Getting around Montevideo
Montevideo is relatively small, so getting around is simple, especially if you speak some Spanish. Montevideo buses are cheap and frequent, but often packed at peak periods. Plan your route carefully as bus stops are not signposted particularly well. Various companies operate in the city, many along very similar routes.
The main operators are COETC (tel: +598 2508 7871; www.coetc.com), COME (tel: +598 2354 3466; www.come.com.uy), Cutsca (tel: +598 19333; www.cutcsa.com.uy), Raincoop (tel: +598 2506 6005; www.raincoop.com) and UCOT (tel: +598 2508 0003; www.ucot.net). Buses run from around 0500 until 2300 and all fares are paid in cash, per journey.
There is no underground rail network in the city.
Although the city has plenty of taxis, fares are relatively expensive compared to other forms of local transport. You can hail Montevideo’s black-and-yellow taxis on the street or reserve them over the phone with Celeritas (tel: 1919, in Uruguay only), Radio Taxi Punta Gorda (tel: 1771, in Uruguay only) and many others.
Always ensure the meter is working before you take off. For longer journeys, it may be cheaper to reserve a remis (private) taxi from Aba Transportes (tel: +598 2200 5176). Always agree a fixed fare.
Although roads tend to be potholed and badly signposted, driving in Montevideo is fairly straightforward because the city’s inhabitants tend to drive slowly and often stop for pedestrians. Passersby are usually willing to help out with directions too.
The minimum age for hiring a car is 21 years. Those wishing to do so need a driver’s licence with two years' validity, a passport and a credit card.
Due to the relatively high cost of owning and running a car, Montevideo's roads are not as congested as other South American capitals, but it pays to do some research into Spanish-language road signs before setting off.
You can hire bikes from Biking Uruguay (tel: +598 2709 0636; www.bikinguruguay.com) at Gabriel Pereira 3297. The friendly staff members, who are cycling enthusiasts themselves, can also arrange guided tours.
One of the best places to go riding is along the riverfront Rambla that runs along the city's southern shoreline, and the Parque Rodó, to the east of Montevideo.