Zagan Uruguay

A Portal To South America

How To Travel To Uruguay From The UK & Best Airfares

With about 20,000 brits flying to Uruguay every year, most of them enjoy a trouble-free holiday, but we’ve compiled a short guide to the essentials you will need to ensure everything goes as planned.

There’s plenty of airlines you can fly with but a couple of notable ones are “Thomas Cook,” “Easy Jet” and “British Airlines.”

You can also visit Skyscanner to help you find an affordable flight, and make sure you spend some time on Tripadvisor checking out hotels and restaurants in advance.

While Uruguay is brimming with a rich history, mouth-watering food, and forward-thinking people, it’s important to remember that it is over 14 hours away, so here’s some important information to keep in mind before setting off on your journey.

Book early

Tickets for a flight usually become available 11 months in advance and this generally the best time to look for a bargain. Lowest priced economy-class fares are limited and are usually the first to go, although ideally you want to get a mid-priced flight as 14 hours with a few inches of leg room is torture.
Unless the airport is hit by a terrorist attack or the airline is having a financial crisis, flights get more expensive as departure time approaches.

Flying with a child

Another reason to book early is to guarantee that you’re seated next to your child. Not only will you be constantly worrying about them, but they’re likely to be ticking off whoever they’re placed next to.

Considering the length of this flight you have to get to the airport early and request a bassinet if needed, as it’s first-come first-served.
Make sure to pack any of your child’s favourite toys so they don’t get bored, and avoid sugary sweets and sweet drinks. Again, you don’t want your child kicking an elderly woman in the back.

Colouring books are a good choice, as are any portable gaming devices or video players. Anything that might work to keep them occupied for the lengthy trip.

What should go into my hand luggage?

On most short flights you only need to chuck in a few books and you’re good to go, but with such a distance to travel then there’s a few items you should consider.

If you have trouble getting to sleep when there’s background noise then make sure to invest in a pair of earplugs, and if you really struggle falling asleep on a plane then a handy bottle of eyedrops are a great way to keep fatigue at bay for a bit.

Airplanes aren’t the most cleanly of places, being about as hygienic as a bus or a café.

Which means that the pull-down tray you eat from has probably had a quick wipe in the past day, and that those headphones and pillows that are handed out have likely been in contact with someone else’s head without being washed.

Therefore we wouldn’t blame you for packing your own headphones and sleeping supplies.

It is also a good idea to upload some songs onto your ipod and, if you suffer from easily chapped licks, a tube of lip balm will be invaluable.

And of course, make sure you double check that you have the essentials before leaving the house. It might seem unbelievable but plenty of people turn up at an airport only to realize they’ve forgotten their passports.

Montevideo – South Americas Best Kept Secret Or Overrated Tourist Trap?

If you happen to be someone with a liberal way of thinking, then Uruguay is one of the best holiday hot spots around. Not only is it one of the most forward-thinking countries when it comes to LGBT rights in South America, but also the world.

Not only that, but Uruguay is also the first country in the world where you can buy over the counter Marijuana, as well as being able to cultivate up to 6 plants. Unfortunately though, not everyone is happy with how easy it is to find weed now, and Uruguay’s President had this to say:

“There has always been a conservative and reactive opinion that fears change. The sad part is that a man who is almost 80,” referring to himself “has to come and propose a youthful openness to a conservative world that makes you want to cry.”

Still, Montevideo has plenty to offer you even if you’re not a fan of drugs. Steeped in a rich history, the Country’s capital was founded in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, governor of Buenos Aires, to counteract the Portuguese advance into the area from Brazil. During its early years, Montevideo was a Spanish garrison town. Trade continued to grow toward the colonial period, and Montevideo’s merchants played a vital role in securing Uruguayan independence. From 1807 to 1830 Montevideo was alternately occupied by British, Spanish, Argentine, Portuguese, and Brazilian forces, and its trade and population declined dramatically. Independence did not bring stability though, and the Country struggled for many years until finally growing into its own.

These days Montevideo has the perfect blend of old and new that will satisfy most history buffs, and although its cobblestone streets might be a bit rough around the edges, it adds a certain character to the city.

The people here are friendly and enjoy a laid-back sort of life, always happy to give you a hand if you need help with something and are great to have a chat with while sitting in one of the many pavement cafes and sipping a sweet glass of iced tea.

At its core though Montevideo is about exploring. If you wish to lounge on one of the crowded beaches all day then you can certainly do that, but there’s plenty of hidden coves with pristine golden sand waiting for you if you’re willing to put in the time to find them, not to mention plenty of art deco buildings and museums.

