Montevideo is the charming capital of Uruguay, delicately positioned between Brazil and Argentina. A captivating place that inhales the breeze from the coast coupled with its alternative flurry of city life, Montevideo combines a laid-back approach with traditional Latin formalities. Add in great food, tranquil beaches, an artsy centre and its proud historical foundation, Montevideo will tempt any open-minded gallivanter.
The quirky vibe that Montevideo brings is epitomised by its narrow alleys, cobbled streets, colonial buildings and continuous holiday atmosphere. Sitting just across from the ever-lively Buenos Aires of Argentina, Montevideo lives in her shadow quite nicely. If you are someone who enjoys a place with little expectation and a more personalised approach, Montevideo will fit that perfectly.
Uruguay is the most progressive country in South America, despite its conservative neighbours and being one of the smallest nations. One of things that is on the rise is what and where to eat. Montevideo is at the centre and forefront of delicious cuisine, both locally and internationally. Beef is an important part of most Uruguayan dishes with asado (beef barbecue) and beef steak popular with locals. You may find chivito (an Uruguayan sandwich) great for a snack, filled with eye fillet, ham, cheese and salad. Morcilla (blood sausage) is also a traditional option that you will either love or hate.
Chicken to many South Americans is seen as the ‘vegetarian option’, but you do have some real veggie options at places such as ‘Namaste Veggie Restor & Chillout Bar’ and ‘Bosque Bambu’. Due to Montevideo’s jaunt on the coast, fresh seafood is common. If you’re looking at areas to find a variety of restaurants and street food stalls, check out ‘Mercado del Puerto’.
Montevideo is a small but pleasant city on the coast of the Rio de la Plata, whilst being the political and cultural centre of the country. You have the choice of roaming the streets of the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) or to be fully indulged in the many eloquent but atmospheric plazas dotted around the city. Uruguay has been both in the hands of the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the past, but is now run by a democratic socialist party of former guerrillas. The country has a mix of modern systems and a traditional past that will captivate you, and allow you to fit right in with ease.
Montevideo Boutique Stays
Esplendor Hotel Montevideo
Dreamy and spacious, Esplendor is a popular choice. Only minutes away from the Old Town, you’ll find a rooftop bar here along with all the luxurious elements you’d expect in a 4-star hotel. With its cream coloured furniture and contemporary décor, not to mention the massage sessions and en-suite bathrooms, this might be just the place for you and your partner to sink right into. What is also great is that the rates are consistently low.
Stay here if you want a comfortable and easy-going stay close to many historical and artsy attractions. Esplendor does the work for you and provides you with everything you need. Rates begin from NZ$90 per night.
My Suites Boutique Hotel
Located on the gay-friendly Pocitos beach, My Suites is one of the top-rated hotels in Montevideo. Typically hotel bars can be a bit vanilla wine -overs will be in heaven here. Not only is each floor named after local Uruguayan wineries, you can test the wine for free from Tuesday to Saturday. Other perks are a beautiful laid out garden, a fitness centre and buffet breakfast including yoghurt, fruit, cakes and eggs.
If you want to be close to the beach and enjoy a constant state of ‘do not disturb’ then My Suites might be right up your avenue. Rates begin range from around NZ$145 per night.
La Puerta Negra Gay Guest House
Open by name and open by nature, La Puerta Negra is simply gay-owned for guests who want a budget stay but with local insider tips. Especially for a gay audience, this B & B styled accommodation also offers an outdoor pool, a lovely patio and free wireless Internet.
If you are on a budget or backpacking, you may want to choose this place. There aren’t many rooms but you’ll get to know more about the gay scene in and around Montevideo. Rates start from NZ$25 per night.
Cala di Volpe Boutique Hotel
Situated on Montevideo’s waterfront, this luxurious hotel is a fantastic choice that has sea views from every room. Cala di Volpe will add to the relaxing vibes of Montevideo with amenities such as a hydro-relaxing massage tub, massage sessions and a sweltering sauna. That’s not all: dine at Azzurro, the delicious hotel restaurant situated downstairs.
Located in Punta Carretas which is recommended for its restaurants, vibe and friendly essence, Cala di Volpe is a popular stay with over 70 rooms. Rates range from NZ$125 per night.
Montevideo is easy to get to now that Air New Zealand has direct flights to neighbouring Buenos Aires. From there just catch a ferry!