A pleasant blend of modern innovation and blissful history
Uruguay is one of the most advanced and progressive countries in South America, with close to 95% of Uruguay's energy comes from renewable sources. The shift took the country less than 10 years and was accomplished without any government funding. Uruguay ranks near the top in Latin America for democracy, peace, press freedom, and prosperity, a welcome sign of the country's stability.
Stroll around the capital city of Montevideo, which makes up close to half of the country's population, and you'll quickly see why. A bustling port city, the Port of Montevideo is the most active commercial terminal in South America. Montevideo is situated on the Río de la Plata, which separates the southern region of Uruguay from Argentina, so there's no shortage of views from the shore.
A heavy European influence in Uruguay on culture is evident, with almost a quarter of the population having Italian roots. Between the accent and the cuisine, there is a strong Mediterranean influence interwoven with traces of the gaucho roots of southeastern South America. Grab some picada for a dish more reminiscent of the gaucho roots, or grab a Uruguayan pizza, a minor twist on the Italian classic.
Walk the streets of Montevideo and marvel at the remains of Spanish and Portuguese exploration and settlement. Head to Punta del Este for some rest and relaxation, but don't miss Vilaró's Casapueblo, which draws not on Spanish and Portuguese roots, but on inspiration from Mykonos and Timbuktu. In the midst of the colonial world left behind, tall, modern buildings pepper the Montevideo skyline, creating a beautiful mix of old and new.
As is evidenced by the massive change to renewable energy sources, Uruguayan people are driven, passionate people. They still will often take time to celebrate their gaucho roots with folk music and dancing, and will welcome visitors warmly into their countries. Being a smaller country with a smaller population, they pace of life is leisurely, giving a pleasant respite from your busy life.