Ssshhhh! Best kept secret for young travelers right now is Uruguay, Montevideo and the beaches in particular. And the seasons are reversed! So when it is freezing here, it is gorgeous there – high season (summer) starts in December. We have to mention the beaches, have to. Montevideo itself is surrounded on three sides by beaches, connected by a wide, paved Boardwalk. Excellent, safe place to jog, bike, stroll, water gaze and people watch.
Next is Punta del Este – think Miami or as one blogger put it, “Monaco of South America”, but we think this place is too pricey and too overdeveloped now. Then there is the polar opposite, Cabo Polonio – no roads and hard to get to but worth it, if you like your beach time very natural and rustic. Best bet is Punta del Diablo, nearer to the border of Brazil. It is probably what Punta del Este looked like 20 years ago and hits just the right note of beach perfect.
Montevideo is where you will live and intern in the Adelante Abroad program. Our favorite neighborhoods are Pocitos and Parque Rodo, Ciudad Vieja to go out at night. There are so many green spaces in this colonial, capital city! The sounds of trees rustling is near constant. A striking national obsession to note is yerba mate, a herbal almost tea-ish infusion that locals add hot water to and drink, all day, everywhere. Even public officials – think police officers, librarians, government workers, everyone! – have their mate gourds with them, sipping their mate out of their bombillas (curved metal straw) Lastly, the public art in and around Montevideo is hard to describe in words, and completely unforgettable.