Karen A Higgs, the creator of Guru'Guay
Photo: Carlos Contrera

There’s so little decent up-to-date information in English about Uruguay.

Having lived in this great, small country for over 15 years I am helping to fill the gap.

Karen A Higgs grew up in the South Wales Valleys. At 22 she found herself stranded in Mexico City airport with just a pocket Spanish-English dictionary for company. Since then she’s lived most of her life in Latin America.

She sang 60s covers in a psychedelic rock bar in Costa Rica. In Buenos Aires, she impressed her teenage English language students by riding a 500 cc motorbike around town.

Having moved back to the UK briefly and then on to Washington DC, she moved into web design in the mid 90s. In 2000, she landed in Uruguay to direct communications for an international non-profit.

The Guru’Guay

The non-profit took Karen back and forward to South Africa, land of the most wonderful bed and breakfasts, for over a decade. Inspired, Karen and her Argentine husband Sergio set up a guesthouse as an entertaining sideline.

Casa Sarandi is an award-winning art-deco guesthouse in Montevideo’s Old City, a great location. But what guests really love is the insider knowledge that Karen shares about Uruguay.

And as Karen is also a musician with two albums to her name (including one which was nominated for the Uruguayan equivalent of the Grammys) her daily tips on live music and events made guests’ holidays really unforgettable.

Pleas from guests to share this insider information more widely inspired the popular Guru’Guay blog (www.guruguay.com) in late 2013.

The blog quickly became an essential resource for travellers planning their trip to Uruguay and many expats living in Uruguay. By January 2016 readers accessed almost 40,000 pages, a huge number for a Uruguayan website.

In 2016 Karen published The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo available on this website for tablets and smartphones and in paperback from Amazon and CreateSpace.

She is currently writing The Guru’Guay Guide to Uruguay. If you love this website, do find out how you can be a supporter.

138 Comments

  1. Linda Lee

    March 18, 2017

    Hi Karen, Steve and I enjoyed meeting you the other day at Casa Sarandi! We bought your book here and really appreciated all your info! It would be interesting to visit a school here as I’m a technology teacher but doubt there is time now. We’ve been to Punt del Este and Colonia as well as biked all over Montevideo. It was beautiful! Thanks for all your wisdom and advice! Linda and Steve Lee

    Reply
  2. Viviane

    March 5, 2017

    Hola Karen,
    thanks for all those informations and ideas!!
    since i am planing some volunteer work in Salto, i would be happy if you contact me, because of a recommendation (casawirth.com) and maybe also some more infos about this area of uruguay.
    buen fin de semana!
    Viviane

    Reply
  3. Peter Wirth

    March 4, 2017

    Great website with wonderful and valueable information on Montevideo and Uruguay. Would love to know how to contact you and exchange with you information about the “Interior”… heard the interview online and read your blog – it’s excellent. Please get in touch, best regards, Peter
    http://www.wirthotel.net

    Reply
  4. Sue Warner

    February 18, 2017

    Hi Karen,

    My partner and I have just enjoyed a wonderful 3 weeks in Uruguay, accompanied at all times by your guide, which we have found to be indispensable! (We bought a copy at My Suites hotel, in Montevideo, having seen your website at home, in the UK.

    We received such a warm and friendly welcome from everyone we met, including our tour guides and drivers and every member of staff at all of the hotels we stayed in! We really would recommend Uruguay to our friends.

    As we had a limited time, we did some of the very touristy things, such as spending an evening at El Milonguon, in Montevideo, where we met a lovely young musician called Fernandina, with the most evocative voice (think Gloria Estafan!) who (apart from singing tango standards most beautifully) has started to write her own material.We wondered if you had come across her at all.

    Meanwhile, it’s great that you are extending the scope of your guide and thanks for the many tips, which enhanced our stay in Uruguay enormously.

    Reply
  5. Kate Pearson

    February 13, 2017

    Hola, is there any “premier league” level football on in Montevideo this Saturday the 18th? If there is how would we get tickets?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      February 14, 2017

      Hi Kate, my partner tells me there is 🙂 You need to buy tickets at least 24 hours in advance, from any branch of Abitab or Red Pagos presenting your ID (new measures to combat hooliganism). I highly recommend the Football Fanatics tours http://www.futboltours.com.uy/ if you want to go with a bilingual guide to really get the most out of the match. Love those guys. Do mention you read about them here if you decide to go. All the best, Karen

      Reply
  6. Richard Plagge

    February 5, 2017

    My wife, Barbara, and I are staying in an apartment in Buceo until the 24th of this month. We are from Portland, Oregon, USA. We bought your book before we left and really like it–fun, well-written, very helpful, a lotta good jokes.
    Since we retired a few years back we have spent part of every winter (northern hemisphere winter) in a Latin American country studying Spanish–Mexico several times, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador. We came to Uruguay this year because we had been reading many good things about it, and so far we are charmed. Montevideo seems like a big family city, people so patient with our Spanish, cars slowing for pedestrians, helpful bus drivers, etc.
    (Only problem is the hurricane ? that, as I write this, seems about to blow the windows of our apartment out!)
    We are studying Spanish with a guy called Juan Tocci who owns Spanish School Uruguay. With him we basically just talk about Rioplatense politics and culture.
    What I”m leading up to is that we want to return to Montevideo for a longer stay so we would like to meet some expats to learn some of the ropes of getting on here.
    Could you tell me if any of the weekly expat meetings are still taking place? And where and when.
    We often meet with Juan at the Allegro Cafe in Teatro Solis, just up the street from Casa Sarandi, which looks great in your website. We’ll stop by and say hello.
    Thank you and take care,
    Richard Plagge

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      February 9, 2017

      Hi Richard, welcome to Uruguay! I don’t know about expat meetings, I am afraid. You can probably find out by joining “Uruguay Expat Community”, a group on Facebook. ALl the best — Karen

      Reply
  7. Mark A Chesworth

    February 5, 2017

    Karen

    recently spent 2 weeks in Montevideo with work and was lucky enough to buy a copy of your guide before I travelled to Uruguay. I also bought the Bradt guide to Uruguay but it wasn’t long before this was discarded as your advice was just so much better…..

    every single bar and restuarant we tried based on your reccomendations (and we tried a few….) was excellent and your guide made our stay so much better….

    I’ve a former colleague who runs a site like yours but covering France…. I’ve mentioned your site to Janine and she would be happy to link to your site on hers (here is a link …… http://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/) if you would like her site to carry a link to hers let me know and I will put you both in touch. Thanks once again for all the good advice

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      February 9, 2017

      Hi Mark, sooo glad you found the guide so useful! I would LOVE to be in contact with Janine. And if you have a chance to write a book review on Amazon and/or this website, or wherever!, it would be greatly appreciated. All the best — Karen

      Reply
  8. Camila

    January 25, 2017

    Hello Karen. My name is Camila and i’m a journalist from the newspaper El País of Montevideo. I would like to know more about this guide and how you came up with this idea.

