Peso Uruguayo (UYU; symbol $U) = 100 centécimos. Notes are in the denominations of $U2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of $U10, 5, 2 and 1 and 50 centécimos.
MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Diners Club are the most commonly used credit cards. All are widely accepted in major tourist and business destinations including Montevideo, Punta del Este and Colonia del Sacramento. In rural areas, it's best to carry cash as many businesses will not accept credit cards.
ATMs marked with the green Banred or blue Redbrou logo are reliable and available in all cities, as well as some smaller towns. These serve all major international banking networks, including Cirrus, Visa, MasterCard and Maestro.
Traveller's Cheques can still be cashed at some banks and exchange shops in major tourist hubs. US Dollar traveller's cheques are more widely accepted than those issued in Euros or Sterling.
Local currency and foreign currency may be imported and exported up to the equivalent of US$10,000; larger amounts must be declared.
Visitors are advised to buy local currency at banks and exchange shops, as hotels tend to give unfavourable rates. Inflation in Uruguay, though less severe than in other Latin American countries, leads to frequent fluctuations in the exchange rate.
Uruguay duty free
The following items may be imported into Uruguay without incurring customs duty:
• Goods to the value of US$150 (travellers arriving by land), US$300 (travellers arriving by air or sea from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay) or US$500 (all other travellers arriving by air or sea).
• An additional US$500 of goods purchased at the duty-free shop on arrival, including 4L of alcohol (including 2L of spirits) and 4 cartons of cigarettes.
Travellers under 18 receive 50% of the usual allowance.
Prohibited items include flammable objects, narcotics and obscene or pornographic materials.
Restricted items include firearms, plants, fruit, vegetables, seeds, flowers, and animals and their products.