SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

CRIME

Street crime such as pickpocketing, armed robbery and muggings occur in the capital city, Montevideo, particularly:

  • 18 de Julio avenue
  • La Ciudad Vieja (the Old City)
  • Plaza Independencia)
  • Puerto de Montevideo (the port area)

Criminals may be on foot or on motorcycle.

Thieves will snatch and grab from and break into vehicles while driving. Be sure to keep bags and valuables out of sight in your vehicle.

  • Avoid Montevideo’s Villa del Cerro neighbourhood
  • Be cautious when walking downtown, including in well-travelled areas
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence
  • Carry only small amounts of cash
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times and ensure that the original is stored in a safe location

During the summer (Canadian winter) months, the tourist police patrols the following Montevideo neighbourhoods, where most hotels are located:

  • El Centro
  • La Ciudad Vieja
  • El Cordón and El Parque Rodo
  • Pocitos, Punta Carretas

There is an increased presence of uniformed police officers on foot in areas where criminal activity is concentrated. Authorities have also increased the number of patrol cars in residential areas. The clearly marked patrol cars are equipped with cellular phones, and the phone numbers are painted on the vehicles.

Petty crime also occurs in towns bordering Brazil.

ATMS

Several ATM explosions have taken place since the beginning of 2018. They occurred mainly in Montevideo and Canelones, but other cities have also been affected.

  • Be particularly cautious when using ATMs
  • Use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business

DEMONSTRATIONS

Demonstrations occur regularly in Montevideo.

Before travelling by road from Uruguay to Argentina, monitor local news reports to confirm that there are no scheduled blockades or demonstrations on the bridges connecting the two countries. Demonstrations occasionally disrupt local transportation services.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

ROAD SAFETY

Exercise caution and common sense when travelling by motor vehicle.

The accident rate is high due to several causes:

  • roads are often winding
  • the terrain is hilly
  • most intersections do not have stop signs or traffic lights
  • many cars are poorly maintained
  • traffic regulations are routinely ignored

Buy gas near cities because the next station may be far away.

The main toll road to Punta del Este is in good condition and well-marked.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Exercise caution when choosing taxis in Montevideo. When possible, select one with three-point seat belts in the back seats or insist on sitting in front next to the driver. Taxis are equipped with a thick glass partition installed to protect drivers against crime. About three injuries a day occur as people are thrown against the partition when the driver brakes suddenly or is involved in an accident. Injuries can be severe even in minor collisions.

AIR TRAVEL

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines