Arriving in Montevideo, the most southerly capital in South America, I headed straight to one of the city's finest restaurants to sample their famous grilled meats before visiting the Carnival Museum, Port Market and Independence Square.
The following morning I set off towards the Brazilian border for the picturesque fishing village of Punta del Diablo, and then backtracked along the coast to Cabo Polonio, which can only be accessed on a 4WD bus or by walking to the peninsula. From the top of the lighthouse, I had spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean and also of the sea lion colony on the rocks nearby.
I spent the next two nights at the stunning Estancia Vik, Jose Ignacio where activities include horse-riding, biking and canoeing. You also have access to the two other Vik properties, Playa Vik and Bahia Vik, which are both nearby.
My final port of call was the historic city of Colonia del Sacramento. Colonia was founded by the Portuguese in 1680 and was of great strategic importance, largely for smuggling goods to and from Spanish controlled Buenos Aires, and I had time to explore its network of cobbled streets and admire the rows of colourful historical buildings.
Food & Drink
The food was every bit as good as I had expected in Uruguay, if not better! The succulent grilled meats at the local parillas (barbecues), the delicious array of seafood including sea bass, prawns and squid, the many desserts made from dulce de leche (sweet milk with caramel sauce) and the local wine made from Tannat grapes. There was always the option of Mate tea that the country is so famous for.
Paul visited Uruguay in October 2014 as a guest of the Uruguay Tourist Board.