1. The people. Uruguayans are officially the nicest people on the planet. If they are annoyed by the legions of tourists that invade their country every year, they sure aren’t showing it. From sales clerks to fashion designers, waitresses to construction workers – everywhere we went we were greeted with smiling faces and helpful directions. Unlike many South Americans, Uruguayans are not prone to be loud or dramatic and are generally laid-back, down-to-earth people. And did I mention nice?
2. The beach. Uruguay is blessed with one looooong unending beach as its sandy coastline extends uninterrupted from the Rio Plata to Brazil. And with the government banning building on the beach itself, this means the beach will remain accessible and enjoyable for everyone despite the new developments popping up like crazy.
3. The unique mix. Where else can you find a South American destination that feels decidedly European, but with the sprawling, big-sky feeling of the American midwest? A big bonus: no American tourists (besides the lone travel blogger)!
4. The antiques. And by “antiques” I mean that the entire country feels like it’s left over from another era – in the best way possible. Whether you are on the coast a la the Hamptons in the 1960s, in the rustic colonial town of Colonia that seems to be frozen in time, or enjoying the 1890s Parisian-style buildings of Montevideo, Uruguay is full of beauty, charm, and romance. Dream of owning a colonial home? Vintage cars your thing? Uruguay is the place – especially for those for whom restoration isn’t a dirty word but a fantasy. I dream of scouring the villages and countryside for antiques, hardware, and tiling… preferably in a baby blue vintage Fiat 500.
5. The opportunities. Savvy investors worldwide now have Uruguay on their radar. It offers First World ammenities at Third World prices, has good infrastructure and little corruption, fantastic housing bargains, and an enjoyable climate. For more details check out International Living, Escape Artist, and Ola Uruguay.