Montevideo is not only the capital of Uruguay, but also home to almost half of the country’s entire population. The historic heart of the city is Plaza de la Independencia, home to the Solis Theatre and the city’s iconic Palacio Salvo. On Sundays, the city’s main cultural event is the Candombe, a traditional music and dance performance in the streets of the district of Palermo.

Much of Montevideo’s appeal lies in its idyllic location on the Atlantic coast, so visitors will want to take full advantage of the surf and sand. Walk along the Rambla, a 10-mile seaside promenade that’s a popular hangout for locals. Stop at Playa de los Pocitos, a scenic beach with great surf and a view of not only the ocean, but Montevideo’s skyline as well.

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