore a little more before heading back to the hotel to pack. on the street is a mime artist, who really catures my eye and i stand mesmerised by her for several minutes , as i place a few coins in her ot she comes to life and softly beckons me over placing a small piece of paper in my hand when i open it up it has a spanish quote in it which translates to " the diffuculy common people have prepares them for extrordinary destinations " ........how true xRead more

  • Day100

    Luckily I remembered to set the alarm an hour early due to my hone still being an hour out. We wake at 6 and literally have a quick wash and brush our teeth before heading for the terminal to catch our first bus of the day to Monteveido. The town is so quiet , but still as beautiful as i rememered it yesterday and when we arrive at the station I'm surprised at how many peole ar waiting to catch the bus. The bus to Montevedio takes just under 3 hours and is in perfect timing for us to be able to catch our onward coach to Cabo Polonia. We board the second bus which takes just under 4 hours and were heading to a place we have heard mixed reviews about. Its always difficult to know what to do as when you read reviews of places ,peolple may not like the things you do and without knowing them personally its hard to judge. We ahve read that the place has no water and no electric, but we decide that is only one day so wont be so bad. The bus drops us at the end of a dirt track and there is a really well established tourist reception and having learnt the hard way we book our tickets for our return journey tomorrow . We then buy tickets for our 4x4 ride to 'camp' . Two jeeps are waiting to take us all , but they are pretty packed to the brim, so we will have to wait till the next one in an hour. Someone must have radioed over as within minutes another jeep pulls in and the remaining passengers climb aboard. The journey is hilarious everyone is being thrown all over the place as we head through the sand dunes forest and shore line until we arrive at the plaza. Cabo Plonia is a little hippy village with literally shacks scattered all over the place . We book into the hostel and as its later in the afternoon head out to explore this tranquil little spot. We pass a convenience store which is little more than a wooden shed with bare essentials and fresh fruit and veg and a set of old fashioned scales to weigh evertything with. We forget how easy life is with electric and the guy adds our shopping bill with a pencil and paper. It feels like I have been transported to another century and the sense of this gives me a feeling of total freeedom. I love this place already. We walk along the coast as there is the promise that we might see sea lions and seals. the coast is beautiful with waves crashing against the rocks below us, the isolation and the immense feeling of freedom are overwhelming . The walk takes us along to the lighthouse and we purchase tickets to enter that have $40 written on them but we are charged $50 we laugh thinking that the 2 guys have ripped us off but the case is the admission fee has gone up but they are still using the old tickets. The view from the lighthouse gives us panoramic views of the whole island as well as the little island just of shore that houses the seals and sea lions. The sealions come ashore when they have been ousted by the chief seal on the island, or have fought and lost the battle. As we arrived on the jee there was a dead seal on the beach, and that was the ultimate loss. Although sad to see, its all nature.
    A short walk back to the hostel takes us less than ten minutes and we reare some pasta for tonights tea and tomorrows lunch. Yet again we sit chatting with some really incredible people from all over the world, but i am very aware of my lack of Spanish. The sunset is pretty non existent so we all sit around the table chatting as the night draws in . The need for candlelight is soon upon us , however it is not so bad here as they now have wind turbines(which is broken and solar panels but beacuse of the lack of sun today the slar energy soon runs out and we are back to the bare basics. This is so atmospheric and i do believ i could honestly live this way. The night life here doesnt start till after 10 and we take a walk out to a "local" bar that has thepromise of folk music. Walking in the dark in this place is no joke and within minutes im on my knees in the sand. Withe nothing happening at the bar we head back to the hostel and a camp fire with guitar. Everybody in South America loves the beatles and Uruguay is no acception.
    Slowly people head to bed , but one of the guys tells us that at 3am the whole of the milky way will be visible and its things like this i dont want to miss. the night turns colder but the fire keeps us warm and just sitting here gazing at millions of stars is breathtaking, its hard to oint out constellations as there are so many but one of the guys has an app on his phone which shows where they all are. (i must download this when i get internet) Just when i hink things couldnt get any better a girl comes from the beach and tells the reamining 3 of us that we must come to see . As we walk to the beach 100 yards away the sight that beholds us is one i will never forget. As the waves are crashing in they are filled with an illuminous blue what i believe are organisms ( i will do my research when i get wifi) as each wave crashes the smie on my face gets bigger and bigger to a point i have smiled so much my cheeks hurt . The crazy thing about this is my sister sent me a picture of this since ive been travelling and when i researched it they said they could only be seen in Costa Rica but here i am witnessing it. We go back to the fire to have a warm and Mark retires for bed but it is only another hour till the full milky way and igo down to the beach to continue watching this phenomenen. The 360 % view is just filled with twinkling stars and a glowing sea and although i was unable to get decent photos that would still not have done it justice it is something I will remember till the day i die.
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  • Day101

