The official currency of Uruguay is the Uruguayan peso. However, the country has had different currencies throughout its history. In this article, we will talk about them, as well as the value of the current currency compared to other prominent currencies.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

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Currency of Uruguay: information and images of the Uruguayan peso


After the declaration of Independence in 1829, the first coin was the tenth of the province of Buenos Aires, in 1831. However, the first currency totally Uruguayan was the one created in 1840.

In 1844, during the Great War, the strong peso was established, although only around 1.000 units were produced, since the Siege of Montevideo was being lived and the coins only worked in this city.

The Siege of Montevideo was a situation that was experienced in the Great War, between 1843 and 1851, in which the city of Montevideo was isolated from the rest of the territory.

Starting in 1855, banks began to issue their own banknotes, so there were different currencies. In 1865, a law was generated by which these banks have to back their issues with gold.

In 1890 the National Bank and the first banking network were created. Later, in 1896, the Banco de la República appeared, which from 1907 became the only one authorized to issue banknotes (until 1967, when the Central Bank of Uruguay was born).

During the sixties, the currency suffered a strong devaluation. For this reason, in 1975, through Law 14316, it was changed to the new peso: one hundred pesos were equivalent to a new peso. However, the devaluation did not stop, so in 1993 the Uruguayan peso was reinstated. This time, 100 new pesos were equivalent to one Uruguayan peso.

In the following video from the Central Bank of Uruguay you will find interesting information on the development of the currency in the country:

Current currency

The Uruguayan peso continues to be the official currency of Uruguay. Its ISO code is UYU and its symbol $. At present, we find metallic coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 pesos.

Their design changed in 2011. Now, on one side of the coin we find a animal representative of the national fauna, such as the mulita, and on the reverse the National Shield. They were minted by the Spanish Mint and the Royal Mint of England.

As for the tickets, we find 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1.000 and 2.000 pesos. These models have been changing to make them increasingly safe. The last to change was the 2.000 Uruguayan pesos, in April 2016.

Commemorative coins

To celebrate some outstanding dates, there are different commemorative coins. Among the most sought after are those created in 2011 by the Bicentennial of the Eastern Emancipation Process.

From this date, we found a $ 50 coin that is On circulation and, therefore, you can pay with it, and another silver of $ 1.000 that is collectible, so it cannot be used.

In 2015 some were also designed to celebrate the bicentennial of the 1815 Land Regulations. You can see them in this video:

Also, there are commemorative coins from the past that are still valuable. One of them is the FAO currency 1969, which was awarded as the most artistic in the world. Another is the one designed in 1975 for the sesquicentennial of MDCCXXV. In the latter you can read the phrase freedom or death.

Exchange rate

This is the value of 100 Uruguayan pesos compared to other major world currencies:

  • 100,00 UYU = 2.365,40 Chilean pesos (CLP)
  • 100,00 UYU = 3,54 US dollars (USD)
  • 100,00 UYU = 65,37 Mexican pesos (MXN)
  • 100,00 UYU = 10.297,28 Colombian pesos (COP)
  • 100,00 UYU = 57,00 Argentine pesos (ARS)
  • 100,00 UYU = 3,16 euros (EUR)
  • 100,00 UYU = 11,65 Brazilian real (BRL)
  • 100,00 UYU = 19.854,81 Paraguayan guaranis (PYG)
  • 100,00 UYU = 35,43 Venezuelan bolivars (VEF)
  • 100,00 UYU = 11,55 peruvian soles (PEN)
  • 100,00 UYU = 26,01 Guatemalan quetzals (GTQ)
  • 100,00 UYU = 4,77 canadian dollars (CAD)
  • 100,00 UYU = 5,03 New Zealand dollars (NZD)
  • 100,00 UYU = 83,14 Honduran lempiras (HNL)
  • 100,00 UYU = 12,65 Israeli shekels (ILS)
  • 100,00 UYU = 395,68 japanese yen (JPY)

Currency exchange

If you are going to travel to Uruguay and are concerned about currency exchange, you should know that in the cities you will find numerous exchange houses. Most are open Monday through Friday from 13:00 p.m. to 18:00 p.m. However, in large shopping centers, you can find some that are open every day from 09:00 to 22:00.

On the other hand, in a part of the establishments they accept payment with American dollars. It is also possible to pay by credit card. The most accepted are those of Visa and MasterCard.

Likewise, you can withdraw money directly from an ATM, or make the currency exchange before starting the trip, at a bank in your country.

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