Uruguay

Bordered by Argentina, Uruguay is a small but mighty country with a wealth of culture, art, food and drink. It has a notable, socially progressive history and was the first Latin American country to legalise same-sex civil unions.

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Deriving its name from the river that runs from Brazil to Rio de la Plata Basin and translating to 'river of the painted birds', Uruguay boasts a rich agricultural and civic history. Its diverse capital, Montevideo, is home to nearly half of Uruguay's population, with an eclectic mix of industrial ports to exclusive beachside suburbs. Soccer is well celebrated, with the Uruguay team having won the football World Cup twice, in 1930 and 1950. Enjoy the easy-going, liberal nature of the culture and people surrounding you, as you'll soon discover it's one of the most progressive countries in Latin America. From the legalisation of marijuana, to the status as the first Latin American country to legalise same-sex civil unions, discover a country lightyears ahead of most.

Sensorial Experience

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Sights 4

Whilst Uruguay's capital is typically the magnet that attracts visitors far and wide, the country's untouched rural areas, tourist ranches, rustic beaches, wine industry and wildlife is the other side of a very shiny coin. Don your hiking boots and travel two hours northeast of Montevideo for a magical walk through Ombú forest, or grab your binoculars for a spot of whale watching from the beaches of Piriápolis.

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Sounds 4

With an appreciation and love for a variety of musical sounds, Uruguay boasts an excellent roster of creative native musicians and a country that has created many unique sounds, with candombe and tango being their most popular.

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Smells 3

Ask the locals and they'll say that Uruguay has a unique and pervasive smell, one of wood fires, from eucalyptus and "leña colorada" used for cooking and heating all year round. They might also say that the lingering smell of marijuana has tickled their noses a lot more since its legalisation in 2013, so prepare your receptors for some distinctive scents.

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Tastes 3

Don't forget to bring your wine glasses to South America's fourth most significant wine producing country, with an impressive 8,023 hectares of vineyards. Dating back to 1870, French influencers introduced the Tannat vine, which produces the fabulous red colour of the Uruguayan wines today. Try the traditional Uruguayan sandwich, Chivito, made up of sliced steak, mozzarella, bacon, eggs, olives, tomatoes and mayonnaise. A simple yet important national delicacy that you'll find yourself eating a lot.

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Feels 4

Touch down in Uruguay and be humbled by the amiable and hospitable nature of the people of this country. Most activities are seen as communal, their national drink 'mate' often shared in a social circle, eating from a common plate and valuing their mostly egalitarian way of life. Extremely indiscriminate in their every day affairs, the Constitution of Uruguay maintains high standards of the rights of their citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religious views or background. Their diverse society creates a thoughtful and delicate cultural atmosphere and a people that are wholly accepting of anyone who visits their country.

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