Top Souvenirs to get in Colonia, Uruguay
Culturally Uruguay and Argentina and fairly similar as only a quick ferry ride across the Rio de La Plata separates the two countries. Uruguay does though have some unique traditions and craft goods to experience and look for during your visit and souvenirs to consider purchasing.
- Mate – Both Argentina and Uruguay vigorously consume mate, an herbal infusion, but Uruguayans are even more fanatical about the beverage than their Argentine counterparts! When walking the streets of Colonia or Montevideo (and on the ferry between Buenos Aires and Colonia!) you will see many people with their thermos of hot water and a mate in their hand drinking it on the street all day long. Uruguayan mates are larger in size than Argentine ones and at craft stores you see many decorated with traditional Uruguayan designs and patterns. To get the complete mate kit you will need the mate cup (typically made of a dried gourd), bombilla (metal straw with filter at the bottom) and yerba mate (the chopped tea leaves sold at all supermarkets). To be a real mate pro you can get a bolsa matera, a bag for putting your thermos, mate cup/bombilla and yerba mate in!
- Dulce de leche – Uruguay is famous for it’s high quality dulce de leche sauce as they have continued the tradition of small batch production. Pick up a couple jars of it at a nice supermarket or gift shop in Colonia to bring home.
- Alfajores – Argentina makes some great alfajores (biscuits stuffed with dulce leche sauce and dipped in chocolate), but Uruguayan ones are so good that Argentines always request them as a gift from friends and family that visit the country.
- Tannat wine – Uruguay is famous for producing delicious Tannat wine, a varietal you don’t commonly see outside of the country and that is growing in fame. Visit a wine shop to pick up a bottle or two of Tannat. Unlike Argentine wine that is widely exported, Uruguayan wine is still a niche product and will definitely be a souvenir you can’t buy when you return home.