When is the best time to visit Uruguay?

Avoid high season prices and crowded beaches. See Montevideo at its liveliest. Don't miss carnival. So when is the best time to visit Uruguay?
By Karen A Higgs
Last updated on February 24, 2022

Did you know that the water is warmest in April when it’s the cheapest time to stay at the beach too? High season is January and February but as you will see that is not necessarily the best time to visit Uruguay…

Uruguay is a temperate country. Not tropical

There are four seasons. The summer includes December to February and the winter includes June, July and August.

In the summer, the temperature is mostly around the high 20s to early 30s. Temperatures can hit 36 C but that is rare, and typically happens around New Year when I always find myself asking why we didn’t buy that AC unit before the holidays kicked in.

Some like it hot

Summer this far south is December, January and February. Beware though, in high season, the place fills with Argentinians and Brazilians and hotel and rental prices go through the roof.

For deserted stretches of beach the secret is to come in December before Christmas Eve or any time in March. Mid October, November and the first half April can also be warm enough for the beach

Carnival –which typically starts at the end of January– lasts 40 nights and is usually still on in March in Montevideo. A big bonus.

Or even as late as early April. Shhh… The ocean is warmest in April, having been warmed all through the summer. The weather can be gorgeous. I started writing this article on April 3 and I was dressed in flipflops and a strappy top and it was 28 degrees C out (that’s 82 F).

There can also be occasional periods of rain and cloud at any point during the summer which may last up to four days. But then the sun will come out, dry up everything and you’ll be glad you had a chance to catch up on your reading.

So you like it hot and glitzy?

You may have heard all about Punta del Este, the French Riviera of the South, stomping ground of Frank Sinatra and his 50s Rat Pack and last year host to Mark Zuckberg and Paris Hilton.

If you like the glitzy scene then “Punta” in January will be your bag. Be prepared to pay top dollar for everything – accommodation, car hire, ice-cream.

Punta del Este, a hotbed of glitz and glamour in high season, has a particular charm off-season.

Off-season Uruguay

It’s hard to predict the weather but off-season is a great time to visit Uruguay.

Autumn (March-May) and Spring (September-November) are particularly lovely times weather-wise. Days are mild, around 20 degrees and there are frequent Indian summers.

Nights can be chilly from March on so bring layers. In fact, always plan to bring layers regardless of the season.

Winter in Uruguay

Winter temperature average 15 C during the day and rarely goes below zero at night in the city. Sounds wonderfully mild, right? But it might not be quite what you expect. Read on for the truth about Uruguay in winter.

When is the best time to visit Montevideo?

All year round. Montevideo, despite its small size for a capital city, has tens of cultural events on every week, many of them free of charge.

Montevideans take their public holidays seriously. For instance between Christmas and the New Year, almost everything is closed. If you are in Montevideo then, plan to go the beach (there are ten beaches in the capital), walk or cycle the wonderful 25 kilometres of unbroken rambla (promenade) and make day trips. January, especially the first two weeks, is also very quiet. Enjoy the peace.

Then at the end of January, Carnival starts, and we are on again!

best time to visit Uruguay

[Article first published: Apr 29, 2019. Lots of people read it, so we keep it as up to date as possible]

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22 Responses

  1. Hello
    We would like to visit Uruguay early March 2020 from 7th – 21st. We are coming from the U.K.
    We wondered if this was a good time , can you tell us what the weather is typically like?
    We would also like to know where to visit and how long we would need in one area?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Denise, the weather is lovely in March – warm but not too hot, breezy in the evenings. Here’s a short video about how long to spend where in Uruguay which is at the top of our ‘Where to stay‘ page.

      I’d definitely recommend you invest in our two guidebooks – The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo which just came out for the second time last month and The Guru’Guay Guide to Uruguay which covers beaches, ranches and wine country. Readers tell us they make planning your stay really easy. Hope that helps! All the best, Karen

  2. Hi- My family and I are planning to come mid March and travel to Argentina also. Any suggestions on route? Fly into Montevideo for Bueno Aris fist and cross to Colonia? any suggestions?

    1. Hi Joe, it really depends on your preferences for travel and sightseeing. It works to fly into either Montevideo or Buenos Aires, if you are planning to visit both countries. If you are only visiting Uruguay then definitely flying into Montevideo is much more convenient. Do check my article on getting to Montevideo from Buenos Aires to see the different options. And don’t forget to check out great recommendations of where to stay while you are here. Best, Karen

  3. I’ve been researching non-stop, not knowing about this blog until today and you have already answered many of the questions I have.

    Planning a trip in mid-March, but may push that back to April now for the warmer waters. Thank You!

