Montevideo

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Montevideo

Montevideo is the pleasant capital city of Uruguay, a country in South America. It is situated on the east bank of the Rio de la Plata.

Contents

Get in

By plane

The Montevideo Carrasco International Airport (IATA: MVD) is about 15km east of the city center. Buses depart right outside the airport to Terminal Tres Cruces, just north of many major sites downtown (easily walkable to hotels). Airport transfer by bus costs about UYU31. The Airport Taxi to the center costs UYU800 or USD40, metered and prepaid prices were about the same (Oct 2010). Payment in USD is possible, but using UYU works out to be about 20% cheaper.

By boat

Another possibility for travelers who are heading to Montevideo from nearby Buenos Aires is to take the high-speed ferry operated by Buquebus [1]. A one-way ticket, tourist class, costs about UYU 940 and takes about 3 hours. There are several boats a day. The ferry arrives in the Ciudad Vieja district of Montevideo, situated very close to downtown - a cab ride to a hotel in El Centro or Pocitos is much shorter and cheaper than from the airport. It is generally faster to clear Uruguayan customs when entering or exiting the country by boat.

By bus

Ferry service to Buenos Aires is also available via the same company Buquebus via Colonia. The ticket can include the bus from Montevideo to Colonia, it is cheaper and about 1 to 2 hours longer than the direct crossing. You can buy a bus ticket, about 188 Uruguyan pesos from the city terminal (Terminal Tres Cruces) to Colonia, 2 to 3 hours, stay a couple of days, highly recommended and then buy a ferry ticket in Colonia to Buenos Aires about 1 hour crossing.

By car

For those leaving from Porto Alegre, Brazil, there are two options: one that enters Uruguay via Chuí and another via Jaguarão. For both, you start by taking the route BR-116 up to Pelotas. Next, if you want to visit Chuí, the southernmost city of Brazil, or the Santa Teresa Fortress or even see the beautiful beaches of the coast of Uruguay, then, at Pelotas, take the route BR-392 to Rio Grande and next the route BR-471 all the way to Chuí. Takes about 6 hours and 30 minutes to go from Porto Alegre to Chuí. On June 6th of 2010 there were 5 tolls between those cities, a total of R$ 34.60 (it's important to note that they only accept Brazilian Real). Around 30 minutes after crossing the border, you can visit the Santa Teresa Fortress. An option is to stay a night at Punta del Diablo, in case you are too tired to keep driving to Montevideo. From Chuí to Montevideo, just stay in route 9. Takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes. Again, there are 3 tolls between Chuí and Montevideo, each cost UYU 45.00. In this case, they do accept foreign money. However, it's strongly recommended that you pay in Uruguay Pesos, as they charge a lot more if you pay in Real or Dolar.

If you want the fastest route to Montevideo (about 2 hours shorter than the first one), you should cross the border at Jaguarão. To reach this city, just stay in route BR-116. After that, take route 8 to Montevideo.

Getting Around

Montevideo is not a large city and it boasts a very efficient public transportation system, so getting around is not difficult at all. If you are not bashful about your Spanish, feel free to ask people which bus route you need to take to get to your destination as it can be effective and cheap. If you know some Spanish, here is a very useful website very similar to GoogleMaps (Montevideo's Public Transportation Route Planning): http://www.montevideo.gub.uy/aplicacion/como-ir

It is useful to know that if you choose to ride a bus, upon boarding you will pay either the driver or the assistant who sits on the right-hand side of the bus (door-side) a few seats from the entrance. There is a small device that will dispense your receipt, make sure you hold on to it for the duration of your ride as sometimes government officials will board your bus checking for these receipts (making sure no one is riding unauthorized). If you are unsure where to get off you can always ask the driver or assistant to let you know when your stop is coming up and they'll be happy to comply. Just try to remain visible so they can tell you (though if the bus gets full and you're displaced to the back they'll yell out the street name). It is also important to note that you do not need to have the exact fare as the driver or the assistant carry change. Of course, expect disgruntlement if you pay with a bill 20 times the fare.

The city's central terminal is called Tres Cruces. Aside from being a full-fledged mall, it sports companies with fully-equipped tour buses that can take you anywhere in Uruguay and even into neighboring countries. We paid UYU179.00 one-way to Colonia, about 2 to 3 hours. Efficient and on time. All destinations, timetables and hours on [www.cot.com.uy]

Taxis are plentiful but not too cheap (gasoline is expensive in Uruguay). It helps to know a little Spanish. A ten-minute cab ride costs about UYU100. Taxis are metered and upon the end of your ride you are shown a chart depicting distance and cost (though on some vehicles this chart will be on the window between you and the driver). Generally there are two fare schedules. The first is for Monday-Saturday from morning to mid-evening. The second fee schedule is for Sundays and late at night, and is slightly more expensive. Tipping is not expected, but you might round up to an even number to be polite. It is also not uncommon to sit on the front.

Car rental is cheaper if booked ahead but be aware that places like the airport and the ferry terminal charge higher rates then the same agencies in other locations around the city. A few phone calls and a cheap taxi ride to a location other than the air or sea ports will save you half the rate for the same car at the same company.

See

Do

BIKE RENTAL - Bicicleteria Sur (Aquiles Lanza 1100 y Durazno) - MOnday to Friday 9 -13:00 and 15-19:00 Saturday 9-13:00 For rentals on Sunday or the price for a day, should do consultations. $20 pesos per hour. Phone: 901 07 92.

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