(11 customer reviews)

60-min exploratory call: Is Uruguay a good fit for me?


A sixty-minute online exploratory call with Karen A Higgs, the founder of Guru’Guay —an internationally-recognised expert on the country— regarding your unique situation and needs on moving to Uruguay. You will have time to ask all the burning questions you have and find out if it is really a great fit for you and your family. You’ll come away feeling confident about your next steps, including follow-up contacts based on Karen’s extensive network built up over two decades. Book your session now.

This is for you when you:

  • are considering moving to Uruguay full-time, snow-birding or for a sabbatical
  • want expert advice specific to your situation
  • need to save time researching and avoid costly mistakes
  • may be uncertain about why Uruguay, and not another country, and
  • value realistic, on-the-ground advice.


Based in Montevideo since 2000, author of the best selling Guru'Guay Guides to Uruguay, Karen A Higgs has the knowledge and contacts to make your decision much easier.

Karen knows first-hand the advantages and pitfalls of living and making a living in Uruguay. She loves living here but no place is perfect. Uruguay is not a good fit for everyone. Being British and having lived in the US, Costa Rica, and Argentina as well, she can provide comparisons which you will find very valuable.

Your 60-minute consultation will take place on Skype, WhatsApp audio, or FaceTime. Prior to the meeting, you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about you and your family, your reasons for wanting to come to Uruguay, and your expectations regarding your lifestyle. You will have ample time to ask all of your burning questions.

This could be the best investment you make before buying your plane ticket.

Who IS the Guru'Guay and why would it be so useful for me to talk to her?

Karen was born in South Wales. She studied in England with a year abroad in UC Berkeley. After a brief spate in London, she travelled around Latin America including two years in Costa Rica and four in Argentina. Her son was born in Buenos Aires. After returning to the UK and later spending four years in Washington DC, Karen and her husband decided they wanted different values for their son. They did their homework and landed in Montevideo in 2000 where Karen led the communications team of an international non-profit. Their preschool son is now finishing an engineering degree at the public university (no fees, you heard it here) and plays violin in a tango orchestra. He is totally the honorary Uruguayan of the family.

Karen returns periodically to visit family in Wales and her family loves to come out to sample the beaches and the wine during the European winter time. She regularly returns to the US, just last year on a road trip to visit old friends in New Orleans, DC, and NYC and check out the blues scene in Mississippi and bluegrass in Tennessee and North Carolina.

It's all about contacts

Like most places in the world and especially in Uruguay, the best experiences and services come by word of mouth. After so many years in Uruguay and thanks to her ground-breaking work in tourism, which has garnered a great deal of interest in the international and local press, Karen has a priceless Rolodex of the best English-speaking professionals who can make your eventual landing in Uruguay the softest possible. Use the consultation to pick some of that gold!

Why 60 minutes?

We've found that is best for focus. If you'd like more time with the Guru we'd suggest that you schedule a couple of sessions, and record the meeting.

The Guru is also available for half-day and full-day consultations in situ in Uruguay.


11 reviews for 60-min exploratory call: Is Uruguay a good fit for me?

  1. Rick Shain

    Karen Higgs is a scintillating combination of someone with inexhaustible local knowledge and unfathomable wisdom. She is a delightful individual who is a wonderful listener. There is no better source for information on Uruguay in any language. Perhaps even more importantly, she will tell you honestly whether Uruguay is the right fit for you. I consider the money I spent on my consultation with her to be money well spent – and a bargain to boot.

    • The Guru of Guru’Guay

      Rick, thank you so much for such a glowing review. I appreciate you highlighting that “she will tell you honestly whether Uruguay is the right fit for you”. It’s hugely important to me that clients go away with a very clear-eyed view of both the country and their prospects. At the end of your consultation, you told me you would have been happy to pay double or more for the same. I’m delighted to see that a month later, you still feel the same. I look forward to being a continuing resource as you move forward with your plans–In deep appreciation, Karen

  2. Alison Howard

    I had relied on Karen’s fabulous Guru’guay blog and both of her travel books to prepare for my first visit to Uruguay, so when I began thinking about moving there some day, I knew she would be the person to help me navigate not only the logistics but also the fundamental questions of whether and where a move would be right for me.

    The thoughtful questions she raised and the discussion they provoked in my consultation with her were invaluable in helping me figure out the best path to get there. Her enthusiasm for the country, its people, music, art and literature, insight into how she and other immigrants have made Uruguay their home and realism about the process to get there are inspiring me as I hope to make the move, part-time at first, from the United States some time in the future. The amazing contacts she made for me have opened doors that I never would have known about, much less be able to open. I couldn’t imagine getting closer to my dream without Karen’s help.

