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Email Us With Questions!

We have had a great response to our blog and receive email frequently from people who are interested in moving to Uruguay and are looking for more information. I've been corresponding with a woman from the United States who was looking for info about a possible move here with two kids. I wanted to include a few excerpts from our email conversation regarding the most expat-friendly neighborhoods and costs of goods/services in Uruguay.

Thanks for the note! To address your questions about the Pocitos, Punta Gorda and Carrasco neighborhoods:

We love the Pocitos/Punta Carretas areas. They are considered higher end, safe and very expat friendly areas that are still close to downtown. We live on the border between the two "barrios" listed previously and are within walking distance to just about every service and store that we could want. Cabs and public transportation are excellent, so we have no problems in this area without a car. There are a lot of high rises in this area and nearly all the buildings are attached to each other. While we know of a few people with small yards here, it does not seem to be common. Our house does not have a yard. Instead, we have a small front garden and a back patio.

Carrasco is gorgeous, with big houses and large yards that feel more like any United States suburb. You would definitely need a car in Carrasco it is around a 15-20 minute drive from where we are living (on a good day with no traffic). Punta Gorda is one barrio/neighborhood closer to downtown Montevideo than Carrasco and from what I hear, it has a similar feel to Carrasco.

If you click on Google Map Montevideo, you will see the names of the different neighborhoods (you may have to zoom in) and you can get some perspective to their relationship to one another. The little pin on the map is between Punta Gorda and Carrasco. If you follow the coast to the left you will find Pocitos and next to it at the point near the bottom of the screen, Punta Carretas.

To address your question regarding items that are less or more expensive than the US: Cars and gasoline here are very expensive, as is most technology including computers and home electronics. Kids/baby stuff here is also extremely expensive (2-3x more than what you'd pay in the US). I just looked for a potty seat for my daughter at a local shop and the only decent one I found was a Safety 1st model that is $50 here but only $23 on Amazon.com. On the flip side, food, most services, child care and medical are all much cheaper than what we experienced in the US.

The lifestyle is definitely different in Uruguay. We love it but we also know people here who are having problems adjusting. They expected it to be more like the US or Europe, I guess. With such a small market in Uruguay, many consumer goods are not the quality that you'd get in the US and the imports are insanely expensive due to all the import and sales taxes. Plan trips to Buenos Aires or the US to get anything you can't find here. While you technically could ship anything here, there is a very hefty price tag attached!

Good luck with your decision and feel free to email with any more questions- Lisa

If you have any specific questions and would like to email us directly, please use the 'Contact' link at the top right of the site, or feel free to leave a comment on this or any of our posts. Thanks!

Get Your own Toll Free Number

Renewing our Temporary Visitor Permits

Uruguay Coat of ArmsThe time had come to renew our temporary visitor's permits for Uruguay.  Some people call these a visitor's visa, but they are not technically visas. Uruguay gives you 90 days and then you have to leave the country and re-enter to extend your permit. We knew about this and were planning a weekend trip to Buenos Aires with the extension in mind. We didn't want to go to Buenos Aires quite yet and had heard a mention of extending your permit for the first time at the Uruguayan immigration office in the Ciudad Vieja barrio of Montevideo. We looked at the forums for information about this and found very little. Well, it was either the immigration office or an impromptu trip to BsAs for the weekend, so we thought we'd try here in Montevideo first.

The Dirección Nacional de Migración office is located at Misiones 1513, esq. 25 de Mayo in Ciudad Vieja. When you walk in, take a number which is on a large column and wait in the main area. Even though the place was packed with people, the numbers flew by. Pay attention as it is not posted anywhere what number they are on.

Our number was called, we went up to one of the desks, sat down and told the clerk that we need "Prorroga de permanencia temporaria" (temporary extension of stay). After they typed our information into the computer, out came official looking forms with our names/passport numbers, etc.  We brought the forms to the caja (register), paid UY$356 each (about US$15), then took our papers and passports to a third desk where we received stamps all over the sheets (but strangely not in our passports) which will extend our stay for another 90 days.  All done in about a half an hour. I bet immigration in the USA isn't nearly this easy!

