Depending on where you go, traveling in Uruguay can be a completely different experience, so we recommend spending as many days as possible exploring this charming South American country.
What’s the best time to visit Uruguay?
It mostly depends on the city you plan to visit. Though the country is fairly temperate all year round, a trip to Uruguay is more enjoyable during the summer, from December to March, when days are longer — since this South American locale resides in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are opposite those north of the equator.
If you’re planning to visit popular destinations like Punta del Este, José Ignacio, Cabo Polonio, Punta del Diablo, La Paloma or La Pedrera, keep in mind that they get extremely crowded in January with tourists from Argentina. Those who love a lively scene might enjoy a visit during the beginning of the year when Carnival is rolling, but if you don’t like long waits for available tables in local restaurants, you’ll probably have a better time during late-February, March or April, when the weather is still beautiful but the crowds begin to thin.
If you’re headed to the northern part of the country, above Río Negro (the river that almost divides Uruguay in two), spring, from September to December, would be best as the summer months are too hot.
Regarding Uruguay’s capital city, Montevideo, it makes a great destination all year long, and during January it is almost empty, as most people are on vacation.
What do you pack for a trip?
Uruguay’s temperate climates mean that you’ll need to pack for warm, sunny days. You’ll definitely want to bring your own sunblock, as it can be on the expensive side if you try to buy some locally. You’ll also want to pack a hat — though a nice one can be bought upon arrival — a pair of shades and a bathing suit.
But even during summer, it gets cold as the sun sets, so we’d advise bringing some sweaters, a pair of jeans and a jacket. Finally, when it rains here, it pours, so pack an umbrella, just in case.
What’s the best way to get around Uruguay?
Once again, it depends on the city. In Montevideo, the only public transport available is the bus system, which is fast, but not particularly cheap. However, parking can be difficult in busy areas, so public transport is still a better option.
Another good choice is Uber or the local taxi service — if the driver doesn’t speak English, he can still drive you to your destination by using the map.
In Punta del Este, Uber is the best choice, as the buses run less frequently and there isn’t a stop at every attraction. Destinations in this tony beach town are not far apart one from another, so walking is also an option. But the best (and most fun) way to navigate Punta del Este is by renting a two- or four-wheeled bike.
Renting a car is always an option as well, as it generally isn’t too expensive and allows you the independence of exploring whenever and wherever you’d like. The only exception would be if you plan to stay in Montevideo, where parking can be pricey.