The Guru’Guay Blog

Bringing you the beef on Uruguay since 2013

Uruguay tourism is about beaches, wine, ranches, Montevideo, culture and architecture. We’ve got info on Colonia del Sacramento, Punta del Este, Ciudad Vieja vs Pocitos, music & celebrations, the meaning of murga in English and way more

Our Latest musings on Tourism in Uruguay

Guru’Guay’s 2020

Guru’Guay’s 2020

2020. Working in the travel sector, you can imagine how we were hit. Guru’Guay chews over the pivots to stay afloat & celebrates Uruguay’s ‘good’ pandemic.

Art, Music & Film

5 Uruguayan films you must see

5 Uruguayan films you must see

Uruguayan movies tend to be slow burners with lots of critical acclaim. The Guru invites you to put your feet up and enjoy five of the best Uruguayan films.

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

The host of this brand new travel show fell in love with Montevideo. The wine, soccer, carnival, food… so many things to do.

Photography: Montevideo melting pot

Photography: Montevideo melting pot

After a challenge by a friend, Eliana Cleffi photographed as many nationalities as she could in 100 days in Montevideo–and that started a mammoth project.

Montevideo Tales #13

Montevideo Tales #13

Alien robots wreaking havoc on 18 de julio avenue, firing rockets at Palacio Salvo and bombing Tres Cruces bus station – it’s a ALIEN ATTACK on MONTEVIDEO!!

Carnival in Uruguay – what is murga?

Carnival in Uruguay – what is murga?

Murga is an instantly recognisable musical style associated with carnival. It’s a uniquely Uruguayan phenomenon, with very distant roots in Cadiz, Spain.

Tango dancing in Montevideo

Tango dancing in Montevideo

Dance tango in Uruguay. Especially if you are a beginner or intermediate tango dancer, the tango scene in Montevideo is much friendlier than Buenos Aires.

A Uruguay rock and pop sampler

A Uruguay rock and pop sampler

Uruguay’s rock and pop scenes have been thriving since the sixties. Here’s some local artists definitely worth checking out while you’re here.

What is candombe?

What is candombe?

Candombe is an essential part of Uruguayan culture. Every neighbourhood has its comparsa (troupe), regardless of social class or background.

Beaches

Where are the best beaches in Uruguay?

Where are the best beaches in Uruguay?

A secret for North Americans and Europeans, Uruguay’s beaches have been a favourite with Argentinians for years. So where are the best beaches in Uruguay?

8 things to do in Punta del Este

8 things to do in Punta del Este

Argentines and Brazilians LOVE ‘Punta’–it’s Uruguay’s glamour puss beach resort. So you may be surprised at some of our must-do things to do.

5 amazing beaches in Rocha, Uruguay

5 amazing beaches in Rocha, Uruguay

Without a doubt, Rocha has some of the very best beaches in Uruguay. And they’re almost totally deserted for virtually ten months of the year.

Whale-watch in Uruguay

Whale-watch in Uruguay

In Uruguay you can watch whales close-up from the beach. Save yourself an expensive trip to Patagonia & feel great that your viewing generates zero stress.

Countryside & Outdoors

Hotel Solis – historic, coastal B&B

Hotel Solis – historic, coastal B&B

Be a part of history. Once the best hotel in Uruguay-and British spy HQ in WW2!-, nestling by beaches, wineries and trekking, and being lovingly restored.

8 things to do in Punta del Este

8 things to do in Punta del Este

Argentines and Brazilians LOVE ‘Punta’–it’s Uruguay’s glamour puss beach resort. So you may be surprised at some of our must-do things to do.

The WHALES are back in Uruguay!

The WHALES are back in Uruguay!

The first sighting of whales in Uruguay this year was in May. They’ll be around until November. So where’s the best place to watch whales?

Gaucho week in Montevideo – Easter

Gaucho week in Montevideo – Easter

Traditional food, handmade goods, and South American cowboys riding wild horses. It’s the Semana Criolla – Montevideo’s Easter gaucho festival.

Driving in the Uruguay countryside

Driving in the Uruguay countryside

Driving in the interior of Uruguay is a real pleasure. Calculate a little extra time and relax on some of the emptiest roads in the world.

Exploring the Uruguayan interior

Exploring the Uruguayan interior

Deepest Uruguay begins just an hour from the capital. Explore centuries-old ranches, a village with 100 murals, a Milk Festival & ghostly train stations.

