Uruguayan Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in larger towns using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also many banks and exchange houses where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling frequently poor. Considering using your credit card to pay for restaurant bills to benefit from partial VAT rebates available to overseas tourists (currently 10.5% from Nov 2017 - Apr 2018).
When to go
Uruguay is an all-year destination, but probably best enjoyed in summer (Nov-Feb). The weather is mild all the year around. Temperatures range from 10-16oC in the southern hemisphere winter, while in the summer they hover in the mid-20s. Wet and windy conditions outside high summer are not unheard of, and can make it feel very chilly. Rainfall is moderate and varies little over the year, apart from Jul-Aug when there are prolonged wet periods.
GMT -3 hours. Usually daylight saving is observed in the summer (GMT -2 hours), from Sep/Oct to early Mar. The date is set by presidential decree.
Average flight time to Montevideo is 17.5 hours. There are no direct flights from the UK. Some routes involve a change of ‘plane in Brazil, Europe or the USA.
Argentina, accessing Buenos Aires from Montevideo by air (50mins), road (8 hours) or ferry (3 hours), there’s a ferry from Colonia to Buenos Aires (45mins); Iguazú Falls, Brazil, 3 hours by air.
Carnival; 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable. Live bands, costume parades and general frivolity in towns and cities, especially Montevideo. In the Barrio Sur, where the black Afro-Uruguayan population lives, there are condomblé ceremonies (traditional religious rituals from Africa).