José Ignacio, Uruguay
José Ignacio, Uruguay

José Ignacio

A fishing village turned upscale resort, José Ignacio is a flashy, lively extension of Punta del Este’s social scene
Photo by Ernesto Velázquez


South America

Uruguay Travel Information

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Key facts




Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil


Uruguayan pesos (UYU)


176,215 sq km


3,398,239 (July 2021 est.)


Spanish (official)


Roman Catholic 47.1%, non-Catholic Christians 11.1%, nondenominational 23.2%, Jewish 0.3%, atheist or agnostic 17.2%, other 1.1% (2006 est.)



Tel Code:




Uruguay has a temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The average temperature ranges from around 59°F (15°C) in the winter to around 75°F (24°C) in the summer. Rainfall is relatively low, with the majority of precipitation falling between December and March, with an average of around 22 inches (550mm) per year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Uruguay depends on what you're looking to see and do. The summer months of December to February are the warmest and driest, making them the best time to visit if you're looking to go to the beach, swim and sunbathe. This is also the best time to see the wildlife, as many species of birds and animals breed during this time.

The winter months of June to August are the best time to visit if you're looking to see the city, as it's the peak of the cultural season, with many festivals, theater shows and other events. This is also the best time to visit the interior of the country, as the weather is mild and the landscape is green.

Overall, Uruguay can be visited all year round, but it is important to keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly, so visitors should be prepared for all eventualities.



The main airport in Uruguay is Carrasco International Airport, located in Montevideo. There are flights from major cities in South America and also from Miami, Madrid, and some European cities.


Buses are a popular and convenient way to get around Uruguay. There are many different bus companies operating throughout the country, and they offer a wide variety of routes and services.

Car Rental

Car rental is also an option for visitors to Uruguay. There are several car rental companies located at the Carrasco International Airport and major cities throughout the country.


Taxis are widely available in Uruguay, and are generally safe to use. They can be hailed on the street or called by phone, and they generally use meters.


There is no regular train service in Uruguay, but there is a tourist train that operates between Montevideo and Punta del Este


Boats are available for transportation in some specific areas of Uruguay, like the River Plate, where visitors can take ferries to Colonia del Sacramento, Buenos Aires or other destinations. And also in some coastal towns like Punta del Este, where visitors can take boat tours to navigate in the sea or in the rivers.



Uruguay has a wide range of hotels available for visitors, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. Many of the major cities in Uruguay, such as Montevideo and Punta del Este, have a variety of hotels to choose from.


Uruguay also has a number of hostels available for travelers on a budget. These can be a great option for backpackers and other budget-conscious travelers.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals, such as apartments and villas, are also available for visitors to Uruguay. These can be a great option for families or groups of friends traveling together.


Camping is also an option for those who want to experience the great outdoors in Uruguay. There are several campgrounds available throughout the country, with varying degrees of amenities.

Rural Accomodation

Uruguay also has a number of rural accommodations, such as estancias and lodges, that allow visitors to experience the country's rural culture and natural beauty. These can include staying on a working farm, or a guided tour to the remote regions of Uruguay.


Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.


When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:


Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.


There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.


Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.


Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.


Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!


Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.


LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.


Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:


Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.


Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.


Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.


Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Uruguay Closed
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Uruguay, located in South America, is a small country known for its stunning beaches, rich culture, and friendly people. With a population of just over 3 million, it offers a unique blend of city life and natural beauty, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for a diverse experience. Here are the top 10 things to do in Uruguay:

      1. Visit Montevideo

      The capital and largest city of Uruguay, Montevideo offers a vibrant culture, rich history, and delicious cuisine. Visitors can explore the historic Ciudad Vieja (Old Town), visit the famous Mercado del Puerto and enjoy the nightlife scene.

      2. Explore the beaches

      Uruguay is known for its beautiful beaches, with miles of unspoiled coastline. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, especially in the summer months.

      3. Visit Colonia del Sacramento

      A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colonia del Sacramento is a charming and well-preserved colonial town that offers a glimpse into the country's history. Visitors can stroll through the cobblestone streets, admire the colonial architecture, and visit the historic lighthouse.

      4. Visit Punta del Este

      One of the most famous beach towns in South America, Punta del Este is a must-see destination for visitors to Uruguay. Known for its nightlife, luxury resorts, and beautiful beaches, it's a great place to relax and have fun.

      5. Visit the Salto Grande Dam

      Located on the Uruguay River, the Salto Grande Dam is a massive hydroelectric dam that offers a great opportunity to learn about the country's energy production, and also to enjoy the views of the surrounding landscape.

      6. Visit the Estancia

      Visiting an Estancia, or traditional farmhouse, is a great way to experience the culture and lifestyle of rural Uruguay. Visitors can learn about the local customs, try traditional food and participate in activities such as horseback riding.

      7. Visit the Museo del Carnaval

      Located in Montevideo, this museum offers an interesting insight into the history and culture of the carnival in Uruguay, and also the costumes and traditions of the event.

      8. Visit the Teatro Solis

      Located in Montevideo, this theater is one of the most important in South America, and a must-see for visitors interested in the arts and culture of Uruguay.

      9. Visit the Plaza Independencia

      Located in Montevideo, this square is one of the most important and iconic in the city, and offers a great place to relax and enjoy the local atmosphere.

      10. Visit the Parque Nacional Santa Teresa

      Located in the northwest of the country, this national park offers a great opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Uruguay, and see diverse wildlife such as monkeys, capybaras and many types of birds.

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