Carrasco International Airport Montevideo is the only major airport in Uruguay and still doesn’t play an important role in South American aviation. There are just a mere two dozen flights a day and no local carrier. In this Airport Guide, we’ll explain all you need to know about the airport of Montevideo!
When it comes to Aviation, Uruguay doesn’t play an important role at all. That’s something you can also see at Carrasco International Airport Montevideo, the countries most important airport. Less than two million passengers a year are using this airport, which is incredibly few compared to other airports in South America and the world. In the US or Europe, even regional airports often have more passengers.
The main problem of the airport and country is that there is no domestic airline, instead all flights are operated by foreign airlines. There are three long haul routes, two to Madrid (Air Europa & Iberia) and one to Miami (American Airlines). The airline offering the most destinations from Montevideo (five) is the Brazilian carrier GOL.
It might sound crazy, but despite its meager importance, Montevideo Airport is one of the most beautiful and easy airports I’ve ever been to. The terminal is beautiful, modern and very easy to navigate through. Security and passport control are a breath and there are a few very nice shops prior and after security.
When it comes to shopping, you’ll find the typical souvenir and daily needs shops, but also some popular brands like MAC or Victoria’s Secret. You can also find some restaurants and cafés at the airport. While you shouldn’t expect polished restaurants, there are a couple of nice places to grab a snack or even fast food chains like McDonald’s.
According to sleepinginairports.com, sleeping at Carrasco International Airport is possible. The staff doesn’t mind overnight guests and the terminal isn’t completely closed off during the night. Travelers are reporting that sleeping on benches is relatively comfortable. If you are looking for a better night’s sleep, you can find a couple of hotels around the airport.
However, there is no proper airport hotel located directly at the airport. The best option approximate to the airport is the Sofitel Carrasco, which is supposed to be one of the cities best hotels.
With no home carrier, the number of airport lounges at Carrasco International Airport is quite limited. The only lounge available is the Aeropuertos VIP Club, which has both, a departure and an arrival lounge. The departure lounge can be accessed by either presenting Priority Pass, paying a fee (70 US-Dollar) or flying Business Class with selected carriers or by holding an according frequent flyer status with various airlines.
I had access when flying with LATAM in Business Class and enjoyed the lounge very much. It’s well designed, cozy and quiet. The food & beverage options leave a bit to be desired, but that aside the lounge at Montevideo Airport is quite enjoyable.
Transportation options at Montevideo Airport are relatively limited. There are scheduled bus services to the city center, but buses take approximately one hour. Buses to Carrasco are also available and take between 15 and 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or an Uber, which lowers the trip time to the city center to around 30 to 45 minutes. However, prices for public transportation are way lower. There are also scheduled services to Punta del Este if that is where you are heading to from Montevideo Airport.