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Just like any other gathering of people sharing the same passion for a music genre, milongas have their own golden rules which are worth knowing if you plan to enjoy the experience in full. Following are some of the most important ones:

  • 01Circulate on outer perimeter of the dance floor and counter clockwise. The legend goes that in the old times, tango men feared being stabbed in the middle of the dance and they had to watch their back. This way, they stayed alert and avoided being ambushed in the center of the dance floor.
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    Be respectful of the dancing space of other dancers on the floor and avoid halts.".

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    Dance the 4 tango pieces of the round and escort the lady to the table she was before when you asked her to dance.

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    Avoid talking during the dance. There is a common belief that says tango is a conversation in silence, for about 3 minutes, in this respect, it is key to let yourself go with the music.

  • 05Tango classes are given before every milonga, where it is possible to learn tips that can be later applied on the dance floor. However, once you are on the dance floor, it is not appropriate to indicate another dancer what to do or to try to teach a move to another dancer.
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The first chords of the anthem of Tangos are heard more than ever on the streets of Montevideo. The "Chan, chan, chan, chan" resonates in the most diverse places from the old radio of an old coffee shop in Montevideo, a ringtone on a cell phone, the whistle of the bus driver or the answering machine of a state entity.
No one escapes the spell cast by La Cumparsita, much less in 2017: the 100th anniversary of its premiere. The centennial is conducive to discover and get carried away by tango; this expression from the River Plate, which in Uruguay is experienced in a special way. Following are some of the proposals to be surprised by the 2x4 rhythm on Uruguayan soil.

1- Going to milongas Montevideo style
Every night the capital offers charming surroundings of different styles and sizes to be carried away by the rhythm of the 2x4. The so-called "milongas" are places designed for the meeting of amateurs or tango dancers, who share their passion and enjoy tango on the dance floor.

2- Visit La Cumparsita Museum
The new museum, which opened this past December, is located in one of the most emblematic buildings of the capital: Palacio Salvo, precisely on the same grounds where the tango anthem was heard for the first time back in 1917.
Tours for tourists are organized every day led by local guides who tell visitors the stories and tales of mythical tango. The guided tour costs $ 150 and includes a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, depending on the time of the day and the preference of the tourists.
Visitors can also go to dinner shows featuring a welcoming drink, starter, main course, dessert and two shows; one is a dance and the other is a radio drama accompanied by a live bandoneonist. This proposal runs from Friday to Sunday and the cost is US$ 90 per person and requires prior reservation.

3 - Listen to "La Cumparsita" in a café in the capital.
The downtown area and the old city, as Montevideans call it, are full of bars that have witnessed stories which are part of our history. Café Bacacay, Fun Fun, Café Brasilero, Tasende and Roldos are just some of the examples visitors cannot miss.

4- Have a picture taken at the sculpture of Carlos Gardel at Facal Bar.
On 18th of July Avenue, the principal avenue in the city, right at the entrance of Facal Bar, there is this nice sculpture of Carlos Gardel, also called "the magician". Pictures of visitors embracing the statue have become a classic souvenir. Besides, gastronomic critics say this is also a great spot to try a delicious "Chivito" (beef sandwich), one of the most traditional dishes of Uruguay.

5- Enjoy two exhibitions related La Cumparsita
As of February, the Museum of the General Authors' Association of Uruguay (Agadu) will hold an exhibition on Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, which will be open all year round from Monday to Friday, with photographs, personal objects and documents of the author. In turn, as of April 19, the Montevideo Photography Center will open a photographic exhibition of the author in the Open Sky Gallery of Parque Rodó. Both proposals are free of charge.
However, tango is present not only in the capital, Montevideo. The rest of the country also offers corners to experience and enjoy the passion of this cultural expression. For those who are willing to travel a few miles we suggest the following :

6 - Visit the Carlos Gardel Museum
This museum is part of the Municipality of Tacuarembó and is located in an old grocery store in Valle Eden, where Carlos Gardel would have performed as a young artist. The museum displays several documents which base the version of Gardel´s origin in Tacuarembo and its consequent Uruguayan nationality. According to these sources, the singer was born on a farm called 'Santa Blanca', located in the town of Valle Eden.
Address: Ituzaingó 364 Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture), Valle Edén. Department of Tacuarembó
Phone: (598) 46323520- mobile 30

7- Esapcio Cultural y Museo Julio Sosa (Museum and cultural center)
Created in honor of Julio Sosa, called the "Tango Man" who was born in Las Piedras (Canelones), this cultural space located at the Horse Track in the city of Las Piedras offers samples and exhibitions of the culture of the city.
Address: Hipódromo de las Piedras. Avenida Bicentenario S / N - Las Piedras. Canelones. Phone number: (00) 598 23666703 Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

8- Go to the Festival "Vení a cantarle a Gardel” (Come and Sing out to Gardel)
The twentieth edition of the National Contest "Vení a cantarle a Gardel" will be held between December 8th and 10th in Tacuarembó and this year gathers special shows and artists to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the famous singer.