  3. Javier Frank (verified owner)

    I grew up in Montevideo but have been living abroad for the last twelve years of my life. A period in which the city, country and myself went through a whole deal of changes. To boot, I got married and had two kids while in the US so the prospect of moving “back” to Uruguay seemed pretty daunting. The questions I had for Karen spanned the whole gamut from trivial -which from the thousand new restaurants are actually worth a visit?- to some issues I was literally working through on therapy.

    Karen took my case to heart, asked the right questions and provided actionable suggestions and advice to help me find my place in my own hometown. I would recommend anyone considering moving to this country to talk to Karen beforehand even if you know the town pretty well, like myself.

    • The Guru of Guru’Guay

      Javier, my heart is touched by your frank openness (Frank by name and Frank by nature). I am delighted to have been of assistance and thank you so much for this wonderful testimony and for sharing with me in email how the city is now opening up for you. — Karen PS I’m looking to hear more in the future!

  4. Danielle Gold

    My husband and I are planning to move to Uruguay and buy a home there. I read Karen’s books and decided to do a half-day consultancy with her during which we would visit some Montevideo neighborhoods and talk about life in the city. We were trying to decide if we would prefer a home in the city or on the coast, and wanted to know more about life in Montevideo. I wound up having an online one-hour consultation with Karen instead, as I postponed my trip due to the Coronavirus situation.

    Karen is very easy to talk with. She’s engaging, informative, and helpful. She’s a good listener and wanted to focus on providing information and insights that would help us make a successful transition to Uruguay. She connected me with a friend of hers who works at the university I’ll be working at, and suggested people who my husband might like to connect with in his field.

    Karen is a great resource person for all things Uruguay, and particularly Montevideo. She has an extensive network, a long-standing relationship with the city, and has traveled the country. Besides being knowledgeable, she’s also very nice, making the consultation valuable and enjoyable. I recommend working with Karen if you’re considering a move to Uruguay and want to fast track your learning curve about expat life, professional opportunities, local culture, etc.

    • The Guru of Guru’Guay

      Hi Danielle, how are you doing? You made a great decision to move ahead with your research by having an online consultation while waiting out Coronavirus. I very much enjoyed our 60 minutes together and am looking forward to finally meeting up face-to-face for your half-day consult when this madness is over! Thank you so much for the warm, detailed review, it is very much appreciated. — Karen

  5. Caitlin

    My husband and I have been/still are considering moving to Uruguay from the United States. We spoke with her and arranged a half day consult with Karen and then went to Argentina and Uruguay in the fall of 2018 for our honeymoon. We stayed in Karen’s guesthouse Casa Sarandi (which was fantastic and charming btw, would stay again in a heartbeat), and did a half day relocation consultation with her on our first day in Uruguay. Let me tell you, it’s worth the money. If you are planning on moving to another country, which is going to cost you anyway, isn’t it worth it to spend a little money on researching what you might be getting into? And who better to learn from than a person who has been through this experience herself and built a career on helping others do the same? She’s honest and realistic, she won’t sugar coat things to “sell” you on Uruguay. She’s doesn’t want you to move there and be unhappy because you had unrealistic expectations.

    She asks you lots of questions about yourself in order to gauge what is most important for you to know and if Uruguay really will be a good fit for you. She will talk to you about jobs, housing, food, money, life…etc. Additionally, if you are visiting Uruguay and are planning on meeting up with her, I HIGHLY recommend doing it on your very first day. Moving to Uruguay aside, our honeymoon time there was exponentially better having had her guidance up front.

    For instance, if you were to research your heart out online, as I did, you will feel like the food in Uruguay (except for steak), is ho hum, that you literally can’t get vegetables anywhere, and there is basically no such thing as a vegetarian or vegan restaurant. This was a bit of a worry for me moving there. I’m not a vegan but I like my veggies and am working towards it. You will also think that all restaurant and customer service sucks. But Karen dispelled those myths and showed us where you can in fact get veggies aplenty, and having made this into her living, she knows exactly which restaurants, cultural spaces, and services will benefit you the most and offer the best service. It really added that extra spark of awesome to our trip and allowed us to avoid unnecessary frustrations. It was totally worth it, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    We only did a half day with and even that was so valuable. Do a full day if you can, but if not, know that a half day is also incredibly informative and you will walk away with a much greater understanding of Uruguay than if you had just showed up and checked it out on your own. Our visit with her opened doors for us we would never have known about. If you are thinking about moving to Uruguay, this is 100% worth it.

    • The Guru of Guru’Guay

      Caitlin, I am blown away by your comments. It was wonderful to host you at Casa Sarandi and to provide you with guidance regarding Uruguay as a country to live. It was great that you decided to do the consultation as soon as you arrived. As you so right mention, it allows you to dispel any myths that you may have in your head, or construct as you are first walking around, right off the bat. You will have a realistic perception of life in Uruguay on which to build during the rest of your visit. It was an honour that you asked me to help you in such an important decision and whatever you decide to do, it will be great to stay in touch. — Karen

  6. Allie

    My husband and I did a consult with Karen, and we’re both really happy we did! We’re planning to spend a year in Uruguay and are considering a permanent move in the future. We had a slew of questions about everything from neighborhoods to housing to health insurance to bringing our pets to Uruguay. Karen not only answered our questions but gave us important details we never would have learned elsewhere. For example, I’ve spent hours researching the idea of trying to bring our car to Uruguay, and Karen was able to share important info that saved me a lot more research time, along with some possible costly mistakes. I highly recommend talking with Karen if you need expert Uruguay advice or are considering a move.

