Uruguay

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Uruguay is a country in South America. It has a South Atlantic Ocean coastline and lies between Argentina to the west and Brazil to the north. It is the second-smallest country in South America (after Suriname).

Population: 3,324,460 people
Area: 176,215 km2
Highest point: 514 m
Coastline: 660 km
Life expectancy: 76.61 years
GDP per capita: $16,200
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Hotels

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  • 2 star hotels 2 star hotel
  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

About Uruguay

History

Uruguay was discovered by Spanish Adelantados in the ends of the XVI century, and was part of the United Provinces of the River Plate until 1811. (Although plata literally means "silver" in Spanish, "plate" is the traditional and correct translation as it was used as a synonym for precious metals up until the 19th century.) Originally, Uruguay was simply known as the Banda Oriental, or Eastern Band, of colonies along the eastern edge of the Uruguay and Plate Rivers.

When Buenos Aires expelled the last Viceroy, Baltasar Cisneros, the capital moved to Montevideo. The rebel navy sailed from Buenos Aires in an attempt to overcome the Spanish troops in that city, aided by the local rebel troops.

When finally Montevideo was freed from Spain, Uruguay intended to secede from Buenos Aires, only to be invaded by the Brazilian Empire, which started the Argentine-Brazilian war in 1813. After a variety of confusing twists, the war ultimately ended in a stalemate. With the assistance of mediation by the British government, both warring countries agreed to end their territorial claims on the Banda Oriental in 1828, thus giving birth to the new Eastern Republic of Uruguay. A constitution was subsequently drafted and adopted in 1830. British assistance in the creation of Uruguay led to a long history of British influence (including the habit of driving on the left), which ended only with World War II.

The Argentinian Civil War which ravaged that country during the 19th century was not a stranger to Uruguay, which soon gave birth to two opposing parties, the Whites (liberals) and the Reds (traditionalists) that eventually also led to a Uruguayan Civil War that went on in various hot and cold phases until the beginnings of the twentieth century. The story goes that the parties' colors originally came from armbands allegedly torn from the Uruguayan flag, but the conservatives switched to red armbands when they realized that red faded less quickly in the sun than blue.

However, the simmering tension between the left and right wings of Uruguayan politics persisted. From 1954 to 1967, Uruguay tried an unusual solution borrowed from Switzerland: a collegiate Executive Office in which a different member was designated President every year. In this way, Uruguay became the "Latin American Switzerland" for a while, acting as model of democracy and banking liberties until a military coup ended all this.

A Marxist urban guerrilla movement, the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president Juan María Bordaberry to "agree" to military control of his administration in 1973. (They returned the favor by firing him from his job in 1976 and appointing the first of several puppet presidents.) By the end of 1974 the rebels had been brutally crushed (and Tupamaro leader and future president Jose Mujica was imprisoned at the bottom of a well), but the military continued to expand its hold over the government, by engaging in widespread torture and disappearances of alleged insurgents and anyone unfortunate enough to be perceived as opponents of the regime. Civilian and democratic rule was not restored until 1985.

Today, Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the most free on the continent. In 2004, a leftist coalition (the Frente Amplio or Broad Front) which included the Tupamaros won elections which left them in control of both houses of congress, the presidency, and most city and regional governments. In 2009, former guerrilla leader Mujica was elected president.

Climate

Temperate. Due to the absence of nearby mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts.

Activities

  • One of the best experiences to have while your stay at Uruguay is to watch a game between Nacional and Peñarol, the two most followed football teams in the nation.
  • . Sunbathing, surfing and bathing in the oceanic coast. The most important beaches are Punta del Este, Piriapolis, La Paloma, La Pedrera, Cabo Polonio, Punta del Diablo and Santa Teresa(national park and camping)

Food

Prices: Uruguayan cuisine is typical for temperate countries, high on butter, fat, and grains, low on spice. It has an important italian influence due to the strong italian inmigration. If you are from the Mediterranean, you will find it bland, but if you come from the Northern Europe, Russia or the US, you won't have trouble getting used to it.

  • Breakfast for 4 people can cost as little as $58 pesos (US$3) in a supermarket
  • 1 box(1 litro) of Tropical Fruit Juice - $35 pesos
  • 2 packages(5 ounce each) of coconut biscuits - $28 pesos

There are many public markets where you can get a hundred varieties of meat. Vegetarians can order ravioli just about anywhere.

Empanadas (hand-sized meat or cheese pies) make an excellent portable, inexpensive, and delicious snack or lunch. You can find them easily at many corner bakeries.