    If you can contact me through my email and give me your cell numer to call you i would be grateful.

    Hope to hearing from you.

    Camila

    P:D: I think it was easier to write in spanish! haha

    Reply
  9. Pablo Philipsthal

    January 16, 2017

    Hi and welcome to our beautiful country! For your reference, there are two football (soccer) teams, one in Uruguay and the other one in Argentina, both called River Plate. I am almost sure that the translation to English of Río de la Plata is River Plate. FYI there is an interesting number of people from the US and Europe (especially germans) that have chosen Uruguay to live once retired. Enjoy our country. Best. Pablo

    Reply
  10. Georgia

    January 15, 2017

    Hello, Guru…

    I’m planning on retiring next year to Montevideo (first) to live for awhile and I got your hardcopy guide–very nice!

    So, in anticipation I’m taking brush-up Spanish class (high school was four decades ago) and I’ve noticed that most websites in English translate Rio de La Plata as the River Plate, but my dictionaries indicate Rio de La Plata would be the Silver River, and El Plato not La Plata is the plate…are my maps wrong and it is Rio del Plato?

    Thanks, and I hope to meet you when I get there!

    ~Georgia in Santa Barbara CA

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      January 16, 2017

      Hi Georgia, the official translation for Rio de la Plata is indeed River Plate. Apparently it is an obsolete sense of the word “plate”, which was used extensively as a term for “silver” or “gold” from the 12th century onwards, especially in Early Modern English.

      As you are planning to retire to Uruguay, Spanish classes are hugely important (good thinking) however I would highly recommend taking Spanish classes from a Uruguayan. The accent is significantly different from other parts of Latin America, other than Argentina. Plus you will glean a lot of very pertinent information about the country you are planning to move to – hugely important. There is a great little Spanish language institute in Montevideo which gives classes via skype to students living elsewhere.

      So glad you are enjoying the book. Please write a review on Amazon if you have a chance. Every great review helps! All the best — Karen

      Reply
  11. Frank noort

    December 13, 2016

    Hi Karen

    Loved the explanation of the booking systems of buquebus and seacatcolonia. You warned us for the frustrations and yes, it was spot on! We spend more than an hour filling all the details, smiled when we saw that the countries were not listed on alphabetical order, (finding Holanda at the N :), trying to pay with creditcard, trying with another creditcard, trying to call (but is was sunday so not available) to find out that they did not accept foreign cards. They could have said that in the beginning!

    So we took the cab to the buquebus port in Buenos Aires and now we are here, in sunny Montevideo. Thank you for your website. It is great and really helpful. Good to see that you are more into beer than wine. Me too, let’s try it tonight!

    Frank

    Reply
  12. Jonathan

    September 22, 2016

    Karen,
    Thanks so much for writing this book, my Wife and I love it and used it in a final decision making process 😉 I have sent you a email with a explanation & a few questions.

    Thanks Jonathan & Raymelle

    Reply
  13. Marcia

    June 28, 2016

    Hi there, is the tablet/smart phone version the same/full version of the book?

    Thanks for your time!

    Reply
  14. Baxter

    June 5, 2016

    Hi Karen

    Thanks so much for a great website – really useful for planning our upciomng trip in Argentina and Uruguay! Quick question – is it quite common for local websites not to accept foreign credit cards? I’ve been trying for ages to book bus tickets on FlechaBus in Argentina and while it all looks very straightforward, I keep getting bounced off when it comes to payment (no matter what laptop or credit card I use). I can’t think what else I’m doing wrong!

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      June 7, 2016

      Hi Baxter, that could very well be the case, though I am not sure how common it is. But don’t worry, you should be fine buying tickets on site. Unless you’re traveling on a major holiday you can usually get your pick of transportation and seating on public transport. Enjoy!

      Reply
  15. Erica Fischer

    May 28, 2016

    I bought the guidebook of Montevideo a couple of days ago, loaded it down on my iPad without saving it. Now I can’t download it again. Is there any chance of my retrieving it? Thanks for your suggestions, Erica

    Reply
  16. Pablo

    May 26, 2016

    Hello Karen, thank you so much for this interesting and updated website, and for promoting our beautiful country and its services. And for writing the book. I took a look at one issue of it at Restaurant Sin Pretensiones. Very well written and useful for tourists visiting Uruguay. Congratulations!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      June 7, 2016

      Dear Pablo, thanks! I love it when Uruguayans love my work 🙂 Thank you for mentioning that you saw The Guru’guay Guide to Montevideo in Sin Pretensiones, a wonderful lunchtime restaurant in the Old City. The owner Sylvana has been a great supporter of mine, in fact she organized and hosted the launch of the guidebook there last month, so I not only appreciate her food but her generosity too!! All the best, Karen

      PS. For people interested in finding out where you can buy the guidebook in paperback in Uruguay visit http://guruguay.com/buy-uruguay-guide/

      Reply
  17. Scott

    April 9, 2016

    Hi Karen, and thank you for this terrific site! I’m going to be making a trip to S. America in June & July, beginning in Rio. I had a passing notion that I’d make my second stop Montevideo, and now that I’ve found your site it’s not a vague possibility anymore, but something I’m eagerly looking forward to. Once I get the exact dates settled I’ll look into your guesthouse too. But for now, since I’d most likely proceed onward from Mont. to BsAs, do you happen to know whether that port of entry is set up to understand how to examine/process U.S. citizen “Reciprocidad” payments, or would I need to count on arriving to Argentina via EZE? I’d prefer the ferry for the reasons you spelled out as well as it just sounding more scenic and enjoyable than an airplane, but a lot hinges on that reciprocity inspection. Thanks for all your great info!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      April 12, 2016

      Hi Scott, so glad to read that Guru’Guay has convinced you to make Montevideo part of your itinerary! We’d love to receive you at the Casa Sarandi Guesthouse. Just drop us a line on info@casasarandi.com whenever you are ready. However you arrive in Argentina, whether by land, plane or water, as a US citizen you will be asked to show your reciprocity payment documentation. So definitely take the ferry and enjoy the ride.

      Reply
  18. Saran R.

    April 7, 2016

    Hi Karen.

    I would like some advice please. in May, a friend and I are coming to Montevideo from Buenos Aires for one day on the Francisco Ferry. We arrive at 9h45 and the return ferry leaves at 19H30. We want to do this. http://www.bodegabouza.com Do you think we will have enough time to go there and then come back to Montevideo to do a little sightseeing on our own before the return ferry?

    Also, do you know hat time we have to be back at the port to check-in for our ferry ride?

