During my ten days in the Southern Hemisphere I had the chance to visit the two “guays” of South America. (I highly doubt anyone calls them that, but the word “guay,” means “cool” in Spanish slang and I thought it was clever so just go with it.)
I visited each of them for less than a full 24 hours- enough to get a feel for the countries, and to leave wanting more.
Paraguay was a sharp inhale. Alive and bustling streets that were colorful and vibrant, but also you could totally get mugged or struck by a vehicle on.
Uruguay was a slow exhale. A cool breeze, empty cobblestone streets. Quaint and quiet.
Visiting both was the perfect balance.
In Paraguay, I visited Ciudad del Este, which was a twenty minute drive from Iguazu Falls in Brazil. It’s a commercial city and is mostly known for being one of the largest free-trade zones in the world.
Their main attraction?
Imagine a duty free store, but it spans an entire city. They really don’t have much more to offer otherwise, so I bought myself a knock off pair of sunnies, and called it a day.
Colonia del Sacramento, the city I visited in Uruguay, was the opposite for me. I could have stayed for days.
Uruguay is sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina. But, what’s the best part of a sandwich?
The middle. Hahaha, get it?
Colonia del Sacramento had what I would like to call, “sneaky charm.”
It’s a picturesque beachside town that many Argentinians vacation in. It is accented by cobblestone streets and crumbling buildings that have layers of plaster and paint peeling off of them, yet still hold their elegance in their ornate doors and gorgeous balconies.
Uruguay is known for two things: Tannat wine and their exquisite cheeses. (They may be know for much more but those are the two I have chosen to better get to know there.)
As such, I spent the better half of the afternoon tucked away in the loveliest wine bar, a charmingly quaint and small nook with a hidden outdoor courtyard, eating cheese and drinking wine.
All in all, these two day trips were a nice bonus in my South American adventures, and I would be curious to return. I’ve made all of my assumptions about these two countries unfairly, given I’ve only been to one city in each of them for a few hours. Maybe Paraguay is actually the calm and quiet one, and the rest of Uruguay a little more rambunctious?
I suppose there is only one way to find out!