Time: 27 days (15 Feb-12 Mar 2012)
Budget: $83.21 (per day for two people)
Additional costs: $782.86 (2 week Spanish course, including homestay with breakfast and dinner for two people)
Itinerary: Colonia del Sacramento 4 days, Montevideo 18 days, Punta del Diablo 5 days
Although certainly not the cheapest place in South America to take a Spanish course, we chose Montevideo because it was near the beginning of our trip and we thought it a good excuse to visit somewhere we wouldn’t have necessarily gone to otherwise. And boy are we glad we did.
If you’re in Buenos Aires, I think it’s a crime not to hop over to Uruguay. At the very least, visit Colonia which is only an hour away by boat. But Montevideo is worth it too, as a more chilled out place than BA. Our Spanish school, Academia Uruguay, has a branch in BA too, so you can split your course between the two cities (although in our opinion we much prefer Montevideo and Uruguay in general to BA and Argentina).
Sur Hostel, Colonia del Sacramento – newly-opened, great asado, spacious dorms and doubles, cool staff
Hostel de la Viuda, Punta del Diablo – purpose-built with fantastic communal spaces, lovely staff and friendly pets
Suburban beaches in Montevideo – although Playa de los Pocitos is famous, you’ll find less crowds and cleaner beaches the further out you go. Try Playa Malvín, Playa Brava or Playa Honda and then grab a snack or drink at the many bars or restaurants a few blocks in land.
Empanadas la Barca – a chain found all over Montevideo, you’ll recognize it from the 45 varieties it offers (or 51 at the Pocitos location)
Feria de Tristán Narvaja, Montevideo – a great place to while away the hours on a Sunday
Colonia del Sacramento
Three places to visit in Colonia
Punta del Diablo