European Union names only one Latin American country on its safe travel list. Guess.

Uruguay tourism

Uruguay’s selection as the only Latin American nation to be named on the European Union’s safe countries list makes it look like a surprise, but the decision was made on solid health grounds.

Only 936 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Uruguay, and 27 deaths. A lockdown, initiated on March 13 with the cessation of university classes and quickly expanded to cover schools, shopping centres and the Argentine border, has been a success.

Uruguay has announced that it is analysing the opening of its borders to EU countries. Uruguayan Foreign Minister Ernesto Talvi said in Montevideo that the opening of borders should be the result of a bilateral agreement.

“For flights to be profitable, they have to come with people and go with people. There has to be coordination and reciprocity for there to be a bilateral opening of the borders,” he said.

Uruguay currently only allows the entry of nationals, foreigners residing in the country or members of the diplomatic corps.

The name Uruguay means river of the colourful birds. It is a word in Guarani that was spoken by the natives of the area. Often called the Switzerland of South America, due to a developed financial sector based on bank secrecy, Uruguay is the second smallest country in the continent.

Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo is an eclectic mix of neoclassical and colonial architecture, African influences, and modern European flair. Government buildings, including Palacio Salvo (home to the Tango Museum of Montevideo) and the Legislative Palace (made up of almost 30 different types and colours of marble) are a good representation of the look and feel you’ll experience when walking the streets of the city.

Ciudad Vieja, the oldest part of the city holds several landmarks, including the Citadel Gate (the only remaining part of the walls that once surrounded the city) and the green square Plaza Independencia.

Montevideo’s cultural heritage is well represented in the city’s many history and art museums, including the large National Museum of Visual Arts and the Museo Torres García, dedicated to the renowned Uruguayan avant-garde sculptor, painter, and writer. Its beaches and Rambla (a coastline sidewalk) attract tourists from many neighbouring countries.