Uruguay Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Uruguay: holidays, events, climate

Public holidays

Religious festivals or holidays

Date Holiday
January 6 Holy Three Kings
November 1 All Souls
December 8 Day of the blessing of the water
December 25th and 26 Christmas

Other public holidays

Date Event
April 19 Landing of the 33 patriots
May 1 Labor Day
May 18 Battle of Las Piedras
June 19 General Artiga’s birthday
July 18 Constitution Day
August 25 Independence Day
October 12 Day of Chr. Columbus

Source: Countryaah – Uruguay Holidays

Cultural events


The carnival, especially in Montevideo, from Rose Monday through Ash Wednesday is a wild festival of drummers, musicians and colorful parades.

Easter days

The Easter days (La Semana Criolla) are characterized by traditional activities such as wild horse riding, folk music and barbecues. In late March there is the three-day Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha in Tacuarembó.

Sporting events

The national sport of Uruguay is football. The best footballers play in the leagues of Argentina, Brazil and Europe, but football always remains attractive. Uruguay won the world’s first football World Cup in its own country. This victory in 1930 at the Estadio Centaurio de Montevideo in front of a hundred thousand spectators made football a national sport and immortalized heroes like Jose Leandro Andrade. This success was repeated in 1950 in neighboring Brazil. The hosts lost 2-1 in the last game in front of over a hundred thousand horrified Brazilian spectators at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. That means that Uruguay’s team will not be forgotten.

Uruguay: climate

The idea of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depends on a number of factors. The ideas of pure culture travelers are certainly completely different from those of people who, for example, want to spend a pure beach holiday. The state of health or age can also play an important role. The following seasons are particularly suitable for a stay in the country for people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause problems:

December to February. Then it’s nice and hot. Average of 31 °Celsius at noon. But it can get up to 40 degrees. This recommendation applies in particular to the coast, which is probably the most attractive region for tourists. The mountainous landscape inside is then a little cooler, especially at night. The main travel season in Uruguay is December to March. By the way, most of the tourists are from Brazil and Argentina.

People who prefer a more moderate climate or slightly lower temperatures should rather use the following season (s) for a stay in Uruguay: Spring months: September to November, because autumn is mild on average at 18 °Celsius.


UNESCO World Heritage Site

Historic district of Colonia del Sacramento

The city of Colonia del Sacramento is located on the Río de la Plata, it is the oldest city in Uruguay. The influence of the Portuguese on architecture and art was very great, and it was under the Portuguese that the country’s first theater was built in 1730.

With interruptions and in troubled times when the occupiers changed frequently, the Portuguese ruled the city again and again. Many buildings from Portuguese times can be visited, B the old city wall with the city gate, the museum of colonial tiles with plans from 1762 of the city, the ruins of the monastery of San Francisco Xavier, an originally preserved house from 1750, the small church “Iglesia de Benito” from 1761 and much more.

The historic district was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995

Industrial landscape of Fray Bentos

This old factory in Fray Bentos is located around 300 km (as the crow flies) northwest of Montevideo.

Fray Bentos is the capital of the Department (Departamento) Río Negro in Uruguay with around 25,000 residents. The factories were originally built by immigrants from Germany in 1859 for salt production – but the meat of the animals grazing around was processed here as early as 1861. The meat processing into meat extract was carried out according to the method of the German chemist Justus von Liebig.

In 1924, British entrepreneurs took over the plant, which had then shipped canned meat to Great Britain for troop catering during the Second World War. From 1972 to 1979 the state authorities of Uruguay continued to process meat. The industrial landscape of Fray Bentos was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015

Special structures

Former Town Hall of Montevideo

(1804-1810), Plaza Constitución, Montevideo

Former Presidential Palace of Montevideo

(Palacio Estévez), Plaza Independencia, Montevideo

Former theater

Salto’s former theater and now casino.

Old town ensemble “Ciudad Veja”

Unfortunately, the monument preservation work of the city administration has improved little. One indication is the decay of this colonial old town.

