Back

Country Reports

Uruguay Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Trips to the South American nation of Uruguay (population 3.4 million), located between the two giants of Argentina and Brazil, can generally be expected to proceed smoothly.

CRIME

Violent crime is rare and rates have been on the decline in recent years. However, petty theft (pickpocketing, purse-snatching) is common in urban areas, including the capital Montevideo - notably areas where tourists flock such as the Old City, and in the city's poorer neighborhoods (Casabo, Cerro Norte, Casavalle, Borro, Marconi, 40 Semanas, and Hipodromo). The same is also the case in the summer in popular tourist destinations, such as Punta del Este and Colonia del Sacramento.

Criminals are sometimes armed; if confronted, obey all instructions and never attempt to resist.

NATURAL RISKS

Flooding is relatively common in Uruguay, particularly along rivers and in coastal areas, and can occur year-round. Weather forecasts and alerts are published on the website of the Uruguayan Meteorological Institute

There is also a risk of wildfires in the summer (approximately December to March).

SOCIAL UNREST

Strikes and demonstrations occur on a relatively regular basis, particularly in the capital. The majority of demonstrations remain nonviolent but minor clashes do occasionally occur. Demonstrators sometimes erect roadblocks in and around cities as well as on major highways, leading to transportation disruptions.

As in many countries, the frequency and intensity of demonstrations tend to increase during electoral periods. The next presidential and legislative elections will be held in October 2019.

TRANSPORTATION

Although road conditions are generally good, Uruguay nonetheless suffers from high rates of road accidents due to unsafe driving habits.

Metered taxis, car services ("remises"), public buses, and Uber are all generally safe. However, when taking a taxi it is advisable to call for one in advance or pick one up at a taxi stand instead of hailing one on the street to ensure the taxi is from a reputable company.

For long-distance travel, the country is served by a network of high-quality coach buses and ferries.

Uruguay has a zero tolerance policy regarding drinking and driving.

HEALTH

Health conditions are generally good throughout the country. Regardless, all travelers are advised to sign up for comprehensive travel medical insurance.

Tap water is safe to drink.

Outbreaks of the mosquito-borne disease dengue fever occasionally occur, most recently in 2016 when 1300 cases were reported. However, no cases were reported in 2017 (as of November).

Epizootic rabies is present. The main line of defense against rabies is to avoid contact with both domestic and wild animals (notably street dogs). If you are scratched or bitten, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Climate

Uruguay has a temperate climate with mild winters (10°C to 16°C) and hot summers (21°C to 28°C). The country receives rain throughout the year.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +598 Emergency Services: 911

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

More