We know Montevideo

Since we opened Casa Sarandi in 2010, we have loved to share our insider tips with guests. And you kept telling us: It's sooo hard to find out about Uruguay online, you HAVE to share the love.

After finding out how long commercial travel guide writers stayed in Uruguay (think, like, not long) Karen started the Guru'Guay site. It's become Uruguay's most loved English-language website. And now she's written two guidebooks The Guru'Guay Guide to Montevideo and The Guru'Guay Guide to Uruguay: Beaches, Ranches & Wine Country which are both Amazon best sellers.

Yup, it's all down to our wonderful guests at Casa Sarandi.

191,000+ people visited Guru’Guay last year

When you stay at the Casa you get the scoop on Uruguay customised especially for you.

Friendly advice

We are very happy to help you plan your stay while you are with us or before you get here. Contact Karen on-site or before you arrive for advice on:

  • deciding how long to stay in Uruguay and/or Montevideo 
  • where to visit in the rest of Uruguay and our secret accommodation recommendations
  • experiences, tours and other activities that are really worth it 
  • car rental vs public transport Car rental is expensive. If you're staying in Montevideo public transport is great. If you're travelling around you may or may not need to rent depending on where you want to go
  • Spanish classes
  • carnival activities (late Jan-early March)


Karen will be doing your check-in and if for some exceptional circumstance she's not able to make it, Sergio or Ivan will be there. She'll:

  • orient you to where you are on a map and how to get around the city

  • provide you with practical information about the Casa and the neighbourhood – on paper, so you can go back to it at your leisure

  • help you plan your stay based on your personal interests and leave you with it all noted down for you for later

  • send you daily updates and recommendations so from the get-go you are in the real Montevideo



What do you need to know about Uruguay?

Check out guru'guay - the site and the guidebooks

Karen & Sergio


Karen A Higgs alias the Uru-Guru is originally from Wales. She's been living in Latin America pretty much since she got stranded in Mexico City airport aged 22. Karen has worked in communications for over twenty years and, in that fine Welsh tradition, is a singer. She's an internationally recognised travel writer on Uruguay. 

Sergio is from the interior of Argentina. He is a psychologist and he runs a very cool foundation on inclusive development. 

We moved to Montevideo in 2000 after having lived in a bunch of countries. Directly before coming here we were in Washington DC. Ask us why we think Montevideo and DC have more in common than you (and most Uruguayans!) might expect.

Casa Sarandi is inspired by B&Bs in South Africa (Karen travelled there for work for years) which are family-run, accessibly-priced, beautifully-decorated and each is unique. We couldn't find anything comparable in Montevideo and decided to open the Casa in 2010.



Ivan, our son, helps out at the guesthouse from time to time. Ivan is studying engineering at the public university and he plays violin in a tango orchestra. Ivan is the honorary Uruguayan of the family. He speaks perfect English and Spanish. If you want to know about local soccer, he's your man.

Lucia works part-time at Casa Sarandi. You will see her around midday doing the house-keeping. She is passionate about home-making and we are lucky to know her. She is completing high school and plans to study pastry and baking next year at night. She doesn't speak English though is learning some basic phrases. She's always in touch with us so can quickly give us a call if you need her to.

Belen helps out occasionally. She's at university studying literature. She and Ivan went to primary school together so we've known her forever. If you need baby-sitting, Belen is your girl. Kids adore her, as do we.