Travel in Uruguay, the fascination and beauty of tranquillity - INTI Tours
Deceleration in the land of the pampas
Experience deceleration in the land of the pampas on our tours in Uruguay: lovingly maintained vintage cars and mate cups in the hands of the Uruguayos...
Uruguay - that is a place full of promise. And this despite the fact that there are no tourist highlights in Uruguay like in some of the neighbouring countries. It is the proverbial cosiness with which the people go about their daily lives. It is the many old-timers, beloved by their owners, in the normal cityscape and townscape. It is the hot bitter drink mate, which is literally drunk everywhere - always ready for a little chat. All this gives Uruguay its very own character.
The inhabitants themselves describe their country as a "house with a garden". The "house" is the capital Montevideo, which is well worth seeing and competes with Buenos Aires for the rank of birthplace of the tango. The "garden" is the hilly green countryside with its beautiful estancias, most of which live from cattle breeding. Such typical estancias now cater to visitors so that you can share in the authentic life of these people. This includes gauchos as well as an asado - a barbecue with meat galore. Not to be forgotten are the beaches - sophisticated as in Punta del Este or unspoilt with wildlife watching opportunities.
Let yourself be touched by the serenity of the Uruguayans.
Welcome to Uruguay!
Our types of travel in Uruguay
Your dream trip to Uruguay
Would you like to choose your own route and travel period? We would be happy to put together your tailor-made travel programme.Desired trips
Small group travel
Do you like to travel with people of the same interests, because travelling alone is only half the fun? Find the right group tour for you.Group travel in Uruguay
Examples of individual dream trips in Uruguay
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Country information on URUGUAY:"Pampa, Estancias and Mate"
Uruguay is the smallest Spanish-speaking country in South America, only Suriname is smaller. With an area of just under 177,000 square kilometres, Uruguay is about half the size of Germany, of which around 2,600 square kilometres is water. It borders Brazil to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Río de la Plata to the south and the Río Uruguay and thus Argentina to the west. After the European settlers reached the region, the horses and cattle they brought with them and abandoned on the vast grasslands of the pampas developed into huge herds that formed the basis of the country's economic wealth. Today, Uruguay is one of the most stable, democratic and prosperous countries in Latin America. In Uruguay, most of life takes place outdoors because of the good weather. Uruguayans love to socialise and drink the bitter mate almost everywhere. The country's name Uruguay comes from the indigenous Guaraní language and means something like "river of colourful birds".
Montevideo is located at the mouth of the Río de la Plata, so to speak opposite the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. The port city has a good 1.3 million inhabitants and is the economic, administrative and cultural centre of the country. Montevideo is one of the ten safest cities in Latin America and, according to a study, is also the South American city with the highest quality of life. In Ciudadela rises the only remaining section of the city wall that once surrounded the entire settlement. Today, this is the entrance to Montevideo's old town with many churches, museums and theatres. At night, the neighbourhood awakens with nightclubs, bars, etc. where tango and condombe are played.
Absolutely worth seeing:
- Stroll along the Rambla, Montevideo's beautiful promenade.
- From the panoramic terrace of the city hall you have a beautiful view of the city.
- A walk around the old town Ciudad Vieja is a charming mix of historical and modern sights and some nice restaurants, theatres and museums. There are also some excellent artisans selling their crafts along the pedestrianised street. The Mercado Ferranao and Mercado Agricola markets are also worth visiting.
- The city can also be visited as a guided bike tour.
- The Museo del Gaucho y de la Moneda gives a good insight into the life and history of the gauchos.
- In the Museo Andes 1972 Crash Memorial you can learn everything about the legendary plane crash in 1972 in the high mountains of the Andes.
- An evening at El Milongon: here, in addition to delicious typical food, a music and dance show is presented night after night, featuring performances typical of the country. Condombe from Afro-Uruguayan culture, tango and milonga are presented.
- Day trip to the artists' village of Punta del Este on the Atlantic Ocean with the distinctive Mediterranean-style villa and art gallery of Casa Pueblo. The fishing village of La Barra del Maldonado and the beaches of Playa Mansa and Playa Brava are usually included in the excursions.
- Day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Colonia del Sacramento from the 17th and 18th centuries.
- For wine lovers, a tour to wineries close to the city, the so-called Bodegas, is a must.
Uruguay as a travel destination:
Uruguay is practically the geographical extension of the Argentinian pampas, so the south of the country is almost flat. Along the Río Uruguay there are extensive swampy plains that are frequently flooded. In the centre, tableland spreads out, rising in chains of hills to the country's highest elevation, the Cerro Catedral at only 514 m.a.s.l., which is why Uruguay has an overall hilly character. Overall, the country is very flat, only ten percent of the land area is higher than 200 metres above sea level. The coast in the southeast is strongly indented by shallow beach lakes and lowlands. The soil is generally fertile and is therefore used for agriculture almost everywhere. Forests make up only a small part of the country's surface, about five percent.
