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A weekend getaway to Mercedes and Villa Soriano

Given its exceptional location on the banks of the Río Negro river, Mercedes is an ideal spot for fishing, doing water sports, or resting surrounded by nature. Cycling around town to see the sights is, without a doubt, a great plan for a family weekend in the Uruguayan interior.  


Watch Montevideo from above

In late October, a classical Montevideo attraction made a comeback. The Panoramic Viewing Platform at the top of the City Hall building reopened its doors, Mondays to Fridays 10am to 4pm. At 80 meters, it offers one of the most comprehensive and iconic views of the city. The renovated observation deck has a cafeteria, a gift shop and a visitor service center.

Visitors can borrow binoculars and umbrellas and have free wi-fi access, a rest area with tables and seats, cell phone charging stations and touch screens with QR codes.

Parties of over 15 members must schedule their visit either by phone – call 1950 3368 Monday to Friday 11am to 4pm –; in person, at San José 1328; or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Useful information: Where to go: 22nd Floor of the Intendencia de Montevideo (the City Hall). 18 de julio Ave. 1360. Opening hours: 10am to 4pm.

Enjoy Uruguay’s Vendimia (grape-harvesting season) in March 2018

As it always happens at this time of year, Uruguay’s tourist wineries open their doors to the public to celebrate the grape-harvesting season, the most emblematic and crucial point in the vine life-cycle. Grape harvest festivals are a universal tradition that dates back to the times when wine was considered a bridge between gods and men, and which has become a symbol of the joy generated by the culmination of the harvesting efforts.

Several alternatives to visit the Anglo Museum in Fray Bentos

One of the activities in the city of Fray Bentos, in the center of the country, is discovering the place where the Industrial Revolution peaked in the Río de la Plata. If you like history, you cannot miss the Museum of the Industrial Revolution - Former Anglo Slaughter House and Packing Plant, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2015.

Follow the "Barra de la Laguna" Trail in Rocha

Pamper your senses with the new "Barra de la Laguna" (Rocha Lagoon) Trail in Rocha and try dishes with the best shrimp in the world, which according to experts is obtained from the Laguna de Rocha, Laguna de Castillos (Castillos Lagoon) and Arroyo de Valizas (Valizas Creek), or let yourself be surprised with local specialties prepared with siri crab, or seaweed.

Getaway to Minas and Villa Serrana

A trip to an area characterized by a landscape of undulating hills, green vegetation and abundant flora and fauna is always ideal to enjoy a break during Easter Week, even more so if it is just a short drive away. Fishing, hang gliding, zip-lining, ecotourism trails through dense vegetation and sailing on rivers and lagoons are just some of the alternatives.

Other nearby attractions that you cannot miss!  

Park Salto del Penitente.  A 20-metre-high waterfall in a pool of crystalline mineral water where visitors can swim.

The area includes a tourist look-out point which offers a restaurant, where visitors can hire horseback rides, trail hiking tours and adventure sports rides.

Cerro Arequita (Arequita Hill): A geological curiosity that does not go unnoticed.
Visitors can go inside and see its numerous grottos. At the base of the hill another tourist spot; El Mirador, which offers homemade meals and guided tours. Nearby is the municipal campsite with cabins and full services and another possibility is the campsite at the base of the Laguna de los Cuervos, smaller and more family oriented . 

Reserva Natural de Salus (Salus Natural Reservation).  
A forest entangled with various native species and paths of wild ferns and rosebushes that create an atmosphere of enchantment. One of its main attractions is the mythical Fuente del Puma (Puma Fountain). The name comes from a legend that claims pumas were the animals that guarded this pristine spring of mineral water. Tourists can choose from several guided tours of different degrees of difficulty and duration.

El Valle del Hilo de la Vida. (The Valley of the Thread of Life).  Archaeological remains, beautiful mountain landscapes and a very special energy are combined in this natural refuge just 8 kilometers from Minas. One of the most distinctive marks in the area are the stone mounds located in energetic spots, which are ideal for families interested in mystical sites. The valley has a rustic-style tourist center built with stones where visitors can have lunch or a snack in total harmony with nature.


