Uruguay has drawn a steady stream of expats for a long time. Uruguayans tend to have unlimited patience, they’re non-confrontational, non-violent, good-natured, and friendly. It’s a country that enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America, the culture is honest and hard-working, and levels of corruption are low. Overall, this country is safe, stable, peaceful, and friendly.
The culture in Uruguay is European-like, and the primary cultural influence is Italian. You’ll find tango clubs, opera houses, orchestras, and more fine dining options, cafes, and downhome restaurants than you can imagine.
We like Uruguay not only these reasons, but also for its four mild seasons, long stretches of coastline, charming old quarter (in Montevideo), and laid-back way of life… but also for its friendly tax legislation, its absolutely low cost of living, and its real estate investment opportunities right now. Montevideo’s old town is being rejuvenated, thanks to foreign (not only American) investment, but it’s not too late to get a super-good buy on a classic-style apartment in a good location. Beyond the capital, you can find even better buys, on estancias and big tracts of productive land.
Best known beach buy in the country is Punta del Este, which has been a draw for Argentine and other South American sun-seekers for decades. This Gold Coast, but an hour-and-a-half from Montevideo, has been enjoying such a boom that rental owners we know have lately reported extraordinary returns, as much as 12% net and more per year.
Located on South America’s eastern seaboard, Uruguay is surrounded by Brazil and Argentina. While Uruguay qualifies as sleepy, which is both a pro and a con, cities like Rio de Janiero and Buenos Aires are only a quick flight away (or ferry ride in the case of Buenos Aires).
The capital city of Montevideo— the southern-most capital in the western hemisphere—is home to almost half of Uruguay’s 3.4 million residents. Founded in 1724, this colonial city as seen Spanish, British and Portuguese influence over the centuries. Since 2006, Montevideo has consistently ranked as having the highest quality of life in Latin America. Since 2010, it held the spot as the most economically powerful city in South America. This city attracts expats for its vibrant, eclectic, and rich culture. It’s also said to be the fifth most gay-friendly city in the world.
Uruguay, in general, has an extremely open-minded and progressive culture. President José Mujica, commonly referred to as “the world’s humblest president” and “the anti-politician,” lives a simple life and donates about 90% of his salary to charity and entrepreneurial small businesses. A personal rights freedom-fighter, he legalized abortion, gay marriage, and drugs during his 2010 to 2015 term.
When it comes to individual sovereignty, Uruguay is king. For those who want to fly under the radar, diversify their financial assets, obtain a second citizenship, or even live off the grid, you won’t beat Uruguay. With a solid financial system, First World infrastructure, a stable and consistent democratic government, there are few better places to establish yourself, be it through residency, investment, or citizenship. We can’t think of a better country in which to become a citizen and obtain a second passport. It’s quick, easy, and, if you ever need that second citizenship, you won’t find a better place to call home.)