This gritty port city of some two million people, with its urbane cool and sophisticated swagger, is one of the most progressive capitals in South America, if not the world. It is the home of MERCOSUR (the region’s most important trading block), famously gay-friendly, and experimenting with legal marijuana, among other enlightened and enterprising social programs. It’s working—Montevideo is consistently rated as having the “highest quality of life in Latin America,” though that might also have something to do with the strollable sea walls, festive city center, top-notch nightlife, and endless strand of beautiful beaches running northeast of the city to the Brazilian border.
Interesting Fact: Montevideo hosted the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930. Finals: Uruguay vs. Argentina Result: 4-2 Uruguay
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time +2