Best Places to Retire - Uruguay
"Is Uruguay one of the Best Countries to Retire and Live in?"
Uruguay is a country in South America. It has a south Atlantic Ocean coastline and lies between Argentina to the west and Brazil to the north. It is the second-smallest country in South America (after Suriname).
History and climate of Uruguay
The name Uruguay means river of the colorful birds. It is related to the name Guyana: Arawak Guayana, land of many waters.
The country has a mostly low-lying landscape. Cerro Catedral, the country's highest point, is 514 m high.
Subtropical. Due to the absence of nearby mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts.
A Marxist urban guerrilla movement, the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to agree to military control of his administration in 1973. By the end of the year the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold throughout the government, with widespread torture of political oponents. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the most free on the continent. In 2004, a leftist coalition which included the Tupamaros won elections which left them in control of both houses of congress, the presidency, and most city and regional governments.
How to get around in Uruguay
Uruguay has an extensive internal bus system. Non-local / departmental buses leave from the Tres Cruces station which also serves the international buses. The buses are frequent and many companies serve the same routes.
Unlike other South American Countries, taxis in Uruguay are safe and fairly affordable. Costing about $2 USD per km.
In rural areas hitch hiking is fairly common and as safe as hitching is anywhere. Uruguay has the lowest level of violent crime in Latin America outside Cuba. Even though I would not recommend this!
The language of Uruguay
Spanish is spoken everywhere. The pronunciation and the use of the vos pronoun instead of tu is practically identical to the Spanish variety spoken in Argentina.
Portuņol (or Brasilero) is a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish used on the Brazilian border.
Amerindian traits can be found everywhere in Uruguayan culture, from cuisine to vocabulary.
Most Uruguayans living in the cities have studied some English at school but do not actually speak it. Outside Montevideo and Punta del Este there are few English speakers. You will found English spoken in most tourist spots (shopping centers and in Punta del Este) and some restaurants will probably have English-speaking staff.
Work in Uruguay
There are numerous English language schools which are looking for native speakers as teachers. They can arrange papers or pay teachers under the table. The pay is not good, but enough to live on in Montevideo. Work permits are not particularly difficult to obtain and Uruguay lets you convert a tourist visa to a work visa without leaving the country. Residency visas without permission to work simply require you prove access to $500 USD a month. Work permits are not particularly hard to get.
Stay safe in Uruguay
Unlike its South American neighbours, crime is not a serious problem in Uruguay. Like anywhere, however, sensible precautions should be taken. That being said, Montevideo provides the highest opportunity for a run-in with pickpockets.
In an emergency, call 911 or 999.