How Safe Is Uruguay for Travel?

Uruguay
Safety Index:
77

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

OVERALL RISK : LOW

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

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

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

PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

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

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

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 RISK : LOW

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

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

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 RISK : LOW

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

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

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.

Useful Information

  • Visas - 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 www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - 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.
  • Weather - The climate in Uruguay is temperate and without any extremes in terms of temperature or precipitation. However, it is wet year-round.
  • Airports - 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 - 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
High
°C
282725221815151718212427
Low
°C
191917141187910131517
High
°F
828177726459596364707581
Low
°F
666663575246454850555963

Where to Next?

11 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.

    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

  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.

  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.

  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?

  5. A
    Anonymous says:

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

  6. Yes article is not that accurate! Holmes people in the main parts of
    Montevideo and a bunch of fucking rateros !

  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.

Rated 3.27 / 5 based on 11 user reviews.

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