    • The Guru of Guru’Guay

      Allie, thank you so much for such a glowing recommendation. I really appreciate your taking the time to communicate the value of the consultation to other readers. It is so great to be of service. Looking forward to meeting you face to face when you finally get to Uruguay — Good luck with your preparations, Karen

  7. Colleen and Brad Seehafer

    We had a great consultation with Karen! In addition to her connections and her ability to give fantastic references, it’s refreshing to speak with her and to get a better sense as to if we are “moving” in the right direction. After our discussion, we are going to to continue to proceed with our plans and it’s reassuring to know that we have an invaluable contact in Karen. We would highly recommend her services!

  8. Tracy Jones

    I’m a world-traveling English teacher who has long thought about making a move to South America. Through my initial research, I found Uruguay to be appealing for loads of reasons—mostly because it’s the best kept secret on the continent. However, I couldn’t find a lot of current or comprehensive information about the ESL industry and was a bit stumped as to what, if any, opportunities might await me in Uruguay. I came across Karen’s blog and started reading some of the fantastic articles about traveling and living in Uruguay. I jumped at the chance to chat with Karen and get some perspective from someone “on the ground.” Our consultation was very informative. It gave me a chance to ask questions specific to my situation and about particular concerns I had. Karen was full of knowledge and gave me some great feedback. She also pointed me in the direction of additional resources. She was lovely to talk to and gave me a bit more peace of mind about the possibility of relocating. I was thrilled to visit Uruguay just a few months after the consultation and fell completely in love. Between Karen’s consultation and my own research in country, I have a much clearer picture of what future possibilities await me Uruguay. Thank you, Karen!

  9. Kees Westerweele

    We are a family looking to relocate from the country we currently live in. We have three children we would like to give the opportunity to grow up in the best possible environment with good education. If anyone of us gets sick we would like to have a good system of healthcare. And we would like to feel safe in our own country. We looked into a lot of options (Europe, Caribbean, etc.) and after reading information about Uruguay we got interested in this country.

    Before we became in contact with Karen we had already read a lot on the internet about Uruguay. Some of the ideas we had were being confirmed during the consultation and that is satisfying. We made contact with one of the contacts Karen advised us and exchanged some useful information. In general, the consultation made us more confident about the ways we should or could go before the important decision for my family and me.
    We found that one hour was time enough to stay “focused”. The only surprise was that time passed very quickly.
    Without any doubt Karen’s knowledge of Uruguay and skills to communicate with people are highly developed. Her very professional way of working gave us a good feeling about this consultation.
    We have planned a holiday to “feel and experience” Uruguay before making further plans for the “big step” which relocation will be. We live in a country that needs a Visa to enter Uruguay. Karen helped us with the process of application and we got the Visa without any problem.
    We would definitely recommend Karen to anyone else interested in relocating to Uruguay.

  10. Barry Blackburn

    Karen consulted with me on a potential move to Montevideo. The questions she asked prior to our talking on the telephone indicated the level of understanding she hoped to achieve prior to our conversation, and it was evident during the call. She was extremely well prepared, had far more relevant information than I expected, anticipated some of my questions, and answered all of the others thoroughly and thoughtfully. All the while, she was friendly, personable, and a pleasure to talk with.

    Her preparation, combined with her extensive knowledge of Montevideo, made the hour phone conversation productive, informative and enjoyable. She was able to provide specific information that I would never have found anywhere else, and it was essential that I have those answers to questions prior to continuing my relocation plans. I highly recommend working with Karen should you find yourself considering a move to Uruguay for a short or long term. I’m planning my next trip there, armed with the information I need to make a thorough assessment, thanks to Karen.

  11. Nick Olcott

    We visited Montevideo with an eye toward a six-month stay next year. We couldn’t have had a better source of information that Karen. We had the full-day in situ consultation, and it was invaluable. After interviewing us very thoughtfully about what sort of place we might like to live, Karen gave us an extensive and detailed tour of various neighborhoods she thought might suit us. She is incredibly knowledgable about what each part of town offers in terms of available housing and local resources (restaurants, bars, music venues, grocery stores). This is very important in Montevideo. Many wonderful places hide behind rather plain facades. Karen steered us toward cultural events we never would have found on our own. She knows the city like a native, and she can tell you what living there is really like. If you’re considering a move or an extended stay in Montevideo, you couldn’t do better than to consult Karen.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *