A small number of our Antarctic expeditions do not depart from either Argentina or Chile and instead set sail from the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. There is a great opportunity to include an additional day or two before your trip starts so that you can explore this wonderful city and get a taste for Uruguayan culture.
Life here is much more laid back than it is in many busy European cities, which is rather unexpected when you learn that almost half of the country’s entire population chooses to live in the capital and the surrounding areas. Lively beaches and streets lined with designer shops help to give the place a luxurious feel and the stunning harbour is sure to be home to more than a few expensive yachts.
There are a few different theories as to how the name came about, but all are in agreement that the ‘Monte’ part of the city’s name is due to the hill that can be seen across the bay and which is used on the city’s coat of arms to denote strength. Thoughts on the origin of the 'video' element range from it being part of the Portuguese term ‘Monte vide eu’, which means 'I saw a mount', to it being an abbreviation of Spanish map details which stated 'Monte VI De Este a Oeste' or 'the sixth mountain from east to west', in English.
If you do get to spend some time in Montevideo, the Plaza Independencia is possibly the best place to head. From here you can venture into the spirited 'Cuidad Vieja' area, with its many nightclubs, galleries, and restaurants, or take a walk along '18 de Julio Avenue' and enjoy the many shops and offbeat architecture.