Winter in Uruguay – sunny and 60° F out

The temperatures for winter in Uruguay (June-August) may look balmy. But you may be in for an unpleasant surprise if you don't do your research. Start here.
By Karen A Higgs
Winter in Plaza Matriz, Montevideo, Uruguay
Last updated on June 21, 2022

With daily averages of 60° F (15° C) during the day and rarely going below zero at night in the city, winter in Uruguay sounds wonderfully mild, right? So why am I f-f-f-freezing?

Over a decade living here tells me that this is down to visitors from the Northern Hemisphere looking at the temperatures for June to August (winter in the Southern Hemisphere) and not preparing for coastal Uruguay’s bone-penetrating humidity (read damp).

They see 15° C and think.. sandals!

Why does it feel colder than you’d expect?

Jules Verne was reporting on the wicked Pampero wind back in 1868. It’s a polar front from the South Atlantic which affects Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil in the South’s winter months.

In Uruguay we mostly feel its effects on the temperature more than the wind itself. It feels so damp because of our proximity to the vast River Plate and the Atlantic Ocean.

Winter in Uruguay: 6-7 hours of sun daily

The days may feel cold but they are usually gorgeously sunny. Even during the coldest months of July and August, the average sunlight hours are typically 6-7 hours a day. It’s rare to have rain for more than a few days in a row.

There are frequent Indian summers when we are thrown back into a mini-summer period for three or four days and everyone gets their t-shirts out again. And sun-traps are easy to find.

What to wear in winter in Uruguay

These are the Guru’s essential tips to dressing to enjoy winter in Uruguay. Take them to heart and avoid the sniffles.

  1. Layers, layer, layers – the sun comes out, you boil, the sun goes in, you are suddenly freezing again. Choose several layers instead of one thick one. If you wear one thick one, when the sun comes out you boil. And then you will end up taking that off and you catch a cold.
  2. Warm footwear, especially boots, and gloves. You will not regret this.
  3. Hats and wind-breakers – combat that wicked Pampero should it blow.

And don’t forget to buy yourself a pure Uruguayan wool cape. Just for good measure.

*The winter in the Southern Hemisphere is June, July and August.

More winter tips

Photos: Guru’Guay

[Article first published: Jun 9, 2014. Lots of people read it, so we keep it as up to date as possible]




9 Responses

  1. I don’t know if you’ll respond since this is kind of an old post, but my wife and I were contemplating checking out Uruguay as a potential place to retire. We currently live on a small island off the Gulf Coast of Florida. We generally like to check out places during their off season, both to avoid the crowds and to see a place at its “worst.” We won’t mind if the beaches are “lonely” but will we have trouble finding places to stay and to eat if we come in August?

    1. Hi Timm, I absolutely agree with you about seeing a place at its “worst”. Good plan. You won’t have trouble finding places to stay. Places to eat depends on which beach you’re going to visit. For instance, beaches in Maldonado nowadays have more and more people coming to live and more and more restaurants staying open all over the winter. Hope this helps! — Karen PS Did you see that you can have a consultation to prep your trip to be able to get the most of it? Here’s the link if you’re interested.

  2. Y si, si la temperatura “promedio” del invierno en Montevideo y en la zona sur del Uruguay fueran 15°C seria templado el invierno pero no es asi,

    La temperatura promedio del ,invierno es de aprox; 11°C.
    11,1°C en junio
    10,9°C en julio
    11,7°C en agosto.

    Aprox 15°C son las maximas, pero podemos tener una semana sin que las temperaturas alcancen o superen los 10°C durante alguna ola de frio, y siempre ocurrren varias veces.
    O sea , no vas a tener maximas de 15°C todos los dias, muchas veces pueden ser mucho mas bajas.

    Tambien es habitual que tengamos varios dias seguidos en que las temperaturas minimas ronden o desciendan de 0°C.

    De hecho si no nieva en Montevideo,(en realidad si lo hace por lo general en forma de agua nieve en la costa y nieve en las sierras de zonas y Maldonado), es mas por la humedad (que obliga a que disminuya la temperatura mucho para que precipiten copos); que por falta de temperaturas cercanas a cero grados (2°C a nivel del piso es una temperatura ideal para ese tipo de precipitacion, pero tiene que estar seco al precipitar; algo rarisimo aqui).

    Y hay otro factor importante la radiacion solar que por la latitud donde se encuentra Montevideo , la misma de Tokio o Washington D.C. en invierno es muy baja aunque haya sol y temperaturas no tan bajas.

  3. Madame Guru.

    I greatly enjoy your treasure trove of info. My first trip to Montevideo was in 1988. In those days you could do a city tour by bus that included the fort on the hill in the Cerro barrio. Is that a no go zone now? I was in town last July. I flew into Cordoba and flew out of MVD. Shout out to EGA for the service between the two places. Also spent a few day in Mina Clavero. I have over the past 33 years been to Uruguay about or 8 times. Driven over most of it. My info now is dated….

    1. Hi Richard, people still go to El Cerro to see the fort, and in fact you can see that my husband took The Vacation Rental Show’s Matt Landau to see a match there! All the best, Karen (AKA Madame Guru)

  4. Thanks so much. The most helpful and interesting information about winter climate.
    Any recommendations or referrals for rentals for one month (mid-June to mid-July) for one person (adult).?

  5. Great blog. Congratulations! You are providing good and reliable information over Uruguay. I read your articles and I am proud you have adopted this country. People like you have a good nature and that is already a lot.

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