Horseback riding in Uruguay

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Equestrian tours in Uruguay

Uruguay Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide


As South America's smallest Spanish-speaking country, Uruguay is often overlooked by tourists visiting the region. However, with its vibrant nightlife and stunning coastline Uruguay is well worth discovering.

Due to its strategic position on the north shore of the Río de la Plata, Uruguay's territory was hotly contested from the first European settlements, initially by Spain and Portugal, then by the emerging regional powers of Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay officially gained independence in 1830.

A delightfully low-key, hospitable place, modern Uruguay enjoys a high standard of living but draws fewer tourists than neighbouring Brazil and Argentina. Visitors here can melt into the background and experience the everyday life of a different culture - whether riding horses under the big sky of Uruguay's sparsely populated interior or strolling with throngs of mate-drinking locals along Montevideo's 15km- (9 miles) long beachfront.

The three most popular destinations are the culturally vibrant capital Montevideo, the picturesque 17th-century port of Colonia, and the trendy coastal resort Punta del Este, which lures jetsetters from around the globe to its sandy beaches, fine restaurants and party-till-you-drop nightclubs. Visitors with more time should explore the dunes and lagoons of Uruguay's long Atlantic coastline, soak in the hot springs near Salto, or spend the night at a tourist estancia amidst the wide-open grandeur of gaucho country.



Passport Required?









Other EU


Visa Required?









Other EU


Return Ticket Required?









Other EU




Valid passport for the duration of your stay is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.


Visas for Uruguay are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to three months.

Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Uruguay.

Types of Visa and Cost

Tourist visa : US$42

Applications to:

Consulate (or consular section at embassy); see Contact Addresses.




Peso Uruguayo (UYU; symbol $U) = 100 centécimos. Notes are in the denominations of $U2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of $U10, 5, 2 and 1 and 50 centécimos.

Currency Exchange

Visitors are advised to buy local currency at banks and exchange shops, as hotels tend to give unfavourable rates. Inflation in Uruguay, though less severe than in other Latin American countries, leads to frequent fluctuations in the exchange rate.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly used credit cards. All are widely accepted in major tourist and business destinations including Montevideo, Punta del Este, and Colonia del Sacramento. In rural areas, it's best to carry cash as many businesses will not accept credit cards. ATMs marked with the green Banred or blue Redbrou logo are reliable and available in all cities, as well as some smaller towns. They serve all major international banking networks, including Cirrus, Visa, MasterCard and Maestro.

Traveller's Cheques

Traveller's Cheques can still be cashed at some banks and exchange shops in major tourist hubs. US Dollar traveller's cheques are more widely accepted than those issued in Euro or Sterling.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 1300-1800.

Exchange Rate Indicators


April 2018











Special Precautions



Hepatitis A










Yellow Fever


Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers arriving from an infected area.

Food and Drink

Mains water is considered safe to drink. Drinking water outside main cities and towns may be contaminated and sterilisation is advisable. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

Health Care

Uruguay has an excellent medical service. Private health insurance is recommended. To call an ambulance, dial 105; for general emergency services, call 911.


Getting There

Getting There by Air

Airlines with regular service flights to Montevideo's Carrasco airport include Iberia (IB) ( and LATAM (

Approximate Flight Times

From London- 16 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); New York- 13 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

Main Airports

Montevideo (MVD) (Carrasco) (website: is 19km (12 miles) from the city (journey time - 35 minutes). To/from the airport: There is an airport bus to the city centre. Taxis are also available. Facilities: Duty-free shop, post office, restaurants, car hire, pharmacy, travel agencies, ATMs and a bureau de change.

Air Passes

Oneworld Visit South America Pass: valid within Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Participating airlines include American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA), Cathay Pacific (CX), Finnair (AY), Iberia (IB), LAN (LA) and Qantas (QF). The pass must be bought outside South America in the country of residence. It allows unlimited travel to 60 cities. A minimum of three flights must be booked; prices depend on the amount of flight zones. For further details, contact one of the participating airlines (website:

Departure Tax

US$31 on international departures (US$17 to Buenos Aires), payable in cash (Uruguayan pesos or US Dollars) or by credit card at the airport fee counter near check-in. This is sometimes included in the air fare; check with your airline.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Montevideo, the main international port, is served by cargo lines from the USA and Europe.

High-speed ferries operate between Montevideo and Buenos Aires (journey time - 3 hours) (website: Colonia Express ( and Seacat ( offer services from Colonia (160km/ 100miles west of Montevideo) to Buenos Aires by ferry and hydrofoil. A port departure tax may be levied.

Getting There by Road

The  main points of entry from Argentina are Paysandú (from Colon), Salto (from Concordia), and Fray Bentos (from Gualeguaychu).

From Brazil, the main point of entry is at Chuy. There are five lesser points of entry further west along the Uruguay-Brazil border: Rio Branco (from Jaguarao), Acegua (from Isidoro Noblia), Rivera (from Santana do Livremento,), Artigas (from Quarai), and Bella Union (from Barra do Quarai).

Uruguay's main international coach operator is EGA )tel: +598 2902 5335;, with services to Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil. Flecha Bus (tel: +598 11 4000 5200; and Condo Estrella (tel: +54 221 423 2745; also run regular coaches between Uruguay and Argentina.



Uruguay has an exceptionally fine temperate climate, with mild summers and winters. Summer is from December to March and is the most pleasant time, especially along the coast. Beach resorts get crowded between Christmas and February, with peak crowds during the month of January In the interior and along the Rio Uruguay, January is the hottest month, with temperatures sometimes climbing uncomfortably above 30 Degrees Celsius (86F). For fine weather and quieter conditions countryside, December and March are good months to visit. Winter and spring can get chilly due to wind and rain, but temperatures remain dependably above freezing.

Required Clothing

Bring lightweight clothing in summer; mediumweight clothing for winter, autumn, and spring. A raincoat is advisable year-round. 


Embassy of Uruguay in the USA
Address: NW, 1913 I Street, Washington, 20006
(202) 331 1313 or 4219 (consular section).


Opening times:
Mon-Fri 0900-1700; Visa section: Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and 1400-1600.

Embassy of Uruguay in the UK
Address: 4th Floor, 150 Brompton Rd. London, SW3 1HX
(020) 7937 4170.

Opening times:
Mon-Fri 0900-1700; Visa section: Mon-Fri 1000-1600 (appointment only).

British Embassy in Uruguay
Address: Calle Marco Bruto1073, Montevideo, 11300
2622 3630

Opening times: Mon-Thu 0900-1300 and 1400-1730, Fri 0900-1430; Jan 0830-1430.

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