Coldwell Banker Around the World: March 2022

Wedged between Brazil and Argentina, there is a country of unexpected beauty that is progressive, stable, safe and culturally sophisticated. Uruguay may be South America’s smallest country, but it offers “not made for tourist” experiences that cannot be compared to those of the more-recognized neighboring countries.

Article written by Cecilia Silva

Wedged between Brazil and Argentina, there is a country of unexpected beauty that is progressive, stable, safe and culturally sophisticated. Uruguay may be South America’s smallest country, but it offers “not made for tourist” experiences that cannot be compared to those of the more-recognized neighboring countries. Whether caught in a cow-and-gaucho (cowboy) traffic jam on a dirt road to nowhere or strolling with locals along Montevideo’s beachfront, Uruguayans are well known as good hosts and will welcome you with great pleasure.

Many people find their refuge in Uruguay. It’s hard not to fall in love with the gorgeous beaches, expansive nature, indulgent culinary delicacies, good-vibe culture, and endless activities. There is plenty to do whether visiting cosmopolitan Montevideo, picturesque Colonia or party-till-you-drop Punta del Este. Wildlife-watching, horseback riding, shopping, clubbing, or hot-spring hopping, Uruguay truly has something for everyone. Among the welcoming community of this special and eclectic little country is our team at Coldwell Banker Infinity Real Estate in Montevideo. Read on to hear more about the country from their eyes!

Picture of Montevideo courtesy of Uruguay XXI, picture of Punta del Este courtesy of Jimmy Baikovicius.

Where do you live: Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay. Montevideo is the city with the best quality of life in Latin America (Mercer, 2019).

What is the perfect weekend day like: The perfect summer weekend can be spent just 132km from Montevideo in Punta del Este, the most exclusive seaside resort in the region offering the perfect mix of luxury and nature. Starting the day with a walk on the beach is a good way to fill up with energy. At lunchtime, we recommend finding a beach bar and eating fish and seafood, fresh from our coast. Take a break and prepare for a sunset outing, as Punta del Este is known for having among the best sunsets in the world. The best place to view the sunset with a cocktail or coffee is from the terraces of the Casapueblo, which is a building constructed by a famous Uruguayan artist, Carlos Páez Vilaró. For the nighttime, get dressed and go to the town of Manantiales to visit the new contemporary art museum, MACA. Then, it will be impossible to indulge in the nightlife of Punta del Este. You can find clubs and bars with renowned DJ’s, comfy couches and cool drinks, musical and cultural performances that you will spend all night meeting new friends, drinking, and dancing the night away.

For the perfect Winter’s Day, you’ll spend your time much more culturally-focused, and head to Uruguay’s shining star, Colonia del Sacramento. This is one of the oldest towns in our country and has a complicated past that you would have never guessed when walking the quiet streets lined with pastel-colored houses with colorful doors and shutters. Come visit us at Coldwell Banker Infinity Realty to learn more!

What are the common modes of transportation there: The main national routes are paved and well maintained, including some excellent sections of four-lane highway linking Montevideo to Punta del Este and Colonia. Car rentals are an option to move on your own. Taxis and Uber are available all over the country. We also have comfortable, frequent, well-priced, long-distance bus services.

Tell us about the foods your area is known for: Uruguayan cuisine is influenced by Italian and Spanish cuisine, translating into a spectacular fusion of aromas and flavors. An example of this is Milanese, which consists of beef overflowing with egg and breadcrumbs, giving it a pleasant texture. As for Uruguayan cuisine, we have several dishes. Such is the case of Chivito (typical dish made with beef – an exquisite grilled loin sandwich served on a bed of cooked ham, bacon, mozzarella cheese, sliced hard egg and fresh vegetables). There is also the gourmet icon of the Gauchos, Asado de Tira (prepared with the best cuts of rib meat, accompanied by chorizo, morcilla and chinchulines, all the best quality). You can accompany any of those dishes with a delicious bottle of red wine of Tannat, the national grape of Uruguay. In areas like Montevideo, Punta del Este and Colonia you will find hundreds of restaurants where meat is the star of the table.

What is your favorite meal? At home or at a restaurant: At home I would prepare Asado (steak) with grilled vegetables. And at a restaurant, I would recommend a Chivito that always comes with French fries.