If you're late in renewing your temporary status here, don't fret.  You won't be kicked out of the country but you will pay a fine.  According to the Dirección Nacional de Migración website price list, it looks like the extension of an expired stamp is only US$8 more than the valid extension.

You can make this trip to the Immigration office every other time you need to extend your visitor's status here in Uruguay. The original stamp in your passport is good for 90 days. At the end of 90 days, go to the immigration office as described previously. At the end of the next 90 day period, you MUST exit and re-enter the country to renew your temporary status in Uruguay.

The visit to the immigration office is a great alternative to those who do not want to travel often, cannot afford it or simply don't have the time to travel when they need to renew their visitor status. Compared to other governmental services here, we found this process to be quick, inexpensive and efficient.

Posts to Come

We have a few projects in the works and wanted to let everyone know what will be coming in the next week, in no particular order:          X  Expat Travel Technology Series, Part 2: "How do I get my mail?"  Brad's weekly update on our tech tools.

        X  Setting up Daycare:  Two places that we've looked at, including our thoughts and prices for 5 half days per week in the post "Daycare Options"

        X  "Furnished or Unfurnished?" and why we chose what we did for our new home.

        X  Creepy Crawlies: Post took the form of “It’s The Little Differences"  to discuss lots of small things that are different in UY from those which we are accustomed.

  1. Firing up the Parilla: Our first attempt at an pseudo-Uruguayan Asado (pseudo because it was vegetariano)
  2. Photo/Video gallery via SmugMug

If there is anything you absolutely cannot wait to see, please send us a note.  We can pull some strings.

We will be updating this list to link to the topics after they are posted. 

A Much Better Day

pugs-on-boxes Great news that Pablo, our 8 year old male Pug, is on the mend.  We had a vet visit yesterday, along with medication delivered today and all should be better soon.  Brad can write more at some point about his vet adventures.  I also have to mention that Paloma, out female Pug turned 7 today.  Happy Birthday!! As you can tell by the photo above, the days festivities were exhausting and they found a comfy spot on a flattened box to rest. 

This afternoon we had a bittersweet lunch with friends who will be leaving UY today to head back to MN.  While they are planning to return here next year, we probably will not see them before then and miss them already.  Jim and Mariellen had a wonderful experience here and are definitely planning UY as their retirement destination! Yippee!!

At the tail end of our lunch, I had to leave a bit early because Ms. G was in dire need of a nap.  I took her back home (which was about a 1/2 block away) and put her to bed.  I then prepared coffee for everyone to come back and enjoy once they were done with the bill and the last bit of wine at the restaurant.  15 minutes had passed.  30 minutes had passed.  Still no sign of them.   40 minutes after I left the restaurant, they get back here.  Turns out that the bill was paid and then the waitress brought two BIG carafes of wine, on the house.   That was certainly unexpected and I was more than a bit envious that I missed out.  We talked some more and had a quick 20 minute coffee (Record time in UY!) in our back courtyard before the landlord and Jorge were scheduled to arrive.   

Jorge  and the landlord get here.  We say our goodbyes to Jim and Mariellen (who have to get to their hotel and then off to the airport ) and we are off to talk about the water issues.   The landlord lived in this house for 4 years and is familiar with the systems.  He says that the water pressure can build up in the system overnight and that causes leaks where there are not normally leaks.  For the next few days, he is asking us to turn the water off at night until they can get the system repaired.  Not a big deal and we are happy to do so if that will prevent more water.  The kitchen cabinet need to be dried out (we have some stuff to absorb the moisture) and then bleached. I don't like bleach, but if it can kill the nasties, I'm all for it.  The atmosphere was all very comfortable and they came prepared to hang up a clothes line while here (we already did that a few days ago) and silicone the shower fixture as we had requested.  We  also got the assurance that all was going to be made right and received the landlords phone number and address (he lives right around the corner) and then an invitation to come to his house to pick up a tricycle.    His daughter is 3 and had graduated to training wheels.  He thought that we might like it.  Geneva thinks it's fun to push it and walk while straddling it, but hasn't gotten the concept of riding get.  It'll come.

All in all, a much better day than yesterday.  A vet visit (along with a husband who's Spanish is good enough to handle a vet visit) great lunch with friends and a responsive and helpful landlord all make for a very happy Lisa!