I’m really excited to interview Karen Higgs of Guru’ Guay about Montevideo, Uruguay. Karen’s tips for the best things to do in Montevideo are awesome because she is the guru of Uruguay. Karen moved from Washington DC to Uruguay in 2000 because her husband is from South America and they wanted to return to that culture. They wanted a city with a lively cultural scene and good infrastructure, yet was small enough to get around by foot.
Montevideo is the capital and largest city in Uruguay. Uruguay is located on the eastern side of South America and Montevideo is on its southern tip. The city is parallel to Bueno Aires, Argentina, which is only a 1-hour flight away across the Rio de La Plata. One hundred years ago, Uruguay was one of the world’s richest countries, so it has a relatively modern society with a lively cultural scene and good public transportation.
There is so much to when you visit, including seasonal attractions that you can plan your trip around. These include Uruguay’s Kentucky Derby in January, the world’s longest Carnival Festival beginning in January, Gaucho Week during Easter, and the anniversary of Tango in April. The climate is temperate all year long, but there are four seasons in Uruguay.
The city revolves around the Plaza de la Independencia, which was once the home to a Spanish citadel. Visitors can find art deco buildings, colonial homes, and historic landmarks in the old town of Ciudad Vieja. These landmarks include Palacio Salvo and the Solis Theatre performance hall. Also plan to visit Colonia, which is Uruguay’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When you visit, you must try some of the local cuisine, especially the Chivito, which is Uruguay’s classic steak sandwich. Drinking some of the local wine is a must because Uruguay has two of the top 50 wineries in the world.
We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Discover Montevideo, the local convention & visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Getting around Montevideo
The local airport is Carrasco International Airport (MVD), which is about a 30-minute drive to downtown. Karen recommends flying LATAM and avoiding American Airlines when planning your trip. There are many options to get from the airport to Montevideo, but Karen suggests hiring a private transport.
Places we talked about on the podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Karen Higgs about Montevideo, Uruguay. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in Montevideo, Uruguay
- Green dots = best things to do in Montevideo, Uruguay
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in Montevideo, Uruguay
Who is Karen Higgs?
Karen Higgs is the Guru of Uruguay. She’s been writing about all of the best things to do in Montevideo and Uruguay since 2013. She moved to Uruguay from Washington, D.C. in 2000 with her Argentian husband. They wanted a city with a quality of life that was comparable to D.C. but without the high cost. They found it in Uruguay. The adventure was expected to last five years, but now they’ve been there for over 20 years.
She has traveled internationally throughout her adult life, but now love calling Uruguay her permanent home. In addition to her website, Karen has written two books (so far) about Montevideo and Uruguay. And she is the only Uruguay guidebook author that actually lives in Uruguay.
Here are a few articles that she’s written:
- In a pandemic, there’s no place I’d rather be than here in Uruguay
- 6 reasons why you must not miss Carnival in Montevideo
- It’s sunny and 60° F out – winter in Uruguay
Karen’s books are available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle versions:
We also have a special link just for listeners where you can download a free guide to Karen’s favorite places to eat, drink, and visit in Uruguay.
Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Bluffworks
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Go to WeTravelThere.com/bluffworks and use the promo code from the image below to save 10% off your order. There are many styles to fit your needs so you can stay wrinkle-free when you travel.
Stay tuned for our next episode
Listen to the next episode when Jenn & Ed Coleman of Coleman Concierge share the best things to do in Huntsville, Alabama. In this episode, we talk about Space Camp at the US Space & Rocket Center, speakeasies at Campus 805, and the discovering local beers on the Craft Brew Trail. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.