Uruguay--Where You Can Live in First World Comfort.
In Uruguay, you can forget about the cost of health care...about sky-high taxes...about crime...or about "doing 'without."
That's because Uruguay is a Latin American country that's rich in natural beauty...with inexpensive properties...without any Third World trade-offs.
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View Uruguay in a larger mapFast Facts
View Uruguay in a larger map
Capital City: Montevideo
Climate: Warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Time Zone: GMT-3
Country Code: 598
Coastline: 660 km
I have a confession. Before I moved to Uruguay I regularly associated with criminals. And their crimes were many and diverse. I lived in Washington State. And the crimes I speak of ranged from collecting rainwater in barrels for the garden (against Washington State law), to advertising a large home for sale as “ideal for a large family,” a HUD violation.
- The Best Things in Life Are Still Free in Montevideo, Uruguay
Posted on April 2, 2013 by David Hammond
Somehow, in my adult life, I developed the belief that I needed money to have a good time. However, living in Montevideo reminds me that’s just not so. Here, there are so many public spaces, celebrations, and ways to socialize… all for little or no money. In fact, the idea that the finer things in life should be available to all is so important to Uruguayans that they dedicate a whole weekend to it every spring.
- Affordable Properties in the Best Areas of Punta del Este, Uruguay
Posted on March 26, 2013 by David Hammond
Believe it or not, you can still find a nice condo in a coveted Punta del Este neighborhood for less than $150,000. There’s a secret to buying affordably here. And it’s simple. Folks from North America determine a property’s value by three factors: location, location, location. But in Punta del Este’s condo market, a property’s location is less important.
There is something amazing about the medical system here, and something not quite right with ours,” says Shane Simons, who moved to the tropical island of Penang, Malaysia, eight months ago from Los Angeles. “My doctor in L.A. told me I needed a mole removed from my neck.
- Video: Three Areas to Consider When You Move to Punta del Este, Uruguay
Posted on March 22, 2013 by David Hammond
Punta del Este’s identity is evolving. In addition to being the area’s most popular beach resort, it is becoming an education center. It currently has four bi-lingual schools and a new university is being constructed. There is also a new large conference center in the works. In addition to traditional resort businesses extending their seasons, there are new stores and businesses being set up.
Punta del Este is South America’s premier beach resort. It is often compared to the Hamptons of Long Island, New York, or Europe’s Saint-Tropez. For decades, it has been a prestigious vacation destination. Now, a growing number of people are living in Punta del Este, Uruguay, making their favorite summer resort their full-time home.
- The Trick to Buying Affordable Property in Punta del Este, Uruguay
Posted on March 10, 2013 by David Hammond
Punta del Este, less than two hours from Uruguay’s elegant capital of Montevideo, has long been the most fashionable beach resort in South America. An apartment sold here a few years back for $7.2 million… but believe it or not, you can still find a nice condo in a coveted Punta del Este neighborhood for less than $150,000. There’s a secret to buying affordably here. And it’s simple.
- Uruguay: Buy a Million-Dollar Address for $150,000
Posted on February 25, 2013 by David Hammond
Across from the beach near Avenida Roosevelt, where I ride my bike to the mall, is the completed sales office for Trump Tower Punta del Este. Construction is scheduled to start in June. Prices for condos start at $700,000, and the sales people say “it will redefine what is meant by luxury living.”
Just a couple of days into my new life as an expat in Uruguay, I was having lunch on the patio of a restaurant in Punta del Este. I had ordered by pointing to an item on the menu that I imagined was a large Italian-style salad… Ten minutes later, however, the waiter set a large glass serving bowl of sliced beets in front of me.
My winters in Uruguay are very different than in my home state of Washington… There, my December, January, and February routine comprised keeping the house heated, wearing a coat to go outside, and occasionally scraping ice off the car windshield to drive to work. But in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite. Now, in Uruguay, my December, January, and February routine includes keeping the windows open…
I remember the day I ﬁrst left everything behind and set out in a rental car to explore the Department of Rocha in Uruguay. Rocha covers more than 4,000 square miles and stretches from the eastern reaches of Punta del Este to the Brazilian border. With several large lakes and more than 120 miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, it’s rural Uruguay proper.
Mark suggested moving to Uruguay. Having only visited once on a day trip from Buenos Aires, I thought he was nuts… but we arranged an exploratory trip around the country. When we arrived in our first choice of Piriapolis, I fell in love.
Just 28 miles across the river from Buenos Aires (a 50-minute ferry ride) and a two-hour drive from Montevideo… through the richly fertile Rio de la Plata riverbed and past some of Uruguay’s famous farmland and vineyards… Colonia de Sacramento (or just “Colonia,” as it is commonly called) is right off a picture postcard with its cobblestoned, well-shaded sycamore-lined streets.
