For me, Porto Alegre was a necessary stopover on the way to Rio de Janeiro. We arrived on an overnight bus from Montevideo and left the next morning on a plane. I did not have any plans for this city. The guidebook had mentioned two museums and that was all I knew about Porto Alegre when I arrived.

Fortunately, we came across a very helpful woman at the tourist information who helped us make the best of the day we spent in Porto Alegre. And the best about it? All attractions mentioned below are free and perfect for budget-concious travellers.

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Uruguay looks tiny when compared to its giant neighbours Argentina and Brazil. Many travellers arrive on day trips from Buenos Aires or just plan a quick stop in this country. But Uruguay has enough touris attractions to keep you busy for at least a week or two. We had seven days in this amazing country and barely managed to see its highlights. In fact, I think we could easily have spent another one or two weeks here.

Here is an overview to give you a taste of Uruguay and so you know what not to miss:

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The horse did not want to follow me. No matter how hard I pulled on the leash, it was more interested in the bucket with food than the prospect of an unexperienced rider on its back. I waited patiently for it to stop chewing, then gave the rope another hard tug. Finally, it looked up and, very slowly, began to move.

It was our second day on the El Galope farm and I was about to get a riding lesson. A real one, with instructions on how to brush a horse and the appropriate posture. As the horse finally came with me, I was more than happy I had decided to stay on a ranch in Uruguay.

But horses are not the only reason to choose to stay on an estancia. Keep reading and I will explain to you why a farm stay is an essential stop on every trip to Uruguay.

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It is easy to fall in love with Buenos Aires. With its beautiful architecture, its wide boulevards and its friendly inhabitants, the porteƱos, it is unlike any other place in South America. Often called the Paris of the South, it makes for a funny mixture between European and Latinamerican elements. A wide range of attractions and activities can keep you occupied for days. If you’re wondering where to start, here are some of my favourites that I enjoyed while staying in Buenos Aires:

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Cordoba is one of the oldest cities in Argentina. With more than a million inhabitants, it is the country’s second largest city and is well-known for its many universities. The city center is made up of many beautiful colonial buildings and the student bars make the city come alive at night. If you get tired of Cordoba, you can easily escape to the nearby mountains or one of the surrounding historical villages. But before you do so, make sure to check out the following sights in Cordoba itself:

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