Travel guide to Uruguay

Passports
Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return date and have two blank facing pages for entry stamps. Soiled, damaged or defaced passports will not be accepted.
Visas
UK, American and most European passport holders do not require a visa for holidays < 90 days.
Health
There are no compulsory health requirements. You should be up to date with your primary courses and boosters and always check with your doctor at least 8 weeks before travel for any other inoculations recommended (eg Hepatitis A+B, Cholera, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Polio, Meningococcal Meningitis, Rabies and TB).
Currency
Uruguayan peso (UYU) - remember to ask for small denominations, which are useful for tipping. Some tourist hotels & restaurants accept US dollars (USD).
Language
Spanish
Time Zone
GMT - 3 hours
Travel Tips
To ensure that you have the best possible holiday experience, we ask you to read the following information carefully. If you have any questions, please discuss them with us before you depart. 
 
Hand Luggage – pack essential items for a day or two in your hand luggage, in case your bags go astray and take a few days to catch up with you, especially if you have any tight connecting flights. 
 
Documents – take a copy of your travel insurance policy with you, and leave a copy of your passport with a reliable contact at home, in case the originals are lost or stolen. 
 
Electronic Devices – ensure these are all fully charge before travel, as you may be required to switch them on at airport security. Any device that does not switch on cannot be checked in and must be surrendered. 
 
Mobile Phones – make sure they are set up for international calls and turn off data roaming to avoid nasty bills. Be aware that some remote areas may not have cell phone coverage, but reception is good in urban areas and many hotels offer free Wi-Fi. 
 
Credit Cards – remember to inform your bank when travelling abroad. Credit cards are widely accepted, but always ensure you have cash when travelling in the countryside as some places may not accept them. 
 
Clothing – pack in layers according to the season, including T-shirts, shorts, jeans, sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, swimming costume and flip-flops for the beach. Sanitising hand cleaner/wet wipes and eye drops can also be handy, especially if you wear contact lenses. 
 
Accessories – pack your phone (with charger and a spare battery pack), camera (with spare memory cards and batteries – a 200 mm zoom lens is good for wildlife photography) and binoculars (large 8x40 is best). If you are a keen birder we suggest one pair per person, as it can be frustrating to share. 
 
Plugs – Type C (European 2-prong), F, I and L. 
 
Books – pack a good travel guide and a Spanish phrase book. Knowing a few simple greetings will go down well. Also pack a generous supply of English reading material for quiet evenings and when waiting for flights, as these will be hard to come by. 
 
Water – tap water is generally regarded as safe, but if you are concerned drink bottled water. 
 
Food – Uruguayan food is delicious and Montevideo is a great foodie destination. This includes the traditional “asado” (barbeque) as well as the “chivito" (a sandwich containing steak, ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise) 
 
Taxis – these are safe to use in the cities. 
 
Self-Drive – driving is on the right. It is relatively easy to self-drive in Uruguay, but remember that all road signs will be in Spanish and very little English will be understood in rural areas. Purchase a good road map in advance (in English) and download the Google Maps (offline) app or hire a sat-nav, as signage can be sparse in rural areas. UK, European & American drivers licences with photo identity are accepted, or an international driving permit. Pack some CDs as local radio stations can be a little limited, and always allow some extra time to stop for photographs along the way. A credit card is essential if you are hiring a car. 
 
Safety – Uruguay is one of the safest countries in South America, but take all sensible precautions. Leave valuable jewellery/watches at home, wear a money belt and be alert when outside your hotel. In particular, avoid taking out large wads of cash in public view and keep your spare cash in your hotel safe. 
 
Tipping – this is voluntary and should depend on the level of service received. We suggest the following per couple, but this can be reduced for longer stays: 
- city guide & driver: $8/$2 per day ($4/$1 for half day) 
- overland guide & driver: $10/$5 per day 
- tipping box for hotel staff $2 per day 
- waiters: 10% if not already added to your bill 
- porters $1 per bag.
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