I came from the US to Uruguay in 2006. After living in the beach community of Punta del Este for a year, I decided to explore Uruguay’s interior. In Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, it is common to run into bilingual Uruguayans who speak English. However, in the country’s rural interior there are few English speakers.
From its old-world theaters and opera houses to its jazz festivals and exquisite restaurants, Uruguay looks and feels like Europe, but it is much more affordable. The truth is that Uruguay is one of the most diverse, affordable, and sophisticated countries in the region. It is a special place. From gaucho (cowboy) country to small towns to those stunning white-sand beaches, a quest for beautiful beaches and low property prices is certainly worthwhile. Get a unique, resident’s look at this “slice of Europe” hidden away in Latin America in Uruguay: The Owner’s Manual.
- Living in Montevideo, Uruguay: Three Neighborhoods to Consider
Posted on November 16, 2012 by David Hammond
Living in Montevideo, Uruguay is becoming increasingly popular for expats looking for an urban environment with a year-round menu of dining, entertainment, cultural events, and social opportunities. However, Montevideo is a big city covering 200 miles with 62 different neighborhoods. So where do you start when looking for a new place to live in Montevideo?
When you decide to go overseas, you don’t just get to enjoy your new host country—you also get the opportunity to experience all the other nations in the neighborhood. So, now that I’m staying in Buenos Aires in Argentina, I recently decided to use the opportunity to take a short trip to nearby Uruguay. It was a country that took me by surprise.
David now makes his home in Uruguay and helps International Living readers keep up with that beautiful little country. We catch up with David and ask him about his new life in Uruguay on this edition of Finding Your Overseas Paradise.
Uruguay’s “beach province” of Rocha has the country’s best beaches and most charming beach towns. Members of Real Estate Trend Alert can buy a lot here for $28,985. Interest-free finance is available over three years.
- Find Your Niche When Opportunity Knocks in an Overseas Paradise
Posted on October 22, 2012 by International Living
In the U.S., you cannot do what I have done here in Ecuador… you’d have too much debt to worry about,” says Kevin Sheehy, who bank-rolled his first venture—a Vietnamese restaurant—in the cool-weather capital of Quito with just $14,000. One business opportunity led to another, and today his success overseas means that Kevin enjoys the flexibility to live in a place he loves (the weather is spring-like year-round) and spend four months every year traveling.
Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, intrigued me with its historic architecture, plazas, and café culture. Punta del Este, South America’s premier beach resort, awakened my senses, with its beautiful beaches and endless menu of activities. The Rocha region, with its palm tree-dotted prairies and pristine Atlantic beaches, filled me with primal wonder.
- 3 Properties in Historic Montevideo for Under $150,000
Posted on October 19, 2012 by David Hammond
The Old City was once the entire walled city of Montevideo, Uruguay when it was founded in 1730. Today the walls are gone, but the original plazas and much of the period architecture remains. This is Montevideo’s main cultural center and financial district.
- Uruguay: A Tiny Country with Big Potential for Expats
Posted on October 4, 2012 by Darius Fisher
David has a story to tell about his new home, Uruguay. And tell it he did, today at the International Living Fast-Track Your Retirement Overseas Conference. You see, Uruguay is a tiny country… with big potential for aspiring expats. It has a growing middle class. An inclusive and optimistic culture. An expanding economy. “It kind of feels like the United States in the 1950s,” says David.
Parades, dancing, and the election of a Sara Ñusta (Queen of Maize) mark the Fiesta del Yamor in Imbabura, Ecuador, the ﬁrst week of September. Join in and offer thanks to the sun god for a bountiful harvest. Street traders take over the French city of Lille for the Grande Braderie on September 1 and 2.
Every morning Tim Plaehn gets up, makes a fresh pot of coffee and takes a stroll with his three dogs: Ajax, Behrlein, and C-C, a Uruguayan street dog Tim and his wife, Amelie, rescued. His stroll takes him past classic old homes and brand new apartments.
After the morning walk, Tim starts writing. He enjoys the creative process, he says. But what this former Air Force pilot appreciates most about his new career as a freelance writer is the power it gives him to control his own income and the ﬂexibility it provides…so he can live wherever he likes.
- Crisis in Argentina Could Mean Opportunity For You
Posted on August 7, 2012 by Ronan McMahon
When it comes to crisis investing, Argentina is the “gift that keeps giving.” With expropriations and capital controls, they are up to their old tricks again. I’m closely following the situation there on your behalf.
