Carrasco International Airport (MVD), about 12 miles (15-30 minutes) from Montevideo has a very modern, spacious and open air concept. The airport has 4 gates with 4 jetways, including an additional 4 gates on the ground level. It’s extremely easy to get through quickly without issues or major crowds.
The only US airline servicing MVD is American, which offers seasonal service direct from Miami. Otherwise you can connect from the US via many Latin American cities on Avianca, Copa, Latam and others. From Europe, fly direct from Madrid on Air Europa or Iberia.
Customs & Immigration
Depending upon your citizenship, you may be allowed to use the automated entry system. A simple scan of your passport through the automated reader clears the first gate, then a photo session before going through the last gate can take a mere minute or two if things go well. On the day we arrived, only a few of the automated stations were working and they were a bit slow. (5 min or so instead of a 1 minute). There are also staffed customs desks, too.
Once you clear customs, baggage claim is just about 100 steps away. After claiming your bags, you will be required to put all of your luggage plus carry-ons through one last scanner.
Next you’ll find yourself in the center of the airport where you’ll find car rental desks (cars are offsite); an information stand, taxis; gift shop, and McDonalds.
Above the ground level arrivals hall is the departures hall above. There you will also find a McCafe and Starbucks, along with airline check in stands and a gift shop or two. One further level up is a viewing deck towards the runway where you can watch planes land or depart.
There is an arrivals lounge in the arrivals hall after you exit customs, however membership is required. As you depart, there is also a VIP Lounge after security near the gates. Based upon the airline your flying and class of service, you may be able to access the lounge at no charge. The lounge by the gates also accepts Priority Pass.
Departing Montevideo is just about as easy as arriving. One thing you should note is that airlines tend to arrive and leave in set blocks of time during the day.
Some airlines like Copa, start boarding 1 hour before departure. We arrived around 2 hours before our flight to check in and there was already a line of about 60 people waiting to check in. Once you’re ready to head to the gate, customs clearance was also automated and clearing security was done in just a matter of minutes.
There is another airside lounge after security in the gate area that you might be able to access based upon your airline cabin or other memberships.
Last modified: January 31, 2023