When is the best time to visit Uruguay?

Did you know that the water is warmest in April when it’s the cheapest time to stay at the beach too? High season is January and February but as you will see that is not necessarily the best time to visit Uruguay.

Calendar showing the best time to visit Uruguay

Uruguay is a temperate country. Not tropical

There are four seasons. The summer includes December to February and the winter includes June, July and August.

In the summer, the temperature is mostly around the high 20s to early 30s. Temperatures can hit 36 C but that is rare, and typically happens around New Year when I always find myself asking why we didn’t buy that AC unit before the holidays kicked in.

Some like it hot

Uruguayan beach in January. Best time to visit Uruguay. Photo: Guru'Guay
Blue January skies off the coast. Photo: Guru’Guay

Summer this far south is December, January and February. Beware though, in high season, the place fills with Argentinians and Brazilians and hotel and rental prices go through the roof.

For deserted stretches of beach the secret is to come in December before Christmas Eve or any time in March. Mid October, November and the first half April can also be warm enough for the beach.

Carnival –which typically starts at the end of January– lasts 40 nights and is usually still on in March in Montevideo. A big bonus.

Or even as late as early April. Shhh… The ocean is warmest in April, having been warmed all through the summer. The weather can be gorgeous. I started writing this article on April 3 and I was dressed in flipflops and a strappy top and it was 28 degrees C out (that’s 82 F).

There can also be occasional periods of rain and cloud at any point during the summer which may last up to four days. But then the sun will come out, dry up everything and you’ll be glad you had a chance to catch up on your reading.

The sun is really strong because there’s a hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole – read my tips and make sure you protect yourself in the Uruguayan sun.

So you like it hot and glitzy?

You may have heard all about Punta del Este, the French Riviera of the South, stomping ground of Frank Sinatra and his 50s Rat Pack and last year host to Mark Zuckberg and Paris Hilton.

If you like the glitzy scene then “Punta” in January will be your bag. Be prepared to pay top dollar for everything – accommodation, car hire, ice-cream.

Punta del Este in September has a particular charm. Best time to visit Uruguay.
Punta del Este, a hotbed of glitz and glamour in high season, has a particular charm off-season. The port in September.

Off-season Uruguay

It’s hard to predict the weather but off-season is a great time to visit Uruguay.

Autumn (March-May) and Spring (September-November) are particularly lovely times weather-wise. Days are mild, around 20 degrees and there are frequent Indian summers.

Nights can be chilly from March on so bring layers. In fact, always plan to bring layers regardless of the season.

Winter in Uruguay

Winter temperature average 15 C during the day and rarely goes below zero at night in the city. Sounds wonderfully mild, right? But it might not be quite what you expect. Read on for the truth about Uruguay in winter.

When is the best time to visit Montevideo?

Sunset from Parque Rodó and Playa Ramirez in Montevideo. Best time to visit Uruguay.
Sunset from Parque Rodó and Playa Ramirez in Montevideo in February.

All year round. Montevideo, despite its small size for a capital city, has tens of cultural events on every week, many of them free of charge.

Montevideans take their public holidays seriously. For instance between Christmas and the New Year, almost everything is closed. If you are in Montevideo then, plan to go the beach (there are ten beaches in the capital), walk or cycle the wonderful 25 kilometres of unbroken rambla (promenade) and make day trips. January, especially the first two weeks, is also very quiet. Enjoy the peace.

Then at the end of January, Carnival starts, and we are on again!

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