Roger Hughes and his wife Candace moved part-time to Uruguay four years ago. A big reason was access to affordable health care. “We didn’t fancy curtailing our lifestyle to preserve a great portion of our assets for health care costs,” says Roger. A few countries in the world stand out as places where foreign residents can easily qualify for, and affordably buy, a private health care plan.
Any weekend from August 4 to September 16, head to the Parc Floral near the Château de Vincennes in Paris for the Festival Classique au Vert (Classical Festival on the Green). This year, performers will set the words of famous poets and authors to classical music. Bring a picnic and blanket: It’s a gorgeous park.
An hour from Montevideo, Piriapolis was founded in 1893 and is Uruguay’s first seashore resort. It is filled with bathers and sun-worshipers for the entire summer. Year-round, people come from all over Uruguay to enjoy its fine seafood restaurants, casinos, cafés, and local museums.
To truly get away from it all, head east along the coast of Uruguay to the department of Rocha. Here you’ll find some of South America’s most beautiful…and last, vast stretches… of undeveloped beaches. Yet you’re still within three hours of the international airport in Montevideo. And you’re just an hour, mas o menos, from trendy, celeb-friendly Punta del Este.
We’re just two days away from our extraordinary “Uruguay Project,” nearly two years in the making. Suzan Haskins has explored every inch of this surprising country. From its world-class city…to golden beaches and seaside resorts…to the lush interior and authentic colonial towns…we’re confident you’ll love Uruguay as much as Suzan.
If you don’t know much about what a great country Uruguay is…here’s a quick primer: The infrastructure is excellent…and the health care is affordable (figure 10% what you pay in the U.S. for the same quality care, or better). The cultural norms in Uruguay are what you’d expect coming from Europe or North America.
My neighbors will be among the 500,000 visitors in London this month for the Olympics. With these friends in mind, I’ve kept an eye out for other diversions they’d enjoy—attractions beyond “bucket list” items like the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre or the Harry Potter studio tour. Trouble is, so much advice is standard-issue: Heathrow Airport tips…special museum exhibits…
My plan for retirement involved checking out several countries: Spain, New Zealand, Panama, Costa Rica, Chile, Brazil. With that much choice I didn’t expect to fall so hard for my ﬁrst stop, Uruguay. But it was like going to a party and falling in love with the ﬁrst girl I danced with.
Roger Hughes and his wife Candace moved part-time to Uruguay four years ago. A big reason was access to affordable health care. “We didn’t fancy curtailing our lifestyle to preserve a great portion of our assets for health-care costs,” says Roger.
As Roger and Candace had learned, a few countries in the world stand out as places where foreign residents can easily qualify for, and affordably buy, a private health-care plan. Uruguay is one of the best.
I ’ve made a lot of expat friends since moving to Uruguay. And they say they like living here for many of the same reasons my Uruguayan-born friends do: First-world infrastructure; top-quality, affordable health care; beautiful beaches; safety and ﬁnancial security…
Plenty of U.S. expats live in Uruguay. I can see why. The laws and the government welcome foreigners as immediate residents and citizenship can follow after three to five years. The seven licensed banks welcome Americans as clients, hold more than half of their cash in dollars or euros, pay more interest than U.S. banks and enforce strict financial privacy that only a court can waive.
- IL Radio Episode 33: Residency and Tax Issues in Uruguay
Posted on June 21, 2012 by Dan Prescher
Heard the news about Uruguay? I’m Dan Prescher and today I’m talking to a guy that you should know if Uruguay is on your radar screen. Juan Fischer is managing partner at the law firm of Fischer & Schickendantz, and what he doesn’t know about residency, tax, and investment in Uruguay probably isn’t worth knowing.
Knowing what I know now, it’s possible that Uruguay may be the best retirement destination you could treat yourself to. Not the cheapest…but the best. (And still at about half the cost of living in North America these days.) Uruguay offers the very best of Latin America and Europe all rolled up into one surprisingly appealing package. Unlike much of Latin America, it comes with a stable government…
I have to admit that I’ve been totally wrong about Uruguay. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do…figured it would be just another South American country struggling to catch up to the First World. I could not have been more mistaken.
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Welcome to IL
- Retire in Uruguay
- Uruguay Real Estate
- Move to Uruguay
- Travel in Uruguay
- Beachfront Property in Uruguay
- Invest in Uruguay
- Taxes in Uruguay
- Uruguay Visa and Residency Information
- Living in Uruguay
- Why Uruguay?
- Health Care in Uruguay
- Rolodex: Contacts in Uruguay
- Uruguay Fact File
- The Economy in Uruguay
- Real Estate Process Uruguay
- Cost of Living in Uruguay
- Making Money in Uruguay
- Free Uruguay Report
- Uruguay Classified Ads
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