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Crime situation...

Saint Paul...
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Crime situation...

Hello all,

We are traveling to Montevideo next week and it seems that crime is increasing in Montevideo. Any recommendations on areas to avoid or any particular problem areas? We are staying in the Pocitos neighborhood, about two blocks from the sea. Of course, we'll take the normal precautions one would take when visiting a major city, however the many recent reports of increasing crime in Montevideo are a little concerning. Thank you for your help!

53 replies to this topic
Montevideo, Uruguay
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1. Re: Crime situation...

Just like any other city in this world. At least we don't have former soldiers killing dozens of people just because

Montevideo, Uruguay
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2. Re: Crime situation...

Montevideo is not the safest place, nor is it the most dangerous place. In the main corridors of the historic center (Ciudad Vieja) where most visitors walk when they come off of the cruise ships, in dayligth the real thing you have to worry about is maybe some beggars, anyway 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.

If you go further into the back streets of Downtown´s 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.

My advice; do not do or carry anything that advertises that you are not from here. Try to avoid walk through with gold watches, big cameras, fancy clothes etc.

Pocitos is a nice neighborhood. Very good to walk and eat at their restaurants, enjoy it!!!

Montevideo, Uruguay
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3. Re: Crime situation...

Montevideo is one of the safest cities in Latin America but it is still a capital city and there is small-scale petty crime that a traveller may encounter.

One thing that may surprise you is that Montevideans will look out for you, often literally stopping you in the street and telling you to be careful*. This tends to worry travellers initially but once they have spent a few days in Montevideo they realise that, especially if you are a seasoned traveller, you should take this advice with a pinch of salt.

We always say to our guests to take the regular precautions that you would when you are walking in a capital city, and that goes for any neighbourhood, the "classy" ones too. 

Our guesthouse is based in the Ciudad Vieja (Old City). In the Old City the area around the port is dodgy at night --typical of port areas the world over-- however there is no real reason to go there then. The Mercado del Puerto is based there but most of the stands are closed at night so the best place to go is during the day anyway. If for some reason you wanted to go there (for example you will be coming at Carnival time and there is a great carnival show stage there several nights of the week) we'd suggest you take a cab, just to be in the safe side. 

Most of our guests absolutely love the area and would choose it over others which are more residential in Montevideo. Just like anywhere else in Montevideo, what's great is you can basically park your car and go everywhere on foot.

So as the previous poster said, take the regular precautions anyone should in a capital city and you should be fine. Enjoy!

*My impression having lived in Montevideo for 13 years is that this comes from a sense of nostalgia (“Montevideo used to be so much safer”) and the local TV news tending to focus on crime stories over other types of news (they have been criticised for this).

Edited: 29 September 2013, 14:03
Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: Crime situation...

A very sincere "thank you" to the last two posters for giving all of us a straight-forward, serious and detailed answer to a serious question. The concerns about street crime strike me as being somewhat over-rated (and overwrought), but a one-line insult does not calm anyone's fears.

Your serious answers do. And I appreciate both of you taking the time to answer.

Montevideo, Uruguay
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5. Re: Crime situation...

You're welcome, anytime

Saint Paul...
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6. Re: Crime situation...

OP here, I would like to echo post #4, 100%. It's hard to tell these days what's over-blown and what is justified when going into a new city. Thank you both for your answers.

Edited: 29 September 2013, 21:16
Montevideo, Uruguay
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7. Re: Crime situation...

Retro Futuristic, JohnNY: thank you both for yours words, are really appreciated it (a traveler knows what another traveler needs, simple)

Montevideo, Uruguay
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8. Re: Crime situation...

Quick surface points from an Asian living here for 14 months and having travelled extensively across South America. Montevideo is in every sense a safe city with no Serious crimes. Petty theft and random acts of crime around the downtown area and in less populated streets need to be kept in mind. Pocitos, Punta Carretas which is where most tourists will unwind and the Rambla between these two areas is as safe as it can get so have a nice time while taking the usual precautions.

Montevideo, Uruguay
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9. Re: Crime situation...

Just mugged a few blocks from the Old City. Push, grab and run. Purse strap cut. Neighbors in same apartment building were mugged earlier in the day. Broad daylight, people in the area. I would advise extreme caution in this city.

Cabarete, Dominican...
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10. Re: Crime situation...

Are you a tourist Doug or you live in Ciudad Vieja in Montevideo? I just noticed you created a Tripadvisor account just to date, apparently to report that you had been mugged. Sorry to hear. I live in the Dominican Republic. In here, they mug tourists too. Just in case, this is a travel forum, and not place for locals and expats to report on crime.

Silvia

Edited: 26 February 2014, 03:21
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