Getting to Uruguay

Status update: Flights to Uruguay

Status update: Flights to Uruguay

A collection of the latest information on flights and flying to Uruguay. Read our update regarding opening the borders to travelers.

Flights resume to Uruguay

Flights resume to Uruguay

Good news. A number of airlines have resumed flights several times a week to Montevideo, Uruguay since July. Bookmark this page for updates.

Getting to Uruguay

Getting to Uruguay

“The great advice in your guide saved me $500USD on my airline ticket!” How to get to Uruguay from Argentina, Brazil, Europe, USA and Iguazú.

Food & Drink

10 Uruguay foods you must try

10 Uruguay foods you must try

Typical Uruguay food — chivito, tira de asado, pamplona, torta frita, alfajor, dulce de leche… We go through each one, what it is and how you say it.

What eating out costs in Uruguay

What eating out costs in Uruguay

I often get asked about costs in Uruguay. Get an idea what you are likely to spend on food and drink when eating out at restaurants and bars. UPDATED.

Salon No. 3 – La Barra cuisine

Salon No. 3 – La Barra cuisine

New La Barra restaurant in a vintage furniture store. Pull up a chair in the kitchen as the chef preps just-caught fish & his home-grown organic veggies.

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

The host of this brand new travel show fell in love with Montevideo. The wine, soccer, carnival, food… so many things to do.

Arazá – Native Uruguay cuisine

Arazá – Native Uruguay cuisine

Native Uruguay cuisine in Montevideo. Special events include monthly expeditions to El Prado park to identify local plants–and after you get to taste them.

What do Uruguayans eat?

What do Uruguayans eat?

What do Uruguayans eat (and drink)? A “tourist shopping basket”–to keep prices down in vacation hot spots–reveals all. Hint. It includes whiskey.

The 20 very best Uruguayan wines

The 20 very best Uruguayan wines

Uruguay’s wine production is small yet magnificent. Here’s the very best from the Guru’Guay Guide to Uruguay, a guide to wine country and more.

6 best beers for summer in Uruguay

6 best beers for summer in Uruguay

Daniel Rocamora, Uruguay’s foremost craft beer expert, chooses this summer’s best craft beers. Hit the beach and carnival with six of the best.

Wine & Wineries

Wine delivery around Montevideo

Wine delivery around Montevideo

Stay safe and still get hold of your favourite Uruguay wines. Call in your order by WhatsApp and the wines arrive at your door. Easy as that.

The Top Tannats of 2020

The Top Tannats of 2020

One in three bottles of Uruguay wine is a Tannat. Yes, Uruguayans LOVE this red. Nowadays there’s a Tannat for every occasion. We celebrate the Top Tannats.

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

The host of this brand new travel show fell in love with Montevideo. The wine, soccer, carnival, food… so many things to do.

An introduction to Uruguay wine country

An introduction to Uruguay wine country

Uruguay is the new world’s undiscovered wine gem. Plan your trip to Uruguay wine country. Tips to regions, wine tasting in Montevideo & private wine tours.

Montevideo Wine Experience

Montevideo Wine Experience

A stone’s throw from the famous Port Market, lies Montevideo’s first ever 100% Uruguay wine tasting bar. A great place to get oriented to life in the city.

Manuel Filgueira: Ninja winemaking in Uruguay

Manuel Filgueira: Ninja winemaking in Uruguay

Trained in elite French chateaux but down to earth, Manuel Filgueira is one of Uruguay’s top winemakers, producing tiny quantities of exceptional wine through “sheer stubbornness”.

The 20 very best Uruguayan wines

The 20 very best Uruguayan wines

Uruguay’s wine production is small yet magnificent. Here’s the very best from the Guru’Guay Guide to Uruguay, a guide to wine country and more.

Wine tasting in Carmelo

Wine tasting in Carmelo

Wine tasting at the unique family-run boutique wineries of Carmelo, Uruguay. Plan your route, find contact details and prices.

Carmelo: The Uruguayan Tuscany

Carmelo: The Uruguayan Tuscany

Not a huge amount to things to do in Carmelo, besides drink wine. Thank god! Visit vineyards, drink fine wine & relax in a tiny Tuscany without the hordes.

6 Uruguayan wines you MUST try

6 Uruguayan wines you MUST try

Argentinians know wine. Local expert Claudio Angelotti selects neighbour Uruguay’s best wines. The Guru translates his recommendations for your enjoyment.

Getting Around

Get around Montevideo like a local

Get around Montevideo like a local

And not like a tourist. This interactive map loads really fast. Use it to travel by bus or on foot and get around Montevideo like a local.