    I wake early in the morning even though I spent two hours shivering with cold when I went to bed (or maybe it was the adrenalin ) so in total have had only 2 hours sleep. I am keen to make the most of this idyllic place . Its strange because I have split thoughts about leaving today. I would love to stay for longer because of what I witnessed earlier this morning but it's like chasing the dragon , some people have been here numerous times and never witnessed what I saw , so there's no guarantee I will see it again, and would it be as good second time around. We make coffee and juice and head down to the beautiful beach to relax for a couple of hours before getting on the bone shaker to catch our bus. The sand is the softest I've seen and I lay down my blanket while Mark goes off looking for crabs. The weather is deceiving as the wind is cool and strong but the sun is scorching. At midday we take the 3 minute walk back to the hostel to eat the pasta left over from last night. We board the 4x4 and enjoy the 20 minutes bumper ride back to the bus pick up point. The ride takes us out of the village and along the north beach which at a guess is about 20km long, over the sand dunes and to the information station where we will be picked up. I bought the tickets for our return journey yesterday as we've been caught out before. The bus arrives on time but we are told that we have to get on the other bus it's no issue as they are both going to the same place. The 4 hour return journey seems endless, but we have a bonus of witnessing the most amazing sunset . We arrive at the bus station at 8 oclock and are in no mood for the 30 min walk to the hotel (only cos it's the same price as a hostel) so we grab a cab and arrive shortly later. We are both starving and desperate for a shower. The shower here is one of the best I've had, hot water and complimentary toiletries, I'd forgotten how the other half holiday. There is a supermarket just down the street so after we pick up a few nibbles we get back to our room eat our picnic and sleep.Read more

  • Day105

    We arrive in Carmelo just after 3 in the afternoon, and as i step off the bus it is apparent that this isnt a big touristy area. Two guys in the street jeer us and the place is so small we can definitely get this done in one day. A couple of blocks later and we arrive at the Carmelo hostel. We are greeted by a really nice guy who speaks good english and makes us feel at home straight away. He ugrades us to a double room for no extra charge and just goes out of his way to make us feel at home. The hostel is actually an extension on his home , with the quaintest garden housing lemon , fig and orange trees , with a large marijuana garden to the rear of that. Marijuana is totally legal in Uruguay and by god do they make the most of it. Our first night here comprises of us chilling out and having a few beers with the owner. Its really easy to take so many things for granted out here , just another museum , another beutiful beach, but I am adamant that i wont let this happen to us, but today i do just need to relax. We get up the next morning and its late, Mark and i ended up drinking till 3 in the morning and to say imfeeling a little bit worse for wear would be an understatement , so we agrre it will be a good idea to stay another night. Bomba asks us if we would like to join him and have something to eat and to be honest i think its just what i need . He serves up an absolute feast of a big pork shoulder cooked with onions and potatoes and chimmichurri sauce , just like a roast dinner without the veg, but absolutely delicious. Once again the rain has scuered our plans so i send time catching u with the family until that plan is scuppered by a power cut. This is really disappointing as there is a pool chapionship planned for tonight, and Mark and I fancy showing them how the gringos can play, but without light tha might prove a little difficult. We sit by candlelight(mark and i have never had so many romantic nights) and exchange stories. Bomba has been quite a charachter in his day ( a bit like catch me if you can) and then as if by a miracle at2130h the lights come back on and we head over to the bar. The lotteries are drawn and we are assigned our players, it is the best of 3 and sadly I am knocked out in the first round. Mark however makes it through to the semi final and lots of money is exchanged with most people in the bar, waging money on who they think will win. Theprize however is a pool cue, and somehow i cant see how we will fit this in our luggage. Mark is a little worse for wear by now and sadly gets knocked out , so we head back home as tomorrow we really must see Carmelo (even if it is by candlelight).Read more