9- Be part of the activities of Dia del Patrimonio (Heritage Day)
In 2017 La Cumparsita will be the central theme of the National Heritage Day, which takes place the first weekend of October. A myriad of proposals and activities throughout the country will revolve around the tango anthem.

The Anthem of Tangos composed by Uruguayan artist, Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, has a new cultural space. The museum is open every day from 9 am to 4:30 pm on the ground floor of Palacio Salvo building, which at the beginning of the 20th century housed a coffee shop named La Giralda where La Cumparsita was heard for the first time, performed by the quartet led by Roberto Firpo, a musician with vast experience at the time.
This cultural space, which opened in December 1916, offers tours with local guides who tell visitors the stories and tales of the place from the early days. The guided tour is $150 and includes a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, depending on the time of the day and the preference of visitors.
The inside walls and the surroundings are covered by records with the first edition of La Cumparsita, old victrolas and an infinity of documents from the time.
This cultural space also offers dinner shows featuring a welcome drink, a starter, a main course, dessert and two shows; one is a dance and the other is a radio drama accompanied by a live bandoneonist. This proposal runs from Friday to Sunday and the cost is US$ 90 per person and requires prior reservation.
Visitors can also choose from different souvenirs to take home or try the wines, two special editions, which bear the label of the most famous tango in the world.

A fresh look
One striking aspect is that the creators of the museum do not come from the Montevideo tango movement. Their inspiration came directly from their contact with the place. "When we walked into the room and we saw the plans of the distribution of the mythical Giralda and we compared them with the place where the Salvo stands today, there was as a sort of immediate connection with the idea. It was a revelation. Besides, the Palacio Salvo building has a particular magic that catches you ", says the director of the museum, Ms.Monica Kaphammel.

WHAT TO SEE?

Instructions with decorum
A poster shows the transformation of tango, which in the beginning was linked to the masculine environment and night life, and gradually won the acceptance of the rest of society. This poster is a picturesque list of instructions dedicated to housewives, which teaches them to dance tango with a style much less daring than that used in the brothels of the time.

Ironic notes
A cartoon made by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez himself, mocks the bad reputation of his tangos in the early twentieth century. "If cheap music is the music of your choice, here is a tango by Matos Rodríguez," reads the irony written on an improvised illustration of his own authorship.

Old Victrolas
The museum exhibits two old victrola phonographs that are still in operation; a home version and one for the ball room. Visitors are surprised to hear their unique sound without having to resort to electricity.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Palacio Salvo, Plaza Independencia 848.
Telephone numbers: (00598) 2900 1264.
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During the spring months, the rivers and lagoons of Uruguay become an ideal setting for tourist boat rides. Following are some of the main ones.

1. Sail the Uruguay River and discover the Berlin honey.
Located 45 kilometers from Fray Bentos, Nuevo Berlín is across from the Esteros de Farrapos National Park and the Uruguay River Islands, an area of great natural value that is part of the National System of Protected Areas. Different sightseeing river tours take place in this picturesque location that is worth a try this spring.
One of them is called La Yeguada Trail and it includes a one-hour- canoe ride in the stream. Another alternative is the one offered by Apiarios La Serena, which lets visitors discover the exuberant subtropical woods surrounding the bee hives in the area. The most courageous visitors can get to know a colony of bees in full labor and collaborate with the work done with hives together with a local beekeeper. The area also offers fishing trips and sightseeing boat rides.
Contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel. (+598) 99748247 - 99696482
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: 45682152 - Cel. 092215164

2. Sail the Rio Negro and visit Barrietos and Sauzal Islands.
The organization Bilú Guidaí, specialized in Conservation and Ecotourism proposes to enjoy two options which combine boat riding and hiking on two islands in the Rio Negro: Barrientos and Sauzal. Both trails are 1 kilometer long and 1 hour long, but offer the possibility of seeing quite different landscapes and animals. For example, the Barrientos trail features an enclosed landscape, marked by native Criollo woods, and animals such as Capybaras and Diademed Tanages. On the Sauzal island, however, Mini Bay Trees and animals such as Ferrets and River Otters are abundant. Both rides are accompanied by nature guides.
+ Info Bilú Guidaí

3. Catamaran rides in the Soriano waters.
The riverside rambla of the city of Mercedes is an irresistible attraction in the fall. There are several options to enjoy the wonders of the river such as the catamaran rides in the Soriano I. The vessel accommodates 45 people in an air-conditioned cabin to enjoy journeys all year long.
Some of the journey options that can be arranged for groups during the fall are:
Mercedes - Villa Soriano - Duration 5 hours.
Mercedes - Barrancas Coloradas - Duration 3 hours.
Mercedes - Doña Pepa Willows - Duration 2 hours.
For more information and travelling arrangements contact the Office of Tourism of Soriano.
+ Info Soriano I

