Montevideo, Uruguay - South America Cruise Ship Port of Call

Montevideo, Uruguay

Linda Garrison

Montevideo is the capital city of Uruguay, and can be found across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires. Cruise ships sailing from Buenos Aires north to Rio de Janeiro or south to the Falklands or around Cape Horn to Valparaiso (Santiago) often include Montevideo as a port of call on their itineraries.

Montevideo is a nice place to spend the day, and even though it has over a million citizens, the old historic part of the city seems quite small. Montevideo is on a peninsula that separates the Rio de la Plata from the Atlantic Ocean. Cruise ships dock near the ferry terminal, and passengers can walk into the center of the old town.

We visited Montevideo on Celebrity Cruises' Infinity on a cruise from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, and walked into town and did a few hours of exploring on our own.

The Infinity had tours to a ranch, a winery, a city tour, and a Jewish Heritage tour. We heard good reports from all of these, and the participants seemed to enjoy learning about Uruguay and Montevideo.

Legend says the early 18th century Portuguese explorers called "Monte vide eu" or "I see a mountain" - kind of like "Land Ho" - when they first saw this mountain overlooking the harbor of Montevideo. Thus, the city was named. It's a good story, isn't it? The land surrounding Montevideo is very flat, so this must have looked like a mountain from the sea!

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Montevideo, Uruguay - South America Cruise Port of Call

Downtown View of Montevideo from the Celebrity Infinity Cruise Ship
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - South America Cruise Ship Port of Call

Montevideo, Uruguay - View of Naval Customs Building in Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - View of Montevideo Harbor

Montevideo, Uruguay - View of Montevideo Harbor
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - View of Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - View of Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - View of the Palacio Salvo and Downtown

Montevideo, Uruguay - View of the Palacio Salvo and Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The 26-story Palacio Salvo was the tallest building in South America when it was built in 1927. It is still the tallest in Montevideo.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Grilled Meats in the Mercado del Puerto of Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Grilled Meats in the Mercado del Puerto of Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Zabala Statue

Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Zabala - South America Port of Call - Montevideo Cruises
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Zabala Gauchos

Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Zabala - South America Port of Call - Montevideo Cruises
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Gauchos play an important role in South America life and history.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Zabala

Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Zabala - South America Port of Call - Montevideo Cruises
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Downtown Montevideo

Pedestrian Street in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Montevideo has a pedestrian-only street that stretches from Plaza Zabata to Plaza Independencia.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The Plaza Constitución in downtown Montevideo has an excellent artisans' market that accepts U.S. dollars. Lots of good bargains can be found!

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Building on Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Building on Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Outdoor Restaurant in Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Fountain in Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Fountain in Plaza Constitución in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Shopping for Mata Tea Cups in Plaza Constitución

Montevideo, Uruguay - Shopping for Mata Tea Cups in Plaza Constitución
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Drinking mata (a tea-like drink) is a big part of the culture in Uruguay and Argentina. This kiosk is selling mata cups and other paraphanalia.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Puerta de la Ciudadela

Montevideo, Uruguay - Puerta de la Ciudadela - Gateway to the Plaza Independencia
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

This old stone gateway is all that remains from the destruction of the colonial fort in 1833.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Teatro Solis on Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Teatro Solis on Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Teatro Solis is the leading theater of Montevideo. A major renovation was completed in early 2007, and the restored theater is beautiful.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Statue of Jose Artigas on Plaza Independencia

Montevideo, Uruguay - Statue of Jose Artigas on Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Jose Artigas was the most important patriot leader in Uruguay's wars of independence against Spain. His mausoleum is below the statue.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Palacio Salvo on the Plaza Independencia

Montevideo, Uruguay - Palacio Salvo on the Plaza Independencia in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The Palacio Salvo was South America's tallest building when it was built in 1927. Its art deco style still dominates the Montevideo skyline.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Montevideo Street Scene

Montevideo, Uruguay - Montevideo Street Scene
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Montevideo Street Scene

Montevideo, Uruguay - Montevideo Street Scene
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Bicycle Garbage Collector - Montevideo Street Scene

Montevideo, Uruguay - Bicycle Garbage Collector - Montevideo Street Scene
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - Bottle Tree in Montevideo Park

Montevideo, Uruguay - Bottle Tree in Montevideo Park
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

These trees with trunks shaped like old-fashioned Coca-Cola bottles are aptly nicknamed, "bottle trees".

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Downtown Street Scene

Montevideo, Uruguay - Downtown Street Scene
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison
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Montevideo, Uruguay - View of Celebrity Infinity from Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - View of Celebrity Infinity from Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

It is comforting to be able to see your beautiful cruise ship when strolling the streets in a foreign port!

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Garbage Donkey Cart in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Garbage Donkey Cart in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

First, the bicycle garbage man, and next the donkey cart in downtown Montevideo!

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Garbage Donkey Cart in Downtown Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Garbage Donkey Cart in Downtown Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

These excited young men are pointing at the beautiful cruise ship at the dock - the Celebrity Infinity.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Mercado del Puerto - Old Port Market Building

Montevideo, Uruguay - Mercado del Puerto - Old Port Market Building
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

Be sure to visit the old port market building near the cruise ship pier in Montevideo. It's a great place for lunch or a cold beer.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Loading Logs onto Cargo Ship in Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Loading Logs onto Cargo Ship in Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

I love watching the action at the pier, and these cranes loading large logs onto a cargo ship in Montevideo were very entertaining.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Seabourn Pride at the Dock in Montevideo

Montevideo, Uruguay - Seabourn Pride at the Dock in Montevideo
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The Seabourn Pride joined the Celebrity Infinity in Montevideo. Note the "mountain" in the distance that gave the city its name.

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Montevideo - Last Look at Montevideo as the Celebrity Infinity Sails Away

Montevideo, Uruguay - Last Look at Montevideo as the Celebrity Infinity Sails Away
Montevideo, Uruguay Picture (c) Linda Garrison

The Celebrity Infinity sails away from Montevideo on her way north to Porto Belo, Buzios, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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