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Generally, in Uruguay, the climate is temperate, with mild winters and hot summers, and it is also quite rainy throughout the year. Whereas, the winter in Uruguay is fairly mild, but it can be windy and unstable, especially in the south.
The best time to visit Uruguay is during its summer months, which are between November and February. Especially because the temperature is pleasant, sitting around 72°F and 84°F.
Mainly, a good time to visit the coastal areas, as many of the beach resorts close as soon as summer slips into autumn.
Montevideo may be a vibrant, eclectic place with an upscale cultural life. Stretching 20km from east to west, the town wears many faces, from its industrial port to the exclusive beachside suburb of Carrasco near the airport.
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The Carrasco Airport by Rafael Vinoly’s is a curved-roof airport which was the first project he completed in his home country of Uruguay, in the capital city, Montevideo. His design was centered on providing the best experience for those who travel, as well as those who come to see off or welcome travelers. And a testament to that effort was the integration of public zones into the airport’s basic function of traveling.
Mainly, prominent public spaces were incorporated and made to stand out. Some of those spaces include a fully accessible roadside departure hall with a terrace and a secure concourse by the side of the runway. These two integrations all board open spaces with restaurants and retail shops which are graced by a breath-taking landscape and massive daylight.
In the historic downtown, artistic movement and neoclassical buildings jostle for space alongside grimy, worn-out skyscrapers that appear airlifted from Havana or Ceauşescu’s Romania, while to the southeast the shopping malls and modern high-rises of beach communities like Punta Carretas and Pocitos bear more resemblance to those of Miami or Copacabana.
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Inaugurated in 1928, Palacio Salvo appeared in the city landscape as a strange creature, one that has both delighted and disgusted architecture buffs for decades.
The building is brought to life by an Italian architect named Mario Palanti. This building has everything you could imagine, from a cinema to a hotel. Interestingly, the palace was originally topped with a lighthouse with a parabolic mirror of 920mm, reaching approximately 100km. But the light was later taken off in favor of an antenna that gave the 27-floor building its eventual height of 100 meters. With this addition, it was once thought to be the tallest building in South America, but the antenna has since been taken off, demoting it to simply a fantastic display of architecture.
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Music, theater, and therefore the arts are alive and thrive here. From elegant older theaters and comfy little tango bars to modern beachfront discos. And there’s a robust international flavor, because of the various foreign cultural centers.
The most distinctive music of Uruguay is to be found in the tango and candombe; both genres are recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Being the land of candombe, murga, and tango, Uruguay is synonymous with musical fusion and the birthplace of hundreds of world-renowned musicians.
The Uruguayan musical tradition has a very long story that, in the case of candombe, can be traced back to the 18th century. This said, as noted in the First Uruguayan Catalog of Music, the Uruguayan historian and musicologist Lauro Ayestarán was also able to discover indigenous musical origins in Uruguayan music.
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The fauna is not as diverse as the flora of Uruguay, which is quite abundant as the nation is well forested and is home to many incredible beaches, lagoons, forests, and other excellent natural areas. Uruguay is currently implementing a National System of Protected Areas (SNAP) to help promote conservation and to protect the country’s natural landscapes and beauty.
Large mammals are considered rare within Uruguay. However, there are 105 recorded mammal species in the country, which include fox, deer, otter, and other smaller species.
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Rocha Lagoon and Castillos Lagoon are both popular spots for ecotourism within Uruguay. Rocha Lagoon is a well-known birding paradise that hosts over 220 species, including flamingos, doves, herons, and black-necked swans. These swans, which number more than 10,000, are a major attraction.
Castillos Lagoon is a stunning part of the country that has wetlands, palm groves, and ombú forests in its surroundings. Ombú trees are massive evergreens that have a large umbrella-like canopy that can stretch 12-15 m (40-50 ft). They have become a symbol of Uruguay and the Gaucho culture that exists in the country as the trees provide shelter from the sun and rain.
Arequita National Park
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Other points of interest for nature lovers in Uruguay include Arequita National Park and Esteros de Farrapos National Park. Arequita protects Cerro Arequita, a mesa of volcanic rock. There is also a forest that includes ombú trees, providing habitat for a variety of wildlife. The park offers many opportunities to hike and explore the nature available in Arequita.
