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Uruguay Lifts All Entry Requirements For American Travelers – Here’s Why It Should Be On Your Travel Wishlist

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Proving it is ready to move on from the health crisis following two years of strict social curbs, Uruguay has finally lifted all entry requirements for incoming passengers, including American travelers, joining a select list of South American nations where normality has been reinstated.

Aerial View Of Punta Del Este, Uruguay, South America

Throughout 2021 and 2022, Uruguayan authorities continued to impose health-related border measures, even after COVID cases dwindled and the mortality rate decreased across the country. Local authorities did not exactly ban unvaccinated foreigners, but they enforced testing and other health screening.

But besides the lifting of these rules, why should Uruguay be on your travel wishlist at all when there are over 140 other open countries out there?

Uruguay Reopens For Tourism Restriction-Free

Central Square In Montevideo, Uruguay, South America

As confirmed by the Uruguayan Government, which published a new decree on March 1 repealing all remaining COVID-era border restrictions, Americans seeking entry to Uruguay will no longer be subject to vaccination requirements nor pre-departure testing when failing to produce a vaccine card.

The decree has been valid since February 16, and it applies to all foreign arrivals reaching the country via any of its outer borders, be it land, maritime, or air. Previously, only vaccinated travelers were exempt from health checks landing in Uruguay, provided they presented proof of immunization.

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Close Up Of A Person Holding A U.S. American Passport

Non-vaccinated individuals, on the other hand, were not so lucky and were routinely refused boarding unless they presented a negative COVID test issued between 24 and 48 hours in advance, as a general rule, or qualified as exempt from the rule, which very few were.

At last, all of these limitations have been revoked, and the experience of flying to Uruguay from the United States is the same as it was in 2019, prior to the covid surge*. But now that so many countries have reopened for tourism, and Americans have an infinite number of possibilities, why go to Uruguay, of all places?

*Taking out health insurance prior to flying is still mandatory
Sea Port In Punta Del Este During Sunset, Uruguay, South America

Is Uruguay One Of South America's Most Promising Tourist Destinations?

Uruguay has never been the most popular vacation spot in the Global South. Sandwiched between the tropical paradise that is Brazil, and Argentina, the current world capital of football and the proud home of tango, it is often overlooked by American tourists.

Contrary to popular belief, however, the second-smallest state in South America has a lot to offer: it has white sand beaches, a colonial architecture whose beauty rivals that of Mexico's Magical Towns, Atlantic forests, and rolling green hills dotted with family-owned vineyards.

Old Car Parked In A Cobblestone Street In Colonia Del Sacramento, Colonia Department, Uruguay, South America

The capital, Montevideo, is an eclectic metropolis built atop the remnants of a ruined Spanish citadel, encompassing both a Ciudad Vieja (or historic center) with 18th and 19th-century buildings and more modern districts crammed with skyscrapers and modernist landmarks.

A short two-hour drive from Montevideo, the resort city of Punta del Este has been dubbed South America's response to Monaco. It may not be a sovereign principality, but within Uruguay, it is in a league of its own, replete with luxurious villas, world-class resorts and casinos, and fine-dining restaurants.

Whitewashed Villa Casapueblo In Punta Ballena, Close To Punta Del Este, Uruguay, South America

One of the main cultural attractions in Punta del Este, more specifically Punta Ballena, Casapueblo is a summer villa facing the rugged Atlantic coast that once belonged to deceased Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. Due to its whitewashed exterior and dramatic setting, visitors call it Uruguay's mini Santorini.

Elsewhere, in the Colonia department, facing the Argentine capital across the Rio de la Plata lies the colorful cobblestone town of Colonia del Sacramento, originally founded as a Portuguese colony in 1680. It is one of Uruguay's best-preserved historical settlements and a popular day trip destination for tourists crossing over from Buenos Aires.

Cobblestone Laden Street Lined With Historical Colonial Era Houses In Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay, South America

Uruguay Is Relatively Safe For Visitors

The U.S. Department of State deems it a Level 2 destination

On top of its cultural value and promising tourism scene, Uruguay is one of the safest destinations in South America, enjoying far lower crime levels than its counterparts, in particular Brazil, and being a fast-developing society supported by strong democratic institutions and openness to foreign investment.

At present, Uruguay does not offer a Digital Nomad Visa, unlike Colombia or Ecuador, but it grants visa-free entry to U.S. and Canada passport holders for up to 3 months. Nonstop flights to Carrasco International Airport, which serves Montevideo, are available seasonally from Miami.


Year-round, Americans can travel to Uruguay via one-stop flights connecting in Brazil, Chile, or Colombia.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Sunday 12th of March 2023

It's the easiest country to get a visa in LA, lost of NOMADS and expats are in UY. Lots of youtubers relocated here for a reason, access to all serices, including healthcare. I am not sure why anybody would think it's boring. Most Uruguayans leave the city to the Eastern shores in the Atlantic ocean during the summer. They have some of the most beautiful and pristine landscapes I have ever seen. Montevideo is beautiful, safe, and has tons of cultural activities, many are free. Check Guruguay for info.


Wednesday 15th of March 2023

@Marcy, I'm planning on visiting soon.

Jack frost

Saturday 11th of March 2023

After March when the AA nonstop flights to the US end, the best bet is Copa via Panama. BTW, that airport picture is not Uruguay.


Saturday 11th of March 2023

You can fly non-stop from Panama City also.

Andre T.

Friday 10th of March 2023

I'm an American and I've worked in this country for almost 3 months. Let me just start off by saying this country is taxed alot on food, clothing and basicly everything. It is more expensive than the U.S. This country doesn't cater to Americans. It's more of a European feel to it and the culture is super boring. They sleep most of the day and stay up most of the night. The clubs are a joke here. They don't even dance here. It's boring and in Montevideo the brown ocean/river beach area is nothing to get excited about. They don't even have like a beach club on the beach. The government want allow it. Don't waste your time going here. As soon as I find another job, I'm leaving this country and never coming back. What a let down!


Wednesday 15th of March 2023

@Andre T., Well thank you for your feedback. I appreciate that you took the time to be honest. There is an American perspective and certain standards that are desired when traveling or living abroad. Unfortunately this may be very challenging to find in other places, because America truly has been the mixing bowl of people. Things are changing all over the world right now. Finding the perfect place to call home is a quest for so many people. When I saw this article it did make me consider a visit. We moved from the USA to Medellin and at first we loved it, now we think too many people have moved here and changed the vibes.

Jack frost

Saturday 11th of March 2023

@Andre T., Yep, things slow down in Montevideo during the summer. Everything moves to Punta and hey, I've been out clubbing my heart away. But fear not, after March life returns to Montevideo. Tons of places to go dancing. And yes it's expensive but if you pay for your meals with a foreign issued credit card you get a 22% discount. The culture is boring? What culture does the US have? Go back chum. We need you not.


Thursday 9th of March 2023

I’m going later this month, thru AA/MIA