My last stop in Uruguay was Colonia del Sacremento, opposite of Buenos Aires on the Rio de la Plata. This small town was founded by the Portuguese and has a nice well preserved old town with cobbled streets. A lot of backpackers do a dollar-run from Buenos Aires to Colonia because some Uruguayan ATMs provide dollars that can be changed on the Argentinian blue-dollar-market.
Just a few hours east from Punta del Este lies Punta del Diablo. This remotely, somewhat underdeveloped fishing village was preparing for high season when I got there. From Christmas to the end of February Punta del Diablo is packed with Brazilian and Argentinian tourists.
I booked a room for a few days in Hostal de la Viuada, a beautiful place with a swimming pool and a watching tower. After these days I extended my stay for another couple of days.
Together with the Swiss guys Oli and Alec we made great asados in the backyard of the hostel. I walked along the winding dirt streets with my German friends Samuel and Ras to get some fresh made empenadas at the beach. Another day we rented bikes to visit the Santa Teresa NP with its beautiful beaches. Punta del Diablo was perfect for a chilled out time and it was hard to leave this place.
Beachtime in Punta del Este, the international beach resort that's overcrowded in high season. A Punta del Este fixture is "la mano en la arena" (Hand in the Sand) by Chilean artist Irarrázabal. The hand grabbed me and kept me on the beach for three days. The town itself was filled with McDonalds, KFC, casinos and expensive clothing shops. This spoiled my perfect beach feelings and I moved on to more remotely beaches near de Brazilian border on the Atlantic sea.
The nightbus took me from Santa Fé (Argentina) to Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay. I walked around in the old town and rented a bike to visit some city beaches on the Rio de la Plata.
Uruguay has won the World Cup football two times. In 1930 they won the tournament in their own Estadio Centenario. I visited the stadium and regretted to be here off-season. It would have been great to watch a game during the season.