A brief description of Switzerland sounds like the world you want to live in, you know, progressive, lacking any evidence of civil conflict. Positioned between South America’s two titans, Brazil and Argentina, the small country of Uruguay is proud to have build this type of civilization. Deservedly so, they are proud of the peacefulness, hospitality and personality that they have built in the midst their neighbors that go from one crisis to the next. Uruguay stands out as a haven of political stability, good governance, and prosperity… no wonder its dubbed the Switzerland of the Americas.
After two centuries of living in the shadows of its neighbors, Uruguay is now stepping out to promote its identity and assets as more than just a side trip from Brazil. Which is great, and distance itself from the misconception that it is entirely the same as its neighbors.
I spent most of my time on my trip in Montevideo, yes probably the safest capital in South America. No terrifying situations or sketchy vibes. The quality of life here is better than most of the cities I have visited in the United States. I liked the vibe, it reminded me of something similar to Ft Worth, Texas or a little smaller like Eugene, OR. Its small enough to get around, but big enough to have some great architecture and a fantastic food scene. I rented a bike and rode almost daily to the beach lined seafront and the old town.
I only drove out to the country side one time on my trip. This is an hour away and totally transitions into gaucho (cowboy) country. Cattle ranches, many of which serve as guesthouses, are great for a nights stay away from the city. If you are more into the “resort/nightlife” vibes then head to the Atlantic coast to Punta del Este, it is a modern resort city with sexy beaches and nightlife. When I go back I am heading to the fishing/surfing villages of Cabo Polonio and Punta del Diablo.
Try the Asado Barbecue, if you are a vegetarian.. simply put, too bad for you. It is life changing.