A Day Exploring Montevideo
Tucked in between Brazil and Argentina along the South American coast is the county of Uruguay. Its capital and major port is the city of Montevideo where over half of the countries total population of just three million live. A frequent port on many South American cruise itineraries the city is located near where the Rio de la Plata flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It is two-hundred fifty miles down river and east of Buenos Aries.
Where Your Ship Docks
Cruise ships normally dock at the Terminal Puerto De Montevideo which sits at the tip of a peninsula which covers most of the Tres Cruces barrio. A barrio is neighborhood or district and Tres Cruces means “three crossings”, referring to the three major transportation routes which meet in the area. The port is well developed but does not offer a terminal adjacent to the pier. However only a couple of blocks outside the port is a shopping district and public restrooms are available in the Port Market*.
Disembarking – This port has a developed cruise ship pier but the ease of disembarking varies by the individual ships gangway designs. For passengers using wheelchairs there can be a moderate ramp incline to deal with.
Port City Characteristics – This port has a well developed wheelchair friendly infrastructure. The port area is flat or has few inclines. Intersection crosswalks have few issues with curbs or other wheelchair obstacles.
While Montevideo is a large metropolitan area, Tres Cruces is the heart of the historic city with most of the sites within walking distance of the port. Getting outside this area usually requires a taxi. While Taxis are common they are not cheap as gasoline is very expensive here. A majority of drivers only speak Spanish so be prepared with written names of your destination. Expect to pay about UYU100 for a ten minute ride. Tipping is not usual, but rounding up is common.
Montevideo is not a large city and it has a very efficient public bus transportation system. Getting around by bus is not difficult but you may need to use some Spanish. With a little help from a cellphone translator you’ll find the people are very friendly and eager to help you with which bus route you need to take to get to your destination.
Getting To and From the Airport. A shuttle is available between the airport and downtown for about UYS 800/950 or about US$45. A taxi should cost about UYU 1500 or US$70.
Currently a Uruguay Peso (UYU) is worth about US$0.03. Most merchants in popular tourist areas will gladly accept Dollars and Euros and most major credit cards can be used. If using currency expect small change to be in Uruguay Pesos.
Just outside the port is The Port Market. Outside are street stalls and local shops and inside the main pavilion is a collection of cafes, bars and restaurants. The area is particularly famous for its steak houses.
Within the Tres Cruces area are a number of attractions of interest:
- Locks Fountain at Av. 18 de Julio
- Ramírez Beach, a wide sand beach & popular hangout
- Galeria SOA, Candombe pedestrian Curuguaty
- Palacio Diaz at Av. 18 de Julio
- Ciudadela at Av. Intendente Municipal Juan Pedro Fabini
- Fountain Plaza Cagancha at Dr. Enrique Tarigo
- Galería Caubarrere Convención at Restos de la muralla de la Ciudadela at Buenos Aires
- Mausoleo de José Gervasio Artigas at Prócer de los Orientales
- Monument at Plaza Independencia
- The Black Gallery Arte Contemporáneo at Calle Perez Castellano
- Palacio Santos at Av. 18 de Julio
- Monumento a Atilio Narancio
- Palmera de Juana de Ibarbourou at Manuel Vicente Pagola