Uruguay is like the cool, unaffected half-sister of Brazil and Argentina.

It may not be as shiny or make as much noise, but with over 300 km of superb coastline, a rich, fertile interior and some of the most welcoming faces in the region, this little stunner is fast becoming a superior destination in its own right. Strolling around Montevideo you could be forgiven for thinking you’d actually dropped into the heart of Europe. Uruguay’s mellow capital is regularly preceded by the adjectives ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘lively’ - which it is - but what you'll also find is an eclectic and diverse city, teeming with infectious hospitality. Venture inland and you’ll discover working gaucho farms, charming agricultural centres and an intoxicating pace; or perhaps follow the crowds to some of the best beaches and surf towns in South America.

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Articles on Uruguay

Uruguay travel highlights

Uruguay holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit Uruguay

Geography and environment

Top 5 Beaches in Uruguay

Health and Safety

Further reading

Uruguay travel FAQs

Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Not required

It's customary to add 10% to restaurant bills (if this hasn’t already been included). Tipping elsewhere is optional, but leaving spare change at small cafes is a good idea as most Uruguayans typically earn little.

Travellers should be able to access the internet at cyber cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots in Uruguay's major cities and towns. Remote and rural areas will have less internet availability, so be prepared for this when travelling out of the city.

Using your mobile phone while in the cities of Uruguay shouldn’t be problematic. Coverage may be less reliable in remote areas. Ensure you have global roaming enabled before leaving your home country if you wish to use your mobile.

Western-style, flushable toilets are the standard in Uruguay, although it’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and soap as these aren’t always provided.

Cup of coffee in a cafe = 40-60 UYU
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 40-60 UYU
Basic, takeaway lunch = 80-100 UYU
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 180-220 UYU

Tap water is considered safe to drink unless otherwise marked but outside of major cities and towns boiled water is recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water; ask your leader where filtered water can be found. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops and hotels. Smaller vendors may not accept credit cards, so carry enough cash to cover small purchases.

ATMs are commonly found in Uruguay's cities and urban areas. Remote regions will have less ATM availability, so prepare accordingly before travelling away from cities.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 6 Jan Epiphany / Three Kings Day
  • 27 Feb Carnival Monday
  • 28 Feb Carnival Tuesday
  • 13 Apr Holy Thursday
  • 14 Apr Good Friday
  • 17 Apr Landing of the Patriots 
  • 1 May Labor Day
  • 18 May Battle of Las Piedras
  • 19 Jun Birth of Artigas
  • 18 Jul Constitution Day
  • 25 Aug Independence Day
  • 10 Oct Columbus Day
  • 2 Nov All Souls' Day
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Uruguay go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/uruguay/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Responsible travel in Uruguay

Top responsible travel tips for Uruguay

  1. Be considerate of Uruguay’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
  2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with tap or filtered water.
  3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
  4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
  5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
  6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
  7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.