    Thanks
    Saran R

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      April 12, 2016

      Hi Saran, it is a shame that you just have a day in Montevideo but you definitely have enough time to do some sight-seeing and then hit Bouza. I would suggest you arrive and spend the morning in the Old City, then go for lunch at Bouza. The cab ride will cost you apx 450 pesos from the Old City and take just 12 minutes. Make sure you check how much the ride will be before you get in the cab. Taxi drivers here are generally very good, but you don’t want one who will take you “the long way around”. Then you will have a few hours back in the city before heading back to Buenos Aires. Btw, the ferry company tell yous to be there 1-2 hours before your boat leaves. This is crazy. You will just be waiting in line. You can easily arrive 30 mins before departure (and will undoubtedly still find yourselves having to queue up to get through customs etc). Enjoy! All the best Karen

      Reply
      • SARAN

        April 17, 2016

        HI Karen,

        Thanks so much for the information. I wish we had more time too. I’m sure I will come back to visit though. We will take your advice about the taxi. And also about the ferry.
        Thanks for being willing to answer questions and give advice. The information from someone living there is invaluable.

        Thx
        Saran

        Reply
  19. Laura Rubalcaba

    April 6, 2016

    I have purchased your Guruguay guide and have found it very helpful. But I still have a important question. I’m here for several months and I’m not sure how to get medical healthcare insurance. Where do I go to buy it?

    Reply
  20. Sheila

    March 24, 2016

    Thanks, Karen. We attended the rodeo events last Sunday at parque prado, very nice! Then we rode with gauchos for 3 days on an estancia near Tacuarembo, fantastic! This is our last night in Uruguay after 3 very good months here. On to Peru tomorrow. Keep up the great blog as we hope to return to Uruguay some day.

    Reply
  21. Sheila

    March 18, 2016

    Hello, Karen. We are back in MVD this Saturday and Sunday. We had hoped to see some part of semana criolla rodeo, but are finding it difficult to get information. It starts Sunday, right? But where? We are staying in Pocitos. What do to Saturday/Sunday? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      March 24, 2016

      Hi Sheila, it is HARD to find info about this great annual Uruguayan Gaucho festival held during Easter (sorry! Tourism Week) though The UK Guardian posted a whole series of photos on it today. All this week, in the Rural del Prado the classic gaucho event Semana Criolla takes place. Gaucho rodeos start at 2pm and go on all afternoon. There’s live music including shows by some of Uruguay’s most classic artists from 10pm and traditional dancing. Over 160 stands, typical country-style food (think meaty) and lots of children’s entertainment too. You can buy tickets at the door – adults 200 pesos, under 12s 120 pesos. A semi-full programme in Spanish for the Semana Criolla 2016 is here.

      Reply
  22. Alex

    March 17, 2016

    Hello Karen!

    I’m about to visit Montevideo and I’d like to buy a mate gourd and bombilla for a friend of mine along with some good quality yerba. Where should I look for them taking into consideration that he would prefer a handmade gourd? Should I try the market places or grocery stores? Are there any brands of this tea that you would recommend? Can I find better quality tea at the market places?

    Best regards,
    Alex

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      March 18, 2016

      Hi Alex, I talked to a friend of mine, Christine Dulin, who runs Uruguay Autentico tours as she often gives visitors a taste of her mate as she takes them around. She said “Regarding mates, there is a artisan who offers beautiful carved gourds in the ¨artesano¨ part (Gonzalo Ramirez) of the Feria del Parque Rodo…at least he always used to have his post there…I think he also sells in the Mercado de los Artesanos on Plaza Cagancha. He will also carve your name or whatever you want on the gourd.” Her mate (or gourd) gets lots of compliments 🙂 The typical yerba (the tea leaves) that all Uruguayans use is Canarias. All the best — Karen. PS. I have a chapter in The Guru’Guay Guide with tips for unusual presents (it obviously does not include mates 😉

      Reply
      • Alex

        March 20, 2016

        Hi Karen,

        thank you so much for your quick and helpful reply! I really appreciate it :).

        Best regards,
        Alex

        Reply
  23. Glo

    March 16, 2016

    Hi Guru Karen!

    I tried to find a place to send you a private message, but au lieu of that: Do you mind if I post on my website an image of your book and your links to buy it? Also, do you have another image you would prefer for that purpose? 😀 Thank you! LOVE your vibe and your mission.

    Reply
  24. Aydon Charlton

    March 12, 2016

    Guru Karen,

    Your new ebook is a trove of valuable info. Terrific. Thanks.

    My wife and I are in Mendoza at the moment and would like to bring back some wine to Montevideo. Do you know what the limits are for wine that is brought into Uruguay via Buquebus from BA? Does it have to be checked luggage?

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      March 13, 2016

      Hi Aydon, so glad you have found the book so useful! I have never seen any limits being applied to the amount of alcohol you can bring through for personal consumption… You could certainly carry a small box through without checking it I would think. But get it properly wrapped anyway jsut in case. Let me know what happens! And enjoy!

      Reply
      • Aydon Charlton

        March 14, 2016

        Hi Karen,
        All’s well that ends well. We were astonished to learn in Mendoza that each of us could bring 6 bottles of wine as carry-on luggage for the plane back to BA. (I’m not sure if that would have been allowed on a flight to Montevideo, however.) And there was no problem on the Buquebus direct ferry either with the 8 bottles we decided to bring back, a few packed in the checked luggage and a few in carry-on. Quite a contrast to the rules for any domestic carrier in North America.

        Thanks for getting back to me. My wife and I live in Plaza Cagancha and live here from January to the middle of April, when the snow in our home town of Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada) have usually melted entirely. Perhaps our paths will cross in Ciudad Vieja, where I occasionally do some polishing of Jorg Thomsen’s English for the latest displays at the Andes Museum.

        Reply
        • Welshwitch in Uruguay

          March 16, 2016

          Hi Aydon, Jorg has mentioned you guys to me! Very glad to hear the wine got through, and thanks for providing the story wrap for other wine carriers reading here :). Carry on enjoying the wonderful weather right now in the meantime — Karen

          Reply
  25. Sheila

    February 16, 2016

    Great, thanks! Yes, I have been enjoying your blog. We had planned our trip to hit Carnival and return to MVD for semana criolla, we just arrived in Punta del Diablo. The water is blue, hurray!

    Reply
  26. Sheila

    February 6, 2016

    Hello. Do you know if you need advance tickets for rodeo events during Semana Criolla? Thanks!

    Reply
  27. Jenny

    January 18, 2016

    Hi Guruguay!

    Thank you for this wonderful website!
    My friends and I have been in BA since New Years and we’re thinking of doing a brief day stay in Montevideo- the 25th and returning to BA early the 26th. As there are 5 of us, and we know there’s probably something crazy going on for the carnival, I was wondering if you could give us some advice as to where we should stay and where we can experience the carnival in this short period of time.

    Thanks for you help!
    Jenny

    Reply
  28. Dock Ellis

    January 13, 2016

    Hello,
    I’ve been here 4 years, just found your site, and really like the content, style, and especially title; that’s what drew me in. You’ve provided some terrific information and I am grateful. I do some free lance writing as well, have lots of ideas, and can share some of my ‘stuff’, if you’re interested.
    Early January in MVD is tranquilisimo……bula

    Reply
  29. Juan

    January 7, 2016

    Hi Karen!

