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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Uruguay in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Uruguay in 2024

What's the best time to visit Uruguay?

The best time to visit Uruguay is in the summer months, from December to March, offering ideal weather for beach outings and cultural events like the lively Carnival and the spiritual Iemanja celebration. Despite year-round humidity and rain, this season allows for immersive experiences, such as homestays with gauchos and exploring secluded areas for a closer look at Uruguay’s traditions and natural allure.

The South American country of Uruguay has a lot to offer visitors, so much so that it’s difficult to sum up in just one article.

Most visitors to Uruguay stop in Montevideo, the capital, where you can see historic sites like the first World Cup soccer stadium in history, explore the museums, and check out the forward-thinking city.

The country also boasts historic small towns, like the UNESCO-protected historic center of Colonia del Sacramento. Uruguay may be smaller than many of its neighbors, but its nature is no less spectacular, from the beaches of Punta del Este to the stark landscapes of the pampas grasslands.

If you want to visit this off-the-beaten-path destination, make sure you do so at a time when you can see it at its best. We’ll show you this and more below.

The Overall Best Time to Visit Uruguay

Colorful fruits and vegetables in a street market in Uruguay


The best time to visit Uruguay is during the country’s summer, which lasts from December to March, when you can experience the best weather. Uruguay’s climate is temperate to subtropical and has four distinct seasons, according to World Bank climate data.

Keep in mind that Uruguay is in the Southern Hemisphere, so its summer occurs during the winter months for people living in the United States or Canada.

Uruguay’s summer months, between December and March, are warm and pleasant. In Montevideo, temperatures are about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of Uruguay is close to the ocean, so the temperature doesn’t get too unbearably hot.

In Punta del Este, the main beach town, temperatures in December and January are usually in the high 70s to low 80s. Just keep in mind that no matter when you go to Uruguay, you won’t be able to avoid the rain.

The climate is humid and rainy all year round, so make sure to pack an umbrella even in the summer! Summer is the peak season for exploring Uruguay’s coast.

Punta del Este is the most popular beach town and great for fun in the sun, but if you’re looking to beat the crowds, head to more secluded locations like Rocha, popular with backpackers, or family-friendly Costa de Oro. Most visitors are locals or people from neighboring countries.

Besides lounging on the beach, there are plenty of other summer activities you can do in Uruguay, like:

  • Whale-watching
  • Horseback riding
  • Surfing
  • Hiking
  • Cycling

Homestays are a great way to experience local culture during a Uruguayan summer. Stay at a local estancia or ranch to get to know the traditional way of life.

During the summer, you can go for a horseback ride with the local gauchos, as cowboys in the pampas are called. The summer months are also home to the biggest festival in the Uruguayan calendar—Carnival.

Uruguayan Carnival may not be as popular as its Brazilian equivalent, but it’s no less of a good time, with Montevideo turning into one big party from January to March. Check out tablados, or nightly shows, colorful parades, and street parties.

For a more low-key glimpse at a traditional Uruguayan festival, visit in early February to catch the feast day of Iemanja, when worshippers of the local Umbanda religion flock to the beach to celebrate the sea goddess with music and traditional gifts. It’s a powerful spiritual experience even for outsiders.

Cheapest Time to Visit Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY – DECEMBER 15: Plaza indepedencia with the building Palacio Salvo and the statue of Jose Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay at December 15, 2012/byvalet/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Uruguay is during the shoulder seasons of fall (March–May) and spring (September–November). Uruguay’s peak season is the summer because that is when many visitors from Argentina and Brazil flock to the Uruguayan seaside to enjoy the coast.

Outside of this season, tourism is pretty quiet, which means that demand also decreases. In the autumn, you can find discounted hotel rates anywhere, but your biggest savings will be in the beach towns.

Beach resorts in Punta del Este, even swanky ones, offer discounts of 20%–30% on normal room rates. The warm weather often lasts well into March and April, so take advantage of the lower prices to enjoy a nice beach vacation before moving on to the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, spring has some of the best deals on flights to Uruguay. Most flight comparison sites say that the cheapest time for international flights to Uruguay is in September or November.

There aren’t many major holidays in the Uruguayan spring (Easter tends to bump up prices in March/April), so this is a good time to save on travel expenses.

