- What are the accommodations like?
- Are meals included?
- What are the guides like?
- What type of transportation is used?
- What type of food is typical of Uruguay?
- What is the climate like?
- When is the best time to go to Uruguay?
- Are these trips suitable for kids?
- What is the typical age range for these tours?
- Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
- Do tour rates include international flights?
- How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?
- How much should I budget for tips?
- Are there any discounts available?
- How far in advance should I book?
- Are tour dates flexible?
- Can I extend or change my stay?
- What should I pack?
- How safe is Uruguay?
- Is the water safe to drink?
- What immunizations are recommended/ required?
- Do I need a visa/passport?
- What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc.?
- Should I bring cash or Traveler's checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?
- Can I use my cell phone?
- What time zone is Uruguay?
- Do I need an electrical adaptor?
- Is travel insurance recommended?
1. What are the accommodations like?
In Uruguay, we have selected a variety of charming accommodations ranging from cozy coastal lodges and estancias to comfortable city hotels with all of the modern conveniences. In general, we use small, family-run accommodations that are locally owned and characteristic of each area. For more information, check out our Uruguay Lodging page or click on the bed icons next to each day of the tour itinerary to view pictures of our standard hotels/ lodges.
Meals are included on most of our Uruguay excursions. We have tried to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meal options. For this reason, we include meals on all of our tour days when you are traveling off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited. In the major cities where there are a wide variety of restaurants, we generally do not include meals, to allow our travelers the flexibility of choosing their own food preferences. Your tour leader will always recommend some great restaurant options and will usually offer to join any group members who would like to go out to eat together. Your hotel will also provide a light continental breakfast on these days. Included meals are listed in parenthesis next to the tour itinerary on each tour page. An estimated meal budget can also be found under Personal Budgeting to the right of the itinerary on the tour pages.
All of our guides are exceptional! They are fluent in English and Spanish. They are from the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. Our guides treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.
Our Uruguay tours utilize a variety of transportation including private vans, comfortable tourist buses, ferries, flights, etc. We use a mix of private/ public transportation to provide travelers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. Each tour itinerary page has a description of the transportation included on that tour. If you have additional questions, just ask!
Beef is central to the Uruguayan diet and their asado (Uruguayan barbecue) is world-famous. Seafood is excellent on the coast. For vegetarians, pasta dishes and pizza are fairly ubiquitous. Desserts incorporating dulce de leche (milk caramel) are a staple for most Uruguayans. Beverages like grappa con miel (grappa with honey) and mate (infusion of dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant) are traditional drinks found in many areas of Uruguay.
6. What is the climate like?
Uruguay's climate is fairly uniform throughout the country. Uruguay does not have a rainy season or a dry season; rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. The average temperature in July (mid-winter) is 52 °F. In January (mid-summer), the average temperature is 75 °F in the interior and 82 °F on the coast. Parts of the country can be vulnerable to high winds and humidity (in the summer months).
Any time is a great time to visit Uruguay, as the weather is temperate all year long. If you are looking to enjoy beach activities, Uruguays summer months (December to March) are the best time to visit. This is also the busiest time to visit, as many tourists flock to Uruguays beaches during the summer. Recommendations for the best time to do each tour are listed on the Uruguay Tours page.
Yes and no. This depends on the age of the child and the tour you have chosen, but we can certainly customize a trip for a family with children. Some trips visit wineries that might not interest young kids. Some of our horseback riding tours might not be suitable for very young children but would be great for families with teenagers. We have more information on our Family Travel Page, and please check with your Trip Planner as to which tours would be a good fit for your family or customize a trip based on your family's interests. We realize that you know your kids best so we will be happy to answer all of your questions and try to give you the most accurate impression of what to expect. However, please remember that these are adventure tours and flexibility is essential!
To make family tours easier, we often recommend having a private group and guide, though families with well-behaved children are welcome on our group departures as well. We have special private tour rates for families. Please ask your Trip Planner if you are interested.
Our Uruguay tours tend to attract all ages. The more adventurous tours tend to attract a slightly younger group (mostly 20s-40s), but weve also had active 70 year olds do great on these trips; so dont let age discourage you if you are fit and healthy. Expect a wide range of ages and ask your Trip Planner if you are curious about the demographics for a particular departure.
Yes, some are. Solo travelers are welcome on any of our tours, but some trips tend to attract more couples and families; so single travelers may feel out of place. If you are interested in a specific tour, just ask your Trip Planner. He or she can recommend a departure date that is likely to have a good mix of other travelers. Solo travelers should also take a look at our exclusive Solo Traveler Departures.
Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately, and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. Alternatively, we can help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator.