    I love your site, it’s been very helpful. My wife and I are thinking about heading to the beaches in Uruguay after some trekking in Patagonia. We’d be in Uruguay unfortunately during the high season (around Feb 20 – 26).

    Ideally we’d like some quiet beaches with a more of a relaxed/hippie vibe but don’t think we have the time to go to Punta del Diablo. Sounds like Piriapolis/Punta Colorada or Atlantida would best fit the bill but maybe we should consider some of the Argentinian beaches as well.

    Do you have any thoughts?

    thanks,
    Juan

    Reply
  30. Mark

    December 31, 2015

    Hi Guruguay! My family (my wife and I and our 2 young adult children) are planning to travel from Chile (where we live) to Uruguay for el Desfile de la Llamadas during Carnaval in early February. I´ve read that you can´t buy tickets online for the 2 nights (Feb. 4 and 5) of the Desfiles since they only can sell them in person but that the Museo del Carnaval website sells tour tickets. Question, if we arrive on Wed. Feb. 3, will we be able to get tickets or would it be best to buy them via the Museo del Carnaval site. I know el Desfile is the high point of the Carnaval so I image it is packed thus we want to make sure we can see the different comparsas (drum and dance groups). Any advise?
    Thanks.
    Mark

    Reply
  31. Larry

    December 26, 2015

    Hi Guruguay! Great website you have, really enjoying reading all the information you have posted.
    My wife and I will be visiting Montevideo end of January for 2 nights, we’ll be coming from Buenos Aires, and taking the Ferry there to Montevideo (via Colonia). Do you know if we should buy the Ferry tickets once in Buenos Aires, or can we it beforehand online somewhere?
    Thanks for your help!

    Larry

    Reply
  32. Linda

    December 26, 2015

    Hi Karen,
    What a great site – thankyou for the helpful information!!!
    A question – and maybe too late.
    There are 3 of us here spending time in BA to learn and experience more tango. We would love to attend a milonga or two over the next few days, whilst in Montevideo. What would you suggest?
    Thanks
    Chau
    Linda

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      December 28, 2015

      Hi Linda, great question! I have a chapter on tango in Montevideo and milongas (they are a very different, much more friendly experience especially for beginner and intermediate dancers) in Montevideo, in my book “The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo“. All the best Karen

      Reply
  33. Steve

    November 19, 2015

    Hi Karen
    Planning to visit S America in march 2017 and would love to spend a few days in Montevideo whilst there. Whilst researching the best way to get from BA to Monte’ I came across your article regarding the ferries which was really interesting and helpful.
    I logged on to the relevant sites to get an idea of prices etc and was stunned to see fares of almost $800 quoted. I am assuming that these fares are not in USD (as I first thought ) but in the local Argentinian/Uruguayan peso? As I am also having difficulty translating the pages with google can you please advise which company comes from which country?

    Regards

    Steve

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 19, 2015

      Hi Steve, glad to hear you’ve found Guru’GUAY useful! My guide to Montevideo will be out in December, so in time for your trip 🙂 Don’t be stunned. Yes, you are seeing prices in pesos. Look at the corner of the page to see if the flag is Uruguayan or Argentinian (Argentina has just three stripes, Uruguay several more). Then you will know if you are seeing prices in AR pesos or UY ones. Hope that helps! Karen

      Reply
      • Steve

        November 21, 2015

        Thanks Karen
        That certainly drops the price a bit. It seems better at the moment to book through the Uruguayan site as it seems to work out quite a bit cheaper (around £80 per couple for a return trip) with current exchange rates. Hope they stay that way when its time for me to book. By the way, would you advise booking tickets a few months in advance or just purchase on the day before at the ticket office? Look forward to your guide.

        Regards

        Steve

        Reply
        • Welshwitch in Uruguay

          December 4, 2015

          Hi Steve, my understanding is that non-Uruguayans must use the Argentinian site to book, so don’t count on that discount. I have found there is virtually no difference booking ahead but of course it depends on the category, so if you wait then the cheaper category tickets will be sold out. I look forward to your feedback on my guide when it comes out later this month! All the best Karen

          Reply
  34. Cristina

    November 8, 2015

    Hi Karen,
    We have enjoy reading your web vey much.
    We found here an article about sailing refering to a company called Full Sailing, unfortunatelly we have failed contacting them, phone and mail are not working, any chance you have some updated information about them?
    Thanks a lo

    Cris

    Reply
  35. Michael

    October 12, 2015

    Thank you Karen! I’m looking forward to it

    Mike

    Reply
  36. Michael

    October 10, 2015

    Hi Karen,

    I’m thinking of coming down to Uruguay in early November as there is a great fare. I would only have 7 days total inclusive of flying. I was thinking of flying into Montevideo, staying there a couple of days, then taking a ferry to Buenos Aires and staying another couple of days, and then heading East in Uruguay by ferry before circling back to Montevideo for the flight home. Does this sound feasible? Are there any events in November that would be worth attending? Lastly, I am American but I also have a European passport. Could I avoid Visa charges in Argentina by using it between there and Uruguay?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I came across your site while looking at your guesthouse, there really isn’t that much information available on Uruguay!

    Thanks,
    Mike

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      October 12, 2015

      Hi Michael – let’s see… in November ferries only go to Montevideo and Colonia so you’d need catch a ferry back to Montevideo and then head east by bus or car.

      There are always great musical events on in November which you can find out about when you are here on my Facebook page and also directly with me, as you have booked at our guesthouse (nice job! 🙂 )

      You have to enter Uruguay and leave with the same documentation, so if you want to avoid the reciprocity tax going into Argentina, you’d have to go into Uruguay using your European passport. Looking forward to meeting you in person later in the year! — Karen

      Reply
  37. Judie

    September 26, 2015

    I was thinking about other places in Uruguay. We are not beach people-prefer nature, culture and interacting with local people.

    Reply
  38. Gloria

    September 24, 2015

    Hola Karen,
    We’ll be arriving via air from Santiago on 1Oct and staying at Casa Sarandi! Can you give us some advice on the easiest way to get there from the airport?
    Looking forward to meeting you,
    Gloria

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      September 24, 2015

      Hi Gloria, I’ve sent you an email as I did back in May when you booked. Let me know if you don’t get it. Do check in your spam folder! Best Karen

      Reply
  39. Judie

    September 23, 2015

    You site is excellent. Such great information.We will be in Montevideo for one day next December on a cruise but we would like to return from BA to explore more of Uruguay. We plan to take the ferry on Dec. 20. We were thinking of going to Montevideo again, Colonia, and possibly Carmelo because we were thinking of ending up in Tigre before we fly back to the U.S. I know everything shuts down over Christmas so how do you suggest we plan our itinerary. How would you lay it out. Also, do the ferries run Dec. 24 or 25. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to best use our time and what to see.

