Friday, September 26, 2008

Uruguay cost of life updated 9/2008

Uruguayan moneyLong time no see, here I come again with an updated list of what's the cost of life in Uruguay these days, when the american dollar is cheaper and cheaper, and uruguayan peso stronger. I've recently moved,..again, still with my girlfriend, and making plans to get married this summer, so my budget is in crisis...again (it's been almost three years already since the cost of life post... im getting old). It turned out that the info about how much does it cost to live in Uruguay did seem to help, and it even got mentioned in a book, or so I've been told.

 Let's start by the beginning, right now the exchange rate is about 20 pesos for 1 american dollar, and rates are expressed per month. So without further ado, here is the table:

Item Peso UY USD Comment
Lunch at restaurant from 100 to 200 from 5 to 10 Places where you sit, and there's a waiter
Dinner for two in a fancy restaurant from around 500 to 1200 from around 25 to 60 appetizer, main course, dessert, good wine for both
Lunch at Mac Donald's 120 6 MD is not considered a cheap meal
Movie Theatre/Cinema from 50 to 105 from 2.5 to 5 105 weekend price
Theater around 300 around 15 expensive
20km taxi drive in Montevideo around 350 around 15 from carrasco to ciudad vieja
Urban bus ticket 13.5 0.675 government is making it cheaper
1 lt of gasoline 32 1.6 got a car now
Renting a one bedroom apartment in a fancy neighborhood from around 6000 to 8000 plus common expenses from around 300 to 400 neighborhood being pocitos or punta carretas
Renting a two bedroom apartment in a fancy neighborhood from around 7000 to 12000 plus common expenses from around 350 to 600 for some reason real state bubble hasnt burst here, again this is per month.
Electricity bill around 1000 around 50
Phone bill from around 1500 to 3000 from around 75 to 150 five person house, one teenager
Water bill around 300 around 15
cable tv bill around 600 around 30
internet broadband (256k download) from 200 to 600 from 10 to 30 at least some things are less expensive
Kilo of Potatoes around 20 around 1
Kilo of apples around 30 aroundaround 1.5
Kilo of bananas around 25 around 1.25
1 lettucearound 12 around 0.6
Kilo of fatless grinded meataround 138 around 6.9
Kilo of beef loinsaround 170 around 8.5
1 lt milk 18 0.9
1 loaf of bread 18 0.9

As you can appreciate everything is much more expensive than 3 years ago, specially if you rely on dollars (which I dont). The perspective of moving to Uruguay might not seem as cost effective as it used to be, at least not to americans.

I don't have the mean income info, but if i have to guess it, i'd say for 70% of the population it's below 1000 usd/month.
SmartUnits unit convertor, exchange currency calculator

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hillwalking in Uruguay, Pan de Azucar

There’s a hill in Maldonado, Uruguay, called Pan de Azucar (sugar loaf), that you can easily spot if you drive by, it’s the one with a cross on top. This place hosts a national park, suitable for picnics, a zoo with typical Uruguayan fauna reservation, and of course the hill. Not being a particular animal lover, I find the hill itself to be the main attraction, since it makes for a very enjoyable hillwalking tour.

I went last Friday, and it was like the fourth time I climbed it in my life. I did it a couple of times with my parents, as a kid, and about five years ago with my girlfriend, and it’s remarkable how it mirrors aging for this time was the first time I really felt the exercise.

The hill is 423 meters high, and is actually the third highest in Uruguay. It’s a two to three hour trip, to get to the top and return. It’s not difficult but it’s not trivial either, some parts of the trail are pretty steep to be done walking, and you have to help yourself with your hands to make sure you don’t slip.

On top of the hill there’s a concrete 35 meter high cross. It has a staircase and you can climb to the arms of the cross and enjoy a panoramic view of the coast of Maldonado, including piriapolis and punta del este.


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