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.