A little known destination and often overlooked, Uruguay has maintained its traditions and much of the country still looks and feels as it would have done before tourism came to the country.
Popular with Argentinian celebrities and the elite, it has a lot to contribute towards a luxury holiday in South America. The sandy beaches and sophisticated bars of Punta del Este are the main attraction, perfect for a touch of laid back glamour.
Over the years artists have flocked here, and the famous hand sculpture along with Casapueblo have become tourist hot spots. Further afield the country is rich in history, reflected in the tranquil way of life that the gauchos here have adapted. Visitors can ramble along the pretty colonial streets of Colonia del Sacramento, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, or taste local wines on a vineyard tour. Although not producing bottles in the same quantity as its neighbour Argentina, there are still some world-class wines available.
Polo and golf are popular sporting pastimes and the mighty Rio de la Plata is a hub of activity with fishing trips and boat cruises taking place daily. The capital, Montevideo, is an arty and eclectic city, with plenty of cosy tango bars and distinctive museums to delight tourists.
If you are looking for an unique and laid back luxury holiday, Uruguay should be on your list.