  • The oldest high-rise building in South America is the 26-story Palacio Salvio (1928), Plaza Indepedencia, Montevideo. This house was strongly criticized during the stay by the architect Le Corbusier and stands for the “confectioner style” of the city at that time. This Art Deco style was formative for the period from 1925 to 1950 in Montevideo. In an authentic Latin American way, it differs from Art Deco Europe of the 30s. The buildings are simpler and built with less expensive materials than in Europe. The popularity of this architecture came from the middle class in Uruguay. It’s worth looking out for. Most of the buildings are in Ciudad Vieja, centro, paalermo, Av.Rivera, Av. 8 de Octubre, Justicia etc. Some examples:
    • Palacio de la Cervez (1928), Yatay 1421 casi San Martin
    • Torre de los Homenajes, Estadio Centenario (1930)
    • Agencia Ford (1924)
    • Edificio MacLean (1928)
    • Palacio Rinaldi (1929)

Casa Puebla in Punta Bellena

This eight-story house, hotel and studio was built by the famous artist Carlos Paez Vilaro from Uruguay in the cliffs of Punta Bellena. He began with this building as early as the 1950s, which has hardly any straight lines or surfaces.

Colonia del Sacramento lighthouse

Salto Grande

The Salto Grande is a hydroelectric power station with a dam wall 39 meters high on the border with Argentina, with which it is operated together.

Former City Gate of Montevideo

The former city gate of Montevideo from the 18th century is located on Plaza Independencia

Old City Gate

The old city gate from 1745 is located in Colonia del Sacramento.


Natural History Museum/Montevideo

The Museum

Museo Torres García/Montevideo

Museo Romántico/Montevideo

Opera and theater

Teatro Solís/Montevideo

The theater was built in 1856 and remodeled in 1998.

Teatro Bartolomé Macció/San José de Mayo

The theater

Armored cruiser Graf Spee

A special monument lies on the seabed off the coast of Montevideo:

The “Graf Spee”, an armored cruiser of the German Reich, has been lying here on the Rio de la Plata since December 17, 1939. The ship was sunk by its own crew under the command of Captain Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff (1864 – 1939) at the beginning of the Second World War in the face of an allegedly strong British superiority. After the ship sank, Langsdorff shot himself. The ship had sought protection in the neutral port after it was badly damaged in a sea battle. But it was forced by the Uruguayan government to leave port again after 72 hours. Of course, there was not enough time to get the damaged ship fully operational again. It would have been hopelessly inferior to the British units suspected off the coast.

For some time now, local business people have been collecting money in order to be able to lift the wreck and then display it on land.



Cathedral The Montevideo Cathedral was built between 1790 and 1804 and is located in the old town of Montevideo at the Plaza Constitución.

The church was built in the style of neoclassicism.

This Roman Catholic Church is the seat of the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Montevideo. The church was raised to the rank of national historical monument (Monumento Histórico Nacional) in 1975

Matríz Church

The Matríz Church from 1680-1810 is located in Colonia del Sacramento

Franciscan convent

The Franciscan convent, built in colonial style and is located in Colonia del Sacramento

Special places

Aquas Dulces

Aquas Dulces is a small fishing village with a beach in Rocha Dipartimento.

Colonia Suiza

Colonia Suiza was founded in 1862 by Swiss settlers as an agricultural colony and has retained a certain European charm to this day.


Universidad de la República

The University of the Republic was founded in Montevideo in 1849 and today has around 70,000 students. With this number of students, it is the largest university in the country. It currently has the following faculties:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • architecture
  • art
  • chemistry
  • Economic sciences
  • Engineering sciences
  • Humanities
  • right sciences
  • medicine
  • psychology
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Veterinary medicine

Universidad ORT Uruguay

The ORT University in Montevideo was founded in 1942 and is now the largest private university in the country with around 8,000 students. The university currently has the following faculties:

  • Social sciences
  • architecture
  • pedagogy
  • Engineering

National parks

Parque Nacional Anchorena

This national park is a private park in the province of Colonia and can only be visited with the help of a guide. It covers an area of around 1,400 ha = 14 km².

An observation tower in the park provides an excellent view of the area and the numerous animals such as deer and wild boar and numerous birds. There are also a large number of native and exotic plants here.

A visitor center provides a wealth of information about the park and its fauna and flora.

Parque Nacional Arequita

The Arequita National Park is located in the Lavalleja province – approx. 10 km north of the provincial capital Minas. At the entrance of the park there is a large campsite with a mini market, restaurant, picnic area and even a swimming pool.

