Wedged like a grape between Brazil’s gargantuan thumb and Argentina’s long forefinger, Uruguay has always been something of an underdog. Yet after two centuries living in the shadow of its neighbors, South America’s smallest country is finally getting a little well-deserved recognition.

Choose among places like Montevideo, the capital city with an active cultural scene; Punta del Este, the continent’s most sophisticated beach resort; La Paloma, a small beach town on the Atlantic coast; or a small rural town in Uruguay’s countryside. Progressive, stable, safe and culturally sophisticated, Uruguay offers visitors opportunities to experience everyday ‘not made for tourists’ moments, whether caught in a cow-and-gaucho traffic jam on a dirt road to nowhere or strolling with mate-toting locals along Montevideo’s beachfront. With endless options there is something for everyone.

Interesting facts about Uruguay:

  • Uruguay’s president lives in a farm-house with no servants. Has two security guards. Donates 90 percent of his salary.
  • Uruguay is the only country in Latin America which is entirely outside the tropics.
  •  Uruguay is the only country that keeps track of 100 per cent of its cattle.