What to Bring

Uruguay's supermarkets are well stocked and presented; many international-brand toiletries, for instance, are available in Montevideo and the larger centres. Shopping malls in Montevideo have chain stores such as Zara (from Spain) and Hering (from Brazil). Meanwhile, Uruguayan brands which prospered a generation ago when high import tariffs made non-Uruguayan colognes, soaps and perfumes exorbitantly expensive, still prosper and appear to have a firm following. The most common example is the Dr. Selby range of cosmetics, which you'll see everywhere.

You should bring all the electronic goods you need from abroad, including memory cards and pen drives, which are typically at least 50% more expensive in Uruguay than in the US or in the cheaper outlets in Europe. And what if you forget to bring your camera? Fear not. Travellers arriving at Montevideo airport are greeted by sales girls from the duty-free shop, which is available for passengers entering the country. Join the queues of Uruguayans stocking up on whisky and Swiss chocolate. The duty-free shop is also a good place to buy sun lotion in factors high enough for babies and children. At the time of writing, it is open to receive customers arriving on all scheduled international flights, no matter the hour.

If you are visiting in the winter you will need a warm jacket, plus sweaters. These are also available locally, of course, particularly in women's styles – see our Shopping chapter. Bear in mind that even good-standard restaurants are often under-heated in the winter.

If you are using budget accommodation in the warmer months, bring a mosquito net. The most concentrated mosquito repellents ("jungle formula" and so on) are not easy to find in Uruguay, so consider bringing them from home.

Horse-riders should make sure they have their own appropriate footwear. Campers may find that equipment available locally (e.g. rucksacks) is not as modern or light as at home. If you intend to practice any sport other than football and running, you'll be well advised to bring clothing and equipment from home.

Books, newspapers and magazines in English are not commonly for sale in Uruguay. If you enjoy reading Spanish, however, you will be spoilt for choice in Montevideo's second-hand bookshops (see related article on books and booksellers).