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      September 24, 2015

      Hi Judie, so glad you liked the site! It seems like you have 5 or 6 days for Uruguay. Given the places you say you would like to visit I suggest the following. Take the ferry from BA to Colonia. Stay in Colonia overnight. Then come to Montevideo. If you are looking for accommodation and great insider tips so that you get a real experience of the city including all its great music and culture, you might love to stay at my little guesthouse while you are here. Soak up the pre-holidays atmosphere. And then take a bus to Carmelo (buses here are comfortable and have wifi) direct from Montevideo and spend a night or two in a vineyard before catching the ferry back to Tigre. I should imagine that ferries from Carmelo will be running throughout the holidays on a regular schedule as it is high season, just as the ferries between Montevideo and BA run regularly, but the vineyard will undoubtedly be able to confirm that for you. Hope this helps! Karen

      Reply
      • Judie

        September 24, 2015

        Thanks for the helpful response. Is there anything else you would suggest we see becuse we can add days. If I am not mistaken, aren’t most things closed around Christmas. How would that affect us.

        Reply
        • Welshwitch in Uruguay

          September 26, 2015

          Hi Judie, do you mean things to do and see in Montevideo or elsewhere in Uruguay? It would be good to know a bit more about what you like to do when you are on holiday, to be able to advise you best…

          Reply
  40. Rodd

    September 18, 2015

    Well that’s a relief. Thanks for that.

    Reply
  41. Rodd

    September 18, 2015

    I was only just wondering about clothes in Uruguay myself. I read that much like some other parts of South America in uruguay fashion or looking your best is important. I’m use to and much more comfortable getting around in casual clothng. I was interested in knowing what your opinion is on what is the norm and expected when going out to eat etc? Cheers

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      September 18, 2015

      Ha! In that case you will LOVE Uruguay, Rodd, because it is the land of the casually-dressed. Really. Noone dresses up to eat or to go to the theatre. It’s very relaxed. Sometimes I miss a bit of glamour 🙂

      Reply
  42. TJ

    September 15, 2015

    Karen,
    I appreciate all the information you provide. It’s truly a huge help! I am visiting Uruguay for the first time early next year. I have a question about vintage clothing there. From my research (limited and online) I gather that there’s a cultural stigma against wearing “old” clothes in both UY and AR. I’m wondering if there is a ton of vintage clothing in the area languishing away? I’ve read that Uruguayans don’t really have yard sales, but Argentinians do. Can you clarify this? There’s a huge market for vintage clothing, and it’s one business I could possibly, actually do if I relocated to UY. But the stock has to be there.
    Thanks,
    TJ

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      September 18, 2015

      Hi TJ, glad that you’ve enjoyed the info. I’ve talked to a few people (noone who is a clothing expert, just regular people) and our conclusion is that your info is incorrect. Second hand clothing is very much part of Uruguayan clothing choices- in fact it is very expensive (often sold at half the cost of something new) compared to in the UK where I am familiar and there are lots of second hand “boutiques” even in upper-middle class neighbourhoods like Pocitos. I’ve also seen quite a few second-hand sales pages on Facebook, set up as businesses (not just individuals selling their old clothes). Hope this helps — Karen

      Reply
      • TJ

        September 21, 2015

        Yes, that does help. Thank you, Karen. It’s always interesting to find out how information published online compares to the reality of people who actually live in an area.

        Reply
  43. Stuart

    September 1, 2015

    Dear Karen:

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Uruguay in 2016 to have a good look at the place with an eye towards retiring there. Obviously the more information we can garner before arriving the better. I am hoping you might be willing to help us in this regard. Your blog is excellent with a great deal of useful information. However, there are always questions that pop up which are not easy to find answers to and having a contact in country would be immensely helpful. Please reply to my email if you are willing to help us.

    Regards,

    Stuart.

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      September 2, 2015

      Hi Stuart, thank you so much for the kind words. I am so happy that Guru’GUAY is so useful for you. I try my best! 🙂 I am sure I can help you out and will send you an email. All the very best — Karen

      Reply
  44. Karen

    August 20, 2015

    Dear Karen

    I love your site and all the information you have provided on Uruguay.

    I am in the process of booking flights for Easter 2016 and would like to ask about availability at your guest house, and also I wonder if you have any more info on wildlife watching other than birds (and whales since I’m afraid we will be too early for them, although I do love them).

    So, the nights we would be interested in are 19 – 22 March 2016.

    Thank you, Karen (also Welsh :-))

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      August 20, 2015

      Hey, Other Welsh Karen! Small world 🙂 We have availability in Casa Sarandi Guesthouse and would love to have you stay! You can write to us at info@casasarandi.com. It’s also possible to book directly on our website. Whatever works best for you. Regarding wildlife… yes, too early for whales, though they were spotted this year from June. Dolphins will be around I am pretty sure and seals. Let me get back to you after I make some enquiries. Looking forward to meeting! The Other Karen

      Reply
      • Karen

        August 21, 2015

        Thank you so much for replying so quickly 🙂 I am already so excited about visiting Uruguay. From the UK it looks like the best option is to fly directly to Buenos Aires and then take the ferry to Montevideo. If we do that, then I think we will spend 4 days/5 nights in BA. Is there anywhere you recommend to stay? I will write to info@casasarandi.com for bookings in your guesthouse. Just one other question, regarding Easter Friday and Monday (25th and 28th March 2016) is everything closed or will there still be transport such as ferries? Was thinking to take the ferry from BA to Montevideo on 25th and spend five nights at casa sarandi before exploring the Uruguayan coastline. Thank you, from Welsh Karen, number 2 🙂

        Reply
        • Welshwitch in Uruguay

          August 21, 2015

          Hi Welsh Karen Belgium branch 🙂 – I’ve already sent you a mail, but as your questions are really pertinent to lots of other people I will include the main answers here.

          Re flying to Montevideo vs Buenos Aires from the UK: definitely read my article about the best airlines to use to fly Europe to South America. I go to the UK at least once a year and I always use TAM. They fly to Mvd via Sao Paulo and Madrid in just 16 hours total. For people living in South America, 16 hours is a short flight to get to Europe 🙂

          Visiting Uruguay during Easter: Montevideo is going to be REALLY quiet during the Easter holidays (called Tourism Week here – Uruguay has serious separation of church and state). It is Montevideans last blow out before they start to get serious about starting the year (really! I feel a blog post coming on to explain this unique phenomena!) so things get very quiet here.

          So… I might suggest to you to do it the other way around. Fly into Montevideo and see it pre-Easter and then go to Buenos Aires if you particularly wanted to during Easter, when as a big big city there’s still movement. There are still transportation services, in fact this is a peak period for ferries and buses so they will all be working as normal.

          Or just stay in Uruguay for a super relaxing holiday. March-April are the BEST months for Uruguayan beach holidays in my fifteen summers of experience. Wonderful weather still but the lowest prices (Tourism Week aside) and utterly deserted beaches.

