Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. There are
various types of plugs in use, including Â?Schuko' plugs and
receptacles with side grounding contacts, and the plugs commonly
used in Australia.
The official language is Spanish.
Tipping is discretionary in Uruguay, but a gratuity of between
5% and 10% of the bill is usually offered in restaurants. Rounding
up the bill is sufficient for taxi drivers, and hotel porters
receive about US$1 per bag.
Visits to Uruguay are generally trouble free, with a low risk of
terrorism and no political instability. There are occurrences of
street crime in Montevideo, but police patrols are active and act
as a good deterrent. Visitors should, however, take sensible
precautions with their valuables and when using ATMs.
Uruguay is a secular and progressive state, and is welcoming to
gay and lesbian visitors. Avoid making critical comments about the
country, or comparing it to Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. In
conversation, Uruguayans are direct and stand close together, and
it is considered rude to back away. Close acquaintances may greet
with a kiss on the cheek, but a handshake will suffice for
introductions. While gender equality is progressive in Uruguay,
women may experience a fair amount of attention, including staring
and comments, that can at times border on harassment but is largely
Uruguayans enjoy discussing politics and answering questions
about their country. Meetings tend to be highly formal but seldom
start on time. Most businessmen speak English but always arrange
for an interpreter as a sign of consideration.
The international direct dialling code for Uruguay is +598. The
government-operated telephone service is efficient. Area codes are
in use for cities, e.g. (0)2 for Montevideo. ANTEL is the major
mobile phone operator and a GSM 1800 network is available with good
coverage in urban areas. Internet cafes are available in Montevideo
and the main towns.
Visitors to Uruguay do not need to pay customs duty on 400
cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500g of tobacco; two litres of alcohol;
two items of electrical or optical equipment (including cameras);
and up to 5kg of foodstuffs.