Uruguay cheat sheet

Want to know some of the basics before you travel in Uruguay? We've got you covered!


3.407 million

main cities

Montevideo, Salto, Paysandu, La Piedras

bordering countries

Brazil, Argentina

top tourist destinations

Colonia del Sacramento, Montevideo, Punta del Este, Cabo Polonio and Punta del Diablo.


languages spoken

Spanish is the official language of Uruguay with English being more widely understood than elsewhere in the country.


currency and exchange rates

Official currency is the Uruguayan Peso (UYU) although some tour companies will still quote prices in US dollars.

$1 = 31.34 UYU |  £1 = 45.5 |  €1 = 35.31


our route

After months inland and a long, long winter, we were keen to seek the sun in Uruguay - which meant an itinerary focused on the coast.

Most people enter from Buenos Aires by the fast ferry to Colonia del Sacramento, a beautiful town to enjoy a couple of days, before moving in to Montevideo. Often glossed over and quickly moved on from, the country's capital is worth at least a couple of days sight-seeing - you may even love it as much as us!

From here on in, it was beach town after beach town (with a brief interlude horse riding with Caballos de Luz) starting with the holiday destination of the rich and famous - Punta del Este, before moving on to La Paloma, Cabo Polonio and Punta del Diablo. There is no doubting that if the sun is shining, the coast of Uruguay is a stunning place. 

Must-try food and drink

If you're a meat-eater, Uruguay is your sort of place! With an asado (BBQ) on almost every corner, it would be impossible to visit this country of carnivores without developing the meat sweats at least a couple of times.

But the real obsession here? Mate. This bitter tasting hot drink may take some getting used to, but there is no denying its addictive qualities. For more information, check out this post.


Good for vegetarians?

Based on the above, obviously vegetarians can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought in Uruguay. However, as with any fairly developed nation, finding good meat-free food is possible, especially in the bigger cities. And as with many countries in this part of the world, the empanada remains ubiquitous, with a surprising number of vegetarian options.


Can I see it in a month?

Absolutely. Compared to a number of its neighbours, Uruguay is incredibly compact. And with most of the main attractions along the coast, you're never more than a couple of hours from your next destination. We spent just over three weeks there, and felt we'd seen plenty.


Can I drink the tap water?

100%. Of course you need to are in mind that the mineral content may be a little different to what you're used to at home, but there are no health reasons why you need to add to the plastic bottle problem.


Is malaria present?



Do I need any vaccinations?

In addition to the immunisations you would have received as a child, it is also recommended to have Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Although rabies isn't considered essential, there are infected bats in the country. If you are going to be travelling in remote areas for a while or undertaking risky activities such as adventure travel or working with or around bats consider getting immunised (speak with a travel nurse for more information).

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