In my opinion Uruguay is the South American country that surprises most when you enter it.
I visited the former colony of smugglers and world heritage site of Colonia del Sacramento, appreciated the beautiful and almost untouched coastline from Brazil down to Argentina and surfed wherever I could find a spot and equipment to rent and I enjoyed staying with Nikolas, a couchsurfer in Montevideo who showed me the famous Chivito and his favourite city spots.
Founded as a colony by Spanish people it preserved its old-European flair. Among all South American Countries Uruguay was the first to declare independence from the Spanish crown.
If you look on South America as a fairly conservative piece of earth, change your mind for Uruguay where gender or sexual orientation plays a lessened role.
Economically heading towards Argentina, Brazil and the rest of the world for the sake of its small size it may be seen as a suburb of Buenos Aires (as the Porteños say), but they differ quite substantially from the big neighbour with an endless amount of modesty. In combination with football people would say something like: “well we see how the group constellation will be, actually we do not have a strategy but if we would win the world cup why not.”
Uruguay is known for its excellent meat and I highly recommend you to set food into a traditional restaurant in Montevideo.
This shot was taken on the beachside of the peninsula Punta del Este, well-known for its endless party nights in summertime.