Category Archives: Uruguay

Carnaval de Uruguay

Carnaval de Uruguay
Carnaval de Uruguay

Uruguay Carnival (Montevideo) – in late January and February, the capital holds its annual celebration of carnival festivities (unlike other countries, this carnival last 40 days). Parades of women dressed in colorful costumes dance to the sound of pulsating drumbeats; while the Murgas (a street theater group) stage productions of political satire. During parades often held during that time, Comparsas (groups of candombe drum-beating performers) conduct “llamadas” (or “calls”), often held at Avenida 18 de Julio – where such groups compete against one another for prizes. In this country, Carnival pays homage to the country’s once-sizable African (former slave) population, despite present-day Uruguay’s heavily European population.

Tambo el Sosiego

Tambo el Sosiego
Tambo el Sosiego

Tambo el Sosiego (Camino Lapataia, Punta Ballena, Punta del Este) — maker of the famous Lapataia-brand “dulce de leche” dessert, gives free tours that walk visitors through the process of making the region’s favorite dessert. The dairy farm and plant are 12 miles from central Punta del Este, easily accessible by car and open seven days a week. See the manufacturer’s website for more info: lapataiapuntadeleste.com.uy

Punta del Este

Punta del Este
Punta del Este

Punta del Este – this beach town east of Montevideo is often compared to Miami Beach, because of its skyline of luxury condo buildings (often facing the beach), trendy nightspots, and frequent gatherings of the Southern Cone’s rich and famous. Nowadays, it’s so popular a beach resort that more than 100,000 Argentines alone flock to its sands each January. Many say that a trip to Uruguay wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this trendy resort town.

Isla de los Lobos

Isla de los Lobos
Isla de los Lobos

Isla de los Lobos (Punta del Este) – this island, located 8 km. southeast of Punta del Este, has perhaps the largest colony of sea lions in the southern hemisphere. Visitors can sign up for tours given by various tour company located at Punta del Este’s marina (which should cost around US$40 per person).

Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha

Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha
Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha

Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha (Laguna de las Lavanderas, Tacuarembó) – for those interested in exploring Uruguay’s folk past and gaucho (cowboy) culture, it may be worth the 4-hour drive north from Montevideo to the provincial town of Tacuarembó. “Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha” (Gaucho Country Festival) is an event held annually (every March) there since 1986, which pays homage to the country’s fabled gaucho (cowboy). At least 60,000 attendees show up (many on horseback, wearing gaucho clothing and hats) – a true spectacle. Visitors from nearby Argentina and Brazil also participate. See the event website for details: http://patriagaucha.com.uy