While there’s no doubt that France is a cultural heavyweight when it comes to how much it has contributed to the arts, literature, the food world, and out-of-the-box thinking, there are still many understated countries around the world that can pack a surprising counter punch as an interesting holiday destination. This is why Uruguay sneaks into our travel radar, and it should be on yours too! So if you’re wondering how to choose a holiday between the Euro-giant and the South American underdog, then look no further; we’ve identified some key points that can help you decide.
Visit France if…
You Love Art
Whether it’s admiring the amazing pieces on display at The Louvre; strolling through Monet House and Gardens in Giverny where the world-famous artist Claude Monet lived and worked; or wading through the plethora of works from Degas, Van Gogh, Gaughin, and Renoir at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, you’ll find that there’s great art coming to life in every corner of France.
You’re Hungry for Food That Doesn’t Cut Corners
French cuisine doesn’t go light on the butter, oil, and sugar, and it reflects in the rich flavors that hit your palate once you partake in a gastronomic adventure that is…well, basically every meal. Dig into some wine-enriched coq au vin, simple and comforting steak frites, buttery croissants, and out-of-this-world duck confit and you’ll realize you’re in a foodie’s paradise. Got a sweet tooth? You’ll have plenty of sweet crepes and macarons to satisfy your every craving.
You Love Your Wine & Champagne
France’s love for all things derived from the mighty grape is unparalleled. You can enjoy some Bordeaux, famous medium-bodied and fruity reds, or if price is no limit, enjoy an opulent Burgundy. If you can’t resist the bubbly, why not enjoy it at its birthplace? The Champagne region offers tasting and tours through some of the most beautiful Champagne houses you will ever see.
You’re a Die-Hard Romantic at Heart
If cozying up in a snug cafe, sipping some wonderful coffee, and feasting into some mouth-watering pastries with your special someone isn’t romantic enough for you, then there’s always that symbol of love in France — the Eiffel Tower. But it’s not just this iconic landmark that can re-ignite the flames the spark in your relationship. Take a walk down the narrow alleyways of Montmartre, stop for a glass of wine (or three) at a roadside brasserie, or just find a spot to sit and watch the world go by at the tree-lined Champs-Élysées.
Visit Uruguay if…
You Love Your Grilled Meat
Argentina is well known for its love of grilled meats, but the asados (barbecue) of Uruguay are also up to the task of satisfying your craving for meat. Make your way to the Mercado del Puerto, the elegant marketplace in the capital city of Montevideo that will draw you into its arms with the fragrance of smoky, meaty goodness wafting through the air. Here, you can feast on steaks, ribs, pork, lamp, morcilla (blood sausage), and chicken, and even grilled provolone cheese (you’ve got to try it!).
You’re a Total Beach Bum
Uruguay’s beaches are a hidden gem for those craving a sunny coastal getaway in South America. While it may be the world’s best-kept secret, tourists in the know from neighboring Brazil and Argentina often flock to them during the winter months (summer in the Northern hemisphere). You can surf off the beaches of the quaint little fishing village of Punta del Diablo, or if you so wish, rub shoulders with celebrities at the very glamorous Punta del Este. You’ll find the perfect beach, no matter your vibe.
You Want to Travel Back in Time
The tourist do flock here, but it still has the feel of a bygone era — untouched, romantic, and beautiful. Welcome to Colonia del Sacramento! This UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded by Portuguese colonists in 1680, and is famous for its shady sycamore trees, cobbled streets, colonial-style houses…and also, its vintage cars that can be seen cruising around town.
You Want to Experience South America’s Longest Carnival
While everyone is all always talking about Brazil’s elaborate carnival, similar celebrations in Uruguay take the party to a whole new level. Did you know that Uruguay’s Carnival is the longest lasting in South America? That’s right — for 40 days from mid-January to late February, there are all kinds of revelry, mainly featuring the Candombe tradition of African drumming, floats and costumed performers, and “murga” (a colorfully outfitted choir that sings everything from love songs to social issues).