          My recommendation for where to stay in Buenos Aires: In BA I love the old-fashioned, uniquely decorated properties offered by my friend Angela at San Telmo Loft. Angela is now a good friend of mine, but I was her client myself first!

          Looking forward to meeting you personally in Casa Sarandi next year! All the best Welsh Karen Uruguay branch

          Reply
  45. Suze

    July 23, 2015

    Karen,
    I would like to email you directly about staying at your place and with a few questions.
    Can I get a way to contact you please?
    Thanks
    Suze
    (New Zealand)

    Reply
  46. Cesar

    July 15, 2015

    Thank you Karen for creating and maintaining such a beautiful and useful website. As my son often says, “Uruguay is one of the world’s best kept little secrets.” You are going to disappoint him by spreading the word 🙂 And as a Uruguayan in the Diaspora myself, I thank you for your work in keeping the spirit of Montevideo alive, while people like me have left to earn a living. Heartfelt thanks !

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      July 15, 2015

      Hi Cesar – I know what your son is saying – and I sometimes have the same misgiving myself! (You can bet I will also be keeping a few secrets to myself 😉 ) Thanks for the praise – when it comes from Uruguayans obviously it is extra special to me. Best, best, Karen

      Reply
  47. Silvia Soler

    July 14, 2015

    Hola, quisiera hacerte una consulta. Soy profesora de Literatura y estoy estudiando inglés. Me gustaría intercambiar tiempos de conversación con alguien de habla inglesa, o más bien enseñanza de inglés por enseñanza de español. ¿Conoces a alguien que le pueda interesar aprender algo de español a cambio de conversar en inglés? Sería simplemente un intercambio. Puede también ser virtual, vía skype.

    Me gustó mucho tu página.

    Muchas gracias.
    Saludos cordiales
    Silvia

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      July 27, 2015

      Hola Silvia, que tal? Discuple la molestia en contestarte pero estuve averiguando sin mucha suerte. Hay espacios donde se junta los anglofonos en Montevideo con uruguayos para poder practicar castellano. Yo sugiero que vayas ahi y si alguien te cae bien, propones un intercambio. Igual, tal vez acá surge una sugerencia alternativa mejor. Saludos! Karen

      Reply
      • Silvia Soler

        August 12, 2015

        Estimada Karen, muchas gracias. Ya hice un contacto. De todas formas, estoy a las órdenes.
        Silvia

        Reply
  48. Sofia Loureiro

    June 17, 2015

    Hola Karen Ann!

    Muchas gracias por difundir nuestra ciudad y nuestro país con datos muy buenos, concretos y sinceros.
    Quisiéramos presentarte nuestra galería de arte, es la más antigua del país y contamos con una trayectoria de más de 30 años en el mercado del arte nacional. Trabajamos obras de más de 200 reconocidos artistas nacionales y nuestro acervo es el mayor del país. Abrimos todo el año y la entrada es libre y gratuita.

    Nuestra galería lleva el nombre de “Portón de San Pedro” porque en la época de la colonia, justamente aquí se encontraba dicho portón de acceso a la ciudad. Nuestro edificio es de 1860 y está apoyada toda su estructura en la vieja muralla que puede verse en nuestra sala de exhibiciones de nuestro subsuelo.

    Quisiéramos que nos conozcas y de ser posible, incluír nuestra actividad cultural a tu estupenda guía on-line.

    Quedamos a tu disposición para lo que necesites.

    Cordiales saludos,

    Sofía Loureiro Rius
    Galería Portón de San Pedro
    Ciudadela 1427/35 CP 11000
    Montevideo – Uruguay
    Tel. (00598) 2 908 12 42
    Fax (00598) 2 200 13 13
    http://www.portondesanpedro.com
    info@portondesanpedro.com

    Reply
  49. Gloria

    May 28, 2015

    Hi Karen,
    I am looking forward to my stay at your Casa on 1 Oct.! I’m prepping for the trip by reading all your wonderful information. One question…My sister and I would like to go to some wineries while we are in Montevideo. Should we book a tour before we arrive? There are a couple we can choose from on the web. Or, should we wait until we are in the city? Also, I know you cannot predict the weather in October, but any suggestions on what clothes we should pack? We will also be spending time in BA and Santiago Chile.

    Love Guruguay! Great suggestions on everything.
    Thank you,
    Gloria

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      July 27, 2015

      Hi Gloria, regarding wine tours, you would probably want to book them beforehand in most cases as just a few vineyards in Uruguay are set up to be able to receive the public at any time of day. Bodega Bouza is one exception (you MUST check out its fabulous restaurant too!) and just a 12 minute ride from downtown Montevideo. So you can do that without reserving in advance and just taking a cab there. See my article Montevideo: 15 minutes away from excellent vineyards for exact details but of course I will give you the full scope when you arrive! Oh, and I just published a new article on the best wines currently in Uruguay according to wine expert Claudio Angelotti. You’ll want to take a look.

      Regarding clothes, October is a great month to visit Uruguay but there can still be cold days. So bring layers, a pair of warm shoes or boots and a hat.

      So sorry I did not see your message before (I have no idea how I missed it!) and looking forward to receiving you personally in October at Casa Sarandi Guesthouse! Best — Karen

      Reply
  50. Rodd

    May 16, 2015

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for the great website! Have you ever thought about working for Lonely Planet etc?..

    I noticed in an article you said that between Christmas and New Years there is almost nothing open in Montevideo. This is when my partner and I will be there. You’ve got me a little worried now as I’ve noticed on websites like Viator there are not many tours to book at that time either. I saw day tours to Colonia and Punta for earlier in the year and was hoping to do those.

    As we are planning on travelling to Montevideo by ferry from BA I’ve noticed you can’t book too far ahead. Nothing for sale beyond September. Is that normal for BA/Montevideo activities?

    Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestion you can give.

    Can’t wait to visit!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      May 25, 2015

      Hi Rodd thanks for writing. It’s actually my frustration with Uruguay’s coverage by the big guidebook companies that got me here 🙂 Yes, many places are closed in Montevideo for the holidays. You should find tours in both Colonia and Punta though – they are towns that are geared up for tourism.

      Advanced planning is not a strong point in this part of the world, so don’t be surprised if you can’t book the ferry more than a few months in advance. But don’t worry, it won’t sell out either unless you really wait till last minute. All the best and have a great time! Karen

      Reply
  51. Denise

    March 25, 2015

    Dear Karen,
    Thanks so much for very quick reply. I’ll let you know what happens at immigration. I will try to follow your suggestions in my lightning tour of Montevideo. Maybe I can squeeze in another hour.
    I’m so glad I found your website.
    Denise

    Reply
  52. Denise

    March 25, 2015

    Last week I took the ferry from BA to Colonia on my way to Punta del Este. On the bus at Colonia going to Montevideo I realized my passport hadn’t been stamped. When entering the immigration area there were two lines and I went directly to the short line that was X-raying lugage. I’m going to return to BA on Saturday. Will I have a problem at customs because I don’t have an entry stamp on my passport? Also, since I extended my stay at Punta del Este from 4 nights to 7 nights I have really cut short my visite to Montevideo. I can take an early bus to Montevideo. I would like to spend about 4 or 5 hours in Montevideo. I love walking. What do you suggest I do?

