Uruguay is a tiny South American country nestled between two of the largest nations of the continent. It rarely makes the news, and precisely for this reason most people know next to nothing about it. Yet we have found that Uruguay is a perfect candidate for our Birds & Wine series, even if you've never heard of any birds endemic to the country (there aren't any!) and may never have tried any Uruguayan vintages (the production of wine of the country is so small that it does not reach the giant retailers).

Here are two things you should learn about this country. The first is that Uruguay means "river of painted birds" in the language of its native inhabitants. It's a fitting name for a tiny nation (about the size of Missouri) boasting more than 400 species of birds packed into such a small territory. The second is that Garzon, an Uruguayan winery, was just selected by the prestigious magazine Wine Spectator as the best winery in the New World, an indication that some excellent wines are being produced in Uruguay. So we are most certainly on to something! The country is progressive, safe, and beautiful, and you will most certainly fall in love with its culture, cuisine, and of course its fabulous birds.

Our itinerary will cover much of Uruguay's limited territory, focusing on the best birding areas of the country while providing an insight into Uruguayan culture ranging from the gauchos (the skilled horsemen who are the national symbol) in the countryside to the progressive and vibrant cities such as Montevideo and Punta del Este. We'll savor the country's sumptuous red wines (Tannat being the king grape here) paired with traditional asados (barbecues), and we'll enjoy the lightness of local white wines alongside the great seafood provided by the cold waters of the Atlantic off Uruguay. In the process, we'll have the chance to explore a Unesco World Heritage site, visit historic quintas (estates), and stay in some world-class accommodations.

So save a spot or two on this great new tour with Marcelo Padua. It'll then soon be time to pack up your bags and come find out everything there is to know about Uruguay!

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.