Driving in the Uruguay countryside

Driving in the Uruguay countryside

Driving in the interior of Uruguay is a real pleasure. Calculate a little extra time and relax on some of the emptiest roads in the world.

Getting around: buses, taxis and walking

Getting around: buses, taxis and walking

Getting around like a local. Flag down the bus – or it won’t stop. Don’t tip your taxi driver – but don’t expect him to load your luggage! Essential maps.

Even the buses have free wifi!

Even the buses have free wifi!

It’s really, really easy to get online in Uruguay. In fact, Uruguay is the only country in the world to completely implement One Laptop Per Child.

Holidays & Festivals

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

The host of this brand new travel show fell in love with Montevideo. The wine, soccer, carnival, food… so many things to do.

Montevideo Carnival 2020 dates

Montevideo Carnival 2020 dates

Montevideo has the world’s longest carnival starting January thru early March. We’ve got the links you need in English about where to go and what to see.

Public holidays in Uruguay

Public holidays in Uruguay

It’s a good idea to know when public holidays in Uruguay are as most shops close. Public transport is also limited but to a lesser extent.

Gaucho week in Montevideo – Easter

Gaucho week in Montevideo – Easter

Traditional food, handmade goods, and South American cowboys riding wild horses. It’s the Semana Criolla – Montevideo’s Easter gaucho festival.

What’s worth checking out in Carnival

What’s worth checking out in Carnival

Carnival starts late January till early March. Yes, it’s the world’s longest carnival. The parades and shows you must not miss, where to buy tickets, etc.

Carnival in Uruguay – what is murga?

Carnival in Uruguay – what is murga?

Murga is an instantly recognisable musical style associated with carnival. It’s a uniquely Uruguayan phenomenon, with very distant roots in Cadiz, Spain.

Progressive Society

Gay Montevideo

Montevideo – the capital of the friendliest country in South America. And it’s Uruguay’s version of ‘Pride’–known as the Diversity March–this Friday!

Why did Uruguay legalise cannabis?

Why did Uruguay legalise cannabis?

Anyone that knows Uruguayan politics will not be surprised at the seemingly audacious policy to legalise cannabis. It’s part of a long political tradition.

The Montevideo Marijuana Museum

The Montevideo Marijuana Museum

The Cannabis Museum puts the country’s ground-breaking legislation in context and explains, why for Uruguayans, it’s not as radical as you might think.

Why we love Montevideo

Why we love Montevideo

Montevideo is often overshadowed by Buenos Aires. Three well-travelled bloggers tell what made them fall in love with South America’s off-the-radar capital.

Even the buses have free wifi!

Even the buses have free wifi!

It’s really, really easy to get online in Uruguay. In fact, Uruguay is the only country in the world to completely implement One Laptop Per Child.

Staying Safe & Healthy

Status update: Flights to Uruguay

Status update: Flights to Uruguay

A collection of the latest information on flights and flying to Uruguay. Read our update regarding opening the borders to travelers.

Flights resume to Uruguay

Flights resume to Uruguay

Good news. A number of airlines have resumed flights several times a week to Montevideo, Uruguay since July. Bookmark this page for updates.

Is Montevideo safe?

Is Montevideo safe?

Montevideo is one of the safest cities in Latin America but it is still a capital city. Take the regular precautions — and you’ll be just fine. Read on.

The Uruguayan Character

Uruguay in the Rugby World Cup

Uruguay in the Rugby World Cup

World famous for soccer, turns out Uruguay has the #2 rugby team in South America. Guru’Guay investigates and is on the BBC during the Rugby World Cup.

Montevideo Tales #12

Montevideo Tales #12

Two old ladies walk in to a cafe, then one makes a confession. This story feels so Uruguayan to me that I’m still mulling over all the reasons why.

Manuel Filgueira: Ninja winemaking in Uruguay

Manuel Filgueira: Ninja winemaking in Uruguay

Trained in elite French chateaux but down to earth, Manuel Filgueira is one of Uruguay’s top winemakers, producing tiny quantities of exceptional wine through “sheer stubbornness”.

You know you’re in Uruguay when…

You know you’re in Uruguay when…

Argentinian and Uruguayan Spanish accents sound the same to most English-speakers. But when hear these expressions, you KNOW you’re in Uruguay 🙂

A Wall Street banker in Montevideo

A Wall Street banker in Montevideo

Roberto worked in the international banking world for 20 years. Then he gave it all up to return to his home town of Montevideo and live in the Old City.

