Travel to Uruguay – Episode 196

categories: south america travel


The Amateur Traveler talks to Lisa who has lived as a student in Uruguay on two different occasions about that small South American country.

Lisa talks about the capital city of Montevideo where she lived with Independence Plaza (and its statue to Jose Artigas), the markets, and the Ramblas. She also talks about the food including beef, chivito, mate, Uruguay pizza, bizcocho, dulce de leche, and the local wine. Mostly she encourages us to visit Uruguay, meet the people and get out to the countryside in Tacuarembo, Mercedes, Colonia or Punta del Este.

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This Week in Travel

Show Notes

Lisa’s pictures
Urugauy travel wiki
Jose Artigas
Uruguay-US Cultural Alliance
Alliance Francaise
Rioplatense Spanish dialect

Internet Resources – who’s who in travel on twitter


What people are saying about the Amateur Traveler:

  • Unforgivably bad?
  • Robert – “realy helps”
  • Erika – maybe more domestic episodes
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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

12 Responses to “Travel to Uruguay – Episode 196”



Stopped in to say congrats on being listed in Fishhawks Friday group. Thus I am here to visit. One never gets to all the good blogs out there, so it’s nice to find some new ones via his posts.

Pod casts, wow…I’m totally clueless about that.

I think 99.9% of us have been mispronouncing the country and probably will continue to, will be hard to remember and to break the habit. lol

Darrell Hickman


Great and timely podcast on Uruguay since I plan to be there in less than one month. I plan to see both Colonia and Montevideo. I will second that there is very little travel info on Uruguay in the bookstores. It is usually 1 paragraph in the travel books on South America and I have not seen one book yet devoted to Uruguay. I liked the tip about try some places instead of the famous Mercado in Montevideo to save money if your want to pig out on meat. The one place she mentioned that she thinks is overrated was on No Reservations and since unlike her I am not a vegetarian I have to check it or someplace cheaper out.

Keep up the good work

tom lohrmann


I enjoyed the podcast, having lived there for 14 months and vacationed their several times, she hit a lot of things, but missed a few

First: She was exactly right when she said they are a very warm and open country. If you just say “hello” they will talk to you for hours. They love just spending time with people and showing off their country.

As a background:
In the late 1970’s they had a military coupe and suffered greatly under the regime. In1981-82 they had a transition from a military dictatorship to a “puppet” democracy; then a few years later a full democracy. During those years, everyone has somber and oppressed. Some of this still lingers in their souls today. The government tortured their people in a few prisons and it was not uncommon to see military personnel with guns standing at corners. You learned to “not see” anything. It has taken them many years to get over it. During the inauguration of the president in 1982, they had their first full day of color television.

Second: Uruguayans are a very proud people. They still talk of how their country won the World Cup of Soccer in 1950. They love their soccer. Go to a game of Penarol vs anyone. The crowd is worth the few dollars for a good game. They will sing the entire time.

What to see:

The Cerro (the military castle) that over looks the harbor. Walk around the neighborhood and look at the murals on the building. Dress down. The streets are uneven and the neighborhood can be dangerous, but during the day it safe.

Punta Del Este: This small city springs to life when the weather is warm. It’s filled with tourists and worth a day trip. Skip the expensive bars and go to a grocery store and get fresh bread and cheese for lunch.

Colonia: The city has changed little in the 300 years since it’s founding. Cobblestone streets are everywhere. Sit at a café and watch people walk by.

The Legislative Palace: (their congress building) worth a trip down the street to see.

The Passiva: A small bar near Artigus tomb (in the independence plaza). Best hot dogs and mustard ever!

The Hotel Carrasco: This is what luxury was in the late 1800 early 1900. There is a small casino their if you want to lose some money.

Head West out of Montevideo to Las Piedras: a very small throwback community resembling the early 1800s. People still live that way.

BAKERIES: Stop at all of them and get fresh bread and pastries. Get 50-100gram at each of them and try them all.



Tom, thanks for the wonderful information!



What is Fishhawks Friday?



Loved this podcast. She was really into absorbing the culture and she was insightful on her suggestions. Really enjoyed this.

Keep up the great podcast!!!!

Darrell Hickman


Thanks Tom for the additional info. I hope to be there in 3 and 1/2 weeks so I have more info for my trip. Also since I live in DC one of the best sources of info is the Uruguay embassy. I stopped by there and they gave me a ton of info but if you call them they will be happy to send stuff to you.



For those of you looking for guidebooks, Lonely Planet published a compiliation on Uruguay labeled as a “custom guide”. It covers about 60-70 pages with a section also on Buenos Aires.

I’ll be going on a GAP Adventure tour to Northern Argentina, Uruguay and South Brazil (including Iguazu Falls) in November for three weeks. Thanks for the info from this podcast…very timely and helpful.



That looks like a lot of fun



Just a quick comment – the people seen in Montevideo with their horse-drawn carts are not just getting from point A to point B. They are generally people from poor areas who go throughout the city with their carts everyday, collecting and sorting garbage.

Si @ thedepartureboard


Hi Chris, A very enjoyable show. Sounds a delightful country to visit although I may pronounce it wrong from time to time.

Have added the link to The Travel Bloggers Guide To The World I’m developing.

Regards, Si

William Wise


I thought her breakdown of Montevideo was spot on. However missing out on Punta del Este in my opinion is a huge part of what makes Uruguay such a great experience. You’ll pay for it but beautiful beaches, great food and night life

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