  • Day99

    We arrive at 0700 in the morning, and grab a quick coffee and croissant at the station. Then straight for the ferry that will take us to Colonio Sacremento, the taxi driver is an absolute sweetheart and drops us off in the safe port.My misunderstanding of the language causes problems as I think the guy says that the slow ferry leaves at 3pm so I pay double for the fast one , to later find out that the other ferry took 3hours and left at 930, ah well lesson learnt. The ferry is very similar to the Isle of Wight ferry, and its strange how we have little reminders of home as we travel. We pass through immigration where our fingerprints are taken (big brother is definately watching now), and board the ferry. The crossing takes just over an hour and we arrive in Colonia Sacremento. The hostel is literally 10 minutes walk and very easy to find so we drop our rucksacks and take a walk to explore the town. We only have one day here as we need to get a move on towards Torres del Paine before the winter really sets in as we will be camping for 5 days in the wind rain and snow. I am shocked at how small the town is, although very beautiful, with lots of history, but within 3 hours we have pretty much done the old town. We return to the hostel and find our beds for the night , unpack a few essentials and then head out to find something to eat. The other end of town has beaches for 10km so we walk along the beach front aiming to find a bar that serves food and were met with the sunsetting over the River de la plata. The bars are pretty much closed as we are coming to the end of the season and we agree to watch the sunset and head back to the old town to eat . we find a little pasta house and order a couple of dishes and a salad. I have to say it was the best meal i have had since being here , so delicious, little bowls of various pastas served with various sauces , another idea i will be bringing home. An early night is in order as we will be leaving at 6 in the morning.When we arrived yesterday I realised our android devices were an hour ahead of my watch. When I asked about this the Uruguayan governement have this year decide not to adhere to the hour change for summer, beacause the restaurants had complained they were losing business , so for the first time in centuries the clocks havent changed. The government have also agrred that if you pay for anything with Visa they will give you a 15% discount so whilewe are here we will make the most of it.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Uruguay, Yurugwae, ኡራጓይ, Uruguai, أورجواي, Uruqvay, Уругвай, Urugwayi, উরুগোয়ে, ཨུ་རུ་གྷེ།, Urugvaj, uruguaydukɔ, Ουρουγουάη, Urugvajo, اوروگوئه, Uruguwaay, Uruguei, Urugua, ઉરુગ્વે, Yurugai, אורגוואי, उरूग्वे, Irigwe, Ուրուգվայ, Úrúgvæ, ウルグアイ共和国, ურუგვაი, Urugwai, អ៊ុយរុយហ្គាយ, ಉರುಗ್ವೇ, 우루과이, ئوروگوای, Urugway, Uraquaria, Wurugwayi, Irigwei, ລູກວຍອຸຣ, Urugvajus, Urugvaja, Orogoay, Уругвај, ഉറുഗ്വേ, उरुग्वे, Urugwaj, ဥရုဂွေး, Yurugwai, युरूगुए, ଉରୁଗୁଏ, یوروګوای, Uruwayi, उरुग्वाय, Uruguëe, Uruguaj, Uruguaji, உருகுவே, ఉరుగువే, Уругуай, ประเทศอุรุกวัย, ʻUlukuei, ئۇرۇگۋاي, Уруґвай, یوروگوئے, U-ru-goay (Uruguay), אורוגוויי, Orílẹ́ède Nruguayi, 乌拉圭, i-Uruguay

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