A new spot for moviegoers in Punta del Este

For lovers of the seventh art, Cinema Café arrives to the emblematic movie theater of Punta del Este Resort Spa (ex Mantra) from December 8 to March 2018.

Movies and the best productions selected by a group of professionals return with their entire splendor to the ex Mantra movie theater called Cinema Café, in La Barra de Maldonado. The movie theater will open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., depending on the month. In December only on weekends and in January and February, every day.

The programming includes award-winning films of diverse origin, for all tastes and ages. Cinema Café is a cultural space created for the exhibition and performance of shows, with the promotion of Uruguayan cinema.

Everything happens in this magnificent hotel movie theater, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, to provide the best image and sound.
In addition, it has a bar that offers snacks, coffee and excellent service. This showroom will also offer several live shows with different invited artists.

See the programming here.


Mercado Ferrando, a new meeting point for chefs, local producers and onlookers.

Getting hold of the best Uruguayan craft beers at a good price, carefully choosing among several premium cuts of meat, enjoying a hot chocolate with churros on a communal table where you can interact with other diners, having an ice tea while the store manager talks about trendy beverages, or tasting origin coffee and picking your own fruit which you will take home later, are some of the alternatives that can be experienced at the new Mercado Ferrando that opened in December 2017 in the Cordón neighborhood in Montevideo.

In the past years this area has had a strong take-off and has seen the birth of countless gastronomic ventures and night pubs that lure university students but also people in their 30s, 40s and "even more" who look for stylish surroundings where they can dine peacefully and taste new flavors.

The new venture created by Maxime Degroote, a Belgian and Pierina Lanzaro, a Uruguayan, can be defined as a large market of flavors. It was built under the roof of an old furniture factory with heritage value dating from the 19th century.

According to the entrepreneurs, from the beginning they aimed at selecting independent ventures and preventing the place from being overcrowded with "branches of".

"A selection of local proposals with global mentality" is the logo in the marketing material used by the market and this is perceived in the environment when one listens to the store managers, who are often the owners of the enterprise, explaining with devotion the characteristics of their products.

In terms of food, international cuisine and gourmet is the protagonist, highlighting Peruvian food, Mexican food and a salad bar with organic and healthy products.
The facilities with more than 2000 square meters and the decoration of the project are worthy of admiration. On the ground floor one can find shops selling products and a large food court with rustic furniture and warm lighting that draws visitors to stay and chat.

On the upper floor, there are restaurants that have their own space to eat. Simultaneously, an area for musical and artistic events is planned to open next year.

Flavors that you have to taste...

1) Ganache. In addition to having a coffee in the market, one can take home ground or toast coffee and clear all the doubts with the barista in charge of the store. For the summer, they offer ice cream coffee with Bailey's of Dulce de Leche, a temptation for those who enjoy discovering new sweet flavors.

2) Wuyi. A small teashop of loose leaves teas, which offers more than 60 varieties of European origin. Those who choose this infusion to accompany more meditative breaks will certainly long for this store.

3) Lutini. This sweet corner offers baking supplies and aims at the consumption of pure chocolate and chocolate coating from different places in Brazil.

The poke bowls store was all the rage at the opening. Different bases are offered such as sushi rice, whole meal, quinoa, green mix and protein such as tuna, tofu and salmon.

5) Chelato. The ice cream parlor that has become a classic of gourmet tours is also present at Mercado Ferrando.

Librería del Mercado. (Market’s Bookstore). Books are also sold in the market because the soul also needs to feed itself. This is a bookstore specialized in cooking with collection titles for lovers of gastronomy.

Chaná Street 2120
Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays from 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. and Sundays as of 9.00 a.m.
Parking on Joaquín de Salterain street.


Tango corners worth a visit in the centennial of La Cumparsita

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.

Visit the museum of La Cumparsita at the bottom of the mythical Palacio Salvo building.

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.


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.

Palacio Salvo, Plaza Independencia 848.
Telephone numbers: (00598) 2900 1264.

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