South America Living

Transportation in Uruguay

Bus Station in Montevideo

Uruguay is easy to get to (added bonus no reciprocity fee for any nationality!) and a breeze to travel in. Popular tourist locations are accessible via airplane (Punta del Este, Montevideo, Colonia and Salto), bus (all locations) and car (paved roadways throughout the country).     View Map

Bus Service

If traveling through Uruguay with transport other than an automobile (the best way to go) you most likely will be on a bus. If in capital city Montevideo, you will be departing from Tres Cruces International Bus Terminal. There is bus service to all areas of the country, as well as International destinations such as Argentina and Brazil.

The main terminal in Punta del Este is Terminal de Buses Punta del Este. To Montevideo takes approximately 2 hours or less. The third largest terminal is in Salto, which has a shopping mall attached – Salto Shopping.


Taxis are available everywhere and a safe transport option. Cab fares vary depending on location

Esso Gas Station in Montevideo

(Montevideo the priciest, local cab companies in outlying towns lowest cost) and the time of year. During high season such as summer (January to March) and during carnival (end of February or March) fees can nearly double; especially for tourists.

Car Rental

Hertz     Avis    Thrifty

Renting a car in Uruguay may be one of the few ‘tourist-related’ activities that is cheaper than in Argentina. Economy cars (especially when rented outside of the main cities and not in summer) are $50-$60 USD and drop-off fees minimal. You can rent using your home country-issued Driver’s License or with an International Driver’s Permit.

The same as in Argentina, you will also need a credit card and
make a $1000 USD deposit that is held until the car is returned (with a full tank of gas) in the same condition it was rented.

Map of Railway System in Uruguay

By Train

There is no long-distance train service in Uruguay. The train station in Montevideo is defunct. There are workable tracks next to the main station but no passenger service. Freight service may be reinstated in the near future. President José Mujica has vowed to revitalize (and repair) the 2,835 km (1761 miles) of government owned and operated (nationalised in 1948) rail system.

Ferry Service

Boquebus runs a ferry and hydrofoil from Buenos Aires to Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento.

From Colonia to Buenos Aires takes 1 hour on the hydrofoil, 3 hours for the regular boat.

From Montevideo to Buenos Aires takes 3 hours on the more expensive hydrofoil or approximately 5 hours on the slower route, landing in Colonia then transported via private shuttle bus to Montevideo.

There is ferry and connecting bus service to Punta del Este and other tourist hot spots in Uruguay such as La Paloma also.

Airlines & Airports

Carrasco International Airport is the main airport located (MVD) approximately 15 km (9 miles) from downtown Montevideo. The second largest airport is Laguna del Sauce Airport (PDP) in Punta del Este located 16 km (10 miles) from downtown.

To view a complete list of airports, click here.

More Articles You May like:
Living in Uruguay – How To Buy Real Estate
Travel in Argentina – San Carlos de Bariloche
List of capital cities in South America, complete with Online Travel GuidesCapital Cities in South America

Photographs by Molly McHugh, all rights reserved.

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