How to get to Uruguay

By | May 4, 2022


Small, off-the-beaten-track Uruguay welcomes visitors with miles of clean beaches, vast blue skies and one of Latin America’s most cosmopolitan capitals. It’s a wonderful travel destination thanks to the high standard of living and easy hospitality of its people, but it still attracts fewer tourists than its neighbors Brazil and Argentina. There are three places that most visitors seek: the cultural city of Montevideo, with its vibrant arts scene, pretty boardwalk, and the world’s longest-running carnival celebration; picturesque Colonia with its cobbled streets, leafy squares and 18th-century Portuguese colonial buildings; and trendy Punta del Este, with its beaches, world-class restaurants and feverish nightlife, beckons jet-setters and sun-worshippers. If you have a little more time, you should explore the dunes, lagoons and breakwaters of Uruguay’s long Atlantic coast, bathe in the warm springs near Salto or spend a night in an estancia and immerse yourself in the impressive world of the gauchos. See other countries in South America on areacodesexplorer.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

There are no non-stop flights to Uruguay from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Iberia (IB) and Air Europa (UX) have non-stop flights from Madrid to Montevideo. Iberia (IB) flies from Frankfurt/M., Munich, Vienna, Geneva and Zurich to Montevideo via Madrid. LATAM (JJ) connects Frankfurt/M. via Sao Paulo with Montevideo. In cooperation with LATAM (JJ), Lufthansa (LH) fly from Frankfurt/M. and Swiss (LX) from Zurich via Sao Paulo to Montevideo; Feeder flights to Frankfurt/M. with Lufthansa (LH) and others from Vienna.

Flight times

Frankfurt/M. – Montevideo: 16 hours 40 minutes; Vienna – Montevideo: 17 hrs 20 mins; Zurich – Montevideo: 16 hrs 5 mins (each with a stopover; flight times vary depending on the length of the stopovers).

Departure fee

€42 (US$46) from Carrasco International; US$21 (€19) from Carrasco to Buenos Aires. The fees are usually already included in the ticket price. There is no airport fee for children under 2 years old.

Arrival by car

The most important connections between Uruguay and its neighboring countries are the Carretera Panamericana, which runs from Brazil via Melo and Montevideo to Colonia del Sacramento, and the Ruta 26, which connects Uruguay to Argentina and runs through Melo and Paysandú. Long-distance buses: The bus company EGA offers connections to and from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. The transport companies Pullman General Belgrano, Condor Estrella and Cauvi connect Montevideo with Buenos Aires in Argentina with their buses. Tolls: Uruguay has no toll roads. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.

Arrival by train

There is no cross-border rail traffic in Uruguay.

Arrival by ship

Montevideo is the country’s largest international port; it is approached by numerous cargo and cruise ships.

Cruise ships

Cruise operators such as Cunard and Transocean also dock in Montevideo on their world cruises that start in Hamburg. MSC and Phoenix start their cruises in other European ports and also call at Montevideo.

Ferry provider

Buquebus ferries connect Buenos Aires (Argentina) several times a week with Montevideo (journey time: 2 hrs 15 mins) and with Punto del Este (journey time: 5 hrs) and several times a day with Colonia del Sacramento (journey time: 1 hr 15 mins)..). Colonia Express also offers ferry connections several times a day between Buenos Aires and Montevideo (journey time: 4 hours 45 minutes) and Colonia del Sacramento (journey time: 1 hour 15 minutes), as well as several times a week between Buenos Aires and Punta del Este (journey time: 3 hours). : 7 hours 30 minutes).


Traveling by plane

Uruguay does not have a national airline and there is no regular domestic air service.

Traveling by car/bus

Uruguay’s road network covers around 78,000 km. Tolls: There are no toll roads in Uruguay. Petrol stations: The number of petrol stations is sufficient throughout the country. Petrol and diesel are available everywhere.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

Uruguayan roads are generally in good condition. Around 10% of the entire road network is paved; most of the remaining roads are paved elsewhere.

Car rental

Rental cars are available in cities and at airports. Drivers must be at least 21 years old (may vary by vehicle category) and have held a driver’s license for at least 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 often pay an additional young driver fee locally.


There are cheap and reliable taxis in the cities. The black and yellow taxis in Montevideo all have taximeters, which are also switched on. However, the displayed value is not the fare, but only serves as a basis for later calculation according to a table.


In larger cities and tourist resorts, travelers can rent bicycles and scooters. There is a city bike rental in Montevideo.


The bus company CITA runs nationwide and connects the cities of Uruguay. There are also a large number of regional bus companies such as COT, NUNEZ and INTERTUR.


Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰; – Seatbelt obligation. Speed ​​limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – Country roads and expressways: 90-110 km/h.

Roadside Assistance

The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns and accidents with the rental car, the rental company should always be contacted first.


The national driving license is sufficient. However, it is advisable to carry the international driver’s license with you.

Traveling in the city

Montevideo has an extensive bus network. Trolleybuses operate in the city and suburbs. Another way to get around the city is by taxi.

Locally on the way by train

The country’s sparse rail service is managed by the state’s Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado (AFE). Trains run regularly between Montevideo and Santa Lucia, 25 de Agosto, Pando and Sudriers, and between Tacuarembo and Rivera, among others. There are no regular long-distance trains in Uruguay.

Traveling by ship

Uruguay’s waterways have a length of 1,250 km. The Río Uruguay is navigable from Colonia to Salto and the Río Negro to Mercedes. There are no scheduled ferry services on the major rivers.

How to get to Uruguay