4. Kayaking and canoeing along the rambla of Mercedes.
The company Kluver Turismo offers a fun proposal to stay fit and enjoy a water ride with friends.
+ Info. Kluver Turismo

5. Boat rides and snorkeling in Villa Soriano, the oldest European settlement in the country.
Founded in 1624, the village emerges on the island of Vizcaino as a location for the Chana Indians, and is then transferred to the present site in 1708. These characteristics make it the oldest European settlement in the Uruguayan territory. The town maintains the colonial characteristics of its time and history is still felt today on the coasts of the Hum and in the streets.
Besides the historical and cultural attractiveness of this town, visitors can enjoy several water activities, such as water rides in the Rio Negro, kayaking, canoeing and even snorkeling by the pier.
Contact. Office of Tourism of Soriano
Tel. (+598) 45322201 int. 2501-03 / Information Center. Boat Station. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Tel. (+598) 45394815 / Local Council Villa Soriano. Tel. (+598) 4530 4144


 

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The railway tradition, nature along the Guaviyú river, the legends of Padre Pio’s Grotto and the beautiful landscapes depicted by the Palm Groves, are waiting for those who decide to travel to the department of Paysandú. Following are six spots not to miss this summer 2017.

1. Queguay Station
The town of Lorenzo Geyres is located 35 kilometers to the south of the Hot Springs, on km 396 of route 3. This town originated with the railroad. Its inhabitants still know it as "Queguay" in reference to the name of the old train station built there in the late 19th century. There are many who say that it is the "most beautiful" station in Uruguay. Its charm has to do with the fact that it still retains its old construction framed in a picturesque landscape. It is worthwhile to wait for the train to pass, which still goes by carrying limestone from Paysandú to Tacuarembó.

2. Guaviyú trail and natural spaces
Within the hot springs area you can make a guided walking tour that includes the interpretation of native fauna and flora and bird watching of the species in the area. For the adventurous ones, there are several options to practice mountain biking in places of singular scenic beauty where palm trees are the main characters. In both cases, these are activities led by local guides who live in the area.

3. Aurora Farm and Padre Pio’s Grotto
This is a mystical place located on the border between Paysandú and Salto (a few meters from the bridge over River Dayman) highly visited by people from all over the world. On one side of the road you will find the agricultural and livestock establishment Aurora Farm and on the other side, the grotto with the statue that pays tribute to saint Pio of Pietrelcina. It is said that there have been phenomena related to UFO sightings and miracle cures.

4. Saladero Guaviyú (Salted meat house)
Located 35 kilometers from the Hot Springs of Guaviyú, this great relic is a great center of attraction for many visitors seeking to enjoy nature. It has a camping area, toilets, electricity and drinking water.

5. Palmares de Quebracho (Quebracho Palm Groves)
Along the road that leads to Saladero Guaviyú you can see countless palm trees that witnessed great moments of our national history. In March 1886 a battle took place in this area where legalist revolutionary forces (grouped by members of the White and Colorado Parties) fought against the forces of the military government of Máximo Santos, who  intended to remain as president and succeeded in doing so.

6. Meseta de Artigas (Artigas’ Plateau)
Only 37 kilometers from the hot springs complex of Guaviyú is one of the main tourist destinations in Paysandu. The monument, by sculptor Juan Azzarini- is nestled on this plateau set in a natural environment of unique beauty on the banks of the Uruguay River. Once you arrive here, it is highly recommended to enter the Interpretation Center located in a building known as "La Casona del Patriarca" where, through the use of augmented reality, 360 video and ultrasound, visitors can learn about "artiguismo" (Artigas' ideals) and the history of the territory.

There are those who say that fall is the best season in which to visit Punta del Este. Everything is quiet and the sound of the ocean envelops the city. The temperature is perfect to go on hikes and tours, such as a visit to the Parque de Esculturas (Sculpture Park) of the Pablo Atchugarry Art Foundation. Home to 25-hectares of natural scenery, visitors can see the artwork interact with the equally beautiful landscape. At the end of the day, the sun setting behind the sculptures is a view to remember.

Another autumn classic is the Lussich Arboretum, an artificial forest reserve with the highest diversity of imported species globally. The park measures around 192 hectares and is home to more than 400 exotic species from around the world and about 60 indigenous Uruguayan tree species. The arboretum was founded towards the end of the 19th century by the owner of a sea rescue company who started to plant seeds and roots from all the continents he had visited.

Breathe in the ocean breeze filtered through lush greenery and hear the birds singing. This is certainly a must-do for visitors coming to Punta Ballena.