Taking The Kaboom Out Of Uruguay Prices



Uruguay prices can come as a surprise, and not necessarily a pleasant one if you haven't done some homework in advance. The Uruguayan peso is strong and the economy has held steady here through all the financial trials and tribulations of recent years. As a result, prices are comparatively high to the rest of South America and you will get less for your US dollar or other currencies than you would elsewhere.

If Uruguay prices are high is it worth a visit?

Well we thought so and we're very happy we made that decision. Yes, Uruguay prices are higher than other places but it's not off the scale high. And for the type of overseas adventure vacation we were looking for, Uruguay was well worth the money.

an-average-lunch-for-two
An average, if unhealthy, lunch for two!

So what were we looking for?

We wanted to be able to do all the activities we wanted such as hiking, horse riding, cycling, and fishing, without having the worries about safety you have in other parts of South America. We also didn't want to have to travel long distance every time we went somewhere new. This was going to be a traveling holiday and the idea of having to be on overnight buses each time we moved did not appeal. That's why Uruguay was perfect for us. And the Uruguay prices? Well we'd done our homework and were 90% prepared.

Why do you say you were 90% prepared for Uruguay prices?

The one thing we didn't expect was the cost of accommodation. We arrived in the middle of high season and I'd started looking for our accommodation about a month before we left the UK. That's when we first realized our hunt for a reasonable and affordable bed to sleep in was going to be harder than we thought. What do we mean by reasonable and affordable? We were hoping to get a private room for 2 for between US$40 - 50 per night in a good part of time. We were way off base.

High season in Uruguay really is high season. As we've already said on our Uruguay hotel page, places were already fully booked and yes, the Uruguay prices were high. What to do?

Our first few weeks were spent in an area of Montevideo we wouldn't normally have chosen. We were on the 'bar and disco' street so things were loud at night. We were also warned this area was famous for pick-pocketing, especially at night. But despite having a slightly seedy reputation, the area was certainly far better than other 'dodgy' areas we've visited around the world. The price? US$44 per night for a room with a shared bathroom and toilet. Not bad, but not what we were hoping for either.

If we'd booked in advance would the Uruguay prices have been better?

To put it simply, yes. Our original idea was to book an apartment for our first month in Montevideo and then do more traveling around as prices came out of high season. But all the apartments in our budget were gone. We now realize we should have booked 2 - 3 months or more in advance if possible if we'd wanted to get the places we liked. So we were left having to find a hotel room. There was no other choice.

All in all it worked out fine but if you can book in advance and avoid ending up in this position it's definitely a good idea!

a-parilla-dinner-for-two-in-montevideo
Mmmm... a parilla dinner that cost $450 for 2
What are some typical Uruguay prices?

These are the typical Uruguay prices we've found so far on our trip. We'll add more as we go. All accommodation prices are from high season December - February 2010 - 2011 and are based on 2 people sharing a double room in Montevideo. This can be taken as a general figure for other regions of Uruguay as well. Prices go up where hotels become a rarer sight.

Remember, prices and exchange rates change so please take these numbers as a guide only. For current exchanges rates see our Uruguay currency page.

Typical Uruguay Prices 2010 - 2011 UYU Pesos US Dollars Notes
2 star hotel room downtown per night $851 - 1,161 U$S44 - 60 Ciudad Vieja and Centro areas
2 - 3 star hotel in upmarket areas per night $1,178 - 1,571 U$S60 - 80 Pocitos and Tres Cruces areas
4 - 5 star hotels per night $2,357 - 3,536 U$S120 - 180 All of Montevideo
1 bedroom studio apartment (1 month rental) $14,733 - 15,716 U$S750 - 800 Pocitos and Punta Carretas areas
2 bedroom apartment (1 month rental) $23,574 - 29,468 U$S1,200 - 1,500 Pocitos and Punta Carretas areas
Lunch or dinner for 2 $500 - 600 U$S25 - 30 Eating at restaurants like La Pasiva and Facal. Includes a couple of drinks
Parilla dinner for 2 $400 - 600 U$S20 - 30 Includes a couple of drinks
Special dinner for 2 $1,000 - 1,400 U$S50 - 70 At a high end restaurant in Montevideo. Includes a couple of drinks
Bus tickets $17 U$S0.88 1 ticket gets you one journey anywhere on the bus route
Taxi fares $138 U$S7 Regular black and yellow taxis have a meter system so you don't need to haggle. This journey was from Plaza Independencia to Pocitos. Approximately 5 kilometers
Airport Taxis to Downtown Montevideo (Ciudad Vieja area) $1,000 U$S50 For a full list of fares see http://www.taxisaeropuerto.com/en/fares.html
Beer (chopp standard serving) $60 U$S3 A chopp is a draught mug of beer (not a pint)
Beer 1 litre bottle $100 U$S5
Sim card with ANTEL $100 U$S5 This card lasted either until 1 month from the date of purchase or until all credit was used up. It disappears quickly when you make phone calls!
Cafe con leche $50 - 60 U$S2 - 3 A must have in the morning : )
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