Is Uruguay Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 76 / 100 based on 36 user reviews.

Uruguay FlagUruguay : Safety by City

Located between Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is known as the Switzerland of South America, due to its stable political system and social benefits such as free educational system.

It also has a South Atlantic Ocean coastline.

The name Uruguay means “river of the colorful birds” in Guarani language, spoken by the natives back in the day.

Uruguay is known for many things in Latin America, and it’s getting a lot of attention because of that: for example, it is ranked first in Latin America in peace, democracy and low rate of corruption and is first when it comes to press freedom and the size of the middle class.

Apart from that, Uruguay contributes more troops to the United Nations missions of peace-keeping than any other nation.

“The Economist” named it the country of the year in 2013, and it is slowly getting the reputation of a highly successful and prosperous country.

Taking all this into account, it’s no wonder that Uruguay is the safest country to visit in entire Latin America.

Warnings & Dangers in Uruguay

Overall Risk


Uruguay is very safe, it is the safest country to visit in entire Latin America, and if you plan on exploring the vast spaces of South America, Uruguay is the best place to start. It is economically and politically stable and can offer you an insight into South America without you having to worry about the crime which other South American countries are known for.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Taxis and means of transportation in Uruguay are reliable and safe. You don't even need to negotiate the price of the ride because all taxis use taximeters.

Pickpockets Risk


Even though it is so safe, you should watch out for petty crime in tourist landmarks and crowded areas. The crime rate is low, but pickpocketing and bag snatching does happen, even though it is not very common.

Natural Disasters Risk


Uruguay is known for floods and droughts altering during the entire year. You should pay close attention to the weather forecasts, and act accordingly, following the advice of local authority in cases of flooding or drought.

Mugging Risk


Mugging and kidnapping are also very rare in Uruguay. However, you should exercise caution and remain vigilant for possible dangers.

Terrorism Risk


There haven't been any terrorist attacks in the recent Uruguay history, but even so, they shouldn't be ruled out, and you should stay vigilant for any strange behavior in your vicinity.

Scams Risk


Scams are also not probable in Uruguay, but it is recommended that you follow common sense all the same. Be cautious upon running into strangers acting strange or trying to distract you by tapping you on your shoulder, spilling something on you, or running into you.

Women Travelers Risk


Uruguay is safe for women to travel to. If you are a woman traveler, you should exercise caution and avoid empty, isolated and poorly lit streets and areas, but apart from that, your trip should go smoothly.

So... How Safe Is Uruguay Really?

Given the fact that Uruguay is one of the most economically developed countries in South America with a low level of corruption and a high living standard, it can easily be concluded that it is, for the most part, a very safe country – the safest on the entire continent.

Positioned as the ninth “most livable and greenest country” in the world and a definite first in both South and North America, Uruguay is ranked highest in Latin America on the Global Peace Index.

With its stable democracy, it was the only country in the Americas that didn’t go into recession during the financial crisis, and it was the only nation in the world to provide every child with a free laptop and wireless internet.

Considering all this, it is no wonder that it also has a very low crime rate compared to its neighboring countries and tourists that come and visit usually travel without any issues.

However, that doesn’t mean that Uruguay has absolutely no crime on the streets.

Caution and using common sense are always recommended as well as taking special care of your valuables and not leaving them in plain sight.

Petty crime such as pickpocketing and mugging, bag snatching and cell phone thefts still happen, and you should be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Also, when handling money, do it cautiously, in secure places such as shopping malls and banks.

It goes without saying that you should avoid dark, poorly lit and empty backstreets and areas, or going alone at night, especially in the state’s capital Montevideo where, naturally, most of the street crime happens.

How Does Uruguay Compare?

CountrySafety Index
Czech Republic88

Useful Information



Most countries don't need a visa to enter Uruguay. Tourists from Western Europe, Australia, the USA, Canada, and New Zealand automatically receive a 90-day tourist card, and it is possible to renew it for another 90 days. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.



