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21 Photos that Prove Uruguay is Completely Not What You Expect

Picture of Will Lees
Updated: 21 March 2018
“When you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you’re great at something, they’ll tell you.”: this is a quote by Walter Payton that adequately describes the country of Uruguay and its humble people who rarely boast about their country or their triumphs, yet whom the world knows so little of. We’ve gathered some images that will shine a little light on the gorgeous Uruguay.

Though modest, Uruguayans are fiercely proud and consider themselves a formidable football nation with as many World Cup trophies as their neighbours in Argentina.

Uruguay is one of the most modern, safest, cleanest and most stable countries in all of South America.

Punta del Este pier
Punta del Este pier | © Pixies / Pixabay
Manantiales, Uruguay
Manantiales, Uruguay | © sergejf / Flickr

Yet it remains a country filled with history, like one of the oldest settlements, Colonia del Sacramento.

Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento | © Vince Alongi / Flickr

And it’s never short on unique, sometimes unusual, artistic expressions.

Most famous of which is the emerging hand in Punta del Este.

“The Hand” in Punta del Este
“The Hand” in Punta del Este | © LouMact / Pixabay

Casapueblo in Punta Ballena is a complex of buildings built by Carlos Páez Vilaró, a Uruguayan artist, to be used as his own workshop. It now functions as an art gallery, museum, hotel and restaurant to showcase his country’s talent.

Casapueblo terrace
Casapueblo terrace | © Vince Alongi / Flickr
Casapueblo ocean view
Casapueblo ocean view | © Enfoco22 / Pixabay

From its border with Argentina to its border with Brazil, Uruguay is lined with a stunning coast.

Sunny daybreak
Sunny daybreak | © Vince Alongi / Flickr
Punta del Diablo
Punta del Diablo | © Vince Alongi / Flickr
Playa de los Pescadores
Playa de los Pescadores | © alejandromedone / Flickr

Uruguayans also like to celebrate Carnival in style.

Montevideo Carnival
Montevideo Carnival | © Studios / Flickr
More Carnival celebrations
More Carnival celebrations | © Jimmy Baikovicius / Flickr
Lady of the Carnival
Lady of the Carnival | © Vince Alongi / Flickr

Something Uruguay also does extremely well: it creates delicious wines and has emerged as one of the premier producers of the Tannat grape.

As the second smallest country in South America, you might think Uruguay is a busy, cramped metropolis, but you would be utterly mistaken.

Sierras de Minas, Uruguay
Sierras de Minas, Uruguay | © Marcelo Campi / Flickr
Uruguay waterfall
Uruguay waterfall | © Marcelo Campi / Flickr
Peaceful stream
Peaceful stream | © Mai Rodriguez / Flickr