Esteros de Farrapos National Park
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Esteros de Farrapos National Park is designated as a wetland of international significance. The national park hosts twenty-four islands. There are over 200 species of birds you can witness within the park as well as 30 mammal species. The park provides the last known refuge for pumas in Uruguay. And it is the only area protecting the maned wolf (a species that is rare in Uruguay).
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The Solis Theater is a landmark in Ciudad Vieja, the Old City district in Montevideo. To discover its beautiful ornamental decor from the beginning of the 20th century, visit the ethereal theater. If possible, try to attend a show in this emblematic theater. If not, a guided tour is also a great option to discover its luxurious rooms.
Museo del Carnaval Museum
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No other place in Montevideo captures the soul of the city quite like this museum. The tiny, colorful Museo del Carnaval showcases spectacular drums, costumes and masks from over 100 years of carnival celebrations. As well as video and audio recordings of February’s parades, Las Llamadas. It’s next door to Mercado del Puerto, so try stopping by for an hour before lunch for a truly Uruguayan day out.
Rodó Amusement Park
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Rodó Park, with its little castle and lake set very close to the sea, is the perfect place for a Sunday market. It also specializes in clothes, and also offers some artisan crafts. Besides being a weekly market, the area sometimes hosts special market-type events. One of them is the Feria Ideas Más, held right before Christmas. The park is divided into two amusement areas, one aimed at children and another one for adults. Additionally, there are pedal boats for rental to enjoy a 30-minute tour of the lake.
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A resort neighborhood best known for its beach, Pocitos is one of the most popular areas in Montevideo and a major summer destination in Uruguay.
Pocitos beach is flanked by the ocean on one side and the Rambla (a wide boulevard with the world’s longest continuous sidewalk) on the other. Popular things to do here include biking, jogging, or sharing a mate (a traditional herbal drink served in a hollow calabash gourd) with friends year-round, and enjoying the wide stretch of sand in the summer.
Playa Pocitos hosts numerous nautical events throughout the year and is surrounded by high-end restaurants, luxury shops, and beautiful hotels, and short-term apartments that look over the water.
A number of historically important buildings are also located in Pocitos, including the 19th-century Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Plaza Tomás Gomensoro, which offers a green break on hot days in the form of a shaded pergola and plenty of benches to rest on.
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The cuisine of Montevideo refers to the food cooked and served in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay. Mainly, the cuisine served in this city is similar to the one served throughout the whole country of Uruguay, with beef being a staple of the diet along with the torta frita; a pan-fried cake.
Uruguay’s cuisine leans heavily on its Italian-influenced culture and its abundance of cows (12 million, in a country with a human population a quarter of that). Above all, steaks, pasta, and pizza are the most common meal fare, usually supplemented by a steady stream of tooth-achingly sweet treats as mid-day snacks or at the halfway-between-lunch-and-dinner merienda, or afternoon tea. Additionally, this diet of carbs, sugar, and red meat can make the country a somewhat unhealthy place to live but a delightful place to visit. If you’re in the capital, Montevideo, dig into some of the best street snacks around the city. However, steak sandwiches topped with ham and bacon, cookies oozing dulce de leche, and a pizza appetizer before a pizza main course.
A great way to experience Uruguay’s cuisine is by visiting some of its food markets. These markets are not only beautiful but also a perfect option for satisfying every whim with numerous dishes to choose from. These are the top indoor and outdoor food markets to visit in Montevideo, Uruguay.
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Montevideo’s laneways come to life thanks to the vibrant art installations found near spots like Parque Rodo, Cordon, and Ciudad Vieja. Additionally, ranging from mythical creatures to raven-haired women looking out seductively from what would otherwise be just a wall bordering an anonymous plot of pavement, talented artists have turned the city into somewhat of a living canvas for visitors to admire. Most importantly, it turns out even plain-old graffiti can look chic in the right kind of setting.
To recap, Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city is a port town with a rich history. Additionally, Those who travel to Montevideo will get a chance to see colorful buildings reminiscent of those in Miami and Cuba. Above all to enjoy relaxing walks on the city’s 14 miles of beach. There you can visit Ciudad Vieja, the city’s oldest neighborhood. Whereas the city of Montevideo comes alive at night as bars and nightclubs. However, they play tango music that will surely get you up and dancing. Whether you’re interested in taking in the architectural sights, relax on the beach, or dance the night away, Montevideo travel offers something for everyone.