Uruguay Travel Information
Uruguay is an easy add-on holiday on South America trips to Argentina. From Buenos Aires, Montevideo is only three-hour ride by high-speed ferry and Colonia is only 45 minutes from the Buenos Aires ferry dock near Puerto Madero.
Uruguay by Air: Montevideo is also well served by air. Flying time from Buenos Aires is about 40 minutes, plus the time you need at the airport before departure.
Montevideo Carrasco airport (MVD) is about a half hour drive from the Old Town area; if your airport transfer is not included, check at the tourism office in the terminal to arrange a taxi into town.
Uruguay travel information and tips
Where did the word Uruguay come from? In the Guarani language, URU means Bird, GUA means Painted, Colored, and I means Water.
Currency - What money do they use in Uruguay? Uruguayan peso (UYU) 20 pesos UYU = $1 USD OR $1 USD = .05 pesos UYU (rates fluctuate) a favourable exchange rate for Canadian dollars. And one Euro = 32 pesos UYU. And One British pound = 39 pesos UYU. Other tourists that I spoke to (as you do when you're traveling), offered me the intriguing insight that Uruguay retirement homes or long-stay options give better value for money than those in the southern U.S.A. or other countries in Central America. See travel currency tips page.
Airlines, cruise stops in Uruguay International flights arrive in Montevideo (airport code MVD), often via Buenos Aires Argentina. There's also an airport in Punta del Este (airport code PDP) for connecting flights from Montevideo. The southern coastal areas of Uruguay is a favorite port of call for South American cruises.
Uruguay Travel Maps and travel guides Check with your hotel for a tourism map, or for in-depth information, get Uruguay Country Profile (and Guide to Uruguay business, laws, etc) This is a 2 CDROM set for the serious traveller investor. Lonely Planet Argentina has a section on traveling to Uruguay from Buenos Aires. Get the Uruguay Map with Montevideo city map or the Uruguay and Argentina Nelles map
What language do they speak in Uruguay? Uruguay official language is Spanish, with English commonly spoken; English is now taught as a second language in Uruguay schools. Take along a Latin American Phrasebook.
Travel Health - Is it safe to travel to Uruguay? Do I need shots? Travel is generally considered safe, but check with a travel clinic for current recommendations about vaccinations etc. See travel documents tips page and disclaimer page for government travel advisories links.
What side of the road do they drive on in Uruguay? In Uruguay they drive on the right.
Uruguay Weather and Climate Best time to travel is usually the shoulder seasons - Spring and Fall (opposite months to northern hemisphere) for nicest weather and fewest tourists. The Uruguayan summer months -- November, December, January, February can be very hot, with thunderstorms, and packed beaches. August can see damaging windstorms. In July 2007, the temperatures dropped to near 0C (32F).
What to wear and pack for Uruguay Generally plan to wear whatever clothing you'd wear in Canada, the USA or Europe in similar season, allowing for rain gear or warm jackets depending on time of year and location in Uruguay. See all travel tips and what to pack tips.
Do I need a Visa for Uruguay? Visa requirements vary by country, etc. See also visas to from all countries here. Canadians check at Uruguay Embassy in Canada. U.S. citizens can go to Uruguay Embassy Washington. For Consulados de Uruguay, see Consulados de Uruguay in Spanish, but addresses for USA offices listed here.)
Beaches in Uruguay All beaches in Uruguay are free and open to all, and extend along the Rio de la Plata and the Atlantic coast.
How nice and friendly are Uruguayans? When I arrived, my ride was not there to meet me at the ferry terminal. The port staff (for whom English was as much a challenge as Spanish is for me) went out of their way to locate a driver to fetch me. What a wonderful welcome to this country, this kindness to strangers!