Uruguay: South America’s second smallest country behind Suriname. Located on the southeastern coast of South America, Uruguay is boarded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Argentina to the west and southwest across the Uruguay River and the Rio de la Plata respectively and to the north by Brazil. Covering a total land mass of 68 thousand square miles, Uruguay, is comprised mainly of low hills and rolling plains. The highest point is the Cerro Cathedral located in the mountain range called Sierra de Carape. Fertile lowlands are found along the coastal lowlands. A large flood plain made up of 4 major rivers and deltas provide a vast network across much of Uruguay. The major rivers making up this network are the Río de la Plata, the Uruguay River, the Laguna Merin and the Río Negro.
Once known as South Americas best kept secret, Uruguay, home to colonial towns and world famous beaches has become a well sought after tourist destination. Popular with and close to Argentina and the capital city of Buenos Aires, Uruguay has seen an increase in tourist. Uruguay has also been known as the Switzerland of Latin America, not for beautiful snow capped mountain ranges, but for its stable democracy.
Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, located on the southeastern corner of the country at 34° 53′ 0″ S, 56° 10′ 0″ W has a very temperate climate and very typical of Uruguay due to the relative flatness of the country. Tropical air coming down from Brazil gives Uruguay warm summers and polar winds coming up from Antarctica can leave Uruguay with very cool winters. Temperatures will usually range from highs in the 70’s during the mid summer months (November till May) and lows in the range of mid 50’s during the winter months (June till October).
Uruguay: with a population of 3. 5 million people, is almost 95% of Spanish and Italian descendants. Half of Uruguay’s population, 1.7 million people call Montevideo home. Uruguay was first settled by the Europeans in 1536, yet lacking gold and silver in which the Spaniards were seeking, the majority of European descendants did not arrive until the late 1800’s, bring European architecture influences that are found through out Montevideo and other major cities of Uruguay.
Uruguay’s economy relies heavily on exports of agricultural products, and industries of Petroleum products, food processing and electrical machinery making Uruguay one of South America’s most prosperous countries. Today, Uruguay relies on Argentina for the majority of its tourist and a small percentage arriving from Brazil. The largest draw to Uruguay for travelers is the World class beaches such as Piriapolis and Punta del Este as well as colonial towns such as Colonia del Sacramento and Colonial Suiza which lies to the west and a hydrofoil boat ride from the capital of Montevideo. Many of Uruguay’s businesses will close for Carnival as well as Semana Santa (Easter Week). Heavy tourist months in Uruguay run from the end of November to the beginning of May