South America Compact
Compared to its neighbor Argentina, Uruguay is tiny, but the pride of its population makes up for it: They are sure that Uruguay offers friendlier people, more beautiful beaches, and more flair. Indeed, Uruguay is considered one of South America’s most relaxed countries. On the coast, visitors find fancy cities and sophisticated beach towns; in the hilly interior graze cattle, which provide milk for the delicate caramel cream dulce de leche and meat for juicy steaks. About half of the 3.3 million inhabitants live in the areas surrounding the capital, Montevideo. The center of this city is easily conquered in a short stroll – beyond the imaginative and modern architecture of the Palacio Salvo and its shady park, the city also has fascist-style buildings and a pompous mausoleum where nineteenth-century liberation fighter José Artigas is buried. Along its coast, Montevideo has a certain seaside resort panache, although the beach town Punte del Este further east, where hotels, apartment towers and casinos shoot into the sky, is the most popular. However, the beach town Colonia, also easily accessible via the “Buqebus” ferry from Buenos Aires, is more worthwhile.