Uruguay Guide

Uruguay Guide

Uruguay – country information

Country name Uruguay
Official name Eastern Republic of Uruguay
Capital Montevideo
Continent South America
Area 175,016 km2
Population 3,286,314 (2011)
Foundation of a state 25/8/1825
The highest mountains Cerro de las Ánimas 501 m
Longest rivers Uruguay (part) 2200 km
State system a pluralistic presidential republic with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Montevideo (capital) 1,425,000, Salto 105,000, Paysandú 95,000
Official language Spanish
Ethnicity/National Composition inhabitants of Spanish-Italian origin 86%, mestizos 8%, mulattoes and blacks 6%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic 66%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 0.8%, no religion and atheist 32.2%, Jewish 1.7%
Currency 1 New Uruguayan peso (NUr$) = 100 cen
gross domestic product (GDP) US$15,865 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 76.33 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 9.3%, mining 0.2%, industry 28%, construction 4%, services 58.5%

Uruguay – neighboring countries

State Capital Area Population
Argentina Buenos Aires 2,780,400 km2 41,660,096
Brazil Brasília 8,514,880 km2 201 032 714

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Uruguay is a small country on the east coast of South America. It is often called the Banda Oriental, or “East Bank” (of the Uruguay River).

Uruguay is a country in the southeastern part of South America, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Common borders in the north – with Brazil, in the west – with Argentina.

The capital is Montevideo. The official language is Spanish. Currency – Uruguayan peso. Religion – Catholicism.

The climate is subtropical, oceanic. Average January temperatures +24*C, July +12*C. During the invasion of the southerly winds, the temperature drops to -5 * C, it snows.

The territory of the country is predominantly flat with hills and a few elevations. The coastal lowlands have fertile soils. Three-quarters of the country is green grassy steppe ideal for raising livestock.

Resorts and attractions in Uruguay

Uruguay can be called the beach capital of South America. For the sake of kilometers of clean beaches, tourists most often buy tours to Uruguay. But in this country there are a lot of more interesting objects and worthwhile activities.

Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay. This is a city of the last century, as evidenced by its architecture and the unhurried way of life of the townspeople.

Interesting Facts

Uruguay is one of the most economically developed countries in Latin America.

When Europeans first arrived in present-day Uruguay in 1516, the area was inhabited by the Charrua Indians. In 1680, the fortress of Colonia del Sacramento was founded, and the future capital of the country, Montevideo, was built in 1726 as a military stronghold, over time turned into an important commercial center, a competitor to Buenos Aires.

The territory of the country changed hands many times between Spain and Portugal. In 1776, it became part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, and in 1811 the war for independence from Spain began. In 1821, Uruguay, under the name of Cisplatina Province, was annexed to Brazil, as a result of which, on August 25, 1825, the Argentine-Brazilian War began for control of this territory. After three years of war, Uruguay gained independence in 1828 as a result of a compromise between Argentina and Brazil. The first constitution of Uruguay was adopted on July 18, 1830.

Country data

Location: South America

Time zone: CET – 4 (during summer time: CET – 5)

Total area: 176,215 km²

Land area: 175,015 km²

Water area: 1,200 km²

Length of the state border: 1,648 km

Bordering countries:
Argentina: 580 km
Brazil: 1,068 km

Coastline: 660 km

Capital: Montevideo

Departments: 19
Artigas, Canelones, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysandu, Rio Negro, Rivera, Rocha, Salto, San Jose, Soriano, Tacuarembo, Treinta y Tres

Electric current: 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 598 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Cerro Cathedral 514 m


Population: approx. 3.3 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 19

Life expectancy: 74 (male), 80 (female)

Official language: Spanish


  • 47% Roman Catholic
  • 53% other


Due to the location south of the equator, the seasons are opposite to those in Europe.

In the moderate climate there is no fixed rainy season. However, the humidity is often very high, especially in the morning hours.


During the summer months from early December to mid-March, daytime temperatures are often above 30 ° C. Winter lasts from mid-May to mid-September. During the day the temperature is 7-14 ° C.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Uruguayan Peso (UYU)

Classification: 1 Peso = 100 Centésimos

ATMs: Occasionally available in the larger cities.

International credit cards: These are accepted in larger hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

Outside the big cities, cash payments are common.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • 2 liters of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Behavioral advice

Crime has continued to rise in recent years. Robbery and theft in particular have increased sharply.

You should therefore keep money and valuables (jewelry, mobile phones, cameras, etc.) out of sight.


Agriculture is the largest industry in the country. Many cultivated and animal products are exported.

In order to develop further sources of income, the government is trying to build up a tourism industry.

Industries: chemistry, food production, mechanical engineering, textiles

Natural resources: ores, fish, farmland, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 7%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 78%
  • Forests: 6%
  • other: 9%


In order to gain areas for agricultural use and cattle breeding, large parts of the formerly densely forested land were cleared. Only about 6% of the country’s area consists of forests.

Various types of grass and bushes still grow on the banks of the rivers.


There are hardly any wild animals due to the lack of living space. Occasionally you can still see foxes, jaguars, pumas and some red deer.

However, there are plenty of farm animals. Over 20 million sheep and more than 10 million cattle secure the country’s needs and at the same time bring the necessary foreign currency through exports.

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