    1. Hi Stephen, that’s so wonderful to hear! How did you find out about us? Btw, if you find the site useful, you’ll love our guidebooks even more! They make planning your stay so, so easy. Links in the footer. You may also want to sign up for our newsletter, we write just month a month and include all our latest posts and top picks in one mail. All the best, Karen

      1. Thank you Karen!

        I found out about the site while reviewing lots of websites and message boards about when best to travel to Uruguay, and how best to add to an itinerary of travel via Argentina.
        Someone had a link added their post on the Trip Advisor chat about best times to visit Uruguay.

        Currently looking to travel Mid-Late March and visit:
        Buenos Aires
        Iguazu Falls
        Mendoza
        Montevideo – with stops in both La Pedrera and Jose Ignacio

        Thoughts on this route?

        Signed up for the Newsletter and Guidebooks are in my Amazon queue as we speak.

        1. Sounds excellent! How much time are you planning to take for Montevideo and the beaches in Uruguay? You’ve probably seen it already, but in case you haven’t do check out my video on how long to stay in Uruguay on the “Where to stay” page. You’ll also find some great options for accommodation–including my own guesthouse.

          1. Amount of days in Uruguay are “fluid” as the more I research, the more days I want to add.
            Currently I am looking at 3-4 days, as this would be the end of the trip and looking to relax and rest more before the travel back home (California).
            Planning on perhaps an overnight in Montevideo then travel to the beach destinations with either an overnight in each stop, or pick one spot to stay for a few nights and day trip the beaches.

            The Where to Stay page has been very helpful and provided a few recommendations that I had not seen before. Looks like there is availability for my potential dates at Casa Sarandi and I love the view from the Mascara Room balcony!
            I have not booked travel yet, but currently planning on the last two weeks of March 2020 for the trip. Once travel has been booked I’ll start to narrow down my choices for where to make reservations.

      2. Hi Karen , we will be Argentina from March 17- April 12 thinking of spending the last 5 nights of the trip 5-10 April in Uruguay, would you recommend this time of year – also your blog is great !

        1. Hi Colm, yes, April is a lovely time of year. Autumn. You’ll enjoy it. Thanks for the kudos on the blog! — Karen

  4. I am thinking about coming Dec 25th – Jan 2nd. Has the attitude about everything being closed changed? Is there things to do? Are museums open? I want to explore the country. Please let me know. What a great website. Thank you.

    1. Hi Patrick, Montevideo is getting better, especially for good restaurant options but it’s still extremely quiet over that holiday period. There’s definitely still stuff to do though. You can walk the rambla, visit the beaches, go to a carnival rehearsal. It’s also a great time to visit wine country or an estancia. Of course it is the busiest (and most expensive) few days at the beaches.
      So glad you are liking the website! If you like it you will love our guidebooks which have more information and are organised to make your trip planning super stressfree! All the best, Karen

  5. Exceptional website for potential tourist, thank you!
    I want to take tango lessons in Uruguay, any recommendations?
    I was in Bueno Aires few years back and want a change of scenery.
    How’s the currency (peso) doing there compare to Argentina?

    1. Hi Sam, thanks for the compliment! Uruguay is a GREAT place to take tango lessons, especially for beginners and intermediate dancers, because the scene is small and friendly. You can take classes any day of the week. Check out my article on tango milongas and where to go dancing. The Guru’Guay Guide has even more information. You can buy it for your tablet for just 10 bucks. Or from Amazon for a paper copy.

      Argentina and Uruguay are two completely different countries, so you can check the rates for Uruguayan pesos on a good exchange site like xe.com. All the best — Karen

  6. This website is incredible – thank you so much! We are leaving on the 9th October for our holiday to Argentina and Uruguay. We heard this is a great time to visit – just warming up I believe and not too crazy before the real summer madness begins!

    First stop BA, then Iguazu before we head across the water to Colonia del Sacremento and then to Montevideo. We are so excited and I can’t wait to come to Uruguay.

    This site has been brilliant with so much useful information about all aspects – better than any travel guide I have come across! Your passion for the country is certainly evident!

    Many thanks

    Jamie

  7. Thank you for your blog. You have provided great information to consider as we plan our vaca. I was hoping you could help me with a weather question. We are coming to S. America at the end of November, first stopping in BA before heading to Uruguay. I am wondering if it will be warm enough at the end of November to visit one of your beaches? Thank you.

    MK

    1. Hi Matthew, November is a GREAT time to visit! I went on holiday myself in late November a couple of years ago and we had really terrific sunny weather. And prices for rentals are soooo much cheaper than a month later. Glad you are finding the blog useful! All the best Karen

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