My husband and I are considering relocation to Uruguay. People don’t quite know how to respond when we tell them this, but most ask, “Why Uruguay?” After visiting the country and doing extensive research, we discovered that Uruguay:
- Is a kinder gentler nation
- Has a slightly lower cost of living
- Moves at an easy pace
- Has relatively easy entry requirements
But that’s only part of the reason. It’s often the intangibles that draw us to a place, and Uruguay is the first place I’ve visited that has a pull as strong as Colorado. Thus, in September, I plan to spend two months in Atlantida, Uruguay, where I plan to study Spanish at Spanish Uruguay. an organization that also arranges your lodging venue.
I saw a picture of the apartment complex where I will be staying, and inadvertently discovered that it’s called Isla Negra. Googling Isla Negra led to this romantic story about the poet Pablo Neruda. I feel a novel inspiration brewing in my irreverent mind.
If you are thinking of visiting Uruguay, here are some of my impressions of the different cities:
This was our second trip to Colonia. We visited once before, on a day trip from Buenos Aires. This time, we loved it even more. Cobblestone streets wind through the historic town, where friendly and affectionate dogs act as unofficial tour guides. Traffic moves slowly, and people actually slow down as you cross the street. Local artisans sell their crafts at the permanent street markets. One bedroom apartments average at about $700 a month. Very possible to buy a small house for under $100,000.
I grew up in NYC, and spent nine years in Boston.Then, we lived in the Colorado mountains for six years, spent a year in a suburb of Raleigh and currently live in a quiet town in the PNW. I am no longer streetwise enough for noisy fast-paced cities. Montevideo is like NYC in the 1970s. Garbage fills the streets, and nobody cleans up after their dog. Everybody smokes, and the smoke combines with the traffic fumes. Nobody slows down when you cross the street. The hotels keep their front doors locked. It’s a fun and exciting place, but it’s not me. The outer sections, such as Pocitos and Malvin are a bit calmer. Rents seem to start at about 800. There’s a lovely apartment hotel, managed by English speaking people. They charge $1,000 a month for a tiny studio, which comes with Internet access.
Look up paradise in the dictionary, and you will see Piriapolis. Here, palm trees and pine trees harmonize with small mountains and oceans. It becomes a beach resort in the summer, which in South America begins in November. We stayed at a friend’s home, which had a view of the ocean. I did not want to leave. Houses begin at about $100,000, but some are cheaper. Renting poses interesting dilemmas. It’s cheaper in the off-season, about $400 to $800, but more expensive in high season. Immaculate and beautiful.
La Paloma grows on you. It is also a beach town, but even quieter than Piriapolis in off season. This stunning little town has an interesting architectural mix, which combines, pastel cottages with thatched roofs, small homes and one large apartment building. You can buy a two bedroom home for about $85,000, or an apartment for $62,000.
Punta del Este
A beach town with high rises all over the place. Looks like Fort Lauderdale. We drove through without stopping. Enough said.
Here are some of my Uruguay articles. More are coming in September and October.