February 09, 2022

Montevideo , well worth the long trip

By Philippe Jolicoeur
beautiful building in Montevideo


You may ask yourself, what is there to do in Montevideo? Uruguay's sleepy capital certainly doesn't have the glitz and glamour of Buenos Aires just down the road. But that's exactly why we love it. Download some Max Capote and come with us to enjoy this special place.

With a relaxed vibe and plenty of hidden gems, Uruguay is also the safest country to visit in Latin America. Kick back at a beach bar in nearby Punta del Este, explore some beautiful parks or take a stroll through the old city, there’s something for everyone in this charming little city. Since 2005 it has held the number one rank on Mercer's report on quality of life, in Latin America .So, if you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination, put Montevideo on your list!

Yes it’s a long haul to get there, but it is well worth the trouble. Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and one of the most beautiful cities in South America. The views are gorgeous and there's plenty to do, but it can also be a great place just to relax on the beach or take long walks at night. With a population of 1,319,108, one-third of the country's total population in an area of 201 square kilometers (78 sq mi). Montevideo is situated on the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Rio de la Plata.

Although they are often overshadowed by the Argentineans cousins, the Uruguayans shun away from the political disruption you will find in Argentina.If you want to get a feel for the country and its people look no further than José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano. He was President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015 A former guerrilla fighter and a member of the Broad Front coalition of left-wing parties, he was tortured and imprisoned for 14 years during the military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s He has been described as "the world's humblest head of state" due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs. An outspoken critic of capitalism’s focus on stockpiling material possessions which do not contribute to human happiness, Pepe was often seen riding his 60-year-old bicycle.

Montevideo has a small town feel while still being big enough to offer exciting things to do and see, from shopping at local boutiques to dining at fancy restaurants with friends. I recommend visiting the Mercado del Puerto and seeing all of the fresh fish. The Mercado Central is also an interesting place because it's where some events are held. 

Montevideo is also well known for its beautiful architecture. One of the most famous buildings in Montevideo is the Legislative Palace, which was designed by architect Juan Scasso. It's home to more than 300 works of art, including paintings from national artists such as Figari and Quinquela Martin.

Uruguayan cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from several European countries, especially from Mediterranean foods from Spain, Italy, Portugal and France. From fresh seafood, to steaks and pasta, you'll have a hard time choosing just one thing! Do not miss out on Asado it is the national dish, a barbecue of various cuts of different meats, cheese, and vegetables cooked over a lovingly tended parrilla, or grill, lit by pine cones and wood. It is simply delicious! You can accompany all this delicious food with a bottle of their Tannat wine. Bodega Garzón was one of my favourites.Tannat wines merit to be discovered . Look for them at your local wine merchant.

Uruguay is one of the few Latin American countries that does not produce coffee because the climate is too cold for that. Nevertheless, the country has a long coffee tradition .Café Brasilero was founded in Montevideo in 1877 and is the oldest in the city. Another drink of choice is mate, you will miss a large piece of the country’s culture if you don’t try it. It is comical to see people walking around with their mate gourds and huge hot water thermoses under their arms. You will quickly understand why they do it: not only is it delicious but also helps digest all the asado you will be eating.

If you're looking for an exciting destination with friendly people, great food, and beautiful architecture to explore, Montevideo is the perfect place. From its stunningly modern skyline to its magnificent old town filled with cobblestone streets lined by brightly-colored colonial buildings, Montevideo has so much to offer tourists in search of a new experience. It is well worth the effort to get there.

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