Least Busy Time to Visit Uruguay

Sun setting over the ocean and illuminating the sky with a bright orange glow during the cheapest time to visit Uruguay

Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Uruguay is during the shoulder seasons of March–May or September–November, when the crowds die down.

Autumn (March–May) sees a bit of an increase in tourists around Easter when many Uruguayans and other South Americans travel, but otherwise, it’s fairly calm.

Besides taking advantage of warm fall days at the seashore, this is a good time to check out one of South America’s best-kept secrets—Uruguayan wine country. Harvest season begins in late February or early March and is a great time to visit the up-and-coming winery scene.

Spring (September–November) also receives few visitors and is a great time to visit Uruguay and beat the crowds. Nature is beginning to wake up after winter, so this is a good time to go hiking or on a leisurely road trip through the country.

This is also one of the major migratory seasons for animals in and around Uruguay, so make sure your binoculars are ready. Over 500 species of birds pass through Uruguay during the fall, making it a haven for birdwatchers.

Whale-watching season also kicks off on the coast, and the whales aren’t scared off yet by massive crowds.

Spring is probably the best time to visit Montevideo and other Uruguayan cities. The weather is warming up again, but the tourists aren’t back yet, so the streets won’t be quite as crowded.

Worst Time to Visit Uruguay

The Colonia del Sacramento with gorgeous red stucco walls and a stone path in the middle pictured during the least busy time to visit Uruguay with nobody around

Lukas Bischoff Photograph/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Uruguay is in the winter (June–September), as the weather can be damp and unpleasant. The temperatures don’t fluctuate too much throughout the year, but they are definitely at their coldest in the winter.

In Montevideo, average temperatures in July are in the high 50s during the day and in the low 40s at night on the Fahrenheit scale. The weather is cloudy, with high chances of rain. In other parts of Uruguay, winter weather is a bit wilder.

Along the coast, high winds can make the temperatures feel even colder. The surrounding mountains make unpredictable weather and storms possible throughout the year, but this is more pronounced in the winter thanks to frequent storm fronts.

The winter is a good time to visit northwestern Uruguay, the province of Salto, which tends to have warmer, milder winters than the rest of the country. Here, you can explore the city of Salto and take a bike out on the region’s many trails during winter’s sunnier days.

Things to Consider

Woman on a bike along Pocitos Beach in Montevideo pictured for a piece on the best time to visit Uruguay

Don Mammoser/Shutterstock

Here are a few additional tips to help you pick the best time to visit Uruguay:

  • Pack waterproof gear. The weather is rainy no matter when you visit. Even during summer, sudden thunderstorms can put a damper on your vacation, so it’s best to be prepared.
  • Uruguay is safe. Activities that aren’t recommended in other countries, like driving on a private road trip, are possible here. The country is also very progressive and LGBT-friendly. Still, take basic precautions, such as keeping an eye on your valuables.
  • Take some time to explore Uruguay. The country is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors, but that means that it has plenty to offer with fewer crowds than you might find in more famous places.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gorgeous aerial view of the waterfall El Salto del Penitente in Lavalleja, Uruguay

Ernesto Velazquez/Shutterstock

Here are some common questions about picking the best time to visit Uruguay:

Is Uruguay good for tourists?

Yes, Uruguay is good for tourists. The country is small but well-developed and safe by Latin American standards.

Is Uruguay expensive to visit?

Uruguay is fairly expensive to visit. Its backpacker scene is not as well-developed as the rest of Latin America’s, so there are fewer budget options.

What months are hot in Uruguay?

The hottest months are December, January, and February, which are also Uruguay’s summer.

Is there a rainy season in Uruguay?

Uruguay doesn’t have a rainy season. It has a temperate, not tropical, climate, which means that it rains evenly all year round and that seasons differ in their temperatures.

Is Uruguay or Costa Rica safer?

Costa Rica is marginally safer, but Uruguay is still a fairly safe place to visit as long as you still take basic precautions to stay safe.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Uruguay?

The best time to visit Uruguay is during the country’s summer months, from December to March. The weather is at its best during this time, with temperatures that are warm but not too hot.

From the sandy coast to the grasslands of the interior, this is a great time to get outdoors and discover all that the country has to offer. So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!