With the latest innovations and improvements made in the country, Uruguay, which is considered as the smallest country in South American, is no longer considered as an underdog. Located in the middle of Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay deserves a recognition and be known because of its own gems and treasures. There are many things to explore in the country which includes wildlife watching in the Atlantic coast, hot spring fun in Rio Uruguay and horseback riding in Uruguay’s vast fields. Having a rich culture, beautiful landscape and natural views, Uruguay is country that should be included in the traveler’s list of must-see destinations.
Important and Interesting Facts about Uruguay
- is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It is bordered by Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and southeast.
- Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, lack of corruption, quality of living,e-Government,and equally first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class, prosperity and security.
- On a per capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country.
- Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, rice, soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk.
- Same-sex marriage and abortion are also legal, leading Uruguay to be regarded as one of the most liberal nations in the world, and one of the most socially developed, outstanding regionally and excelling globally on personal rights, tolerance and inclusion issues.
- A dense fluvial network covers the country, consisting of four river basins, or deltas: the Río de la Plata, the Uruguay River, the Laguna Merín and the Río Negro. The major internal river is the Río Negro (‘Black River’). Several lagoons are found along the Atlantic coast.
- Punta del Diablo-Find a quiet escape from the busy city in this tranquil part of Uruguay. Walk in miles of empty beach coastlines, surf and fish till you drop, and enjoy wooden cabins and trouble-free rural lifestyle. Learn from people whose lives are as nature-oriented and as down-to-earth as the peaceful surrounding.
- Punta del Este is known world-wide as a plush resort with miles of beaches, a string of luxurious hotels and restaurants and never-ending reasons to party. While it’s not as famous as its European and American counterparts, its untamed charm and stunning beauty makes people come every summer. Strut your winning figure in its beaches by engaging in its beach activities or partying in its all-night discos.
- Do you find Punta del Este serving too many people that it spoils the fun you deserve? Then go to Isla Goritti and find more beaches that could satisfy the hydrophilic man in you. Eighteenth-century fortresses also abound this idyllic place
- Travel to the place of Spanish-Italian art deco designs and see for yourself the cultural diversity in this patch of land. While it lost many tourists over to more famous tourist zones, Montevideo has its own beaches and festivities to be proud of. Travel between late February and early March and find yourself in the middle of a dancing spree in the Montevideo streets.
- Take a look inside the Uruguay’s Mediterranean villa and art gallery and explore its rooms devoted to Carlos Vilaro’s masterpieces. Located only five minutes off Punta del Este, Casa Pueblo offers breathtaking edifice that serves as a repository for the equally astounding works of art. A bar was conveniently placed for visitors to unwind in a totally different ambience.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Uruguay
- In Uruguay there are 3 cows for every one person
- Uruguay is a small-scale transit country for drugs
- Uruguay is the first South American country to legalize same-sex civil unions at the National level
- In 2009, Uruguay became the first nation in the world to provide every school child with a free laptop and wireless internet
- Uruguay is the 2nd least corrupt country in Latin America (Chile is the first)
- Although 46% of its population practices Catholicism, Uruguay is the most non-religious country in the Americas
- Duelling was legalised in 1920 in a bid by the Government to smother the popular act in red tape and end the bloodshed.
- In English the colloquial name for the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is unique in having the letter ‘u’ appear three times within the first five letters.
- The national dish is a ‘super sandwich called ‘Chivito’
- Every house in Uruguay has it’s own name.
- Uruguay’s form of advertising is very interesting. They have large vehicles with giant speakers that drive around. The drivers advertise out of the speakers for a living.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Uruguay
- Prior to European settlement, Uruguay was inhabited by indigenous people, the Charrúas. Juan Díaz de Solis, a Spaniard, visited Uruguay in 1516, but the Portuguese were first to settle it when they founded the town of Colonia del Sacramento in 1680.
- After a long struggle, Spain wrested the country from Portugal in 1778, by which time almost all of the indigenous people had been exterminated. Uruguay revolted against Spain in 1811, only to be conquered in 1817 by the Portuguese from Brazil. Independence was reasserted with Argentine help in 1825, and the republic was set up in 1828.
- A revolt in 1836 touched off nearly 50 years of factional strife, including an inconclusive civil war (1839–1851) and a war with Paraguay (1865–1870), accompanied by occasional armed intervention by Argentina and Brazil.
- Uruguay, made prosperous by meat and wool exports, founded a welfare state early in the 20th century under President José Batlle y Ordóñez, who ruled from 1903 to 1929. A decline began in the 1950s as successive governments struggled to maintain a large bureaucracy and costly social benefits. Economic stagnation and left-wing terrorist activity followed.
- A military coup ousted the civilian government in 1973. The military dictatorship that followed used fear and terror to demoralize the population, taking thousands of political prisoners. After ruling for 12 years, the brutal military regime permitted election of a civilian government in Nov. 1984 and relinquished rule in March 1985; full political and civil rights were then restored.
- Official marriages have been civil since 1837; marriages are not arranged and are monogamous. About 48 percent of persons older than 15 years old are married, 10 percent live together, 28 percent are single, 4 percent are divorced, 2 percent are separated, and 8 percent are widows and widowers. Serial polygamy is accepted but is not common.
- Uruguayans are quite traditional and do not welcome criticism from foreigners. They also do not appreciate being confused with Paraguayans or Argentineans. Otherwise, people are friendly and easygoing. Although tactful, people are frank and direct and maintain a close distance when speaking. Close acquaintances of the opposite sex greet each other with one kiss on the cheek.
- A national behavioral particularity is the conspicuous “following gaze” that males direct to females to indicate that they are attractive. In many cases this is accompanied by verbal expressions called piropos, which are sometimes abusive and usually are ignored.
- Approximately 60 percent of the population is nominally Catholic, but only a minority attend church regularly (mostly those in the upper classes). Recently, the Padre Pio revitalization movement has been a source of converts for the Catholic Church.
- Traditional Catholic holidays have been secularized and renamed. For example, Christmas is called Family Day and Holy Week is called Tourism Week.
- Among the most important writers are José Enrique Rodó, a philosophical essayist; Juan Zorrilla de San Martín, the author of Tabaré, an epic poem about a heroic Charrúa mestizo; Horacio Quiroga, a modernist short story writer; and José Alonso y Trelles, who wrote about the gauchos.
- The clothing styles that are favored by South American ranch hands are known as gaucho clothes. These styles were first used by traditional Uruguay cowboys and they continue to be very popular with modern day gauchos in this country.