Currency in Uruguay is Uruguayan peso. Credit cards are accepted in major towns, and you can withdraw your money from ATMs (which are widespread around Uruguay) but be careful when taking your money and never leave your card out of sight. Tipping in restaurants is common (around 10%) but tipping taxi drivers is not the custom even though you can round up the amount.



The climate in Uruguay is temperate and without any extremes in terms of temperature or precipitation. However, it is wet year-round.



Uruguay's busiest international airport, Carrasco International Airport, is located in the country's capital Montevideo. It is also the country's largest airport.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Uruguay, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Uruguay Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 24° C
Feb 23° C
Mar 21° C
Apr 18° C
May 15° C
Jun 12° C
Jul 11° C
Aug 13° C
Sep 14° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 20° C
Dec 22° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Uruguay - Safety by City

CitySafety Index

Where to Next?

36 Reviews on Uruguay

  1. T
    T. Amaru says:

    It’s actually not that safe

    Absolute hogwash review. Four hundred plus homicides a year. Parts of Montevideo are not to be walked in at night. Very hungry people rummage round ugly green trash containers. Most houses have iron railings on all windows because of rampant sometimes violent burglaries. A recent petition on safety – vivir sin miedo signed by more than two dozen…… I don’t exagérate.

    1. Setting things straight

      I ‘m a Uruguayan leaving in USA and most of the review is exactly as described, however because the very relax borders with other countries, Argentina and Brasil and drugs smuggling , this caused the Increased (on the latest years ) of crimes. The Youth from poorest homes have rooted issues due to growing up in single parents homes or with abusive parents with behaviors based on addictions ; moms had to leave the nest to Work so youngsters are left alone after school to do as they please. In addition Uruguayans are Educated due to FREE schooling and college.You may find Medical, Law or Veterinarians Students or graduates working in city buses collecting fees. I would safely say that 95% of the population has a diploma or trade. There are lots of farmers children working in the dormitory cities adjacent to the Capital Montevideo offering their goods in street markets. As far as religion the Catholic Apostolic Church takes the lead and the African Vudu religions are practiced by the fewer and normally linked to to poverty in Poorest barrios. Uruguay is one of a kind and you Can enjoy all it has to offer with the American dollar and travel it up the coast in pretty much one day by car . The government’s of Uruguay has improved the look of the cities and parks now pattering it to USA and people such as my family embraced the New way and still preserving the organic life style. As far as the window railings everybody whom understands the culture knows Colonial style decors is common therefore the windows project it.

      1. Yeah right….Montevideo is NOT SAFE!!!

    2. H
      Hiking and ?. says:


      I travel many times and I don’t think that’s the case, I never had problems and people are very friendly even if I don’t know you

    3. A
      Anonymous says:


      1. Rio has more crime

        Wait…you went to Rio because of the small amount of crime in Uruguay?? are you aware of the crime rate in Rio? This makes zero sense. Go to Rio for the food, culture and sites, but not for low crime!

      2. F
        From the world 😉 says:

        Lol ; Río how many times; did you get Rob ?? I go to Río every year;; I had a friend from Argentina he got mugged three times in one week ,,, I never did Bcse I speak Portuguese en look Brazilian 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    4. S
      South African says:

      LOL! In South Africa we do 60 homicides a day. We also do 120 rapes a day. So in South Africa we do in a week what Uruguay can only achieve in a year. We also have communist ANC race based laws and policies that discriminates against whites purely on skin color. For one as a white you can’t get work because the laws of the country reserve positions for Africans, Indians, Chinese, Pakistanis and then lastly if there is any positions left (which never happens) then a white will be considered. This all regardless of qualifications, skills and knowhow. Uruguay sounds like heaven to me.

    5. Dont agree with your comments. I went to Uruguay during the last 2 years an had an incredible time.

    6. Citing absolute numbers of homicides is meaningless. One needs to know RATE (per 100k is standard) to determine probability or risk. Also it’s helpful to know how many murders are familial since those are the most common in many places and the risk of being killed as a tourist is much lower than being a native housewife (very true in the US for example).

