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Years of being an off-the-radar destination for most travellers has meant that curious backpackers landing on Uruguay’s shores haven’t had much of a guide to work from. When it comes to exploring, Airbnb and Uber are a great start, though a recent tech explosion has given rise to a handful of unique apps shedding light on the country’s hidden gems. Here are some of the best.
Across much of the world, food trucks have become part of the urban landscape. Until recently, Uruguay’s strict regulations have restricted these pop-up eateries from setting up shop in the streets. No longer: the food truck revolution has hit Uruguay.
This snazzy app’s mission is simple: to nudge discerning foodies in the direction of fine street eating. Think artisan coffee from the likes of Café Nómade, craft beer and ‘glamburgers’. The map, powered by Google, marks the locations of Uruguay’s best food trucks with bright orange icons. You can search by cuisine or item and switch to the ‘Eventos’ tab to see upcoming food and drink festivals and fairs in your location.
Uruguay’s quirky capital, Montevideo, has a fantastic (and cheap) bus system. While buses are clearly labelled with their destinations, the sheer number of stops means working out which to jump on can be a tricky task.
The city’s Intendencia came up with a solution: the super straightforward Cómo Ir app. Simply pop in your start point, destination and select the walking figure or bus icon for the best directions. There’s even a built-in bus timetable and a handy map of the stops.
It’s worth using a foreign card when you’re dining out or paying for accommodation or a rental car in Uruguay – visitors get IVA tax deducted from the bill. Avivate takes this one step further, listing all the promotions currently on offer in each city.
From sandwich shops and cafes to pharmacies and shoe shops, this thrifty app notes little-known discounts neatly filed into categories based on your method of payment. With up to 30% off hotel bookings and cut-price theatre tickets, it’s a worthwhile download.
Uruguay’s cuisine relies heavily on its unrivalled red meat and Italian staples like pasta and pizza, but that’s not to say there isn’t a raft of restaurants serving world foods, from inventive sushi to Irish classics. Finding them is the challenge.
Tatetí fills the gap left by the lack of a reliable guide to Uruguay’s dining scene. Covering Montevideo and Punta del Este, this smart app shows you the available booking slots at great restaurants all over the city you’ve selected. Each listing is packed with key information, like opening hours, average prices and star ratings. If your Spanish isn’t up to scratch, this app can help you navigate bookings without the blushes.
Move over Spotify, Mus is Uruguay’s introduction to the best music dreamed up on its shores. It’s perfect for plugging into for a wander down the Rambla or a cross-country bus ride.
This intuitive app lets you pick from a list of music types and presents you with playlists of Uruguayan music, from classical to classic rock. If you don’t know your murga from your candombe, this should be your go-to.