Uruguay Discovery Guide

Overview

Named after the Uruguay River that runs through the country, Uruguay is perhaps the only country in South America that shares its borders with just one country – Brazil. From looking at the map of the country, it may seem that the country of Uruguay may resemble something more of an island than a part of the South America continent. That is because apart from Brazil, everywhere you look, Uruguay is surrounded by rivers and other bodies of water.

The capital of Uruguay is Montevideo which is also its major port and largest city. Most of the population ives in urban areas but some of them also dwell in the gigantic lowland pastures. Many people here are of Spanish or Italian origin. Cattle rearing are a huge business here and many people enjoy wealthy lifestyles due to this business. With so many sheep and cattle, nearly half of Uruguay’s population is engaged in this occupation. As a matter of fact, the wool made in Uruguay makes it the world’s second largest producer. Nearly 30% of its exports are based on wool industry. Uruguay dependence on hydroelectricity is remarkable and almost 80% of the electricity generated here comes from hydroelectric power plants of the River Río Negro.

Uruguay attracts many tourists throughout the year. This is because of its balmy weather and golden beaches. While the whole of South America may have been influenced by the culture and tradition brought by the Spanish during the Inquisition, it is perhaps Uruguay where you would be able to see the greatest influence left behind. From the language to the religion practiced and even the food that one could sample in this country, spending a vacation in Uruguay would make anyone get lost in the moment and, for a second, think that they are in Spain. Yet, Uruguay is actually a country where freedom and eclecticism reigns supreme. This can be seen in the variety of dishes that one could sample when they visit this remarkable country.

For many travelers, the best place to learn about the country and culture is through the food that they sample. Although the cuisine in Uruguay is predominantly Spanish in its influence, one can still sample a variety of dishes whose influences come from other parts of Europe. The reason for this is that it was not just the Spanish that came to settle in Uruguay. In fact, it was a settlement of the English, the French and the Italians, and it shows in the variety of dishes you can sample in your trip. Here, sausage and pasta are considered to be some of the national dishes of Uruguay, just as how it is in Italy. A favorite of the locals here is the morcilla dulce. This dish is a twist on the English blood sausage which is cooked with oranges and walnuts. While enjoying this like the locals may take some getting used to, this otherwise simple peasant meal perfectly shows the blend of the different cultures that have influenced this little country.
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