Safety and security
Most visits to Uruguay are trouble-free but you should be careful of street crime in the capital city, Montevideo. Other parts of Uruguay, including Punta del Este are considered relatively safe, but we still advise you to be alert and take sensible precautions:
Street crime exists in Montevideo, but is usually restricted to handbag snatching and pick-pocketing. Muggings and robberies (occasionally armed) do sometimes occur, but increased police patrols in Montevideo’s port and old town areas have helped reduce street crime.
Car crime is common in Montevideo. Always try to park in a well-lit area, and remember to lock your car and avoid leaving luggage, personal documents and cash in the vehicle.
The standard of roads in Uruguay varies. The main toll road to Punta del Este is good and well marked. Elsewhere many roads are in reasonable condition while some are in poor condition and you will need to take extra care.
Driving standards in Uruguay are not high, relative to Irish standards. Be aware that traffic is disorganised and drivers often change lane and make unexpected turns without indicating. Stop signs, traffic lights and speed limits are frequently ignored.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Take extra care when driving at night
- Use of dipped headlights is mandatory during the day when travelling on major roads outside cities
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:51:34 BST