If anyone seems to have their finger on the pulse of up-and-coming destinations, it’s digital nomads. Always looking for the next best place to check out, this group seems to be constantly in the know of countries for remote working.
While South America might not be any big secret among digital nomads, most seem to favor Colombia, Peru, or Brazil. While these other countries are ideal choices, there is one that seems to get overlooked a bit, which is why this article is here to announce Uruguay as the next digital nomad hotspot.
Often overshadowed by its more well-known neighbors of Argentina and Brazil and commonly confused with nearby Paraguay — Uruguay is definitely a destination worth checking out. This small country offers a lot for both tourists and long-term digital nomads. It ranks within the top 50 for the digital nomad index, scoring high for factors such as weather, cost of living, connectivity, and safety.
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While not offering a digital nomad visa, most passport holders can stay in Uruguay for up to 3 months. And with a sunny and dry summer season running from November thru February, it’s a perfect spot to escape the winter weather for a few months. In fact, Uruguay has recently been named one of Forbes’ “top ten warm weather destinations for digital nomads”.
When choosing where to live, digital nomads often face the question of safety. Knowing how safe a certain country is can be challenging before arriving, as data is not always readily available or perhaps trustworthy. This can be especially true in regions such as South America, where safety can be a concern.
One reason Uruguay is growing in favor of digital nomads is its excellent safety record. In fact, it has recently been classified as the safest country to live in South America, giving digital nomads just another reason to relocate here. Most digital nomads base themselves in the capital city of Montevideo, and for good reason, This coastal, clean city is one of the safest in Latin America.
Being both politically and economically stable, it leaves a lower chance of getting caught in protests or any civil unrest that tends to plague other South American cities. In addition, Uruguayan people, in general, are known to be quite friendly and welcoming, so getting along with locals shouldn’t be an issue.
In addition to safety, a country with a low cost of living is often at the top of every digital nomad’s wish list. Those coming from the U.S. especially look for destinations with a lower cost of daily living than where they are coming from, and factors such as rent, food, transportation, and utilities are all considered when making the move.
Of course, digital nomads coming from most areas of the U.S., Canada, or the UK can tell you that moving abroad just about anywhere will undoubtedly be less expensive than daily living costs in their home country. With the cost of living crisis and inflation looming, this factor is becoming increasingly important when deciding on where to set up camp as a digital nomad.
Having recently been listed as the country in South America with the lowest cost of living, Uruguay is an ideal choice for those looking to save some money.
Housing and grocery costs are comparable with other developing countries, and average prices can range from low to high depending on the quality that you are looking for. One cost that does remain low in Uruguay is utilities. The average bill for electricity is substantially lower here than in other nearby countries of Argentina or Chile.
This low cost is because Uruguay is heavily invested in renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind power. The fact that Uruguay’s energy consumption is almost 60% derived from renewable resources makes it not only cost-efficient but also one of the most sustainable countries in Latin America.
Any digital nomad will tell you that the internet situation is the first and foremost concern when choosing a new destination. As you can probably guess, no article claiming a place was “perfect for digital nomads” would do so unless the country was known for its solid internet connection.
Uruguay is no exception and boasts internet speeds comparable to that of a Scandinavian country. The connectivity across the country is exceptional, and the large majority of households and businesses boast broadband access.
Aside from the internet, transportation in and around Uruguay is quite cheap and efficient. The country has a large concentration of roads, connecting the capital city of Montevideo to the rest of the country and to those nearby. Montevideo is also connected to Buenos Aires from a comfortable ferry ride, clocking in at just under 5 hours. Uruguay has 13 airports, allowing connections to other destinations in South America and further abroad.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Sunday 19th of February 2023
This article is written by someone that did not go to Uruguay. It is very expensive. Internet connection is amongst the best in South America and in general terms it is safe. Electricity is extremely expensive despite all the hydro dams made during the dictatorship. The governments use utility companies as another form of taxation. The 13 airports are useless unless you have a private jet. There is one airport with limited access. Don't think of coming here unless you can make at least USD 50,000 per annum. Double that if you have kids. It's a great option for well-off families.
Saturday 11th of February 2023
I spent over a decade as a digital nomad in Uruguay and it's an amazing place to live. I read some of the comments and the country isn't impoverished. I grew up in New York City and Montevideo is like any large city in the Americas. There are areas where you shouldn't venture into and aren't meant for non locals.The cost of living is significantly higher than Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Groceries prices are on par with prices in the United States, gas is the most expensive in the Americas, approximately 8 dollars a gallon and utilities prices are higher then their neighbors. Uruguay's connectivity infrastructure is years ahead of Brazil or Argentina and I've lived in both counties for prolonged periods of time.
The locals being easily offended comment made me scratch my head. Maybe in the "campo" countryside. I can tell you that if I hang out long enough in Alabama or Mississippi, being a city person I'm bound to offend someone. LoL
Montevideo isn't the cleanest city, but then again I'm a New Yorker and if you're coming from Europe you may think Montevideo is dirty the same way most europeans think NYC is dirty. The comment talking about crazy driving... Compared to where Denmark? Have you driven in Rio or Buenos Aires!? Haha
Uruguay is not a destination for those living on tiny budget. I'd say that I need about 3k a month in income to live in a comparable manner to the United States.
Lastly, the article got something right. Best months are from November to March/April. If you visit in winter you may be bored, especially if you don't know any locals.
Something no one mentions in the comments or the article is the freedom you feel in Uruguay. You can't and won't find this level of freedom ANYWHERE in Latin America. The locals aren't offended by the smell of marijuana as it's the first country in the world the legalize it completely. You won't be approached by extremely aggressive police like in Rio de Janeiro where I spent 2 years. I was more scared of the police in Brazil than the criminals.
Wrapping this up, Uruguay is for you if you're not living on a tight budget and enjoy freedom.
PS: I've been a nomad in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Costa Rica and each place has it's pros and cons.
Friday 10th of February 2023
Even the source you cite for the cost of living says exactly the opposite: Uruguay placed LAST when ranking cost of living in Latin America.
Wednesday 8th of February 2023
Hi there! Thanks for the wonderful article on Uruguay! I'd like to point out however, two things you mentioned that are technically inaccurate. Firstly, Uruguay's electricity is 98% renewable, and is produced from hydro and wind primarily. Secondly, Uruguay definitely does not have the lowest cost of living in South America. Food is generally quite expensive here and imported goods are heavily taxed. I do still recommend it as a destination for digital nomads! There are lots of co-work spaces available and the country has seen a tremendous amount of development in the last few years in the tech sector.
Tuesday 7th of February 2023
This article is misleading, the cost of living in Uruguay is very high. Even if you do like to go camping, you can see the best of the country in a week, it is worth a visit but it is not a good country to spend time as a digital nomad. Almost no one have internet in their home, people rely on mobile connection and the night life cost is outrageous. People are very polite, but also very easy offended. Last month I spent 10 days exploring the country by motorcycle and was enough to see everything they had to offer. The best countries to be a nomad in Latin America are probably Brazil and Argentina. Brazil because of the quality you can have, (beside the security problem) and Argentina because is very cheap and you can access cities like Jujuy, the Patagonian landscapes and the Andes.