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When to go

Uruguay is an all-year destination, but probably best enjoyed in summer (Nov-Feb). The weather is mild all the year around. Temperatures range from 10-16oC in the southern hemisphere winter, while in the summer they hover in the mid-20s. Wet and windy conditions outside high summer are not unheard of, and can make it feel very chilly. Rainfall is moderate and varies little over the year, apart from Jul-Aug when there are prolonged wet periods.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency

Uruguayan Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in larger towns using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also many banks and exchange houses where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling frequently poor. In larger places US dollars may be accepted as currency.

Time difference

GMT -3 hours. Usually daylight saving is observed in the summer (GMT -2 hours), from Sep/Oct to early Mar. The date is set by presidential decree.  

Getting there

Average flight time to Montevideo is 17.5 hours.  There are no direct flights from the UK. Some routes involve a change of ‘plane in Brazil, Europe or the USA.

Combines with

Argentina, accessing Buenos Aires from Montevideo by air (50mins), road (8 hours) or ferry (3 hours), there’s a ferry from Colonia to Buenos Aires (45mins); Iguazú Falls, Brazil, 3 hours by air.

Key events

Carnival; 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable. Live bands, costume parades and  general frivolity in towns and cities, especially Montevideo. In the Barrio Sur, where the black Afro-Uruguayan population lives, there are condomblé ceremonies (traditional religious rituals from Africa).

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