Although, Montevideo has been overhyped by a few people. While it is great, the weather can be quite stuffy during the summer, and if you’re considering visiting during the autumn or winter months then you will find it more akin to London than to a beach paradise.

Things can get quite pricey too – especially the seafood – which, despite the cities vast coastline, is usually frozen.

As a matter of fact the food served here is all a bit similar, and while it’s usually fresh and well prepared I would not recommend it if you’re not a lover of red meat.

Uruguay – A Legalized Marijuana Lovers Paradise?

Uruguay is one of the most advanced south American countries, and it shows. Not only due to its rich culture and history, but also because of the fact that it is the first country in the world where it’s possible to purchase Marijuana from over the counter in pharmacies, although the law has not always been so accepting.

Similar to the Netherlands, the law in Uruguay allows possession of cannabis for personal use, but Cultivation of the plant is strictly forbidden, this forces users to head down shady back alleys and purchase the drug from criminal dealers or break the law by cultivating cannabis for their own use. Alicia Castilla who is the author of two best-selling books on cannabis, chose to grow it herself.

In January 2011 police raided her house and arrested Alicia whilst she was watering her Cannabis. The Police took everything from her computer to an orange squeezer.

She was sent to a prison where inmates ranged from crack addicts to murderers and where “rats as big as rabbits” lurked in the bathroom. This sparked global outrage that such an elderly lady should be imprisoned for growing a plant for her own consumption, and after 45 days of requests she was finally released into a rehabilitation center, where she began drafting a 3rd book that was based on her experiences.

Whilst there she gained the nickname of “Senora Cannabis” and fellow inmates would often clap when she walked into a room.

Still, Alicia faced between 2 to 10 years in prison, but as the Uruguayan people prided themselves on their liberal views it did not take long for them to take to the streets in process, and eventually Alicia’s 3 month incarceration paid off when people began bringing her legal marijuana drafts to look at in prison.

As anger began to grow all over the nation Alicia was released from custody, and her incarceration became the catalyst for the legalization of Marijuana cultivation.

Since 2014 people have now been free to grow up to 6 Marijuana plants in their homes, and purchasing some is as easy as a quick trip to the drugstore.

Plus, with Uruguay’s warm beaches, terrific food and friendly people, it’s one of the best countries in the world to go if you don’t want to get in trouble for lighting up a joint or two.

The Top Tourist Destinations In Uruguay

Colonia del Sacramento

The oldest town in Uruguay, this mishmash of Spanish, Portugese and Uruguayan Architecture is soaked in two centuries worth of history.

The Portugese and Spanish had a long-standing power struggle for control of Colonia del Sacramento, as it was a town with a valuable tactical advantage in regards to trade routes of Brazilian produce and Peruvian Silver.

The city was traded back and forth a few times by both countries, but in the end it was the Portugese who conquered it and won control.

It was a short lived victory though, as it wasn’t long before the Brazilian-Argentine Cisplatine War broke out and the historic quarter sustained widespread damage to the city’s defenses and its most valuable buildings.

Today the town is well preserved and is home to many different people and cultures. One of the must visit places for lovers of History, the town is home to not only the Portuguese basilica, the Spanish-Uruguyan history museum and bullring but 17th-century convent ruins and more.

Casapueblo

If you prefer art over history then Casapueblo is the place to be.

The artist Carlos Páez Vilaró’s quirky villa and art gallery, which took 36 years of design and planning to create, cascades down a cliffside and is gleaming white under the hot south American sun.

Visitors are able to tour the rooms, watch a movie on the artist’s life and travels, and take in the incredible views – especially the sunset- at the upstairs cafeteria-bar.

Although the sunset is breathtaking it can get quite busy during the summer, so it’s best to arrive early. And even if you do not plan on staying at the hotel The restaurant at Casapueblo is the perfect place to take a special someone for dinner.

Los Dedos Playa Brava

The beach gets its name from the enormous sculpture of a hand that appears to be rising from under the sand, most commonly called La Mano or The Hand. However, because the piece of art resembles a giant clawing its way out of the earth, the official title of the piece is actually Hombre Emergiendo a la Vida, or Man Emerging to Life. Originally the piece was meant as a signal for help from a drowning swimmer, as well as a reminder to be careful in the turbulent sea, giving the piece of art another name, El Monumento al Ahogado, or Monument to the Drowned. No matter what name you choose to call it, the sculpture is an important icon of Punta del Este.

Los Dedos Playa Brava beach is quite popular among the younger generation, with its fine golden sands, fresh mouth-watering food and the perfect waves for any surfer enthusiasts, it’s no wonder that the place is such a hit!

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