    Thak you.
    Denise

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      March 25, 2015

      Hi Denise, I don’t think you should worry about the stamp. Immigration in general tries to sort out problems on the spot, and not detain you. The worst you could have is a small fine I would think. Let me know what happens.
      Regarding just 4-5 hours in Montevideo… wohhh that’s so short! Leave your luggage at the bus station (look for signs for “deposito de equipajes”) and then take a bus to the Old City (Ciudad Vieja). Have a walk from the Plaza de Independencia down Sarandi street and have lunch at the Mercado del Puerto. Weekend lunch times are the liveliest. Have a coffee after at the carnival museum practically next door (maybe visit, it is small, and the coffee’s free if you pay the small museum entrance fee). Walk to the Solis Theatre and then down the hill towards the water and have a long walk along the rambla to Parque Rodo. This will take you about 45 minutes by the edge of the water. The park is really nice to look around. By then I think you’re time will be up. Check out my Guru guides for other ideas. Enjoy! Karen

      Reply
  53. Mark Villeneuve

    March 14, 2015

    Great initiative, thank you! Three years here, just got my residency (let’s just say that Uruguayan bureaucrats are thorough), still discovering my new home. You might be interested in my Montevideo B&W photo album on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.423574691011480.87351.100000768596358&type=1&l=508c5937b6). I am in the process of producing an e-book and perhaps a print book after that, as a project to generate funds for charitable causes here in Mvd. One thing that surprised and still charms me here are all the corner whiskey bars. Between tweed jackets, wool sweaters and whiskey, Uruguay has some strong British echoes!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      March 14, 2015

      Mark, congratulations on the absolutely dramatic photos. I LOVE them. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
  54. Robert Wright

    March 13, 2015

    Hi Karen – So glad to see info in English about Montevideo. I lived for 12 years in Buenos Aires & only went there during the last year of my time in Argentina. Absolutely fell in love with it! I went several times because my partner used to work in the Ceibal program, & I spent many days wandering around Montevideo & taking pics. Hopefully you’ll find my take on the city interesting: http://endlessmile.com/category/uruguay/ Abrazo!

    Reply
  55. Rita O'Sullivan

    March 9, 2015

    We are here for three months and we love your suggestions. So far you have been spot on. Am having trouble finding a local message therapist who really is a licensed massage therapist and not something else. Normally, I have a deep tissue massage to keep my aches and pains from getting out of control. Would rather not go the “spa” route as they are usually expensive and the credentials of the folks are not always the best. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      March 9, 2015

      Hi Rita, glad to hear that my suggestions have been “spot on”. I only recommend what I have personally experienced or tried out. I don’t believe that Uruguay has a licencising system – though I may be wrong, but I do have a couple of suggestions of masseuses.

      Elizabeth is based in Pocitos. She is an old hand and really excellent. I visited her for many years on a weekly basis. She doesn’t speak English but attended my dad every time he came to visit from the UK and they understood each other just fine! She attends in her consulting room.

      Sonia is a more gentle masseuse and will come to you. A one and a half hour massage (often going to two hours!) costs just 600 pesos. She speaks some English. I don’t want to put their telephone numbers on the site as it is public so will write to you directly. Look out for my mail. All the best Karen

      Reply
  56. Cathy and Dan Bourdganis

    January 10, 2015

    Hi Karen,
    In regards to your article on VISA rebates of the VAT, you also get 24% rebated on gasoline purchases!

    Reply
  57. Dan

    December 31, 2014

    Hi Karen,
    I was lucky to find you and your site, so much useful information for Uruguay bound people.
    My wife and I are coming your way in February, trying to get ferry tickets for the 3rd.
    I have looked at many sites, but pricing I see for all three companies are much higher than anything suggested on these sites.
    Are we a bit late already? It is more than 30 days before we travel, I haven’t expected this kind of “trouble” so early/
    If so, what would your suggestion be? We have already booked a car and a hotel in Colonia for the 3rd of February, so we are kind of locked in and have to make it there on time – around 5 pm at the latest.
    Going back to BA on the 7th Feb.
    We are spending one night in Montevideo too, tried your guesthouse but it is sold out (and requires 2 days minimum stay).
    Planning on coming back later in a year and stay a month or so, to check out Fall/Winter in Uruguay.

    Your advice/opinion will be greatly appreciated.

    Hope you won’t get “tired” and will keep this great work for many more lucky travelers who find you.

    Dan

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      January 2, 2015

      Hi Dan – your very complimentary message is this site’s 100th! Thanks so much! Regarding ferry pricing, I suspect that you are looking at prices in pesos. If the site URL ends in com.uy or com.ar you are looking at prices in Uruguayan pesos or Argentinian pesos respectively (find out more about exchange rates in both countries here). For February 3 I can see the slow boat one way for 555 Uruguayan pesos (just over 20 USD) and the fast boat for 1065 UY pesos. There does not appear to be any seasonal price hiking.

      So sorry that you did not find availability at my guesthouse! As you mentioned, we do have a two night minimum (there are so many things to do in Montevideo that you need at least four nights anyway, ha! 🙂 ) but we try to be flexible so anyone looking for one night should just contact us and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

      Fall is a great time to visit Montevideo. Have you seen my article about the best time of year to visit Uruguay? Sometimes summer is not actually the best time, if you are coming for more than just the beach.

      I’ve noticed a lot of people booking for the first week of February like you, and maybe finding higher prices and less options. Remember that carnival lasts in Uruguay from late January to early March, so while there is an official carnival week in Uruguay, it’s not necessarily the best time to visit Montevideo for carnival. Other weeks are just as good. Have a great time and hope to receive you next time you come! Many thanks again for such a great 100th message!! – Karen

      Reply
      • Dan

        January 2, 2015

        Hi again Karen,
        Hope you had a wonderful, restful, and safe holiday season, however unusual it is for us “Notherners” to meet a New Year without cold and snow.
        I am glad I was the one to cross the 100th message milestone, but it took another 99 posts to make it happen.

        Reply
  58. Teri

    November 25, 2014

    I have tried to thank you after each of your very helpful answers.
    But when I hit done it tells me I am spam! LOL
    Trying again to say thank you.
    The information is very appreciated as is your time

    Reply
  59. Peter

    November 25, 2014

    Hi Karen – I’m a Canadian travelling in Uruguay and I wanted to say thank you for posting so much detailed, useful information. It was a real challenge to find accurate, up-to-date information in English. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 25, 2014

      Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know, Peter! — Hope you are having an amazing time!!

