Guru'Guay Guide to Uruguay: Beaches, Ranches and Wine Country

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Written by a Brit with all the contacts and knowledge accrued over almost twenty years living in Uruguay, this guidebook will make your holiday planning stress-free and ensure you have an unforgettable time in one of South America’s least-explored destinations.

The only Uruguay guides with passion and soul

The Guru’Guay Guides are not endless dry lists. You have limited time. So the author selects only the very best or the most curious places and then goes into serious detail—so you can make travel decisions with confidence. The guide describes each destination, where to stay and eat, things to do, how to get there and features important ‘what you should know’ advisories. So easy to read, readers often devour a Guru’Guay guide in one sitting.

The beaches

Uruguay has an extremely short high season. The rest of the year you’ll have the entire beach to yourself. Roam the sandy streets of hippie hideaways in Rocha, commune with thousands of seals in the Hebridean solitude of Cabo Polonio and check out Jose Ignacio, a former fishing town frequented by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.

The guide looks at each beach, when to visit (crucial to avoid crowds), where to stay (including renting) and where to eat. Off-season most seaside restaurants and hotels close down. On a mission to improve the beach economy, the guide only includes great hotels and restaurants open all year.

Gaucho country

Uruguayans refer to anywhere beyond Montevideo and the coast as “Uruguay profundo”. The land is untouched and you may pass more gauchos on horseback than cars on the two-lane highways. Take a few days to kick back at a traditional cattle ranch or estancia.

The Guru’Guay guide covers estancias to suit all tastes—from a rustic ranch owned by a gaucho couple, to the grand estancia of an Austrian-Uruguayan family with a lovely pool and capybaras in the garden, to a ‘million-star’ vegetarian inn specialising in adventurous horse rides in the stunning Rocha hills.

An chart will help you choose the estancia that best suits your dream holiday.

The friendliest wineries

If you haven’t tried Uruguayan wine yet, maybe it’s because the entire wine production of Uruguay is equivalent to just one medium-size vineyard in neighbouring Argentina! A winery visit is uniquely friendly and personal. Your host will often be the wine-maker, the great grandchild of Italian immigrants, who still bottles their award-winning wines by hand.

The dedicated wine traveller will love the lists of the best Uruguayan wines by local experts.

Foodies – you’ve found your guide

This is where Guru’Guay really comes into its own, uncovering unique eateries in a country primarily known for its beef. Like an urban 18-seat bistro run by an ex-motorbike mechanic which chefs are calling the most exciting thing to hit Uruguay culinarily in years. Or the best little foodtruck between the airport and the beach.

Practical tips

To make your stay stress-free and save you money, chapters include:

  • Getting to Uruguay including flying, the ferry or coming overland
  • Holidays and festivals The best festivals and where to stay close by
  • What to bring So you save space for the wine you’ll want to take home
  • Driving and car hire including estimated drive times—GoogleMaps can be way out
  • Food and drink What eating out costs, mealtimes and ten traditional dishes
  • Staying healthy Essential tips on marijuana etiquette
  • Money and tipping including the weirdest ATM hacks that actually work.
  • Caveat regarding maps Why the author recommends picking up free paper maps at regional tourist centres when you arrive.


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