Sunburned in Uruguay – or how not to ruin your holiday

By Loren SztajerI have just said goodbye to another guest who has had the next few days of his holiday ruined thanks to a lovely walk at midday along Montevideo’s rambla.

What could possibly have gone wrong?

He had applied sunscreen to his neck and forearms but had forgotten to use it on his face and the sides of his arms. His face was bright red and his arms striped like a neon tiger.

And that sunburn is not going to go away for quite some days meaning he’ll be advised to stay out of the sun while he on his next leg to the gorgeous Iguazu falls…

This is typically a problem with travellers to Uruguay. You have to realise that there is a major hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole and that the sun here is MUCH more ferocious than in other parts of the world.

Between November and March, if you go out at midday for more than 15 minutes without sunscreen on, you are going to get burned, and painfully.

Uruguayan sunbathing tips

But it’s easy to remedy. Just follow these tips that you’ll see the locals applying.

Always wear sunscreen when you are outside during summer

Including on cloudy days. Make sure you apply evenly. Else you will have red stripes where you would not expect! And REAPPLY several times during the day.

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Stay out of the sun between noon and 4pm

Go to the beach early, leave at midday and then go have lunch, a siesta, and come back no earlier than 4pm (don’t worry, it’s light till after 8pm).

Wear a hat and invest in a beach umbrella

A beach umbrella is called a sombrilla (say sohm-BREE-zzhaa – this is the Uruguayan pronounciation 🙂 ). You can pick one up for around 20 USD at most supermarkets.

Tales of woe and sunburn

As if you need further convincing…

Boodle who went out for a short walk and so didn’t put sunscreen on…

“Not thinking we’d be outside for so long, I didn’t put any suncream on and have now added to my collection of feral tan lines. I tried to rectify the disgustingness later in the day by lying on the beach. My plan failed. I spent the next day in agony, having now burnt the top of my legs and butt. Joy. ”

and Tristan who mocked his companions as a form of relief…

“After a journey through the backroads to get back to the hotel, we discovered that both Simon and I were sunburned to hell, although the cross pattern on Simon’s head as a result of a trucker cap, was fairly laughable.”

Photos: Loren Sztajer and Alex Liivet

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