Uruguay has traditionally been a ranching country, with cattle outnumbering people more than two-to-one, and therefore features excellent (and affordable) steaks. One dish that should not be missed is chivito, a heart-attack-on-a-platter sandwich (some guidebooks call it a "cholesterol bomb") that is made of a combination of grilled tenderloin steak, tomato, lettuce, onion, eggs (hard-boiled and then sliced), ham, bacon, mozzarella cheese and mayonnaise and fries.

"Asado" is a typical Uruguayan barbeque, consisting of a variety of grilled meats (beef short ribs, sausage, blood sausage and sweetbreads and other offal) over wood coals. Almost all Uruguayans know how to make its variations appear on most restaurant menus. For a traditional experience, try it at the "Mercado del Puerto" market, in Montevideo's port area. Uruguay, with its long shoreline, also enjoys an excellent variety of seafood and fish. The flavor of the most commonly offered fish, brotola, may be familiar to people from North America, where it is called hake.

For desserts, dulce de leche, a kind of caramel, is found in all manner of confections, from ice cream to alfajores (dulce de leche-filled cookie sandwiches), or Ricardito, a famous uruguayan dessert (available in all supermarkets).

Drinks

Yerba Mate is widely drunk on the streets, but can hardly be ordered in restaurants. You may have to buy a package at a supermarket and make your own. The drinking gourds are widely available and range from economical to super-luxe silver and horn. Yerba Mate is a social drink. If you are with a group of Uruguayans they will probably offer you some, do be mindful, it may taste somewhat bitter. If you try some it will make everybody happy.

Uruguay is also acquiring a reputation for its fine wines, especially those made from the Tannat grape.

Shopping

The Uruguayan currency is the Peso. Prices are often quoted using the U$ symbol, which may be easily confused with the US$ (US dollar) symbol. * US$1 = U$21.59 (Uruguayan Pesos)

  • €1 = 26.32 U$ (Uruguayan Pesos)

Uruguay is like many developing countries in that the retail industry is still dominated by small specialized shops, small supermarkets, and small, crowded shopping malls. There are no true department stores in the country remotely comparable to the giant stores found in New York or Paris. In the entire country, there is only one true hypermarket, Geant (operated a joint venture between local chain Disco and the French chain Geant), that constitutes a reasonably decent facsimile of hypermarkets elsewhere (down to the huge parking lot, high ceiling and wide aisles). Uruguay does not have the big box "category killer" stores for which the U.S. is famous (and which have been copied to a lesser extent in Australia and Europe).

Uruguay does not manufacture most consumer goods locally. Most items in the stores have either been imported from China, or from Argentina or Brazil. Even worse, Uruguay charges high import tariffs and high value-added tax (IVA) of about 22% on virtually everything. Accordingly, most goods cost as much as in Australia, Canada, or Europe.

Some parts of Uruguayan stores feature numerous high-quality brands familiar to any North American, like Dove soap, Colgate toothpaste, Listerine mouthwash, Del Monte canned fruit, and so on. There are other brands with familiar logos but strange names; for example, Coca-Cola's South American juice brand is del Valle, which has a logo similar to Coca-Cola's North American juice brand, Minute Maid.

However, Uruguay is not a major priority for most other brands found in the developed world, which means their products are rare or nonexistent here. Locally available brands (as noted, imported mostly from China) tend to be of poor quality. Because the Uruguayan market is so small and most Uruguayans are still relatively poor compared to consumers elsewhere, Uruguayan retailers lack the bargaining power of their North American or European counterparts. In turn, Chinese factories often sell their highest-quality product lines to the dominant First World markets and send their mediocre-quality product lines to Uruguay and other small developing countries. For example, while American and European consumers are accustomed to advertisements for luxury bedding made of 700+ thread count textiles woven from Egyptian or pima cotton, luxury bedding in Uruguay consists of 250+ thread count textiles woven from cotton/polyester blends.

Popular items to buy include yerba mate gourds, antiques, wool textiles, and leather goods: jackets, purses, wallets, belts, etc. With regard to textiles and leather goods, although the prices may look like great bargains, one must keep in mind that local designs are inferior to designs elsewhere. Uruguay is still decades behind other countries when it comes to the quality of metalworking, which is a serious problem since leather goods like purses and belts have metal parts like clasps and buckles.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Uruguay on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Uruguay

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Montevideo is the pleasant capital city of Uruguay, a country in South America. It is situated on the east bank of the Rio de la Plata.

Interesting places:

  • Independencia Square
  • Salvo Palace
  • Constitution Square
  • Montevideo Cathedral
  • Solis Theater
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Punta del Este is a beach resort town in Uruguay complete with casinos, beaches, yachts and lots of tourists. Many of these tourists come from the other side of the Rio de la Plata from Argentina to get some nice fun in the sun on a beach away from the brown waters of the Rio de la Plata.

