From its Old World theaters and opera houses, to its jazz festivals and exquisite restaurants, Uruguay looks and feels like modern Europe—but without the hefty price tag. While by no means the least expensive country covered by International Living, the truth is that Uruguay is one of the most diverse, affordable, and sophisticated countries in the region.

The cost of living in Uruguay will vary depending on a number of factors, such as where you live, how you live, whether or not you need a car, and the performance of the dollar.

Here’s an idea of what you can expect to spend for two people if you are renting, as opposed to buying. These prices are based on a one-bedroom, furnished apartment in Pocitos, the most popular expat neighborhood in Montevideo.

U.S. $
 HOA fees (common building expenses)
 Transportation (Taxis, buses etc.)
 Gas (for cooking)
 Electricity (assumes use of AC and heat)
$16 (may be included in HOA)
 Internet (packaged with phone)
 Cable TV (85-channel basic cable)
$40 ($80 if packaged with internet)
 Cell phone (two basic cell phone plans)
 Health Care (two basic health care plans)
$200 – $300
 Food and home supplies
$3,098 to $3,238 c

Owning your own home will bring this total down considerably, as you will not be paying any rent—although your property taxes may be higher (0.25%—1.2% of property value, depending on location).

The health plan included in this budget is a basic private health plan called a mutualista. It covers all costs of doctor visits, tests, and hospital stays except for small co-payments. This health plan also provides discounts for medications.

The cable TV cost shown is for basic service. If you want high definition, premium sports events, you’ll pay more.

If you own a car, add $350 or so per month for a modest amount of driving. You would be able to deduct most of your “transportation” budget from the chart above, which assumes you don’t have a car.