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Uruguay - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

A very efficient bus network covers the whole country, which is an inexpensive mode of transport. Furthermore, taxis are widely available in most big cities, but it is important to stress a point. In Montevideo, the price of a journey depends on the distance covered in Km. A kilometric counter is in charge of computing the price, and the driver can show you a number of connections with the price list. In the countryside, the price of a journey might be computed on the amount of kilometers covered or on a set price method, either or. It is therefore important to ask for the price of a journey before getting in a cab.
Maps of urban networks: Mapred

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

Plane: There are few national airlines but they are for rather exclusive use and have a relatively uncertain schedule.
Bus: Very good way of travelling in Uruguay. Bus travel is cheap and rather comfortable.
Car: On-site rental is possible. The road network is efficient.
Ship: There is a shuttle between Montevideo and Colonia.
Rail companies: State railway office.
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
PLUNA Yes Yes
Listing of airlines Yes Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: The road network is well-developed and in relatively good condition. There are numerous non-paved roads. The road Montevideo-Punta Del Este on the coast counts many gas stations. Inside the country, it is better to stock up with gas in stations around cities. It is advised to be very cautious since drivers only partially respect the highway code and cars are quite old. Numerous private bus companies ensure regular connections between cities from the bus station of Montevideo and with comfortable transport conditions.
Road maps: Google Maps
Find an itinerary: Ministry of Tourism

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and also the biggest city. It gathers the cultural, business and economic activities of the country. It is a modern and animated city with some interesting architectural buildings, especially along the avenida 18 de Julio.
Cultural: There are lots of museums worth visiting in Montevideo. You shouldn't miss the "Museo del Gaucho". Two other museums will also attract visitors: the historical houses of Casa Lavalleja (National Historical Museum) and Casa Rivera. The visit of the Mercado del Puerto (harbor market) is a must. It is located in the old town, at the crossing of Piedras and Castellanos. Build under an old train station from the beginning of the 20th century, it still holds the original central clock. It is one of the popular centers of gastronomy in Uruguay and a great place to gather friends on weekends to enjoy an excellent asado.
Nature: Punta del Este is one of the most select seaside resorts in all of south America.
Religious: At Paysandu, you can see the cathedral, whose walls have kept the bullets of the triple alliance war embedded. At that time, the city belonged to the Paraguayans.
Thermal: The region that gave its name to the city of Salto is the most populated northern Uruguayan urban center, but it is also a well known center in the region for its thermal sources all around, touristic resorts and converted swimming pools.
Beach: The Carmelo and Mercedes beaches are ideal spots for boat cruising, sailing, fishing and fun water activities. For the farniente followers, the beaches of Punta del Este and their crystal clear waters definitely are the places to go. With its numerous seaside resort and its crowds of tourists, the Montevideo east side area is one the most westernized places in the country. The great Atlantida Resort is located just east from the capital city, and you will find Piriapolis just a couple of beach towel rows further. From there, you might explore the surrounding countryside and hike up the 130 feet of the Cerro Pan de Azucar, or even visit Minas, a charming small town surrounded by wooded hills.
Outdoor activities: Several activities can be chosen, see the website of Ministry of Tourism
Shopping: The craft industry concerns products dealing with the gaucho's image and life, with mostly leather and wool work. Furthermore, there is an important offer of semi precious stones (agata, amethyst, etc) coming from the northern areas in the country. There is a store chain in the main malls concentrating all the diversity of craft industry in Uruguay.
Tourism organizations: Ministry of Tourism

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: No requirement concerning vaccination for international flights.
For further information on sanitary conditions: Ministry of public health.

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Montevideo (GMT-3 in winter, GMT-2 in summer)
Summer time period: Summer time from October to March
Climate: Uruguay is the only Latin American country to be wholly located in a temperate climate zone. Heats period is January and the coldest temperatures are reached in July, with a mean difference of twelve degrees Celsius. Temperatures vary between 15 and 32 degrees Celsius.

Eating

Food specialties: Most restaurants in Uruguay are grill restaurants: as a matter of fact, beef is the main ingredient for the preparation of all dishes in Uruguay.
Asado: barbecued beef
Asado de tira: beef ribs
Lomo: fillet of beef
Costillas: sheep
Milanesa: veal chops
Chivito: sandwich with beef, salad and eggs.
Puchero: beef with vegetables, bacon, beans and sausages.
Cazuela: homemade stew
Dulce de leche: desserts
Caña, grappa: beverages
Beers are excellent in Uruguay.
Drinks: Concerning soft drink, sodas and fizzy beverages are widely consumed.

Local beers are called "Patricia", "Pilsen" and "Cilertal" (an AMBEV monopoly). Whiskey is the most consumed alcoholic beverage. There is also an interesting amount of wine consumption due to a high local production.

Dietary taboos: There are no culinary restrictions. The only thing to mention is that horse meat is not locally produced and is therefore it is all imported.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Website of some common Spanish expressions brought in English.
Free translation tools:
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