About Uruguay

Uruguay is a small, yet prosperous country sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil in the heart of South America. It is basically a European country, since the majority of its citizens are descended from Spanish and Italian immigrants. Spanish is the official language, but more than half the country also speaks English. Uruguay is more upscale with less poverty and strife than its neighbors. Montevideo seems safer than other South American capitals. The old city, Ciudad Vieja, has many colonial buildings that are now museums, art galleries, antique shops and restaurants. For nature lovers, the Eastern Wetlands contain swamps, lagoons, marshes, and streams with hundreds of bird species. UNESCO has declared the area a biosphere reserve. There are plenty of canoeing and fishing opportunities in both Uruguay and Negro River.

The most popular Uruguayan destination is Punta del este, with the Atlantic on one side and the River Plate on the other. It is an expensive jet set center for nightlife, casinos, and discos.Estancias, rural estates that are working ranches, are located throughout the country if you want a gaucho experience. Beef lovers will delight in grilled asado eaten in restaurants known as parrilladas or asados. Italian restaurants are everywhere. Try to rent a car to get to see the sights. Public transport in Uruguay is awful, unlike other countries, which have an extensive public transit system. Be prepared to pay much more than you would in Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador.

White sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean east of Montevideo compose Uruguay's version of the Italian and French Rivieras. This coastline stretches to the Brazilian border and holds some of the most impressive seaside resorts in South America. Colonia del sacramento is a coastal town just west of Montevideo and across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Charming Colonia, a legacy of the Portuguese colony, is an amazing historical site from the 17th century. Its Barrio Historico district is the perfect place for a scenic walking tour to see the colonial houses lining the area's cobblestone streets. Uruguay may be small in size, but the country is big in friendliness. The natives enjoy welcoming visitors from cold climates all over the world who travel to their sunny shores.

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