Why we love Montevideo

Why we love Montevideo

Montevideo is often overshadowed by Buenos Aires. Three well-travelled bloggers tell what made them fall in love with South America’s off-the-radar capital.

Things To Do

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

Montevideo #1 in new travel show

The host of this brand new travel show fell in love with Montevideo. The wine, soccer, carnival, food… so many things to do.

Birdwatching Tour in Punta del Este

Birdwatching Tour in Punta del Este

See 30-40 bird species as you tour Parque Indigena, a national park on the Maldonado river just ten minutes from Punta del Este and five from La Barra. 

Private walking tour of the Old City

Private walking tour of the Old City

Climb the iconic Palacio Salvo, get a feel for carnival and learn juicy facts about the history and architecture. All the while sipping ‘mate’ like a local.

Private City Exploration Of Montevideo

Private City Exploration Of Montevideo

Learn juicy historical background and secrets behind the city’s most beautiful architecture as you tour Montevideo in a private, air-conditioned vehicle.

Tango dancing in Montevideo

Tango dancing in Montevideo

Dance tango in Uruguay. Especially if you are a beginner or intermediate tango dancer, the tango scene in Montevideo is much friendlier than Buenos Aires.

Learning Spanish in Montevideo

Learning Spanish in Montevideo

Readers have asked me to recommend a good Spanish language school. Academia Uruguay gets the thumbs up from people I know who have studied there & teachers.

The Montevideo Marijuana Museum

The Montevideo Marijuana Museum

The Cannabis Museum puts the country’s ground-breaking legislation in context and explains, why for Uruguayans, it’s not as radical as you might think.

Montevideo’s Prado neighbourhood

Montevideo’s Prado neighbourhood

Minutes from downtown, Montevideo’s leafy El Prado district is a photographer’s paradise of ghostly mansions, stately art galleries and tangled greenery.

The Gaucho Museum

The Gaucho Museum

Most museums in Montevideo are run by the state and free to visit. The Gaucho Museum is located in a fantastic “palacio” worth a visit in its own right.

Tipping & Money

What eating out costs in Uruguay

What eating out costs in Uruguay

I often get asked about costs in Uruguay. Get an idea what you are likely to spend on food and drink when eating out at restaurants and bars. UPDATED.

Beware of dye-marked banknotes

Beware of dye-marked banknotes

In 2018, a spate of ATM robberies led banks to put dye-packs amongst the bills. Dyed notes were no longer legal tender. The deterrent seems to have worked.

Making a will in Uruguay

Making a will in Uruguay

The truth about inheritance laws–children inherit the estate, not spouses and there’s no tax. Essential reading for anyone living in Uruguay.

Buying property in Uruguay

Buying property in Uruguay

Moving to Uruguay? Lawyer Mark Teuten goes through legal requirements, taxes and most importantly the costs of buying a house or apartment in Uruguay.

Tipping in Uruguay

Tipping in Uruguay

What to tip waiters, bartenders, taxi drivers…and …do you *really* have to tip the guy who guides you into a parking spot? It’s all here.

When To Visit

Top things to do in winter in Uruguay

Top things to do in winter in Uruguay

Between June and August, visit Uruguay for horse-riding, deserted beaches, great culture, live music, bonfire parties, winetasting & whale-watching.

Whale-watch in Uruguay

Whale-watch in Uruguay

In Uruguay you can watch whales close-up from the beach. Save yourself an expensive trip to Patagonia & feel great that your viewing generates zero stress.

About Guru’Guay

Guru’Guay’s 2020

Guru’Guay’s 2020

2020. Working in the travel sector, you can imagine how we were hit. Guru’Guay chews over the pivots to stay afloat & celebrates Uruguay’s ‘good’ pandemic.

So who’s the guru of Guru’Guay?

So who’s the guru of Guru’Guay?

Karen A Higgs moved to Uruguay in 2000. Her renowned Guru’Guay travel guides to Uruguay and Montevideo are praised for their passion and soul.

Guru’Guay in the media

Guru’Guay in the media

Guru’Guay and its creator, Karen A Higgs, have become a reference around the world and in Uruguay for our perceptive take on tourism and living as an expat.

Guru’Guay on Amateur Traveler

Guru’Guay on Amateur Traveler

Chris Christensen interviews Guru’Guay creator Karen A Higgs about travel and tourism in Uruguay. AT is one of the world’s top 5% most popular podcasts.