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Home / Uruguay - Punta del Este - Montevideo

Uruguay - Punta del Este - Montevideo

Uruguay is a small but prosperous country, more and more visited nowadays; preferred for its Ocean and River Coast, rural landscapes, thermal hot springs, the Historic Quarter of Colonia del Sacramento (considered by Unesco, as Human Heritage), and above all, its friendly and educated people.
The name of the country, comes from the “Guarani” and has some translations as "river where the bird lives," "river of painted birds", "river of snails", and “river of turns". But in reality, the country is called "Oriental Republic of Uruguay", because it is located east of the River Uruguay. So, uruguayan people are also called "orientales".

In Uruguay, there is a better quality of life and less poverty than in other south american countries. In addition to this, people feel safer than in any other place. Half of the three million people who live in Uruguay, live in its capital: Montevideo.

The country is situated in a prime location in South America, surrounded by the enormous territories of Argentina and Brazil, large rivers and the Atlantic Ocean. It is basically an european country, since most of its citizens are descendants of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese immigrants. Spanish is the official language and the second language, is English.

Uruguay offers a wealth of springs in its beautiful countryside, rivers and lakes, picturesque hills, which allow all kinds of sports.

Punta del Este, is internationally recognized as the largest resort in America. This is the most popular destination in Uruguay, with the Atlantic on one side and the River Plate, on the other. It has the largest casino in Latin America, where the global jet set meets annually, especially during January and February. Is also known for its expensive night life, with casinos and nightclubs. In Punta del Este, you can also find different amount of unique shops with exquisite taste.
The Uruguayan version of the Italian and French riversides, is composed of white sand beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, in the east of Montevideo. The coast stretches to the border with Brazil and has some of the most stunning coastal locations in South America.

Colonia del Sacramento is a coastal town, just west of Montevideo. The charming Colonia, a legacy of the Portuguese Colony, is an amazing historical site of the seventeenth century. Its “Barrio Historico” (Unesco Human Heritage), is the perfect place for a scenic ride and for enjoying the colonial houses and cobblestone streets.

For nature lovers, the Eastern Wetlands have swamps, lagoons and streams with hundreds of species of birds. UNESCO has declared this area, as a biosphere reserve.

With regard to Montevideo, the "Old Town", has many colonial buildings now turned into museums, art galleries, antique shops and restaurants.

The average temperature ranges from 11 ° C in winter to 23 ° C in summer, while precipitation is distributed evenly throughout the year. Only the entry of cold winds (“Pampero”) coming from the south-southwest and warm air masses, coming from the north, sometimes cause some changes in the general climatic conditions.

Uruguayan topography consists of vast rolling plains and is crossed by low hills.  It is a country that exports large quantities of high quality beef. It also produces all kinds of fruit and high quality wine. Tannat is a typical strain of this country and the best known. Originally imported from the Basque country, the Tannat has a strong dark color, almost black and full-bodied.

Regarding traditions, if you want to live a "gaucho” experience, you will find rustic ranches and farms, all throughout the country. Meat lovers will be delighted to test the grill (barbecue), which can be enjoyed in restaurants and is known as "parrillada". Besides, you can get to know the “mate”, which is considered the national drink. It is an infusion such as tea and is drunk through a “bombilla” (metallic tube through which “mate” is drunk). This drink of Guarani origin, is the inseparable companion of the gaucho. This “typical character” of the uruguayan countryside, is associated with the origin of the country and his courage and sense of freedom, were determinant in the struggle to achieve the uruguayan independence. No one surpasses him regarding to field works, such as rounding up cattle.

The typical party of the country is Carnival, which is the longest in the world (it lasts forty days). During this celebration, you can enjoy many parades that take place in different neighbourhoods and where several groups dance and play the “tamboriles”. Uruguay attaches great importance to the Carnival and its European and African origins. In its colonial times, during Carnival, the black slaves of Montevideo covered their bodies with brightly colored robes and went to the ramparts, where they were allowed to sing their songs and perform dances. The "Candombe" is derived from African rhythms, performed by black slaves from the colonial era.

As an annex, we can tell that Uruguay was the first World Cup Champion in 1930, but also won another world championship, in 1950: at the huge Maracana Stadium in Brazil, where Uruguay had a historic victory against Brazil (2:1). This mythical match, was called "Maracanazo" and is part of the uruguayan national pride.

At present, Uruguay is the country of origin of the football player Diego Forlán, who was voted as the best player of the Word Cup 2010.

Do not miss the opportunity to meet Uruguay: a small country in size but a big country respecting to friendship... a country full of history, where human diversity, makes it a welcoming place for all.

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