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URUGUAY - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Uruguay. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Street crimes such as pickpocketing, armed robbery and muggings are on the rise in the capital city Montevideo, particularly in Puerto de Montevideo (the port area), on 18 de Julio avenue, in the neighbourhoods of Plaza Independencia) and La Ciudad Vieja (the Old City). Avoid the Villa del Cerro (“Cerro”) neighbourhood and be cautious when walking downtown, including in well-travelled areas. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carry only small amounts of cash. Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times and ensure that the original is stored in a safe location.
During the summer (that is, during the Canadian winter), tourist police patrol the following Montevideo neighbourhoods, where most hotels are located: Pocitos, Punta Carretas, El Centro, La Ciudad Vieja, El Cordón and El Parque Rodo. Uruguayan law enforcement authorities have increased the number of uniformed police officers patrolling on foot in areas where criminal activity is concentrated, as well as the number of patrol cars in residential areas. The clearly marked patrol cars are equipped with cellular phones, and the phone numbers are painted on the vehicles.
Petty crime also occurs in towns bordering Brazil.
Demonstrations occur regularly in Montevideo. Avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings and do not attempt to cross roadblocks, even if they appear to be unattended.
Before travelling by road from Uruguay to Argentina, monitor local news reports to confirm that there are no scheduled blockades or demonstrations on the bridges connecting the two countries. Local transportation services are occasionally disrupted by demonstrations.
Exercise caution and common sense when travelling by motor vehicle. The accident rate is high due to several causes: roads are often winding, the terrain is hilly, most intersections do not have stop signs or traffic lights, many cars are poorly maintained and traffic regulations are routinely ignored. It is advisable to buy gas near urban centres because the next station may be a long distance away. The main toll road to Punta del Este is good and well-marked. The use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited.
You should exercise caution when choosing taxis in Montevideo. When possible, select one with three-point seat belts in the back seats or insist on sitting in front along with the driver. Taxis are equipped with a thick glass partition installed to protect drivers against crime. About three injuries a day are reported as people are thrown against the partition when the driver brakes suddenly or is involved in an accident. Injuries can be severe even in minor collisions.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Uruguayan authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Uruguay, which must be valid for the duration of their stay. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Required
Canadians can stay in Uruguay without a tourist or business visa for a period of 90 days. Once in the country, it is possible to ask immigration authorities for an extension; see the Dirección Nacional de Migración (in Spanish only).
Student visas are obtained in Uruguay; however, students must get proof of acceptance from the educational institution before arrival in the country.
When leaving Uruguay, you must pay an airport tax of approximately US$25. This tax is either included in the price of the plane ticket or charged in cash.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Government of Uruguay has legalized marijuana use. Uruguayan citizens and permanent residents can register to purchase marijuana. It is still illegal for tourists and other visitors to buy marijuana.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Imports and exports
Customs authorities may strictly enforce regulations concerning the import or export of items such as precious jewels, gold, firearms, antiquities, medications and business equipment.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Uruguay. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Uruguayan citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Uruguayan passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The currency is the Uruguayan peso (UYU). U.S. dollars can be converted. Major hotels and restaurants accept credit cards.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Droughts and floods occur year round. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 911
- medical assistance: 105
- firefighters: 104
Montevideo - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Montevideo and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
You may make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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