We can arrange an airport transfer for you or you can take a local taxi. Taxis are usually less expensive, though some travelers prefer the convenience of having someone waiting for them at the airport when they arrive, especially after an exhausting flight. Please let us know your preference!
Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary in Latin America to offer a small tip for exceptional service. Tipping amounts vary widely, though some travelers report that ~$2-$10/ day for your guide and ~$1-$3/ day for your driver is common. Other travelers opt to bring small gifts from their home to give to service providers along the way.
Absolutely! We offer select trip discounts periodically throughout the year. Check out our Travel Discounts page for the latest offers and on-going discounts.
You can book your Uruguay tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better.
We usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that you book your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available. Travelers booking a set departure date at least 6 months in advance can also take advantage of our 10% Early Registration Discount.
That said, we are often able to accommodate last minute travelers (some even departing in less than one week!!), so give us a call and we will do our best! For last minute bookings, it helps to be flexible and organized. Your first choice tour may not be available for your selected dates, but your Trip Planner can probably recommend some other similar options that would be equally interesting! Many lodges will not hold spaces less than 30 days before departure so for last minute bookings, you may be asked to send your registration form and trip payment in right away to secure your spaces.
YES. Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/ hotels are available.
Absolutely! Check out our Uruguay Extensions for ideas. Extra days can also be arranged anywhere in Uruguay or Argentina. Let us know how you would like to customize your trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.
18. What should I pack?
You will receive a detailed packing list specific to your tour after you book. Some of the important items you will need are sunblock, insect repellent, a warm coat, jacket or sweater, hat (sun/rain), footwear (boots or sneakers), bathing suit and wet weather gear for the possibility of rainy days. Dont forget to bring your camera and binoculars!
According to the US State Department, there is no evidence of terrorist organizations or violent groups in Uruguay that specifically target U.S. visitors. However, street crime is relatively common in the major cities and travelers should take common sense precautions. Dont walk alone or at night and dont carry large amounts of valuables with you. Most hotels have safes where you can store your belongings. Check out the US State Department travel advisories for the latest information at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1054.html.
The tap water is safe to drink in most parts of the country. To be sure, ask your guide or the hotel/ restaurant staff. The safest choice is to purchase bottled water, and bottled water is readily available and should be used in remote rural areas.
No immunizations are currently required for visiting Uruguay. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended. For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control web-site at www.cdc.gov.
All travelers entering Uruguay will need a passport, valid for at least 6 months after they depart the country. Citizens from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most Western European countries do not need a visa for tourist stays up to 3 months. This visa may be extended locally for an additional 3 months. Travelers from other nationalities should check with the Uruguayan Embassy for visa information. Entry requirements change with surprising frequency. It is each travelers responsibility to check with the consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.
For travelers traveling to (or through) Argentina, there is also an Argentina reciprocity fee charged to citizens from the United States, Canada and Australia that must be paid online in advance of your arrival to Argentina. This includes airports, land border crossings, and ports. If one arrives in Argentina without showing proof that the fee was paid, he/she will not be able to enter Argentina.
*Payments can be made here: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/
This fee applies to citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia. Each
traveler has to pay the following amount:
· United States: $160 (fee is valid for 10 years - transferable to a new passport if you show your old one)
· Canada: $75 (valid for one single entry)
· Australia: $100 (valid for a year - and multiple entries for that year)
For all other nationalities, please consult your nearest embassy or consulate for information on visa fees and entry requirements.
Entry requirements in Latin America change with surprising frequency. It is
each traveler's responsibility to check with the consulate in your country for
the most up-to-date visa and passport information.
The local currency is the Uruguayan peso (UR$). Most major tourist hubs readily accept US dollars. Away from the tourist areas, dollars are of limited use. Check out a Currency Converter like, http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ for the latest exchange rates.
Most travelers bring a small amount of US cash with them and withdraw from ATMs as they need it along they way. ATMs are readily available in the larger towns and cities. Travelers can withdraw US dollars or local currency at fair exchange rates. Traveler's checks are fine, but they can be more difficult to exchange and you will usually receive a poorer rate or be charged an additional fee. Credit cards are accepted only in the larger restaurants and stores. Although it is helpful to bring a credit card along for emergencies, don't count on using it for most purchases.
Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information.
Uruguay is three hours behind GMT (two hours ahead of EST). They do not observe daylight-savings time during the months of April through October, when Uruguay is only one hour ahead of EST.
Uruguay uses 220-volt, 50-cycle electricity. Travelers will require a voltage converter for 110-volt devices. Plugs are either two rounded prongs or three angled flat prongs, so travelers from the US will also want plug adaptors.
Absolutely!!! We work with a company called TravelGuard that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. They have two different types of insurance available, depending upon whether or not you will need the cancellation coverage. Check out our Once You're Booked page for more information.