Montevideo Skyline
Montevideo Skyline © Vince Alongi
Located on the Rio de la Plata estuary's north shore, Uruguay's capital is home to nearly half the country's population. Often thought of as a calmer version of Buenos Aires, it is easily one of Latin America's most intoxicating cities.

Visitors can expect an alluring mix of parks, fine beaches and leafy plazas, where modern high-rises seem to dance with splendid colonial structures. Cosy tango bars, elegant old theatres and beachfront clubs provide entertainment.

Also, as Uruguay is renowned for the quality of its beef, foodies must eat at one of the city's barbeque restaurants.