Uruguay - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs 

Business dress and appearance, as well as one’s general approach to business relations, should be conservative.  Many businesspeople orient themselves more towards European markets and may be less enthusiastic to engage with U.S. companies.  Many Uruguayans, however, are positively disposed towards the United States and they value its high-quality products.  An advance appointment for a business visit is usually necessary and considered a customary courtesy.  Punctuality is generally observed in business settings and business is discussed after social niceties.  Business breakfasts, cocktails, and lunches are common.  Dinners are common for closing a business agreement. 

Travel Advisory 

Uruguayan borders are open for international visitors.  Since February 2023, testing and vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required to enter the country.  All international travelers must have health insurance.  Travel circumstances and requirements may change so please check the Embassy website prior to making travel arrangements to ensure a smooth arrival into Uruguay. 

For general travel advisories, please check: 

The State Department travel website 

Visa Requirements 

U.S. citizens need a valid American passport, but Uruguay does not require visas for temporary visits of less than 90 days for holders of tourist passports.  Those traveling on diplomatic or official passports must have a valid visa in addition to the passport.  Business and tourist stays are limited to 90 days and may be extended for an additional 90 days.  

Visa applicants should visit the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay


Uruguay’s local currency is the Uruguayan peso; as of May 2023, it traded at approximately 38 pesos to the U.S. dollar.  Purchases of large items such as real estate and automobiles are always quoted in dollars, as are appliances and many types of household goods and services.

Most shops and restaurants accept credit and debit cards. Credit and debit card payments for certain tourist services, such as restaurants, or car rentals, receive a 9 percent reduction in the 22 percent value-added-tax.  Other kinds of credit card payments receive a 2 percent reduction of the value-added-tax.  Argentine and Brazilian currency is accepted mainly in border towns. Uruguay maintains a long tradition of not restricting the purchase of foreign currency or the remittance of profits abroad.  Since 2002, the peso has floated freely, albeit with periodic intervention from the Central Bank aimed to reduce volatility against the dollar.  Foreign exchange can be readily obtained at market rates and there is no foreign currency black market.  Most U.S. ATM networks are easily accessible and will provide U.S. dollars or local currency.  Traveler’s checks are not common. 


Uruguay has a fixed line telephone density of almost 80 percent, one of the highest in Latin America.  However, mobile communications are rapidly replacing fixed line communications.  Telephony is fully digitalized and only state-owned ANTEL can provide basic telephony, although eight other companies compete with ANTEL for international calls.  There are three cellular providers with GSM/GPRS, TDMA, and/or CDMA services.  The state-owned company ANTEL has 57 percent of the mobile contracts followed by Movistar 26 percent and Claro 17 percent.  Uruguay has some of the highest internet speeds in Latin America due to its widely spread fiber optic networks.  In March 2023 it reported a median download speed of fixed internet connection of 118.06 Mbps., increasing 60 percent on the previous year.  Regarding mobile internet service, the median download speed is 38.64 Mbps, 29 percent higher than in 2022.  Wi-Fi internet connection is accessible for free in major hotels, airports, cyber-cafes, shopping centers, and some public parks.  


American Airlines is the only U.S. carrier with direct non-stop flights between Montevideo and Miami, but it operates seasonally, between December and March.  United Airlines services Montevideo daily with “codeshare” flights on Copa Airlines via Panama.  Delta bought a 20 percent LATAM stake in October 2019 and now connects Uruguay and the United States via Santiago or Sao Paulo.  Internal transportation is mainly done by car or bus.  Within Montevideo, bus and taxi services are extensive, safe, and inexpensive.  Uber and Cabify are widely used in Montevideo and are regulated by government. 

Car sharing is available in Uruguay, but it has not been extensively used.    In 2022, the app Viatik was launched to allow drivers to split costs by sharing rides.


Spanish is the official language.  Although many in the business community speak English or other languages, interpreters are commonly used during business meetings or meeting with governmental entities.  English is spoken by 56 percent of the population, followed by Portuguese, which is spoken by around 30 percent of the population.


Uruguay experienced one of its worst droughts in its history between 2022 and 2023.  To keep water running, the Government of Uruguay and OSE (the public company in charge of the water in Uruguay) decided to mix brackish water from additional rivers with water reserves.  This substantially increased the level of sodium and chloride in the water.  While the water emergency officially ended in August 2023, bottled water is recommended for personal consumption. 

For current health advisory updates, please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Local Time, Business Hours, and Holidays 

Uruguay observes standard time (GMT-3).  Uruguay does not observe daylight saving time. 

Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.  to 6:00 p.m.  Banks are usually open from 1:00 p.m.  to 5:00 p.m.  Stores are generally open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.  to 1:00 p.m.  Shopping centers open daily from 10:00 a.m.  to 10:00 p.m. 

Local Holidays for Calendar Year 2023 

Jan.  1                   New Year’s Day

Jan.  6                   Three King’s Day 

Feb.  20 and 21    Carnival (40 days before the beginning of Tourism Week) 

Apr.  2– 9             Tourism Week (dates vary from year to year)  

Apr.  17                Landing of the 33 Orientals

May 1                   Labor Day 

May 22                 Battle of Las Piedras 

June 19                José Gervasio Artigas’ Birth 

July 18                  Constitution Day 

Aug.  25                Independence Day 

Oct.  16                Day of the Races 

Nov.  2                  All Souls Day 

Dec.  25                Christmas Day 

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings 

There are no restrictions on the temporary entry of business-related equipment such as laptops.  Refundable deposits on some equipment may be required and are payable at the point of entry.