Living in Uruguay
August 29, 2013 12:40 PM   Subscribe

We are wondering about Uruguay as a destination for living overseas and are curious as to what the living conditions are there.

Areas of interest are--

Real estate in Uruguay-what are the options and price range?
Crime-what is the general sense on how safe is Uruguay?
Convenience-how much of modern convenience (internet, transportation, water/utilities, day to day requirements for living etc.) and comforts are available
Healthcare-quality and costs?

Would love your stories/experiences as well as links related to living in Uruguay. Thank you
posted by ladoo to Travel & Transportation around Uruguay (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Where do you live now? That will color your impressions.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:42 PM on August 29, 2013

We are in the US.
posted by ladoo at 12:43 PM on August 29, 2013

Where in Uruguay?
Montevideo is a major south American city, with low violent crime but plenty of street crime. Also depends on the neighborhood (old town has unfortunately more chances of such low grade criminal activity pickpocket, robbery).

Your quality of life will depend on several factors, most important being how much money you have at your disposal, who you are (race and nationality matters), whether you choose to live life among the locals or among expats).
posted by Kruger5 at 3:54 PM on August 29, 2013

I did some research into Uruguay several years ago. My concerns were: reports that the food was boring; they're dependent on other countries for oil, natural gas, and coal; and rents didn't seem all that cheap (these online classifieds are probably higher than usual because they're online but still). There's very little diversity in the population; there's lots of graffiti, at least in Montevideo; and break-ins are a problem. Uruguay used to have good financial privacy for expats but that has supposedly eroded.

Positives I read were that it's a lot less of an economic roller coaster than Argentina; there's a big middle class; things work better in general than in many places in Latin America; there's less corruption than elsewhere in the region; people are laid back and casual; it ranks pretty well on the Human Wellbeing Index; and the climate is moderate.

You might check the blog Uruguay Living.
posted by ceiba at 5:22 PM on August 29, 2013

I live across the river in Buenos Aires and have only visited Uruguay but here are my impressions.

Uruguay is small. The whole population is only 3 million and half of them live in the capital. So if you live in Montevideo you will have easy access to the campo / beaches and vice versa.

Property will range from the dirt-cheap (by US or European standards) fixer-upper out in the sticks to a modern apartment in Montevideo in the USD200 - 300K range to the $1m+ pied-à-terre out by Punta del Este and San Ignacio.

It's generally safe. Pickpocketing may be a problem but I certainly have never had the impression that anything beyond that is more than an occasional problem.

Day to day stuff will be on the lower to middle range of your current expectations. Your internet will be fine, slow by your standards, but fine for months then it will drop for 4 days and nobody during that time will be able to tell you when it's back. Then one day it'll come back with no explication, apology or promise that it will never happen again. The same can apply for water / gas / electricity. Not common, but it happens.

Bureaucracy is rampant. Expect lots of queues, stamps, photocopies, documents and bewildering decisions. It'll test your patience to breaking point.

It's a very peaceful place and Montevideo has lots of very nice laidback barrios as well as easy access to some of the wildest, emptiest and most beautiful beaches you've ever seen. And when you need some excitement, Buenos Aires is a short boat trip away!
posted by jontyjago at 5:42 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

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