  2. Article is dead wrong. Uruguay is not safe

    What a piece of shit of article. Uruguay is insecure nd more and more people Are been robbed daily, many times violently and at any time of day. Worse, police is inept and unwilling to do
    Anything when crime is reported.

    One has to guess at the motivation or corruption of writing an article so misleading.

    1. J
      Josephine says:


      I agree.. Lived there for five years.. An attorney took upon her self to keep money for her on when I sold my apt.. The thing was I did not hire her.. She was the buyers attorney ..
      It was stated that she was in need of money..Daaaa.. My money.. Never seen again..will never go back again..
      People are not friendly to Americans .. They are all to much into politics..
      Enough said…

  3. A good choice for SA

    If you want to travel to South America, Uruguay is one of the safest places to go. With that being said, it does come with some risk. I would not say it was entirely safe nor would I tell people never to visit. It is one of those places you plan for and go with a group to see. I have been there twice this year and both experiences were just fine.

    1. A
      Andrés Fernandez says:

      Really don’t know where folks get the idea that Uruguay is the safest place anywhere. On many lists it has a higher murder rate than Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay. Just cause it’s the most expensive don’t mean it’s the safest.

  4. S
    Sara Robertson says:

    It's okay

    My sister and I traveled to Uruguay as part of a spiritual journey. We both were excited to be going to South America and couldn’t wait based on the pictures. We did not have a great time. We had issues with the place we were staying in. We noticed many of the restaurants were not very clean. And on several occasions, we saw some homeless people looking through trash bins. It was more stressful than relaxing!

    1. E
      EvilWhiteMan says:

      Are you fu**ing serious? Who are you, Paris Hilton?

    2. What exactly does a Spiritual Journey mean? Were you trying to find yourself or God?
      Just curious?

    3. You were on a spiritual journey but were appalled by homeless people looking for food. Let me guess. You’re from Texas.

      1. I’ve seen way more homeless people in LA or San Francisco than anywhere in Uruguay.

      2. None... wondering whether to visit or not


    4. B
      Bufalonorman says:

      I couldn’t agree more ; Río it’s great but you have to be aware of everything around you ;; or else you lose !!!
      Rio don’t play

    5. A
      Alvaro Rodriguez says:

      So, your “spiritual journey” just got clobbed by some homeless that meddled in?
      What a misfortune! You spend some thousand dollars in your spiritual development and cannot afford some people in need? From your words anyone can make what your spiritual reality is made of.
      You’re in great need indeed…

  5. A
    Anonymous says:

    How can you continue to disagree with State Department warnings-it is very dishonest !

    1. F
      Frankie ortega says:

      yes, but is like a any other’s country, i,m from p.r usa, and i rather visit urugay ,
      i love that country , i, fell at home, crime,s happen any place, ….

    2. n
      nolan tew says:

      1965-1967. wonderful country interior.

      was in peace corp 1965-1967. spent most of my time in the interior. only 6 months. in montevideo. the interior was wonderful; montevideo was under seige by the communists. a real contrast to what i am reading today. but it was a great and safe experience after spending 2 years in vietnam. love reading your comments.

  6. Yes, there are homeless people in the main parts of Montevideo and a bunch of street scammers!

  7. Safety is relative. Uruguay is safe compared to other Latin American counties. But it's not safe in general

    I’ve lived in Uruguay for a couple of years and can tell you it’s not safe. Yes, it definitely is much better than any other Latin American country in that sense, however, it’s not a place where you can relax and walk wherever you want at whatever time if the day or night. While living there, it got to the point where every single person you spoke to got either mugged or worst case scenario, at gunpoint. My local supermarket, bakery, very, corner shop etc, were being either held up at gunpoint or broken into almost every other day. It is a beautiful country. It does have that freedom of speech, it is trying very hard to be progressive (and taking into consideration its history, environment and conditions, had made much, much progress). I love Uruguay. I adore its people. The coast is beautiful. The markets are fantastic… and the food is spectacular. I’ve been at least half a dozen times and look forward to my next trip.

  8. wake up..

