Often overlooked between its bigger neighbours of Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay offers great beaches in Punta del Este and Punta del Diablo to charming colonial towns of Colonia del Sacramento. The country might not have big name sights and attractions but is more known for its good vibes and high quality of life (for South America). They have liberal policies as they are the first South American country to legalize gay marriage and the first country in the world to legalize weed (not for tourists, sorry!). In this post I show my budget breakdown of my 5 Days travelling in Uruguay.
When I was there in March 2019, the exchange of the Brazilian Peso (UYU) to the Canadian Dollar (CAD) was 24.7 UYU to $1 CAD.
Another British Airways Avios redeption! My LATAM flight came from Sao Paulo to Montevideo for 7,500 Avios points and $39.89 CAD in taxes and fees.
Food & Drinks
I found eating out in Uruguay to be pretty pricey. This lead me like many other backpackers to cook for themselves in an effort to save money. I cooked pasta for the first time in years and I forgot how much food pasta can give you. I was able to make 4 meals out of half a bag of pasta. The rest of the uncooked pasta, I gave to my host. For my other meals, I ate out and here is what I got during my 5 days travelling in Uruguay.
- Uruguay’s national dish, Chivito. It consists of a thin slice of tender cooked beef steak, topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and may also include bacon, fried eggs and ham, served as a sandwich in a bun. 220 UYU ($8.89 CAD)
- Chivito al plato for two. Instead of a sandwich, it can also be served as a platter served with french fries and a salad. 420 UYU ($16.98 CAD)
- McDonald’s Chimichurri Burger. It’s a normal burger topped with chimichurri, a sauce that has chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar. It goes great with any grilled meat. 69 UYU ($2.79 CAD)
- Dulce de leche McFlurry. For those that do not know dulce de leche, its a sauce made by heating sweetened milk. It’s texture and taste is similar to caramel, but in my opinion is WAY BETTER! 99 UYU ($4 CAD)
- Alfajor. Two round cookies with different sweet fillings between them, which is usually dulce de leche. They are covered with powder sugar (the traditional ones), glazed sugar or chocolate. 12 UYU ($0.49 CAD)
Being one of the smallest countries in South America, getting around is easy and quick. Buses are the main way of getting from cities to cities and they are frequent, safe, comfortable. My one bus journey was a 3 hour bus from Montevideo to Colonia del Sacramento for 407 UYU ($16.45 CAD).
Having only stayed in two places, I can’t really comment much on the accommodation in the country. Like the rest of the prices in Uruguay, accommodation is also expensive for South America. Here are the places I stayed, and my two cents.
Montevideo: Airbnb for 4 nights at $24.23 CAD per night
I decided to book an Airbnb in Montevideo as it was only a bit more compared to the hostels in the city. I would get a private room along with access to a kitchen and laundry facilities. It was located a 15 minute walk from the main plaza and had grocery stores and restaurants in the surrounding area. The host, Enrique, was awesome! He lent me his laptop charger when mine broke suddenly. He even picked me up at the airport. What a check in process!
Colonia del Sacramento: El Viajero Colonia Hostel & Suites for 1 night at 460 UYU ($18.59 CAD)
This hostel is just a couple of minutes walk away from the old town, the bus station and the ferry terminal. They have great buffet breakfast with fresh juices, bread and jams. The beds are comfy and they have a nice courtyard with lots of chill out spaces.
I spent most of time in Uruguay walking around the streets of Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento. There was not really any must do activities in either cities. It shows in my budget as this is the least I have spent on activities within a country. I decided to skip out on popular beach towns such as Punta del Este and Punta del Diablo as I had enough beaches during my time in Brazil. You can find more things to do in these places. Here is the short list of what I did in Uruguay.
- Explore the city of Montevideo and learn about its history and quick with Free Walking Tour Montevideo. Tip at your discretion!
- Explore the old colonial buildings and cobbled streets of Colonia
del Sacramento which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. FREE
- Check out the views of Colonia del Sacramento from its historic lighthouse 30 UYU ($1.21 CAD)
Because I was only spending 5 Days travelling in Uruguay, I did not spend anything in this category.
- No Visa needed for visitors coming in from Canada and most other Western countries. Visitors can also stay within the country for up to 90 days.
- I did not get a sim card for a data plan as I was only in the country for 5 days.
- No ATM fees, as I had leftover Brazilian Reals, and decided to exchange it to Uruguayan Pesos. I also found that credit cards were widely accepted in the country in exception to some smaller food stalls and city buses.
The Sum of 5 Days Travelling In Uruguay
In the span of 5 days in Uruguay, I spent $249.17 CAD which came to $49.89 per day. Don’t be fooled by these numbers as I was able to save a lot by cooking a lot of my meals, and not have any expensive activities. With more “travel” expenses such as eating out and activities, your travel budget can increase quite a lot as Uruguay is one of the most expensive countries in South America.