Absolutely worth seeing:
- A must in Uruguay is a stay at a typical estancia. In addition to their daily work with cattle, several estancias in the country are now also focusing on the tourism sector. Not only can you spend the night in a great atmosphere and try the typical food, but you can even participate in the work of the gauchos, go horseback riding, hiking, etc
- Colonia del Sacramento is located in the southwest of Uruguay on the Rio de la Plata opposite Buenos Aires. The old town of the provincial capital Colonia del Sacramento has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its combination of Spanish and Portuguese colonial architecture. Walk along the cobbled streets past historic buildings such as the gateway to the city "Porton de Campo" or the church "Iglesia Matriz". In the Real de San Carlos district, you will find the ruins of the local bullring with a great view of the water and, if you are lucky, even as far as Buenos Aires.
- The wine-growing region of Carmelo spreads out to the far west. The small town of Carmelo is located near the Paraná Delta, which is worth exploring by boat. The historic old town itself is cobbled and built up with beautiful houses. In the surrounding area, you can visit various wineries and also go wine tasting, e.g. at Finca Narbona, Finca El Legado or Bodegas Cordano. Near Carmelo are the Jesuit ruins of Calera de las Huerfanas.
- A boat trip on the black-water river Ro Negro is a romantic experience.
- The pretty town of Salto is the starting point for the many thermal baths in the region.
- Uruguay's coast offers paradisiacal beaches in the east of the country. There are lively ones with the best infrastructure (like Punta del Este and the surrounding area) or more secluded, natural beach towns and fishing villages (e.g. Punta del Diablo with sea turtles off the coast).
- Barra de Valizas is a good starting point for a guided dune tour with a hike to Cabo Polonio. The sand dunes that have built up within the bay are among the largest dunes in South America. The stretch of sea in front of the village of about 100 inhabitants is also very well known for its protected nature reserve, which is home to sea lions, dolphins and whales.
Facts and figures of Uruguay:
Land area: 176,215 sq. km
Population: Around 3.5 million people live mainly in the cities, just under half of them in the conurbation of Montevideo. For a long time, Uruguay was extremely attractive to immigrants; at the beginning of the 19th century, half of Montevideo's inhabitants were foreigners.
Capital: Montevideo with a good 1.3 million inhabitants, almost 2 million people live in the conurbation.
Highest mountain: Cerro Catedral, 514 m.a.s.l.
Form of government: presidential republic
History: The poverty of natural resources made Uruguay an insignificant province of the Spanish Empire for a long time, later its importance lay more in its geographical position as a buffer between Argentina and Brazil. In 1624, the Spanish founded their first settlement. After Argentina broke away from the mother country, negotiations for a confederation of the Rio de la Plata states began in 1814, but failed. Civil war now broke out in Uruguay, which had broken away under General Artigas. Argentina intervened and occupied Uruguay. The years until 1820 were marked by war. It was not until that year that Uruguay became independent again. Many differences with neighbouring states and internal unrest plagued the country. It was not until 1985 that the country found its way back to democracy. Since then, Uruguay has settled its disputes with neighbouring countries.
Economy: For a long time, Uruguay was considered the Switzerland of Latin America because of its strongly developed banking sector. To this day, Uruguay is one of the most highly developed countries according to the United Nations. In retrospect, however, the heyday of the early 20th century is over. Back then, the export products meat and wool brought money into the coffers; today, the foreign debt continues to rise. The country was also affected by the economic crisis in Argentina. Today, the main export products are meat, rice and leather, mainly to Brazil, Argentina, the USA and Germany. Besides livestock, the other economic sectors play only a small role. The service sector already accounts for 62 %.
Currency: Uruguayan New Peso
Festivals: Uruguay's carnival is said to be the longest in the world. Up to 70 Candombe and Murga carnival groups, called comparsas, walk the streets celebrating to the rhythm of drums.
In Paysandú on the Rio Uruguay, carnival and Semana Santa (Holy Week) are also celebrated in a big way. During this time, the largest beer festival in the country takes place there.
Travel in Uruguay:
Entry requirement: The passport must be valid at the time of entry. A lost passport must be reported to the nearest police station. This notification is required for the issuing of the new German passport and for leaving Uruguay. German tourists do not need an entry visa for a stay of up to 90 days if they enter the country with a valid passport. In principle, a one-time extension of stay can be applied for at the immigration office in Uruguay shortly before the 90 days expire.
Vaccinations: There are no compulsory vaccinations for Uruguay. A yellow fever vaccination is not mandatory or required for travel to or from Uruguay to a third country. Uruguay is considered malaria-free.
Climate/travelling season: Basically, the seasons are the opposite of those in Europe. The climate is subtropical-humid. This means that there are no distinct rainy and dry seasons. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year. Summers are pleasantly warm and not tropically hot. However, temperatures can reach 40 °C in the interior. Winters are also only moderately cold, comparable to autumn in Germany. The coldest month is July with about 7 °C mean minimum temperature. Snow and ice are unknown in Uruguay. December to February is the best time to go swimming. Then the water temperatures are warm enough (20 - 22 °C). For round trips, spring (October/November) with mild temperatures is suitable.
Local time: The time difference is minus 4 hours according to Central European Time (CET), during European Summer Time the time difference is minus 5 hours.
Uruguayan Embassy in Germany
Budapester Straße 39, 3. OG.
Tel : +49 (0)30-263 90 16
Fax: +40 (0)30-263 49 01 70