    I think it depends which country or big city you compare it with.
    Most large cities in the world experience violence and have streets you shouldn’t enter day ore night. And unfortunately you find poverty everywhere. Also in small cities or villages all over the world. Some you find in the streets, others are covered-up behind the curtains, also drug abuse and violence. You want a safe trip.., run circles in your house. Risk is everywhere you go. That is how the hole world changed. You want a nice relaxed vacation.. contact a local with a clear and nice background, let them guide you to places that are nice without any harm, they know where to go. You will then experience just a part of the reality, but at least you’ve had a nice relaxed time.

    1. Be careful!

      Wake up is dead on in his/her opinion. I have been to Uruguay for 19 straight years In January-February, but not this year. (Pandemia!)

      Do not go out at night and be attentive to your surroundings.

      But! It is a super country. The people, the beaches, the food are great. It’s expensive, but worth it.

      Be careful but have a great time!

  9. I thank for the honest comments, otherwise i would relocate there! so it.s all just Adverts to kure foreigners in..thanks! 🤗

    I really thank those who tell the truth! i was worried bcs estate prices decrease and as it was called to be clean, cheaper than Europe and warmer as my homecountry Austria..I thought I wouod relocate there! as it seems within 4 yrs it has, as so many countries, lost it safety and such…in comments on youtube you can read the weirdest stuff🤷‍♀️as in every country there are the endless liars who tell you it.s safe , clean and wonderful…as I come from Europe i saw the wunderful cuisine and asked myself : it,s just a burger? so what? and so on…
    sadly i don,t know where to go, but Latin countries are a no go as it seems, i do research for over two yrs and seemingly that has become a common trade all over the world and covid makes it worse, as countries with no safe social net are now starving their people…Asia as USA , there is no difference,..i have so many contacts telling the real situation 🤷‍♀️thnaks for this obviously real honest comments with current! experience! not old stories…in the 90 ies Eastern Europe was safe too, thanks!

    1. You sound like you have a very closed mind.

      1. S
        Sunirmal Sinha says:

        Travel Uruguay to feel good.

        I read all that reviews & get cofused whether Uruguay is safe for travelling or not.
        In my final opinion A traveller should travel with a positive mind ,Every where during this journey may not be pleasurable .All incidences good or awkward are part of journey as it enrich experience to travel & tackle the odds.After all Uruguay has a beautiful natural beauty with friendly people but with low resource of their own.Also legalization of taking marijuana the main cause of increasing unpleasant activity among the middle class or poor people.

  10. R
    Rodrigo says:


    Im from Uruguay, I lived there for 27 years and travelled the world. I can tell you Uruguay it’s safe, you got to be carefull in some places like around Montevideo city (north of Avenida Italia street I would say is the division line) and in Canelones. Other touristic cities like Punta del Este, Colonia, or more east beach towns are very safe and you can walk at any time without concerns. In Uruguay we don’t have tourist scams (like in turkey with the shoe cleaners, el cairo with the scams on pyramids, paris in the tour eiffel) it is very rare. I would probably say that Uruguay doesn’t have a well formed touristic circuit like other countries so connectivity between towns and cities can be challenging and also between other countries ( usually people come from chile, brazil or colombia because there are not many direct flights). But Uruguay is a beautifull country, especially if you go to Rocha beach towns, go to Punta del Este ( museo casapueblo is an amazong experience at sunset) visit the countryside or just go for a walk on the Rambla and visit the Centenario, old town in Montevideo.
    The people in Uruguay are usually very friendly (in my opinion one of the most friendliest countries with tourists), and will love to help if needed. If you are a student and want to come to Uruguay, check Mis Uruguay on instagram for more exchange students and activities.
    Hope this is helpful to someone.

    1. Gracias Rodrigo por representar apropiadamente nuestro gran pais. Yo vivo en Schenectady en NY y extrano tanto.

  11. A
    Anonymous says:


    Venezuela is the most dangerous across the board.

Uruguay Rated 3.81 / 5 based on 36 user reviews.

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