Uruguay Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
💶Currency: Peso Uruguayo (UYU)
🕙Time Zone: -3 GMT
📞Phone Code: +593
🌐Language: Spanish (Uruguayan dialect)
✈️Best time to visit: April to October
🍴Eat: Bife de Chorizo (sausage meat)/ Dulce de leche
🍷Drink: Yerba Mate (bitter tea)
🗺️Don't miss: A sun set from the Old City in Montevideo or Colonia
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Uruguay is one of South America's smallest countries, it borders with its more popular neighbours, Brazil and Argentina. Tourists who are looking for something different, without a heavy price tag should definitely come and check out this country which offers fine sandy beaches, an atmospheric capital (Montevideo) and some of the world's cheapest and most delectable steaks.
The cobbled old town of Colonia del Sacramento adds another interesting aspect to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and see the flowering jasmine. Visiting not only from Uruguay but also crossing over from Buenos Aires, in Argentina., where many visitors first start their trip. Crossing over is super easy thanks to reliable modern ferry crossings.
Visitors should also venture to Uruguay's cattle ranches, where rugged gauchos (cowboys) labour on the open plains. By contrast, travellers seeking more action should head to the upscale international beach resort of Punta del Este.
Uruguay is politically stable and has one of the lowest crime rates in South America. Its welcoming people and good weather make it a great holiday destination ticking off the culture, city, relax and entertaining categories of tourism!
If you are travelling direct to Uruguay, the only way is to arrive to it's capital, Montevideo, by plane. Iberia and Air France offer direct links to Europe and American Airlines if coming from USA. If travelling from other south american capitals LATAM or Gol are very popular.
Currently, Uruguay has no national airline. However for many travellers the best way to get there is by ship from Buenos Aires in Argentina. Buquebus is an excellent company, offering frequent trips from Buenos aires direct to Montevideo and Colonia and it's possible to go to Punta del Este with a change to bus connection as you arrive to the mainland. This company also offers day trips,from Buenos Aires. The ideal way of travelling if you are not staying in Uruguay. For more info check it's website: Buquebus
There is also a ferry which leaves from Tigre (Argentina), and takes you to Carmelo on the Uruguayan side within 3 hours and onwards to Montevideo by bus. It's a more economical option and more scenic. However can be very long trip for just a day. More info at this informative website: Linea Delta Argentino
Alternatively you can travel by bus from Buenos Aires, taking 11 hours to reach Montevideo. Busses leave from Retiro Station in Buenos Aires. Also international busses from Brazil or Paraguay get to the major cities in the country. (though not recommended for Safety concerns). Within the country there is no national rail, making travelling by bus the most common way.
Uruguay has a temperate climate. This means you can expect a climate that is mild, with rainfall evenly distributed throughout the year. Temperatures rarely fall below freezing and range from 5 to 16°C during winter from June to September. During summer (December to March) temperatures range from 22 to 35°C.
Uruguay can also suffer from several natural weather hazards, for example floods and droughts. It also occasionally experiences the pamper, this is a cold and sometimes violent wind which blows north from the Argentine pampas.
The best time to visit Uruguay is generally during the Spring, (October to December) and the Autumn ( March to June) when temperatures are comfortable to do active tourism and explore the countryside. In the Summer, high season, December to February, it can get very hot. Its advisable to take cold drinks, sun protection and sunglasses.
(Refer to each city information below for further facts about the weather).
Uruguayans love to eat meat above anything else, the most common restaurants are Parrilladas (grill-rooms), where huge racks of beef sizzle over hot coals. Italian food is also popular, thanks to the many immigrants who came from Italy in the early 20th century, while seafood is excellent along the Atlantic coast.
Specialities include: Bife de chorizo, a sirloin steak. Asado de tira, short ribs, and other barbecued meats, predominantly beef and lamb. Chivito, steak sandwich with accompaniments including cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, ham, olives and pickles. Morcilla, blood sausage served either dulce (sweet, made with orange peel and walnuts), or salada (salty). Dulce de leche boiled milk and caramel; typically spread on toast and used as the filling in Alfajores biscuits, which are very popular snack in Uruguay.
As for drinks, Uruguayans as well as Argentinians, drink plenty of Yerba mate, a bitter tea of a native herb that’s extremely popular with locals. They take it often in flasks into work, walking or at social gatherings. Other drinks also popular are Caña, a clear liquor made from sugarcane and Grappa, a grape based brandy with Italian origins. As for spirits, Uruguayans love their whisky and even make their own, which is called Dunbar. Uruguayan wines are of good quality, particularly reds of the tannat grape variety. Popular wine-based drinks include clericó (wine mixed with fruit juice) and medio y medio (half dry white wine and half sparkling wine).
This small nation is hidden away from many travellers, in fact, you don't hear much about it. Nevertheless,my experience was much different, it's a must see destination, specially if you are travelling to Buenos Aires in Argentina. It's proximity to the Argentinian capital make it ideal to cross over and visit the 3 most renowned cities, Montevideo, Colonia and Punta del Este. Friendly people, cheap venues to eat and a relaxed way of life also helps to unwind in this special country for me.
(2 times visited)