Uruguay

As South America's smallest Spanish-speaking country, Uruguay is often overlooked by tourists visiting the region. However, with its vibrant nightlife and stunning coastline Uruguay is well worth discovering. Due to its strategic position on the north shore of the Río de la Plata, Uruguay's territory was hotly contested from the first European settlements, initially by Spain and Portugal, then by the emerging regional powers of Argentina and Brazil. A delightfully low-key, hospitable place, modern Uruguay enjoys a high standard of living but draws fewer tourists than neighbouring Brazil and Argentina. Visitors here can melt into the background and experience the everyday life of a different culture - whether riding horses under the big sky of Uruguay's sparsely populated interior or strolling with throngs of mate-drinking locals along Montevideo's 15km-long (9 miles) beachfront.