South of the Equator, the best time to visit Uruguay is during its delightful summer season from December to February. During this time, temperatures reach 30°C and the beaches around Punta del Este and Montevideo are busy.
However, this country has four distinct seasons, meaning there is plenty to do and see during the other less sunny months.
Uruguay is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, colourful vineyards, lush countryside and famous beaches. It's worth taking time to fully explore this small but charming country.
Summer in Uruguay
Without a doubt, this is the best time to go to visit the beaches for a hot holiday, on some days, particularly around January, day temperatures can climb to 37°C so stay cool on the coast. Visit the glamorous town of Punta del Este, with its array of yachts and elegant bars and restaurants. Summer is also the most expensive season to visit with increased tourism from Argentinians and Brazilians. Make sure to book well in advance for stays over the Christmas and New Year period.
In Montevideo, the 40-night Carnival starts in January, with hotels tending to get booked out early in anticipation of this. The best event of the year is Carnaval, with incredible parades, performances, music and entertainment.
What to expect in...
Regularly experiencing Indian summers, March and early April are wonderful times to visit for Uruguay’s beaches. At this time, temperatures have dropped to low/mid-20s but the sea still retains its warmth making it ideal for snorkelling and exploring the sea life. Just remember to bring something warm for the evenings. During the Easter period, stay to watch the parades held during Semana Santa (Holy Week). Typically meant as a time to spend with family, Montevideo comes alive with celebrations.
Even in the winter months, temperatures rarely drop to freezing or below, hovering around 4°C. This makes it a great time to go hiking or exploring the countryside of Uruguay. It is also an ideal time to go whale-watching, even up to as late as November, during their breeding season. However, because of its proximity to the polar regions, a cold, damp wind can blow so remember to pack warm clothing!
The weather starts to warm up again at this time of year, with the beaches seeing visitors towards the end of November. There are over 200 vineyards in the country, so this a wonderful time to visit one of the many in the Carmelo or Garzon regions. Alternatively, take time to visit the olive oil producing locations, also near to Garzon. On 1st November, Día de Todos los Santos (All Saint’s Day) takes place to remember patron saints and dead infants. The following day, one of the most bizarre yet unique and vibrant celebrations takes place: Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). Families pay respect to their deceased loved ones by visiting and decorating the graveyards and pray for those believed to be in purgatory.