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
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.
* 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.
*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.
* 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 – 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.
* 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.