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Uruguay & Uruguayan Culture, People and Values

Updated on April 14, 2012

There are many ways to enjoy and immerse yourself in this wonderfully diverse country in South America. Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America with Brazil bordering it to the north, its only land border. To the west lie the Uruguay River, and the southwest the estuary of Rio de la Plata, with the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. This small country has a lot to offer visitors from its pre-Columbian historical sites to its impressive legacy of art. It is a small adventure waiting for you and this trip will immerse you into the culture of Uruguay, allowing you to experience the traditional crafts and way of life, giving you a well rounded picture of the culture.

1. To truly immerse yourself in the Uruguayan culture you need to experience its past. The best way to learn about Uruguay’s past is to visit some of the historical locations that are available with the Palacio Salvo and its unusual architecture revealing part of Uruguay’s history. This along with other places of interest will give you a good starting point for your immersion into Uruguayan culture.

2. A second way to continue with your Uruguayan cultural immersion is to experience the natural preserves that are all around Uruguay. Embrace the natural beauty of the rolling plains, the coastal grassland and the forests, as well as the white sands and places such as Piriapolis near Punta del Este. Experience your natural surroundings as you tour the natural preserves around the country. Getting to know the environment better is essential to getting to know how the Uruguayan people interact with different parts of their environment.

3. As you continue to progress in your new found culture it must not be forgotten that history and nature are only a start. The next stop on our agenda is to satisfy our hunger and a stop at one of the many cafes in Montevideo, on or near the Plaza Independencia of the Cuidad Vieja, to find some traditional authentic food from Uruguay’s past. The best place to start is with some Choripán a very popular Uruguayan fast food, followed by Bizcochos to finish if you are not too hungry. This is an excellent way to get to know their cuisine.

4. If you travel to Uruguay the best time to go is between November and March, during the summer months. In February you can experience a big carnival in Montevideo, getting a true impression of the old traditions and culture of the country. This will also enlighten you into how the Uruguayans celebrate their holidays and further immerse you in their culture.

5. In modern Uruguay as well as in the past the communities would gather near the town squares during the week and especially at the weekends. During the day in Montevideo you can find artists and crafts people and busy little cafes churning out coffee and snacks, and at night the pubs and discos open. You can sample local fare walking through the market, taking in the sights, smells and sounds. In this way you experience the culture of Uruguay through its people and their traditions.

6. The next step is to meet new people, make friends and talk to them about their lives. The markets and cafes are great places to do this, asking them what they do. You can also meet local artisans in their shops, learn about their family roots and their ancient traditions at first hand. This is a good way to relax and unwind, a good time to mingle in an unstressed atmosphere.

7. Another way to immerse yourself in the culture of Uruguay is to volunteer in one of the worldwide projects that help Uruguay, helping in education, health, animal welfare and other opportunities. It is a great opportunity to see and experience Uruguay in ways most tourists never will.

Any of these steps above is the perfect opportunity to truly immerse yourself in a foreign culture. To see the world through the eyes of the inhabitants of that country is often an eye opener, yet a great experience. However you choose to do it you will be forever changed by your experiences. So plan your trip carefully, making sure you make the most of the time there. Following these guidelines will help make your trip to Uruguay unforgettable.

If you would liek some additional information o Uruguay or if you have information or stories to share please let me know. You can also get additonal information on my website at


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