There are a number of famous destinations in South America – from Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay might not be on the latest Top 10 list and I didn’t make it on my previous trips to South America either. But it is popular with visitors from neighboring Argentina and has been on my list for many years. I finally made it for a visit and was looking forward to it. Turns out, there is a reason why it is so popular with their neighbors.
The number one reason for visitors from nearby Buenos Aires are the beaches around Montevideo – they are close to the city, an easy bus ride from Montevideo along the coast, and just a ferry ride from Argentina. They are lively city beaches with plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops right behind the beach and all the facilities you’d want on the beach. You have a choice between city hotels and more typical beach resorts, making it easy to enjoy sun, sand and surf for a few days. While they might not be the perfect Robinson Crusoe beach for your honeymoon, they are a convenient weekend getaway from city life!
And there is more than beaches to Montevideo. The old town is compact and a pleasant place for a stroll. You can combine sightseeing of the architectural highlights, a visit to one of the small museums and some shopping along the pedestrian streets into one walking tour of the city.There are plenty of outdoor cafes and restaurants along the streets and plazas, making for a nice break, great dinner and interesting people watching.There are music and tango performances in the street and you can even add a show at the beautiful Teatro Solis to your itinerary to make your trip more memorable. Compared to Buenos Aires, Montevideo is much smaller and many of the places you want to be are in walking distance or a short bus ride away, making it convenient and easy for visitors to explore. You can start your day on the beach, visit a museum in the afternoon, do some shopping in the afternoon and watch live Tango Performances from your restaurant in the evening – all in a day’s time!
Montevideo might not make it on any top 10 lists, but it is certainly worth a visit. If you are planning a trip to Buenos Aires, I’d recommend to add Montevideo to your itinerary. It’s a few hours by ferry, provides an interesting contrast to the Argentinian capital and has plenty of beaches to relax from all the sightseeing. I’m glad I finally made it to Montevideo…