The Uruguay Roundup

6 May

The Statistics

Number of days spent in country –  15

Cities/towns visited –  Colonia, Montevideo, Punta del Diablo

Number of different lodgings – 3 plus a couchsurf

Local bus journeys – 8

Combi/collective/taxi  journeys – 0

Boat rides – 2

Bike rentals – 1

Days of rain – 1

Budget

Total US dollar amount spent – 1,228.50

Average cost per day, per person – 43.88

Average lodging cost per night – 38.40

Most expensive lodging – Hostel del Diablo – $41/night for a private room with bathroom and a patio looking out to the sea.

Least expensive lodging – Willy Fog Hostel and El Viajero  in Montevideo were both $13 per person for a dorm room, including breakfast

Average food/drink cost per day (per person) – $20.15  We ate out for pretty much every meal, and drank a healthy amount of beer and wine.  Lunches we generally had empanadas on the beach, but we went to basic restaurants most nights for dinner.  We could easily have spent a lot more on food and drink, but we chose mid-range restaurants with only a few exceptions.

Best:

Best. Empanadas. Ever.

* Empanadas – Kiosco Alba at the end of the ‘pier’ where there are trinket vendors.  These go down as the best empanadas we had in all of South America.  They are made fresh to order and are STUFFED with fresh fish, or ham and cheese.  They are fried, yet they aren’t greasy.  They are incredible, and there was always a wait, but it was well worth it.

Mmmmm…grilled meat….

*Parilla meal – Huge slabs of grilled meats are typical in Uruguay, especially in Mercado del Puerto.  It’s incredible just to walk around and marvel at all the grills going at the same time, and you have more than a dozen choices for lunch.  We ate at La Chacra with our couchsurf host, and had some of the best steak we’d had on the trip thus far.  A tad pricey, but well worth it.

We took a break from biking to take photos with the massive Montevideo sign

* Bike ride along La Rambla – Do yourself a favor and rent a bike at Bicicletta Sur on Aquilas Lanza and Durazno.  For a dollar an hour you can spend all day cruising up and down the coastline, stopping for ice cream, empanadas, and whatever else catches your fancy along the way (like the giant Montevideo sign above…).  There is a well maintained path for both pedestrians and bikes.

Playa Grande in Punta del Diablo

* Playa Grande in Punta del Diablo – It’s already a super chilled out beach town, but we hear it can get pretty crowded during high season.  To get away from the masses, head over to Playa Grande, just a few minutes walk up the coast.  You’ll find an expansive beach that you’ll have nearly all to yourself since most people don’t want to make the trek over the sand dunes.  If you walk all the way out to the end of the beach you’ll be at the beginning of a nature preserve where you can marvel at the foliage and maybe even spot some sea turtles.

Worst

* El Viajero Hostel in Montevideo.  It was clean, well located, and had a good breakfast but all of those things can’t make up for terrible layout and a bad staff.  The room we had didn’t have a window, which made it swelteringly hot in the night.  In addition, the rooms all faced the open courtyard where people hung out until all hours of the night – the noise was deafening.  The staff was indifferent at best, downright obnoxious at worst.  We left after only one night.

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6 Responses to “The Uruguay Roundup”

  1. Carlene DeFalco May 7, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I hope you put all your journal documentation into a book….I am enjoying your adventure so much….you both have guts, I might say and also you will never regret or forget this wonderful adventure others do not think of…..you both are awesome individuals and living the life with the blessings of the universe!

    • Ashley May 17, 2012 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks Carlene! We do have a notebook that we have more details in, everything from all our budget details to cards from most places we’ve eaten or visited…like my mom I just paste it all into a notebook, and hopefully we’ll look back at it and find it helpful for more writing later.

  2. Bryan Waugh May 20, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Concur on El Viajero! That place was terrible! Our room was filthy as well, and the bathroom was overflowing from a clogged shower drain. Hair everywhere! And I hate hair! Staff was terrible as you mentioned as well. I wrote them a terrible review on hostels.com, but it “magically” vanished.

    • Ashley May 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      I know, it was awful. I had no idea you had such an aversion to hair…

  3. Jeffrey May 18, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    Hi, I’m in Montevideo right now and have been trying to find the giant montevideo sign, without success. Where along the Rambla is it???

    • Ashley May 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      Sorry for the very late reply, but it’s alllllll the way at the very end where the beaches are, and then up on a little hill. Hope you were able to find it!

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