      Reply
  60. Kathy

    November 24, 2014

    HI

    I am glad I found this site today. I am going to BA to visit my daughter in January who is studying there until April. I am so confused on what and where to go. We have two weeks so we were thinking a week in Uruguay and a week in BA. I thought maybe a day in Colonia, then off to Montevideo for a night. We found this horse place which funny I noticed Lucie contacted you this year small world. We are staying two nights at her place and she recommend a place in La Paloma to be near the beach. My main question is about Punta Este, which you said to stay away. Maybe I’ll take your suggestion and do a day trip instead. My big question is to rent a car or not? We are three travelers, myself, my sister and my daughter. Do you have a opinion on this? If we take the ferry to Colonia then a bus to Montevideo rent a car for the week and go back on bust/ferry option. Any suggestions would be great! Are the buses convenient? Thanks Kathy

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 25, 2014

      Hi Kathy — buses are very good in Uruguay, but they will be packed in January. If you were just going to one beach I would say to take the bus as you can just sit back and relax but as you are going to visit a number of beaches and the countryside, a car is a good idea. I would suggest you pick one up in Montevideo as you mention. Beware that January is the busiest month tourism-wise and it is wise to rent a car in advance. If you are going to stay at Caballos de Luz do check that a regular car can make it there – I understand their road is pretty rought. — Hope this helps! Karen

      Reply
  61. Christine

    November 13, 2014

    Hello,
    We are 2 Canadians in Uruguay right now. We looked at your website a lot for all the tips and advice you provide. Uruguay is a lovely place thus far, and your information in English is much appreciated! You provided the perfect range of topics and information we needed for our trip.

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 13, 2014

      Christine, so NICE to read this! You have made my evening (which was already going very well as we went out to watch the Uruguay v Costa Rica game). While you are here do check out the Guru’guay Facebook page – I post a bunch of tips there for things to do in the evening in Montevideo.

      Reply
  62. Teri Howard

    November 10, 2014

    I am ready to book our ferry trip from montevideo to BA.
    Is there any reason to book first class?
    My only reason would be to expedite the customs process.
    Trying to grab as much time as possible.
    one other question:
    Do you recommend any particular city tour of Montevideo?
    Thank you for all the good info

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 10, 2014

      Hi Teri – I would book first class for the much more comfy seats, the champagne on arrival and the free magazines and newspapers! The city tour I like is Liz Cowley’s Real English Tours. Liz has been living in Montevideo for 30 years. She’ll bring things to life for you. All the best — Karen

      Reply
  63. Mark

    November 9, 2014

    Hey Karen

    Great site! My family and i are travelling around the world and have a few months to spend in South America. We would like to hire a place to chill for a few months (Now till end January) We’ve been recommended punta del este, as the beaches are great. We basically want to spend some time at a place close to a nice beach, with some cool restaurants etc. Could you recommend something?

    Also, as recommended we brought USD to travel with. Is it worth exchanging them in BA on the blue rate, then converting to U. Pesos, as we’ll get 45% more?

    Thanks

    Mark

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 10, 2014

      Hi Mark, whatever you do avoid bringing Argentinian pesos to Uruguay to change. The rates are terrible and you will lose what you gained with the blue rate. For USD dollars you will get very good rates. Great beach with cool restaurants… sounds like you might want Jose Ignacio in Maldonado.

      Reply
  64. Rosie Cavin

    November 7, 2014

    Hi,
    I am so glad I found your information. I have some clients who will be in Argentina in January and I have suggested they take the ferry and stay in Montevideo for a couple of days. I find the ferry info confusing. The direct ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo looks like it costs about $158.00 each way per person via Colonia Express? I would love for them to see Colonia, which I personally like a lot, but don’t think it is a good idea with luggage.
    What are your thoughts?
    Thank you so much
    Rosie

    Reply
  65. will wright

    November 6, 2014

    Thanks for posting all of this fabulous information. I will be traveling to Montevideo in a couple of weeks for a 10 day holiday and I’m just now doing some initial research. Perhaps the Casa Sarandi will be my home away from home.

    -Will W.

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 6, 2014

      Hi Will, thanks! Glad you found the site and that I can be of help planning your trip. You’ll be more than welcome at the Casa! — Karen

      Reply
  66. Teri Howard

    November 3, 2014

    Hi, My son and I are staying in Uruguay for Christmas.
    I was thinking about going from Montevideo to Buenos Aires on Dec 23 for the day.
    Is this even a feasible idea?
    I can’t figure out the prices in US dollars from the buquebus website.
    Thank you Teri

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      November 3, 2014

      Hi Teri – when you ask if going to BA for the day from Montevideo is feasible, I guess you are asking if the time will allow for you to at least have an impression of the city.BA is a huge city and you could be there for weeks. However I did once take my uncle and aunt who had come to visit me in Montevideo for a day trip and while it was a very long day we had a lot of fun and they saw a lot. You can take an early bus/ferry which will get you in before midday. Fortunately the daylight savings will work in your favour, you’ll gain an hour in Buenos Aires. I would suggest you have an itinerary worked out in advance so that you can really take advantage of your time. To save time you will probably want to get around by taxi while you are there (like Uruguay, taxis are cheap in Argentina).

      Regarding prices on the ferry sites, they are given in either Uruguayan or Argentine pesos. Take a look at the flag in the top right hand corner to see which country’s exchange you are being quoted in. My article on boat prices gives you estimated prices in USD. You’ve probably already seen it. I calculated them myself to make it easier for non-locals to get an idea of costs. Have a wonderful stay! — Karen

      Reply
      • Teri

        November 26, 2014

        I actually ended up calling the Burque bus direct, glad I did.
        It seems there is a $165.00 per person ViSA required to enter Argentina!
        Way too much for a day trip

        Reply
        • Teri

          November 26, 2014

          I mean the ferry;)

          Reply
        • Wayne Bernhardson

          April 14, 2016

          For US citizens, Argentina’s so-called “reciprocity fee” is presently suspended. It still applies to Australians and Canadians, but the amount is smaller.

          Reply
  67. Lucie

    July 30, 2014

    Hey Karen,
    wow, you look sooo much like Jill, a friend of mine, that I had to look at you picture for a couple of minutes to be sure that you are not her!!

    So, my name is Lucie, I happen to be a musician myself, not a very professional one, though. Together with my Uruguayan husband Santiago we have a Posada de Campo ecuestre in what we think is one of the most beautiful places in Uruguay, the Sierras of Rocha. Check out our website,www.caballosdeluz.com and come for a visit, of you like, we would like to get to know you.
    We live 5 minutes from the Acoustic cupula where every summer there is a cicle of acoustic music…Uruguay being so small we probably have quite a few musician friends in common!

    Greetings from the Sierras,

    Lucie

    Reply
    • Welshwitch in Uruguay

      July 31, 2014

      Hi Lucie – it is such a coincidence that you have contacted me, as I have read very enthusiastic reviews about the horse-riding holidays you offer, and I was planning to contact you in the next few weeks so that I could write an article for Guru’Guay! The stars have aligned under the Uruguayan night sky 🙂 I will write you an email. Best, best Karen

      Reply

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