In the park is the 305 m high Cerro Arequita with its large round mesa made of volcanic rock. A forest of ombu trees and other tree species provide habitat for a wide variety of native wild animals. Such a forest is a rarity, as these

trees with their intertwined roots usually only grow individually.

There is a cave on the southwest side of Table Mountain that can be visited at certain times.

The 230 km long Rio Santa Lucia flows through the park before flowing into the Río de la Plata.

Parque Nacional Cabo Polonio

The Cabo Polonio National Park is located in the province of Rocha and is particularly known for its huge sand dunes. However, visitors can only reach the park with the help of special trucks, as the place is car-free. But it can also be reached via an approx. 7 km long walk on the beach that leaves from the road no.

Miles of beautiful sandy beaches with numerous shipwrecks in the water await the visitor. Large colonies of sea lions and seals live on the offshore islands. In the spring, whales also come to the coastal waters.

There are two hotels, a few restaurants and opportunities for camping for overnight stays as well as for eating and drinking.

Parque Nacional El Potrerillo – Rocha

This national park is located in the province of Rocha. The 715 hectare park is particularly designed to protect the country’s fauna and flora.

The park with its sandy beaches, meadows and rocky elevations can be explored using a circular route. With the help of a boat you can take a tour of the lagoon.

Parque Nacional and Monumento Historico Fuerte San Miguel

The area of the park is a large open-air museum and takes the visitor back to the time of the Spanish conquerors.

The park and the fort in it are located in the Rocha province. Fort San Miguel, a few kilometers from the border town of Chuy, was built in 1734.

Over time, the fort was often contested and often changed its occupants.

Parque Nacional y Monumento Historico Meseta de Artigas

This national park is located in the province of Paysandú. The 37 m high stone statue of General Artigas rises next to the small museum located here.

José Gervasio Artigas was born on June 19, 1764 in Montevideo and died on September 23, 1850 in Ibiray near Asunción. He was a Uruguayan general and politician and is a national hero in the country and is also known as the “father of the independence of Uruguay”.

Camping enthusiasts have the opportunity to spend the night in a campsite on the Rio Uruguay.

Parque Nacional Esteros de Farrapos y Islas del Rio Uruguay

This relatively unknown national park extends from Neuvo Berlin in the south of the park to San Javier in the north.

As the name suggests, the national park consists of around 32 islands that line up in the Rio Uruguay towards the southwest. Some of the islands are up to 1,000 ha = 10 km² in size.

In order to be able to explore the park, a boat is essential, which can be rented in the park at the El Sauzal campsite.

The visitor can meet around 15 different species of mammals, such as maned wolves, capybaras, wild dogs and even pumas.

You can also find turtles, lizards and over 100 different species of birds, including vultures, of course.

Prque Nacional Santa Teresa

This national park in the Rocha province is administered by the country’s military. It is located just before the border with Brazil between Laguna Negra and the Atlantic coast – in the Rocha province.

The park covers an area of around 3,000 ha = 30 km². In the national park, the visitor will find a number of beautiful sandy beaches with whale watching towers, a large forest area with around 2 million trees, camping areas and the historic fortress of Santa Teresa, which was built during the Spanish colonial era towards the end of the 18th century.

Parque Nacional FD Roosevelt

The Parque Roosevelt is the local recreation area for the residents of Montevideo. The park is located in the Canelones Province. It is located between the city’s airport and the Rio de la Plata.

It should be mentioned that the park is bordered by a shopping center with the largest supermarket in Uruguay.

Other natural beauties, beaches

Quebrada de los Cuervos

This canyon is located in the Treinta Y Tres province. With its subtropical forest, it is the largest canyon in Uruguay. Otherwise rare bird species in Uruguay live here.

A campsite and a youth hostel can be found in the gorge.

Lunarejo Valley – Rivera

These valleys and gorges cover an area of around 20,000 ha = 200 km². The valleys and gorges form one of the most impressive landscapes in Uruguay. About 200 species of birds, over 30 species of mammals, 38 reptiles and 22 amphibians live in the valleys.

You can find overnight accommodation in the small town of Tranqueras or in the eco-resort “Balcones de Lunarejo”.

Punta del Este

Punta del Este is an exclusive bathing beach with a beach with a length of approx. 40 km – located at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata.

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