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Uruguay — Roughly the size of Oklahoma, Uruguay is the second-smallest country in South America after Suriname. Most of the attractions – the beach towns, the colonial cities, and the capital of Montevideo – are situated on the 400-mile Atlantic coastline; the largely uninhabited interior is covered with pastures, hills, and eucalyptus trees – perfect grazing for Uruguay’s famed cattle (the country consumes more beef per capita than any other country). Despite its turbulent past, Uruguay is now one of the safest destinations in South America, and with the economic crisis of 2002 safely in the past, the country is financially and governmentally stable. Today, natural beauty, friendly people, and a favorable exchange rate lure visitors from around the world (for a fraction of the cost of similar beach-and-culture trips in Europe or the United States).

Why Go

For the beaches, the parties, and the laid-back, European vibe . . . without the Euro.

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