Is it safe for a tourist in Montevideo, or in beach resorts in general?
Yes, it is, but like always when traveling to a destination you're not familiar with, be street smart. Don't carry too much cash, other unnecessary valuables, jewelry, etc. You want to blend it, not stand out as a tourist. Tourists are always an easy target.
I also avoid dark streets and choose to take an Uber or cab instead. I don't see the point of risking it. I dress down when walking around, and if I carry a nice camera, I do it fully aware that if I get robbed, I'll lose it and I'm fine with it--reason why I don't carry my most expensive camera and lenses ;-) as I don't have insurance for that. BTW, this I do in Montevideo and anywhere I travel, including where I live now, except if I know the area well.Edited: 01 June 2018, 18:02
Try not stay at the old city center (accommodation), use your common scene, ask your guest/hotel staff were to go and when, avoid marginal areas.Edited: 05 June 2018, 02:06
Those stats may be correct (although they're true for the entire country and not for Montevideo where Daniela is planning to visit, and are likely to include many domestic-violaance related murders), but are irrelevant for a tourist unless it applies to the areas in Montevideo where tourists go.
Please by all means post any information you have for crime in tourist areas. We will all appreciate them. Just don't scare off tourists based on crime stats that mostly occur in fringe neighborhoods that tourists (or I -- Uruguayan and expat) would ever visit while in Montevideo.
I do agree with your recommendations to play it safe in choosing a place to stay.Edited: 05 June 2018, 17:32
Well, let's start understanding the numbers and their relationship with tourist:
half of the population lives in Mvdeo, so the probability of been present in a delinquent act it's higher. Beside the home violence events, crimes become more violent at the point that I don't remember the insecurity levels that we feel today when I was a child. De facto, tell me if you will advice tourist (or just any citizen) to walk from Mercado del Puerto to the Plaza Independencia. Or just going arround El Cerro o Jardin Botanico with out any concern.... and I'm talking by day.
I'm not discouraging any tourist to visit Uruguay. It's a beautiful country with lovely people, but lately has changed and people need to understand this. Because this statistics number are telling us what the probability of been involved in one sad situation that we didnt dream. And once we are into it it wont help to think this occurs only in this neighbor or to this kind of people. Additionally she wants to plan her trip and I think I'm giving her an inside look that she lacks of. I entered the forum because wanted advice about the idea to do a safari with small children. Some people talked about lions and leopards that ate babies. That occurs all the time? NO. But it's a risk that parents take when going to a safari with children and they must to know, and then decide
Is is very safe. We have traveled to more than 50 countries and six continents.
My wife and our eight month old daughter spent under 2 weeks and had a great time. Read about our experience so you can prepare for your trip. What an amazing and safe country.
I am planning our trip to South America and would like some help. We would like to stay in the Ciudad Viejo area of Montevideo, unless you suggest otherwise. We like to be able to walk to the main sights and be close to local transportation and the bus to the airport. I recently read about the street cildren who take drus. Are they a big problem? I hope not. I am originally from NYC and have traveled quite a bit, so I am a cautious person. Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Gracias!
"street cildren "? What did you read and where? Please post a link.
There's indigent people in Montevideo, like anywhere. I've seen plenty in New York. Anyone can take public transportation, some have it for free or a small token, whereas others pay full fare. But I don't know of any specific problem with 'street children'.
As to staying in Ciudad Vieja, I wouldn't and note that I was born in Montevideo. Security has improved but still too dark for the evenings and during weekends when offices are closed.
If you want to be close to everything, you'll be better off staying somewhere downtown and close to the main avenue, 18 de Julio. Not a particularly pretty street but enough people walk day and night, and lots of public buses go through that main road.
I'd say Montevideo is safe. Never had a problem here, but it's noteworthy that when the cruise ships arrive there's ample police visibility in "old town". There are some areas I wasn't comfortable walking, even during the day, especially somewhat closer to the ferry terminal on the bay side. Anyway, there's nothing interesting to see for tourists. Other than that, Montevideo isn't anymore unsafe or safe than any other bigger city in the world. Use your eyes and common sense.
Montevideo used to be a fairly safe city more than 20 years ago, thus it's good safety fame but, since then, safety has been gradually deteriorating to the point that nowadays every residence or property in the city, and around it, had to be surrounded by bar fences, security walls, bars over windows and serious security protection I live in Pocitos, considered locally as a fairly safe part of Montevideo, and I don't know any body that has not been robbed, assaulted, hurt, or had very unsavory encounters with criminals within the past 10 ~ 15 years. I understand that other cities in other countries may be worse, as I read sometimes, however for Uruguayans that grew up in a much safer environment, the current situation is very worrisome. For tourists, I would suggest watching your back, literally. Look out for, and stay away from motorcycles coming in your direction, and carry your valuables against your body in a way that cannot be noticeable or that could not be snatched away from you. Try not to walk or drive or ride a bike alone. Lock the doors of your vehicle as soon as you get in, and don't remain inside a parked vehicle for extended periods of time Make sure nobody is following you when you are going to enter a building or vehicle. The police won't help you find your stolen property, with very rare exceptions. Just in case, it may be useful to have a small spare stash of money and even a spare cellphone with you to hand over to your mugger so he may go away satisfied. Sadly, this is what most city dwellers have to keep in mind when they go out on the streets in Uruguay these days, as far as I can tell. Hopefully nothing bad is going to happen to you when you visit the country but, it is better to be safe than sorry.