Expat Exchange recently conducted a survey to explore the "Best Places to Live Abroad in 2020."
When expats in Uruguay rated their "level of satisfaction with the expatriate experience," responses indicated that those who live in the South-American nation are by far more satisfied with their experience than those in other nations throughout the world.
A full 60% of expats in Uruguay reported that they were "extremely satisfied" as expats, while 30% stated that they were "very satisfied." Combined, that 90% who are either extremely or very satisfied rates 16% higher than the international average of 74%. An additional 10% reported that they were "moderately satisfied." No respondents reported that they were either "slightly satisfied" or "not at all satisfied" with their expat experiences in Uruguay.
Here are some thoughts from the expats in Uruguay that responded to the Expat Exchange survey:
An Expat in Punta Del Este, Uruguay Shared (Best Places Survey 2020):
Where I live it is tranquil and clean. Services are readily available, power is stable, you can drink the water, crime is not a major issue. It is very First World with paved roads, lots of street lights, restaurants, shops etc. Miles of uncrowded beaches, a lovely port and harbor if you want a boat. We do not feel like we are lacking for anything. That being said imported items are expensive or not available and the quality is not what you will find in the US or Europe and choices are lacking. We do most of our clothes and gadget shopping when traveling. Smart home devices and such are not really here yet. Amazon isn't here except via a 3rd party in Miami who will reship your purchases for you to here. Alas everything is in Spanish and they speak with a lot of colloquiums and expressions that I never learned. But it is rarely a problem.... We are rather introverted folk who enjoy our time home together so don't mind that the Uruguayans are not too open to strangers. Very friendly just not open to new close relationships.
An Expat in Piriapolis, Uruguay Shared
Given the sparse population, Uruguay has elbow room. The air is usually exceptionally clean as is the water. Oh yes, there is no shortage of water here. Food is far more fresh and local, which we love as we rarely eat out. Piriapolis reminds me of a small beach town in California in the '70s, a bit worn and funky, but with great character. If one requires perfect sidewalks, and no vacant, overgrown lots, this might not be the place. The beach is wonderful. Fiber optic internet has been installed in half the town so far. Piriápolis is also only 45 minute drive from Maldonado/Punta del Este, where most things can be obtained without having to go to Montevideo. We're glad we moved here.
An Expat in an Unspecified Small City in Uruguay Shared (Expat Covid Survey):
Uruguay has taken the virus very seriously. We have had shelter in place orders, and mandatory mask wearing. The older people in the small city I live in are very careful with social distancing, not sharing mate straws, and not greeting by a kiss on the check. The young people are still roaring around town, on motos, no masks, having parties at home, and being wild. I feel MUCH safer here than in the U.S.!
An Expat in Punta Del Este, Uruguay Shared (Expat Covid Report April 2020):
Country is seeing very slow spread of cases but like elsewhere testing is sorely limited. Country moved to isolate quickly and shut down non essential work. Although with the controls in place starting to see some people going back to work if they can do so safely, such as the construction industry which opened this week. People are taking to wearing masks quite quickly in my area, no shortages except for masks and hand sanitizer which sell out but become available again fairly soon after. Zero issues with food or TP from what I have seen.
A U.S. Expat From California Recently Shared on Our Uruguay Forum
We are at the 4 year mark and are loving it, challenges and all. The degradation of our homeland over these years has reinforced our choice to move here. The pandemic has messed up travel to visit friends and family as well as their trips to Uruguay. It is this particular isolation that makes me realize just how far away we are. When we moved here we always assumed that we were only 24hrs away from California, now it is a universe away. We did sell the house and move everything South, with no intention of returning. We had done our research and month long "test" trips so made the move with confidence and dogs in tow. As with others, we would like to be able to visit the US and we are glad to be on this end of the planet, not the other.