Uruguay Properties

Investing in Uruguay

Find out what makes Uruguay a viable and attractive destination for foreign investment in real estate today.

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Living in Uruguay

Discover what makes Uruguay stand out in the region as a unique choice to live or vacation in.

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Discover Uruguay, the right mix for US tourists.

Discover Uruguay, the right mix for US tourists.

it’s an oasis of tranquillity with a near-perfect climate that eagerly welcomes foreign guests, providing a rich mix of historical, beachside, urban, rural, and ecological offerings.

While the number of travellers from the US doubled from 35,000 in 2002 to 70,000 last year (excluding cruise ships), they constitute a mere fraction of the 2 million visitors that Uruguay receives annually.

To attract more Americans, Uruguay is promoting itself as a multi-destination site – for business events, sightseeing, recreation, and retirement. North Americans only need a valid passport – no visa – to enter the country. A new air terminal at Montevideo’s Carrasco International Airport, due for completion later in 2009, expanded port facilities in Colonia for those arriving by boat from Buenos Aires, and new highways underscore Uruguay’s commitment to tourism.

“We have a very unspoiled country,” Liliam Kechician, Uruguay’s Vice Minister of Tourism and Sport, told Travel World News recently. “Our campaign—UruguayNatural—is more than a slogan. We’re promoting our attitude toward the way we live.”

And it’s a seductive attitude. Uruguayans put out the welcome mat – and not just because tourism is the nation’s number two industry after agriculture.

Walk through Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja (Old City) and a local is likely to stop and say, “Thank you for visiting.” It’s an authentic display of hospitality that pervades the country.

Located between its giant neighbours of Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay, about the size of Washington state, is defined by soft hills, grassy plains, and a fertile coast. Its population of 3.4 million, mostly of European descent, imparts an international flair to a distinctly Latin spirit. With a literacy rate of 97%, Uruguay ranks with Chile on the Global Peace Index as one of the two most peaceful countries in Central and Latin America.

Reflecting the idea behind Uruguay Natural, growth hormones and antibiotics are prohibited in livestock production.

As a result, the grass-fed cattle produce delicious meat that is exceptionally lean and high in nutrients. Similarly, fruits and vegetables fresh off the farm are full of natural flavour and that’s before the country’s many talented chefs work their gastronomic magic. Uruguayan wines also have become world famous with those from the Bouza winery, for example, winning award after international award.

The more one gets to know Uruguay, the longer one wants to stay. But for those with limited time, much can be seen in a week or so. Consider the following.

Colonia del Sacramento
A one-hour ferry ride across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, this World Heritage Site is the country’s oldest city. Spain and Portugal alternately ruled Colonia since 1680, leaving a quaint historic quarter marked by a unique blend of Spanish and Portuguese architecture.

Walk along the cobblestoned streets under yellow street lamps at night and make your way to the Lobo Restaurant on Calle del Comercio for a memorable meal that might include Spanish styled tapas, sautéed prawns, and rib eye steak. While exploring the region consider making the Sheraton Colonia Gold & Spa Resort, located just outside the city, your base where a staff of 120 pampers guests at this 92-room property. Los Cerros de San Juan, the country’s oldest vineyard, about 20 miles from Colonia, hosts groups (minimum of 10) year round. Visits include a tour and sampling of the wines produced from grapes that are harvested by hand at the peak moment of perfection. A lunch of fresh salad and Uruguay’s signature meal of parrillada—grilled sausages and steak—completes the visit. El Terruño (“Homeland”), an 800-acre sheep and ostrich breeding station, also near Colonia, showcases the gaucho life. It hosts parties, weddings, and individual tourists and accommodates overnight visitors. Gustavo Raffo, a good humoured, bear of a man, is eager for you to enjoy his hospitality.

Punta del Este
Located on a peninsula where the Rio de la Plata, the world’s widest river, meets the Atlantic Ocean, Punta del Este is South America’s premier seaside resort.

During the summer (December – March), the normal population of 10,000 balloons to more than half a million, but Punta del Este is prepared, offering everything vacationers might want: sailing, boating, surfing, and other water sports; fine restaurants; and casinos. Summer night life starts late, with dinner usually served after 11 p.m. The Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino provides easy access to all the town has to offer – from the calm river beach of Playa Mansa to the wilder ocean surf of Playa Brava. Not to be missed is Casa Pueblo. This rambling, white-washed hillside structure on nearby Punta Ballena, which took 36 years to build, is the home, studio, and gallery of its creator, famed Uruguayan painter and sculptor Carlos Páez Vilaró. Casa Pueblo attracts admirers, especially at sunset. During a delightful summer evening this past January, the artist, now in his eighties, greeted guests with the grace and energy found in his art.

This cosmopolitan capital of 1.2 million – featuring historical sites, old and new architecture, world class restaurants, music, theatre, and more – welcomes business and pleasure travellers alike. The Sheraton Montevideo Hotel, located in a residential neighbourhood overlooking the Río de la Plata, is centrally located, offering easy access to all sites. With the beach coming right up to the edge of Montevideo, one can drive along the Rambla with bustling city life on one side and sunbathers relaxing on the other.

Ciudad Vieja (the historical quarter) has been rejuvenated in recent years and is now the focal point of nightlife. If you have time, squeeze in a performance at Teatro Solis, a gem of a theatre similar in style to Milan’s La Scala.

Getting There
American Airlines, the only U.S. carrier flying to Uruguay, offers five nonstop flights a week from Miami to Montevideo during the November–March high season and three weekly flights otherwise. Daily connections through Buenos Aires (45 minutes away) are available year round. Montevideo and Punta del Este are the primary ports of call for cruise ships.

Ferry service connects Buenos Aires with Colonia, Montevideo, and Punta del Este.

Source: By Peter Lowy for Travel World News


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