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Private Journeys

Trailblazer Uruguay

11 days from £1,982pp

Uruguay

Jose Igancio lighthouse

Essentials

Transport

2 transfers; car hire for 8 days (medium-size manual or automatic vehicle).

Accommodation

Hotels are of a comfortable mid-range standard, with on-site restaurant facilities.
Your estancia is rustic and typically authentic, family-owned property and dinner is included.  Please see the itinerary for more details.

Meals

Breakfast daily; dinner days 1-7.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners; their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.

Summary Of Nights

11 days; 10 nights. Winery near Montevideo (3), Countryside estancia (3), Jose Ignacio (4).

Combines With

The unit of currency is the Uruguayan Peso (UYU).

Daily Spend

A guideline budget of around £40 per person per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more. Allow around US$100 to cover fuel.

How To Take It

In Uruguay, we recommend paying for your restaurant bills with a credit or debit card. Such transactions are usually exempt of IVA (sales tax) which is currently 22%. This is subject to government approval each year.

Cash machines are available in all major towns, and so a debit or credit card is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, it’s best not to reply solely on plastic as your only source of funding in case your card gets blocked or just doesn’t work in the local ATM.

We therefore also recommend taking a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which may be useful in emergencies if you cannot use a card or get hold of local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. We don’t recommend taking sterling, as the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available.

Recommended Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. You should ensure you have travel insurance with coverage for all expenses associated with Covid-19.
Journey Latin America’s recommended insurance company is Campbell Irvine, and their medical and repatriation cover is handled by International Medical Assistance.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
Car insurance:
Your trip is based on a medium category 2WD vehicle. Limited collision damage waiver and vehicle theft protection (CDW/TP) cover is included. There may be an excess payable but additional CDW/TP cover with zero excess can usually be purchased at additional cost. Please check the level of your coverage with us when making your booking. We strongly recommend you consider buying your own car hire excess waiver insurance policy before you travel: these are widely available from insurance companies in the UK. All incidents involving collision, robbery and theft must be reported to the police and a report obtained.

An international driving licence is recommended for Uruguay. Since 8 June 2015 no paper counterpart of UK driving licences is required but you need to apply to the DVLA for a code. This may be required by the rental company when you collect your car. Please check https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes for further details.

You will need to return the car to the specified office at the end of the rental period. If you are leaving on a morning flight we advise you to do this the day before you depart.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

This holiday is suitable for all able reasonably fit visitors. If you are travelling alone or have a disability or other special requirement, please do call us.

There is around 550km of self-driving over the holiday, spread over 3 days, and there are several days at leisure in between time so you won’t have long days of driving on consecutive days. Roads are paved, well signed, and traffic is generally light though coast roads can be busy in the summer. Driving standards are generally good.

Climate

Uruguay is an all-year destination, but best enjoyed in late spring, summer and early autumn (mid-November to mid-March). Temperatures range from 10-16°C in the southern hemisphere winter, while in the high summer they can leap into the 30s°. Wet and windy conditions outside high summer are not unheard of, so we suggest avoiding May to October if you want to go to the beach. Rainfall is moderate and varies little over the year, apart from July-August when there are prolonged wet periods.

Altitude

This itinerary does not include any time spent at high altitude (over 2,500m).

Clothing And Special Equipement

The southern hemisphere summer will be hot, therefore bring loose-fitting light clothing for maximum comfort at this time. An umbrella is a good idea in case of a tropical shower. Spring and autumn are milder and less predictable.

South America is in general a relaxed continent and you won’t need clothes for formal dining but you may wish to take some smart casual wear for dining at the estancias or at top of the range restaurants.

Vaccination

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Country info

When's the best time to visit Uruguay?

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.

What's the official language of Uruguay?

Spanish.

What's the official currency of Uruguay?

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. Considering using your credit card to pay for restaurant bills to benefit from partial VAT rebates available to overseas tourists (currently 10.5% from Nov 2017 - Apr 2018).

What's the time difference between Uruguay and the UK?'

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.  

Which other countries combine well with Uruguay?

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.

How long is the flight between Uruguay and the UK?

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.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events of |Uruguay?

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).

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office base
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • Land transfers as described
  • Car hire days 4-11
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Wine tasting
  • Explore Montevideo
  • Self-drive to Uruguay's beaches

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions*
  • *Where a local company organises an optional excursion it does so as a principal and not as an agent of Journey Latin America.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office base
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • Land transfers as described
  • Car hire days 4-11
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Wine tasting
  • Explore Montevideo
  • Self-drive to Uruguay's beaches

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions*
  • *Where a local company organises an optional excursion it does so as a principal and not as an agent of Journey Latin America.

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Expert

    It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

Meet the team