Interesting places:

  • Punta del Este Port
  • Punta del Este Lighthouse
  • Casa Pueblo
  • Brava Beach
  • Mansa Beach
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Colonia is in the Rio de la Plata region of Uruguay. It is filled with old colonial buildings and cobbled streets, and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Interesting places:

  • Matriz Church
  • Street of Sighs
  • Theater Bastion del Carmen
  • Portuguese Museum
  • Casa Nacarello
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La Paloma is a city in the Atlantic Coast region of Uruguay. At the center of La Paloma sits a lighthouse warning captains of sandbars and a rocky coast. Very similar geographically to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, La Paloma is a summer tourist retreat for Argentineans, Brazilians, Chileans, Europeans, ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Cape Santa Maria Lighthouse
  • Port of La Paloma
  • Old Train Station
  • Andresito Municipal Stadium
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Interesting places:

  • La Familia Park
  • San Roque Chapel
  • Independence Square
  • Artigas Square
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Punta del Diablo is a small seaside village in the Department of Rocha, located on the Atlantic Coast of Uruguay.

Interesting places:

  • Fortress of Santa Teresa
  • Santa Teresa National Park
  • Center for Sea Turtles
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Piriapolis is a small beach town between Montevideo and Punta del Este in Uruguay. It is a more laid back version of Punta del Este with fewer fancy restaurants and clubs.

Interesting places:

  • Piriapolis Beach
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Interesting places:

  • Parque Faro Jose Ignacio
  • Jose Ignacio Beach
  • Prefectura Nacional Naval Jose Ignacio
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Interesting places:

  • Roosevelt Park
  • Church Nuestra Senora del Pilar
  • Square Constitution
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Mercedes is a village in Corrientes in Argentina. It's a pretty nondescript town that strictly sticks to siesta. However, to visit Esteros del Ibera and Colonia Carlos Pellegrini it's the place to get a transport and also organise your stay and activities in Carlos Pellegrini though not necessary.

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Interesting places:

  • Atlantida Zoo
  • Eagle\'s Nest
  • Founders of Atlantida Plaza
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Interesting places:

  • Cunapiru Dam Ruins
  • Historic Gold Mine Entrance
  • Church of Santa Ernestina
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Interesting places:

  • Lake Rodo Park
  • Plaza Jose Batlle y Ordonez
  • Artigas Plaza
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Northern Interior is a region of Uruguay and includes the depatments of Artigas, Paysandu, Rivera, Salto and Tacuarembo.

Interesting places:

  • Monumento a Perpetuidad
  • Florencio Sanchez Theater
  • Plaza Constitucion
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Salto is in the citrus growing region of Northern Interior (Uruguay), on the east bank of the Rio Uruguay. It is closely connected to the neigbouring Argentinian city of Concordia that lies across the river on the western bank. Salto has just under 100,000 residents.

Interesting places:

  • Acuamania Water Park
  • Artigas Square
  • Salto Municipal Zoo
  • Harriague Park
  • Salto Fine Arts Museum
panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Uruguay

  • Confitería Irisarri, Minas.
  • Los Dedos (the fingers), Punta del Este.
  • Castillo de Piria, Piriapolis.
  • Abbotsford, Piriapolis.
  • Colonia del Sacramento, Colonia, Colonia. World heritage site
  • Plaza Independencia, Palacio Salvo and Old City, Montevideo.
  • Montevideo Centenario Stadium and Football Museum, Montevideo.
  • Palacio Legislativo, Montevideo. The Uruguayan Parliament
  • Rambla (Promenade) of Montevideo, Montevideo.
  • Jose Ignacio, Maldonado, Costa atlantica.

Matriz Church - Colonia del Sacramento

Independencia Square - Montevideo

Punta del Este Port - Punta del Este

Piriapolis Beach - Piriapolis

Roosevelt Park - Fray Bentos

Fortress of Santa Teresa - Punta del Diablo

Acuamania Water Park - Salto

Cape Santa Maria Lighthouse - La Paloma

Parque Faro Jose Ignacio - Jose Ignacio

Street of Sighs - Colonia del Sacramento

Salvo Palace - Montevideo

Theater Bastion del Carmen - Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento Lighthouse - Colonia del Sacramento

Casa Nacarello - Colonia del Sacramento

Portuguese Museum - Colonia del Sacramento

Constitution Square - Montevideo

Montevideo Cathedral - Montevideo

Porton de Campo - Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento Plaza de Armas - Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento Plaza Major - Colonia del Sacramento

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
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