Where do you recommend someone vacation in your region, why: In Summer, Punta del Este or José Ignacio will be perfect for vacation, as well as Rocha seaside-resorts continuing towards the East. Alternatively, in the Winter, Montevideo or Colonia del Sacramento are good options. Located in the northwestern part of Uruguay, in the departments of Salto and Paysandú, there is a wide area of hot springs, which is a true gift of nature. This great thermal water park has temperatures that range between 38°C and 46°C… that’s 100-114°F !

What is your favorite recreational or leisure time activity: Real estate is my passion, a way of life. But if I put my work aside, I love going to the beautiful beaches with the oceanic coast we have in Uruguay and I enjoy doing sports outdoors. Running or walking along the Rambla or the beach, riding a bike while enjoying beautiful views is something that gives me a lot of pleasure.

Is there a specialty your area is known for: These are some of the most typical things that identify Uruguayan customs: Drink bitter mate with friends and family; Live football with the passion of the “garra charrúa”; Share a good Asado; Enjoy the longest carnival in the world; Make the purchases of the week at the neighborhood fairs; On Sundays, visit the touristic popular Tristán Narvaja Fair.

Share a little known but interesting fact about the area/region: Marijuana is legal since 2013. Pharmacies can sell cannabis to registered Uruguayan residents, and there are cannabis clubs for those who want to home-grow. Many companies are forming to enter the medical cannabis market, which could be Uruguay’s next big industry.

If you were to live in any other region where we have a Coldwell Banker presence, where would it be and why: If I had the opportunity to choose any country, I would absolutely pick Spain. I have Spanish and Italian ancestry, which means I may be a citizen of these countries. Also, I believe it would be much easier to get used to a country which has similar traditions as yours, as well as the language.

Territory Summary:

Welcome to Uruguay. Located between Argentina and Brazil, the Uruguayan latitude, its extensive maritime coastline, and the absence of natural barriers, favor Uruguay´s having a subtropical climate, without extreme temperatures and a direct route to the main cities of the region, by land, river and flight. Uruguay has more than 600km of coastline. A land of unexpected beauty, situated way down south, in strategic regional location, with never-ending rivers, clear blue skies and boundless horizon. A country of friendly people, with strong traditions and solid commitments.

We have the same passion for football that we have for the environment. Uruguay celebrates passionately and creates with every moment. Uruguay produces for today and tomorrow and innovates to make it happen. Colonia, Montevideo, Canelones, Maldonado y Rocha form an extensive strip of beautiful beaches, seaside resorts, fishing ports and huge spaces where nature is shown in all its splendor, with a varied hotel and gastronomic offer. In a planet where water is an increasingly scarce resource, Uruguay is a freshwater paradise. Likewise, this paradise has managed to create the necessary conditions to be a stable and reliable country for investment. Important industries are tourism and, as evidenced by our abundant bovine population, agriculture. 

Uruguay is the largest per capita exporter of software in Latin America. The government focuses on growing our technology sector, while improving technological infrastructure. Internet connectivity is superlative, and WiFi is even offered for free in public plazas and parks. The tech industry also has some key benefits, such as tax exempt for technology exports. We can talk for hours about Uruguay, but our incredible landscapes and the warmth of our people is something you must see with your own eyes.

Key Facts:

  • Population: 3,473,727
  • Language(s) Spoken: Spanish
  • Climate: Humid Subtropical
  • Currency: Peso Uruguayo

Industry Facts:

  • Types of Architecture: Montevideo, a cosmopolitan city with an architecture that shows a colonial and neoclassical style that mixes with modern architecture and Art Decó that emerged during the golden age of the country in the 20th century.
  • Price per sq. ft/meter: Values vary if it is an apartment US$2.636/sqm or a house US$1.727/sqm.
  • Average Sale price: US $2.182/sqm
  • Average years in house/apt: 10/15 years
  • Types of Financing: While the property is under construction, it can be financed directly with the developer. Other option is a mortgage with official banks or private banks.

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Sam is the Content and Multimedia Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He is Jersey born and bred, and currently resides in Weehawken, NJ. He is an avid reader, loves Games of Thrones and is a New York Yankees die-hard.

You can follow him on Twitter @World_Shalom

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