Money & costs
The unit of currency is the Uruguayan Peso (Ur$). Banknote values are five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. There are coins of 50 centavos, one, two, five and 10 pesos.
For speed and convenience, nothing beats ATMs. They’re found in most cities and smaller towns. Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay seems to have the least temperamental machines.
Credit cards are useful, particularly when buying cash from a bank. Most better hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards.
There are plenty of casas de cambio in Montevideo, Colonia and the Atlantic beach resorts, but banks are the rule in the interior. Casas de cambio offer slightly lower rates and sometimes charge commissions. There’s no black market for dollars or other foreign currencies.
Traveler’s checks can be cashed nationwide at banks and casas de cambio. Commission varies, but usually hovers around the two to three percent mark.