Traveling Luck for Uruguay

Uruguay is located in Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil.

Uruguay has borders with Argentina for 579km and Brazil for 985km.

Land in Uruguay is mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland.

Uruguayan land covers an area of 176220 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than the state of Washington

As for the Uruguayan climate; warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown.

Uruguayan(s) speak Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier).

Uruguayan National Map

Uruguayan Map

Regions of Uruguay

Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Annexed by Brazil as a separate province in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to agree to military control of his administration in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold throughout the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center EP-FA Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.


Uruguay Country Profile

Uruguay's well-to-do economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated work force, and high levels of social spending. After averaging growth of 5% annually during 1996-98, in 1999-2002 the economy suffered a major downturn, stemming largely from the spillover effects of the economic problems of its large neighbors, Argentina and Brazil. For instance, in 2001-02 Argentina made massive withdrawals of dollars deposited in Uruguayan banks, which led to a plunge in the Uruguayan peso and a massive rise in unemployment. Total GDP in these four years dropped by nearly 20%, with 2002 the worst year due to the banking crisis. The unemployment rate rose to nearly 20% in 2002, inflation surged, and the burden of external debt doubled. Cooperation with the IMF helped stem the damage. A debt swap with private-sector creditors in 2003 extended the maturity dates on nearly half of Uruguay's then $11.3 billion of public debt and helped restore public confidence. The economy grew about 10% in 2004 as a result of high commodity prices for Uruguayan exports, a competitive peso, growth in the region, and low international interest rates, but slowed to 6.1% in 2005.

Uruguayan natural resources include arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries

second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising

Uruguayan religion is Roman Catholic 66% (less than half of the adult population attends church regularly), Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, nonprofessing or other 31%.

Natural hazards in Uruguay include seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts.

Travel Advice on Uruguay

Uruguay

This advice has been reviewed and reissued.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • The risk of crime is generally low throughout Uruguay, but you should show greater awareness in and around Montevideo.

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Around 13,000 British nationals visit Uruguay every year.  Most visits are trouble-free.  The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Uruguay is the theft or loss of passports and other personal documents such as credit cards.  You should carry photocopies of your passport and ensure that original documents are kept in a safe place.  The majority of incidents occur in Montevideo.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Crime

Street crime exists in Montevideo, but is usually restricted to handbag snatching and pick-pocketing.  Muggings and robberies (occasionally armed) do sometimes occur, but increased police patrols in Montevideo’s port and old town areas have helped reduce street crime.  Where possible, you should consider keeping valuables in a hotel safe, and exercise caution when withdrawing money from ATMs.

Other parts of Uruguay, including Punta del Este, are considered relatively safe, but you are nevertheless advised to remain alert and take sensible precautions.

Political Situation

Uruguay is a stable multi-party democracy.   There are no current, active threats to political stability.

Uruguay Country Profile

Road Safety

The standard of roads in Uruguay varies.  The main toll road to Punta del Este is good and well marked.  Elsewhere many roads are in reasonable condition while some are in poor condition and require drivers to take extra care.

Driving standards in Uruguay are not high.  You should be aware that traffic is disorganised.  Drivers often change lane and make unexpected turns without indicating.  Stop signs, traffic lights and speed limits are frequently ignored.

If you are intending to drive in Uruguay you will require a valid UK or international driving license to hire a car.

Car crime is common in Montevideo.  You should try to park in a well-lit area, always remembering to lock your car and avoid leaving luggage, personal documents and cash in the vehicle.

It is obligatory to use dipped headlights during the day when travelling on major roads outside cities.  Extra care should be taken when driving at night.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

British passport holders do not require visas for entry into Uruguay and can usually stay for up to three months.  You can apply to extend your stay for a further three months if necessary to the Dirección Nacional de Migración.  You may wish to obtain further information from their official website page:  http://www.minterior.gub.uy/webs/migracion/.
If you wish to take up residence in Uruguay you will have to apply to the Immigration authorities for a Residence Permit.  For further information on entry regulations in Uruguay check with the Uruguayan Embassy in London:  Uruguayan Representation in the UK.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.  You should bear in mind that the Uruguayan Immigration authorities will require this evidence of parental responsibility from the non-travelling parent (Permiso de Menor) if you are travelling with children who have dual nationality (British and Uruguayan nationality).  For further information on what will be required by the immigration authorities please contact the Uruguayan Embassy in London:  Uruguayan Representation in the UK.


HEALTH

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.  Medical and dental treatment in Uruguay can be expensive.
There are occasional reports of Hepatitis A outbreaks.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health and vaccinations, check the Department of Health’s website at:  www.dh.gov.uk.
NATURAL DISASTERS
Forest fires can break out during the summer (December to March) in dry areas.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help
Strict customs controls prohibit visitors from importing animal and dairy products, fruit and vegetables.  All baggage is normally X-rayed and may be searched on arrival.
Credit cards are widely accepted in most major towns, but this is not the case everywhere.  UK cash cards can be used in some ATMs in Montevideo and Punta del Este, but not all.