To South Americans, the beaches of Uruguay are the same kind of escape Americans might find in the Carolinas or summers in the Hamptons. Long stretches of sand, where surf towns alternate with beaches for the beautiful people in places like Punta del Este. It’s a vacation scene unlike anywhere you’ll find in South America, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know before heading there.

Uruguay’s other big draw is Montevideo, where the longest sidewalk in the world takes you down 14 miles of sandy, breezy beaches. Marijuana is also legal in Uruguay, and though that’s not exactly a reason to go there, it’s something to keep in mind for warm evenings on the water. Like much of South America, Uruguay has some fantastic wine regions too, and if you’ve never had tannat, this is the place to do it.