Direct flights between Kenya and South America aren’t the easiest flights to find, and when traveling with the little ones, we try our best to not to have 20 or 24 hour travel days. To break up the flight on this particular leg of our journey, we first flew from Kenya back to Madrid, and spent two nights in Madrid. Madrid to BA was then about a 13 hour flight – much more manageable than one of the 28 or so hour options without the stopover.
Two weeks of late nights followed by early morning game drives, combined with a couple of days in and out of planes and airports, we were all ready for a little bit of downtime. The girls were ready for some open space to run and play. Our visit to Uruguay couldn’t have come at a better time.
I hope to go back to Uruguay one day. The beach felt like it was our own private beach. There were also many nice animals everywhere we went!
I loved almost all of Uruguay – the farmhouse, the guest ranch, and the beach. We made great new friends in each stop, and the roads were straight enough that we didn’t ever feel carsick!
Uruguay is an up and coming destination. We felt safe in all the areas we visited, it was great to let the girls run free and play outdoors on their own.
Uruguay was a peaceful place for us to rest and recharge over our few weeks. It was fun for us to be immersed in a place that is still along the road less traveled by tourists from the states.
Our first week in Uruguay we spent in the town of Pueblo Eden, a quiet little town, set among rolling hills, wineries and cattle ranches, about 40 minutes north of Punta del Este. The home we rented was about five minutes from Pueblo Eden, complete with a few horses, ponies, and some sheep. In addition to some very friendly dogs, the care takers who lived beside our rental home had an eight year old daughter. It didn’t matter that the kids didn’t speak each other’s language, they all had a blast together chasing sheep, playing in the creek, climbing trees and playing with the dogs and cats.
It had been three weeks since we’d been in a home with a kitchen, so it was nice to prepare some of our own foods again. It was in Pueblo Eden that we celebrated Thanksgiving, most of the meal cooked on the large Asado grill/outdoor kitchen.
We did still make it out to try a couple of the restaurants in town, one, La Pausa, we visited a couple of times. Set on the ground floor of a home, Grace, the owner considers her customers to be guests in her home and treated us as such. She even invited the girls to come bake cookies with her on one afternoon when she was typically closed. Of course mom and dad were invited to so they could sit and have a beverage while the girls worked in the kitchen.
From our country home, we headed further North, deeper into the heart of the country. After a quick stop at a motel for one night, we drove for about an hour on a pitted dirt road en route to the Estancia Aguilla Blanca. The estancia is a true working cattle ranch that opens it’s rooms to tourists. For four nights and four days, we tried to participate in as many daily activities as we could. We rode horses every day, watched the gaucho round up the cattle with the help of his dogs to give the newborns their vaccines, kayaked, swam in the river, and feasted on the tasty farm meals.
Our last 10 nights we spent on the beach split between the towns of Punta Colorado and Punta del Este.
Punta del Este we came to learn is considered to be the “Hamptons” for Argentinian – the place for the rich and famous to see and be seen. While much more built up than the other areas we visited, the town still has a relaxed feel. Punta Colorado we learned is the area that the locals from Punta del Este visit when they want their own beach quiet time.
We thoroughly enjoyed both stops. For our first week in Punta Colorado, it felt as if we had our own private beach, steps from our rental home. We used the mornings to catch up on our work and school, then enjoyed playing in the surf and sand each afternoon. Service at the Gran Hotel Punta Del Este was outstanding, and after a week of cooking our own meals, it was so nice to have the amenities – beach club with included beach chairs and umbrellas, included kids club, restaurants, indoor & outdoor pool, etc.
Three weeks once again flew by. Before we knew it, it was time to head south – next stop, our seventh continent, even better that we’d visit it with Ma, Mom-mom, and Pop-pop.
Our final nights in Uruguay we spent relaxing in the Gran Hotel Punta Del Este. Across the street from the beach, and with an indoor & outdoor pool along with a few tasty restaurants, we really enjoyed the remainder of our time in the country. All of the facilities in the resort were in great condition and very well maintained. What really stood out to us though was the service we experienced. When the girls stopped by to see what movie was playing in the hotel’s mini cinema, and found that it was in Spanish, the staff offered to arrange a private showing of a movie for us the following day. The kids really enjoyed playing in the kids club which was included in our room rate and not an additional charge. The girls also took full advantage of the onsite Salon where we were able to get three hair cuts for a total of $45.
Several of our cruise partners include Montevideo or Punta del Este as a port of call within their South American itineraries.
Tour companies who include Uruguay as part of a group tour also often include Uruguay along with Argentina or Chile.