Travel like a local.


World’s Longest Carnival, Tango Dancing & Delicious Wine in Montevideo, Uruguay

Best things to do in Montevideo Uruguay Karen Higgs Plaza Independencia

Explore the history at Plaza Independencia

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 on foot.

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Best things to do in Montevideo Uruguay Karen Higgs kite surfing on the beach

Spend some time at the beach kite surfing, catching some rays, or splashing in the ocean

Montevideo, Uruguay

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.

Best things to do in Montevideo Uruguay Karen Higgs drinking wine

Stop by one of the many wine shops to sample the local wines

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. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.

Karen says that visitors shouldn’t rent a car during their trip. The distances are short between places you want to see and public transportation is great. Plus, taxis and Uber are inexpensive.

If you must rent a car, click here for the best offers from Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Best things to do in Montevideo Uruguay Karen Higgs at sunset on the Rambla

Enjoying the sunset on the Rambla

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.

Karen Higgs of Guru' Guay

Here are a few articles that she’s written:

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.

You can connect with Karen on her website and on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. And learn more about Uruguay by joining Karen’s Discover Uruguay Facebook group.


Click here to download our one-page guide of Karen’s tips for Montevideo.

Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Bluffworks

This episode is brought to you, in part, by Bluffworks. Whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure, it’s important to have clothes that make me look good AND feel great. I wear Bluffworks jeans, slacks, dress shirts, and blazers because they’re wrinkle-free and are designed for the modern traveler. And if they get dirty, a quick spin in the washing machine and they’re good as new.

Go to 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.

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Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Huntsville Alabama Jenn and Ed Coleman top of Angels Landing photo credit @habitat9travels

Jenn and Ed Coleman top of Angels Landing. Photo credit @habitat9travels

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 discovering local beers on the Craft Brew Trail. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Montevideo? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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