View from Fortaleza General Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay
View from Fortaleza General Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay
View from Fortaleza General Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay

Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Expats, Retirees and Digital Nomads talk about the pros and cons of living in Uruguay

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What are the pros and cons of living in Uruguay?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Uruguay responded:

"This area is sort of a well kept secret. The ex pats that are here like it that way. But I would like more expats to move here, just becuz i think that would increase the availability of what the stores offer. i dont order stuff online, so i am restricted by what the stores have. And the stores here definately do not have the selection that the bigger cities, like Punta del Este and MOntevideo, have. This is the 7th year i have lived here, it hits most of my ""bells and whistles""," said another expat in Minas.

"The air, the ocean, the birds... Uruguay is simply gorgeous. We grow our own veggies, have organic eggs and yogurt delivered, and the daily fish at the port make eating healthy easy. This has been annus horribilis for everyone, but I can't imagine a better place to be than Punta del Este," remarked another expat in Punta del Este.

"In Uruguay, the natural environment remains relatively very clean and intact with diverse wildlife everywhere: I love it! World class beaches, water sports, and infrastructure--especially restaurants--as well as top notch housing and fiber-optic internet round out my lifestyle here. Fresh organic food is easily and cheaply available, along with clean drinking water. Some grocery stores are as good as any I had in San Francisco, although certain brands may not always be available, while other European brands seem more widely available here. Known for their easy-going, chill-nature, Uruguayaos are mostly very well educated but prioritize just-living life and having fun, rather than always working--which some expats from high-stress center countries may well have a hard time getting used to, especially if you bring high expectations or feel entitled to being treated like royalty, as you hire people to do things you want done for you. The attitude towards time among most locals is, well...flexible: few wear watches and when they say they'll come at a specific time, they often mean they'll be leaving wherever they are at to 'come' to meet you when they get there...so if you don't get too fixated on deadlines in general, you'll see them, unless it's raining...in which case they will just assume you already know you won't be seeing them, since it's raining...so communicating that to you is, well...redundant. I find that the locals will work hard when they work, but the day starts relatively late, there's a lot of talking--part of living well, amicably--ends early, and oh yeah, there's a two hour lunch break in the middle of the day..so, en la tarde means sometime after 2pm. Yes, life IS very chill here...if you come, I advise you to leave your high-pressure, high-stress tendencies behind and take your time to learn how lucky you are to be where you are. Expect ready welcoming smiles, patient help with your Spanish, lots of laughter, and more just-living-well than always doing or working. Yes, the localsDO love to laugh, at everything...including at themselves...as well as my Spanish-language travails--Espanol de Rio Platanese is pretty different than West Coast Spanish. All the smiles and laughter is routine and completely fine, unless one takes ones-self too seriously--I just laugh along with them! They also really love dogs, cats, and animals in general and they will oooh and aww at my little dog everywhere I take her. The locals are ALL about family, friends, big gatherings of all ages at home or at the beach, playing games, living the good life, not being in a hurry, yes also doing what's really necessary but not too carefully or quickly...finding the easiest path to get it done--with a band-aid, a rubberband, and bubblegum sometimes--especially during vacation holiday's like Carnival, where the whole country comes to the beach and parties off and on for two months! Generally, the roads and other infrastructure are excellent and work as well as anywhere. So, if easy, safe, natural, wholesome, interesting, fun LIVING is what you're looking for, you'll love this country," explained one expat living in Punta del Este.

"The weather is perfect and it is only 3.5 million people in the whole country which is good. There are plenty of opportunities for everyone. Very little pollution and people are educated and polied," said another expat in living in Montevideo, Uruguay.

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Need health insurance in Uruguay? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What do expats in Uruguay appreciate most about the local culture?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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View from Fortaleza General Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay
William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get a Quote

Living in Uruguay GuideLiving in Uruguay Guide

Many expats who consider living in Uruguay have lived in other South American countries, and then they are exposed to stories of all that it has to offer.

Uruguay Forum Uruguay Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Uruguay.

Best Places to Live in Uruguay Best Places to Live in Uruguay

Expats in Uruguay agree that the best thing about living in Uruguay is the friendly people. In addition to the friendly locals, the weather, beautiful beaches and stable economy make it a great place to live.

Healthcare in UruguayHealthcare in Uruguay

Expats in Uruguay have a variety of healthcare options available to them. Understanding what is available is an important part of preparing to move there.

Moving to UruguayMoving to Uruguay Guide

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Real Estate in UruguayReal Estate in Uruguay

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Uruguay.

Pros Cons of Living in UruguayPros & Cons of Living in Uruguay

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Uruguay.

Retiring in UruguayRetiring in Uruguay

Advice for people retiring in Uruguay.

Contribute to Uruguay Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Uruguay.

10 Tips for Living in Uruguay10 Tips for Living in Uruguay

Uruguay may not be the most popular expat destination, but expats there are probably hoping that the truth about Uruguay's healthy lifestyle, family-oriented culture and beautiful beaches doesn't get out.

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