Uruguay

Basic Facts

 

Spanish is the national language of Uruguay.

The country’s national currency is the Uruguayan peso .

The capital is called Montevideo.

Mario Benedetti is one of Uruguay’s most famous national poets, but spent most of his life in exile.

Approximately 3,368,595 people live in Uruguay.

The country covers approximately 176 215 km² and 1.5% of this area is water.

The current president, José Mujica, is responsible for the passing of three new laws in recent years which have legalised abortion, the personal use of marijuana, and same-sex marriages in Uruguay. He is considered to be a controversial figure by his peers and many public critics within the Latin American political scene.

February is one of the best months to visit Uruguay. It still falls within the summer season, but most of the Argentine tourists visit in January and so the beaches are less crowded.

 

Reasons to visit Uruguay

 

• People from Uruguay are some of the kindest, most relaxed on the planet.

• To taste your first thermos of the hot, tea-like beverage called, mate.

• To experience what it’s like to visit a country which suffers from an incredibly low birth rate: 13.28 births/1,000 population per year, at the time of writing.

• To eat meat - the meat in Uruguay is just as good as it is in Argentina, whatever the cut and whatever the restaurant.

• To eat chivito - a flat slice of meat, served in abundance as a sandwich with all the trimmings.

Life in Uruguay

 

Uruguay’s government system is what is known as a mixed or semi-representative democracy. This means that the even though the national government is the predominant figure in national decisions, the public have a fair amount of power through the use of referendums, for example.

Uruguay’s government system is what is known as a mixed or semi-representative democracy. This means that the even though the national government is the predominant figure in national decisions, the public have a fair amount of power through the use of referendums, for example.

Public education in Uruguay is free for all students from primary level, all the way through to university level. It is only compulsory to attend school in Uruguay for a total of nine years. The birth rate in Uruguay has been deteriorating consistently for a number of years. The country has on many occasions been referred to as South America’s version of Switzerland. It is the country with the highest proportion of pensioners in the southern hemisphere, with a fifth of the country’s population clocking in at 60 years and over.

The InternationalLiving Annual Global Retirement Index, 2014, ranks Uruguay as the second best country in the world in terms of public health care services and quality. The country provides a health care plan entitled, “Mutualista,” which is the most popular health care plan for those people who cannot afford to opt for a private plan.

 

Top Destinations

 

 Costanera de Montevideo - Montevideo’s coastal walk is a true mix of city landscape and beach relaxation. You can hire a bike and cycle along the route for 22 kilometres taking in the sights of both sea and city as you go.

 Cabo Polonio - the perfect beach in Uruguay for the “hippie” lifestyle. You can camp on the beach, sleep out under the stars and really disconnect from the fast paced rat-race which has the rest of the world jumping to attention.

• José Ignacio - definitely one of the most luxurious beaches in Punta del Este, thanks to its incredibly rich, white, soft sand, and its surrounding array of tasty, top-notch restaurants. It’s also a good idea to rent a motorbike and ride your way around all the beaches in the area.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

Passport/ Visa Requirements

 

Is a visa required?: Depending on your country of origin. For more information, please check this websites: http://www.projectvisa.com
• Allocation of Tourist Visa: Tourist Visa is received at the airport of Montevideo or any other international airport.
Duration of Tourist visa: Lasts up to 90 days
• Tourist Visa Extension: It is possible to extend by leaving the country and flying in again or by paying an extension fee of around 20USD
• Passport validation: Must be valid for at least 6 months
Return/onward flight ticket: Generally not required upon entering the country.
Confirmation of Funds: Declaration of sufficient funds will not required.

 

Money/Currency

 

Currency: Uruguayan Peso
Inform Banks: Give the dates of travel and destinations to prevent security blocks on your bank and credit cards
• Cash: Always take enough cash to cover your expenses for the first week in case there is a problem with your bank cards or access to ATM’s is limited.
Credit Options: Good idea to have at least two different credit/debit card options i.e. MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, or Cirrus.
Travellers Cheques: Will only be able to exchange in major cities and best to take them in Dollars
• Western Union: If at any time you have any problems in accessing money you can use Western Union transfer. Money can be sent from your home country and received in Uruguay the same day.

 

Healthcare

 

• Vaccinations: No vaccination required, but Hepatitis A&B + Typhoid recommended
• Malaria medication: Not necessary
• See local GP: If vaccinations or medication is required see the doctor 4-6 weeks before your departure
Less than 4 weeks before you leave: You should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while travelling.
Check the following for up to date information: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

TESTIMONIALS

''I studied at the academy for 4 weeks. That was just what I needed to freshen up my Spanish before going to graduate school. I have been extremely content with classes here. The teachers are great and I felt very well taken care of. Excellent service, great location. I can only recommend the school.''Spanish course. Jonathan Kirkland, USA

 

''I participated in the course for Spanish teachers. All of us were impressed by the high quality of the program and, of course, by the teachers. We had a great time as a group, learned a lot and got to know a country I had always wanted to visit.'' Spanish course. Mark van Kerkhof, Nederland

 

''I have been taking Spanish classes in my office for the past two months, 6 hours per week. I knew some Spanish before I arrived here and am forced to speak Spanish with my colleagues. However, if it had not been for the classes I took at the language institution, I would not have been able to pick up so quickly on the grammar and pronunciation. Very professional, highly recommendable.''Spanish course. Josefina Burlington, Australia

 

''I have studied Spanish for 2 weeks in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and for 2 weeks in Montevideo (Uruguay). It was a wonderful and unique experience – both in the cultural and linguistic area! You may not believe it, but the 2 cities are quite different and I was able to get to know both more in depth! My Spanish course was absolutely great organized and the teachers were really professional and qualified!'' Spanish course. Ralf Schneider, Germany