A while back, I decided to take some time away from the corporate workplace and travel to Uruguay, South America. My decision to travel to Uruguay, instead of other South American countries, was as much by chance as anything else (as you can read in my post "
You may notice in my writings that I developed a great fondness for this smaller country, overshadowed to the north by Brazil and the south by Argentina. Your impressions are correct. Uruguay is a country filled with wonderful people, outstanding beaches, and a warmth unseen in many places.
This Living in Uruguay section is dedicated to this wonderful country. If you're fortunate enough to visit, be sure to not only embrace their culture, but their language. I used
before my arrival. You can download it now and begin immediately.
In all of my writings about Uruguay, I try to bring you not only the facts and references of a location or event, but what it felt like through my experiences. I hope you enjoy and get to Uruguay for a visit soon.
I am going to give you a simple explanation of Spanish Pronouns and when to use “La” vs “Le” vs “Lo” vs “Se”. In fact, it might be too simple so I will also give you resources that make it more complicated.
Spanish Pronouns: What Did She Just Say?
One of the most difficult things when learning Spanish is understanding the use of pronouns. And, learning these pronouns academically is only part of the battle. The other part is actually understanding native speakers when they string all of these pronouns together.
I don’t know if you know this but native Spanish speakers were born with a different respiratory system than you. They have the ability to speak for 30 minutes straight without taking a single breath. This is why it takes so long to learn Spanish. A sentence such as “Él se lo dice” does not come out as a sentence. It sounds like one word with 5 syllables when you say it like they do.
To understand such rapid speak, the first battle is to actually understand the Spanish pronouns. When someone says “Élselo” like it is one word, you first need to realize that it is not one word. There is no person or thing called “Elselo”. It’s three words and you have to figure to whom or what they refer. Who is el? Who is se? What is lo? Continue Reading »
In this article, I will tell you how to extend your stay in Uruguay if you would like to stay for greater than the 90 days that you are allowed when you enter the country.
In the article, Uruguay: Visa Requirements, Visa Extensions, and Passport Information, I wrote about how you can simply pay at the airport if you have stayed beyond your 90 days. But, after living in Uruguay for some time, I have the need to simply extend my 90 days to 180 without going to the airport.
So, in this article, I am going to tell you how to get your 90 days in Uruguay extended to 180 days within Montevideo. I have just returned from doing this so it is very fresh in my mind. Continue Reading »
There are three things that are legal (well, one is semi-legal) in Uruguay that you may not be able to do at home: Gambling, Prostitution, and Drugs. With such vice-availability, I began to call Uruguay The Amsterdam of South America.
Gambling in Uruguay
Back in the good ole’ USA, I have been to Las Vegas a time or two, or three, or more, but who’s counting. And so, as I was reading up on Uruguay before I visited, I had read that casinos are legal in Uruguay.
I’ll have to be mindful of this one, I thought. I am going to South America to experience the culture, the people, the history…not another casino. However, like any good investigative journalist, I had to take one for the team just to report back to you, the reader. Continue Reading »
I initially planned to visit Uruguay for approximately 4 months. However, when I read the Department of State’s Uruguay page, it said:
All United States citizens entering Uruguay for business or pleasure must have a valid passport. U.S. citizens traveling on a regular passport do not need a visa for a visit of less than three months.” Continue Reading »
Summer In Punta Del Este
Returning to Punta Del Este, after being there during the winter, was like returning to a ghost-town and finding it filled with people laughing, drinking, sunning, and enjoying every moment.
The wealthy set from all over South America and the world descend on Punta Del Este immediately after Christmas and the party lasts for a few months. Continue Reading »
Punta Del Este, Uruguay is unlike any other beach town in Uruguay.
Whereas most beaches in Uruguay are more laid-back and filled with actual Uruguayans, Punta Del Este during the South American summer is the hub of South America’s (and the worlds) elite.
My first exposure to Punta Del Este was not in the summer. It was at the end of September, the beginning of the springtime in Uruguay, when winter is slowly releasing its grasp on the cold weather. We were fortunate to have a good day at this time of the year and decided to take advantage of it with a visit to Punta Del Este. Continue Reading »
When I am asked, “What is your favorite place in Uruguay, the answer invariably is Cabo Polonio.” It’s a little slice of Heaven on Earth.
Like Heaven, it is also very difficult to get to-you have to pay attention to what you are doing or you’ll miss it. Continue Reading »
Renting a car in Uruguay is a tremendous way to get around if you intend to see many places in a short amount of time.
If you are simply going to one place (like Punta Del Este) for several days, it is better to travel by bus. Continue Reading »
For those that are visiting Montevideo, Uruguay, and seeking to learn Spanish, I thought I would introduce you to my Spanish teacher Alejandra (Ale). Ale helped me with many of my Spanish web site projects while I was here (see Spanish Pronunciation: Spanish Readings of Paulo Coelho Essays as an example) and she was also my private Spanish tutor for 6 months. Continue Reading »
If you read about my arrival in Uruguay, you know that I was greeted by warm people and cold weather. This ran counter to all my dim intuition which says travel south, get warmer. Well, thankfully, over time, the weather changes. Even better, the people don’t. Continue Reading »