"Why visit Uruguay?
Well, for naturalists, bird watchers and aquarists, there are so many
reasons that put Uruguay above all the other South American nations.
Felipe: my number one reason to visit Uruguay is Felipe Cantera.
Felipe was my guide through Uruguay in 2001, when I first visited him
and his country. He is no longer my guide, but a good friend. There
are few people in Uruguay or anywhere for that matter, who know the
flora and fauna of their entire nation as well as he does. Of course,
Uruguay's small size allows him to explore its corners without much
difficulty. Without his help, I would have had to make a dozen trips
to Uruguay to find the fishes that I sought.
Safety: I feel safer in Uruguay than I do at home in America. You
can't say that about Brazil or Peru! It's an intangible, but you know
it when you get there. Safety is not just a human element, but there
is no Malaria, Yellow Fever or any of the other dreadful illnesses
that one has to contend with in the Amazon.
Comfort: Uruguay is a comfortable country – there are nice hotels,
the roads are smooth, the food is safe, the weather is soothing and
the bugs don't bite as much. For a first-time fish collector or
novice adventurer, Uruguay is as easy as visiting Florida.
Culture: Almost all Uruguayans are of European descent, which gives
most North Americans a high degree of familiarity when it comes to
human interaction and culture. Walking through some parts of
Montevideo feels a lot like Rome or Madrid. Unlike Rome, the people
in Uruguay are much friendlier – I've thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking
to every Uruguayan.
Food: Ahhhh…the food. What a place for steak lovers! Make sure you
try some Dulce de Leche and drink some Mate before you return.
Size: Uruguay is no larger than many American states – it is easy to
get from one corner to the other in one day. This allows you to see
so much and experience a variety of species in a short time.
Climate: one of the advantages of being sub-tropical is the seasonal
climate variation – the weather is no different than Florida, Georgia
or any of the Gulf Coast cities.
I like Uruguay so much that I am considering buying a house there!"