Uruguay is the smallest state in South America and, we think, a hidden gem. They celebrate Independence Day on August 25. It was on that day in 1825 that Uruguay declared its independence from the Portuguese Empire. In 2012, it was named The Economist’s Country of the Year with the magazine describing it as, “Modest yet bold, liberal and fun-loving.” With Uruguay’s Independence Day upon us, we thought we’d take a moment to chat about this awesome country, and encourage a little Uruguay tourism, with 20 reasons to fall in love with Uruguay right now.
1. Yerba Mate
Mate is Uruguay’s national beverage—unofficially, of course. It’s a tea made from leaves that many people drink daily. Some carry a thermos of hot water as well as a mate (a hollowed out gourd, to drink from) and a bombilla (the metal straw that filters the drink) with them to engage in the social ritual. Traditionally, the brewer can even convey moods or desires by the way it is prepared.