Uruguay is a country that’s known the world over for the beautiful beaches that run the entire length of its coast. The Costa de Oro is a retirement haven that offers a peaceful, genuinely laid-back culture, along with a notable absence from the world’s conflicts—a place where expats can obtain residency easily and even a second passport.
A small town with a permanent population of just over 3,500, Atlántida swells to over 19,000 when the summertime visitors arrive. Its shady, tree-lined streets and large, older homes have the feel of a year-round home town, rather than that of a vacation resort. The calm, crescent-shaped cove is ringed with a sandy beach, and its seaside park is a frequent destination for both residents and visitors from Montevideo.
Atlántida is the heart of a section of coast known as Costa de Oro, which feels like it’s been left back in time. The more-popular international destinations of Punta del Este, La Barra, and José Ignacio have attracted the wealthy vacation crowd up the coast, leaving Atlántida with a more sedate pace of life and lower property prices.
It’s possible to live in Atlántida without a car. But it won’t be as convenient as being “carless” in the big city. If you can afford the extra $300 per month, do it. If not, you’ll get by with public transit.
If city living is more your style, we recommend Salto. Located about 300 miles upriver from Montevideo , Salto is like a mini version of the capital city. Just about every major store that has a branch in Montevideo has one in Salto as well. What Salto doesn’t have is Montevideo ‘s crime, property prices, or tax rates. You’ll notice a markedly lower cost of living.
As Uruguay ‘s second-largest city with just over 100,000 people, Salto is one of the few cities in Uruguay that you never have to leave. Its commercial district, entertainment scene, restaurants, and municipal services should provide everything you’d need and want without having to own a car.
The famous hot springs in the area draw tourists from around Uruguay , as well as from Argentina and Brazil , giving an international flare to Salto, as well as some nice restaurants and hotels. The riverfront parks are green and pleasant, a refreshing place to spend a Sunday afternoon.
While Salto may be “self-contained”, it’s not convenient to the international airport, which is a seven-hour bus ride away.
If you are retiring to Uruguay on a budget, the ideal location will depend on whether you’re looking for a seaside or a city lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the seashore first. Without a doubt, the country’s best value in beach property is the Costa de Oro, a 30-mile stretch of shoreline with uninterrupted golden sands, whose name translates to the “golden coast.”
What’s more, the Costa de Oro also contains some of Uruguay’s best coastal towns for full-time retirement living. The Costa de Oro possibly has the lowest cost of living on the Uruguayan coast, as well as the lowest property prices. A couple can live on a budget for less than 43,134 Uruguayan pesos per month.
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The infrastructure is developed and reliable. Uruguay is a country with abundant ground water, mild weather, and a surplus of renewable electricity from hydropower. So when you put it all together, you get quite a package. A beautiful coastline with First World infrastructure, a solid democracy with a healthy financial system, and shaded seaside towns where the beachfront homes are a bargain.
Uruguay has a solid (and still-confidential) financial center, with an economy that actually grew during the recent worldwide recession. It’s a country that continues to draw investors from the world over, seeking a financial and political safe haven.
The city enjoys four distinct seasons. Average high summertime temperatures run to about 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows in the mid-60s. In the winter, highs will usually approach 60 degrees Fahrenheit, while lows can occasionally go down into the 30s.
Frost is rare, and it never snows. The average 41-inch (1,041-millimeter) annual rainfall occurs fairly uniformly throughout the year, with no wet or dry season, although rain in the midsummer months of January and February is fairly unusual.
Thanks to pleasant sea breezes, most people don’t need air conditioning in the summer, but almost everyone will need heat in the winter.
Aside from beautiful beaches and livable, shaded towns, the Costa de Oro offers something that most of the Atlantic coastline does not—incredible sunsets, thanks to the general east-west orientation of its shoreline.
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