Money Options for a Trip to Uruguay
Many people visit Uruguay as a day trip from Buenos Aires but do have to deal with the realities of visiting a completely different country, which includes a different currency than Argentina. Uruguay’s official currency is the Uruguayan Peso (peso uruguayo). If you are going to be in the country for more than a day you probably will want to get some local currency since some businesses don’t accept card of foreign currencies, but if you are just taking the ferry across the river for the day we’d recommend not exchanging money and running the risk of having unused money leftover when you depart Uruguay. Here are the options for money when visiting Uruguay:
Using card/foreign currency – The best option if you are doing a quick visit to Uruguay. Almost all businesses in Colonia, Uruguay accept payment by foreign credit or debit cards, but make sure to understand your bank’s policy on foreign transactions. Unlike some countries restaurants do not generally allow you to pay tip by card but you can leave tip in foreign currency. Using US Dollars or Argentine Pesos cash is also generally an option even if the exchange rate might not be the absolute best. Most businesses have signs showing the exchange rates they are currently using. Keep in mind that businesses will most likely give you Uruguayan Pesos if they owe you change.
Money exchange – Not nearly as widespread as several years ago, but there are numerous money exchange houses that change foreign currencies for Uruguayan Pesos including inside the ferry port in Buenos Aires and Colonia, but the best rates will be found at the handful of exchange houses along the main avenue in downtown Colonia, General Flores.
ATM – The most convenient way to get local Uruguayan currency is to go to one of the many ATM’s in Colonia and use your foreign card to withdraw money. Know that you will be given the option to either withdraw US Dollars or Uruguayan Pesos.
If you still need ferry tickets between Buenos Aires and Colonia we’d love to help. Just fill in your travel details on our form and we will get back to you with the ferry schedule and price.