Uruguay

Uruguay's Atlantic coast is washed by warmer, clearer seas than farther south and the beaches can be idyllic – as long as you know where to go. Inland, Uruguay’s undulating pampas are dotted with working estancias, many of which are open to visitors either for lunch – inevitably an asado (barbecue) – or as hotels. Agricultural towns such as Tacuarembó and Treinta y Tres are good bases for riding and birding holidays.