Most people come to Uruguay for the beaches, and for good reason: they are better and warmer than the ones in Argentina. No surprise that Uruguay turns into a mini-Argentina during the summer. But besides the beaches, there is not much here that will hold your interest.
You will notice the change in attitude from Argentina on your first night out. While not as pretty, the girls here are far nicer and will actually make you feel good again about hitting on girls in the clubs. (They love it when you tell them they are much better than Argentine girls.) You will find more blonde hair and blue/gray eyes, owning to more European ancestry than just besides Italy and Spain. Because you will run into lots of tourists on the beaches, your best shot at an Uruguayan girl is in the cities.
Basic lunch: $3.50
Bottle of big beer: $1.50
Internet per hour: $0.75
Hostel dorm bed per night: $12.00
Nice steak dinner: $7.00
Short taxi ride: $2.00
Postcard stamp: $0.90
South America On A Shoestring Guidebook
This is the guidebook that I used in my six month trip in South America. The maps are excellent, the information is complete and thorough, and the reviews are accurate, which is why it's often called "the bible" by many travelers. The only problem is that everyone else has this book so if you are the type of person that wants to hit the isolated small towns you will be disappointed. My advice is to use this book for its maps and information on getting from city to city, but talk to the locals and other travelers for those isolated gems that Lonely Planet for some reason didn't find worthy to include.
Spanish For Beginners
My copy of this book is so beat up and weathered it's disintegrating before my eyes. I took it with me to South America because I loved how it was organized in a logical way that kept me motivated to keep studying. Lessons start short and easy and increase in complexity as you tackle frustrating readings that help take you to the next level. The only downside of this book is that it was originally published in 1957 so some of the vocabulary is very dated. Still, you'll be hard-pressed to find a modern equivalent of this book whose teachings approach the same quality. Last time I checked you can grab a used copy from Amazon for less than a dollar.
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