My Mom and I were robbed near the Cementerio Central (Curuguaty/ Barrio Sur). It happened on a little square at 2.00 p.m. We have been robbed by a group of 5-6 male teenagers (14-16). First they stole my bag and I was running after them. In the same time they pushed my mother to the floor and tried to steal my mothers backpack. They were very brutal. The "square" was full with people and everybody was watching. Some guy came to us and told us to leave now because it is too dangerous to stay longer. He explained where the next police station was. It was just 2 streets away. From the square where we have been robbed you even can see the police station. At the police station we also met two American girls, they have also been robbed near this street. So please stay from Curuguaty!!!
For the most part, violent crime is not prevalent. However, I had my back pack stolen right out from the back of my car with lots of cash, my passport and an i pad. Street crime/theft is RAMPANT!!! The police will do NOTHING to help you here - at all, they are totally corrupt. The people in Montevideo are extremely callous and make NYers seem warm and fuzzy - they all just stood and watched as I called for help and would not even phone the police. You need to be on your guard here at all times and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Also look out for cars! They drive aggressively, rudely and constantly beep at one another (again they make NYC taxis seem meek and friendly) Good luck. Colonia however is beautiful, low key and a different world (friendly people).
Montevideo is not the safest place, nor is it the most dangerous place. In the main corridors of the historic center where most visitors walk when they come off of the cruise ships, the only real thing you have to worry about is maybe some beggars. Petty theft does happen, so you are safer to stay near other people and avoid big bags or cameras that advertise you are a tourist with something to take.
However if you go further into the back streets of Montevideo, the dangers will shift a little. The streets become a lot less traveled so there are less witnesses. Also, many of the other neighborhoods are impoverished areas and more desperate.
If you walk in these areas, by all means, do not do or carry anything that advertises that you are not from here. When kids are playing on the street in possibly nothing more than a diaper, it is obvious if you walk through with gold watches, big cameras and fancy clothes.
Most of the people are overly friendly and helpful, but it only takes one to sour the mood.
Please be very careful in the oldest part of Montevideo in Ciudad Vieja!!! Watch out for your belongings even if you feel save during daylight!!! I was robbed on an early Sunday afternoon by two teenagers. They grabbed the strap of my camera as they walked by at a street corner, pulled hard, the camera fell to the ground and one of them grabbed the camera and both ran off. I followed them, I ran as quick as possible. On the next street corner one of them stopped, he put his hand under bis sweater and indicated that he has got a weapon and in the meantime the other one was gone with the camera. On that day there were many local people, I guess about 20, nearby watching what happend, but non of them tried to help, they just watched what happend. Please be careful in this area!
I was attacked by 8 young men, in broad daylight, on the western part of Sarandi St. in the Ciudad Vieja. I was knocked to the ground and had a bag stolen, but in the course of the fight, I was able to keep my wallet and documents. Shouting neighbors and locals eventually ran them off.
Months later, near the Plaza de Independencia, I was pickpocketed by a young man. When I gave chase, he tossed my wallet.
Montevideo is probably safer than many American cities, but the security situation has deteriorated in recent years. Be aware of your neighborhood, even during the day, and be very careful at night.
When I have een walking around with my quite bigger camera, people have said to me or made signs that I shall be careful and look out for thieves. I havent had any trouble yet in Montevideo or the rest of Uruguay, but you can never know, so I thought it could e a warning tip here.
Be very careful on the beach walk along Barrio Sur. Our group of four (two men, two women) were attacked by a group of four guys (three tall, one short, all late teens or early 20's) on Saturday, September 10. They came across the street near the gray, long low building surrounded by red brick high rises across the avenue from the beach and were going for the girls purses. They got one of them. One of our girls was knocked down and we all ended up a little scraped up, as we fought back. This all happened in late afternoon and with people around. People in the area did help and the purse (minus cash/camera/and SS card) was recovered by an off duty cop who was on the beach with his girlfriend and a friend. Local people that we asked apologized profusely and said that these types of occurrences were on the rise in the area
Well I will start by saying that I am from Uruguay but have lived the majority of my life in the United States. Therefore some may take my review as biased but it's definitely not and I will explain. While to most here in the states the way we speak spanish, rioplatense, is unique, when I go over to Uruguay they can tell I am an outsider. I have personally, on a weekday, walked in Montevideo through Ciudad Vieja at night, and havent encountered a single problem. No beggars, homeless people, or muggers. When walking through any city you have to use common sense. Would you walk through the darkest alley imaginable, with a wad of cash and a camera? Probably not. So it's not any different here. But I can almost guarantee you that you are probably many times safer here than any other city you've walked through. The statistics speak for themselves. Just use common sense, take the proper precautions and have fun. And yes Uruguay has some tough ghetto neighborhoods, like anywhere else in the world, but once again use the same common sense you would use anywhere else out there. Enjoy Uruguay, and stay safe. You wont regret the visit.
crime? Almost certainly. Other hazards - not necessarily. Stay out of dark streets or sections of sidewalk in Uruguay. There are two hazards there: unmarked and unguarded holes, ditches, puddles and tree roots; the second, more an assault on one's dignity but worth noting, is that not all Uruguayan dogs have devoted owners, following them everywhere ready to scoop treasures. What you can't see, you can't avoid.
And by that, I mean, appearances aren't what they say on the signs. Case in point. Near the port of Montevideo, near the Puerto de Mercado marketplace, there is a sign above a shop that advertises a "call center". Now, this means normally a place where you can call to other countries at fair rates or use the internet. Not so much in this case. This was actually a places for prostitutes! I kid you not. I was informed of this and I was shocked to see that. You might wanna take a peek carefully in some shops before you go in and see that's what they advertise. I wish I had a photo to show but I did not take one. Use caution!
Something quite strange in South America is the fact that nobody really cares a lot about pot-holes in the centre of the city. In other parts of the world there would be a fence around such a place, where construction-works are going on, but here you have to be careful yourself at any place in the city and at all times of the day.
I felt completely safe, when walking from the port to the citycentre of Montevideo. Nobody begging in the streets, no gypsies with children and other scams.
Of course it is always best to be careful because unfortunately pickpockets could be found at any place of the world.
Be very careful walking in the old city or off July 18th street. I was pickpocketed (robbed) by teenagers in the afternoon walking in the old port and a group tried again just off July 18th street this evening. Police are not out in force and no one will assist. October 26, 2007
Although for a city Montevideo is probably safer than most, I did see a scene where a backpack traveler was robbed only three blocks off 18 de Julio. A local shop keeper did grab, knock down, and hold one of the men responsible. As we watched the arrest from across the street, one of the observers of the scene said that it was not the first at this spot. The area, a block away from the bus stop pictured here, looked clean and safe enough, and the criminal caught looked like an average middle class older high school student.
You'll find people, in general kids, asking for coins and some money (pesos or your currency money) and they are really insistent. A small kid (about 8 years) insisted asking me money until I gave the coin, I know it's not the best action to do, but they don't give up until you give a small coin.
In general they are on the Ciudad Vieja (Old City), a tourist place and where most of visitors must have to go.
Watch out your wallet and your belongs, I don't know if they steal you, but it's always good take care yourself.