Discovered by the Spanish in 1516, the territory that is now denominated Uruguay obtained its independence from Spain and Portugal in 1825, and sworn its first Constitution in 1830.
From the late 19th century up to the second half of the 20th century, Uruguay received its most important migratory flows. Spaniard and Italians have strengthened the current cultural stratification.
Less numerous contingents of immigrants from France, and other regions of Europe and Asia also came to our country looking for a better future. A much sadder reason explains the presence of Afro-Uruguayans, most of them descendants of those people that were brought from Africa as slaves in the colonial period.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Uruguay was dubbed the “Switzerland of America”, for being the most avant-garde country, both politically and culturally, of South America. That prosperous era, produced benchmarks such as the highest building of the time in Latin America in 1925, Palacio Salvo, the biggest stadium of the world (Centenary Stadium), excellent sanitary levels and the football championship victory in the Olympic Games (Paris 1924 and Amsterdam 1928) and the Football World Cup of 1930 (held in the city of Montevideo) and 1950, in Brazil. These achievements helped to create the mystic of Uruguay’s "Golden Age".
The mate, drink of indigenous origin; the carnival of Hispanic roots but with a well-known influence of African rhythms and folkloric expressions; the tango, born of the merger between musical traditions of African origin and of the European and Creole instruments and rhythms; the gaucho that testifies with its lifestyle a singular amalgam of the Hispanic with the native culture; are some of the examples that tell us about the encounter of very different traditions and that explain, in some way, the shape of the current Uruguayan culture and thus its society.
Uruguay is situated between parallels 30º & 35° to the South and meridians 53 ° and 58 ° to the West.
It is divided into 19 administrative departments and it has a surface of 176,215 square kilometers. To the North and North-East it borders with Brazil and to the West with Argentina, from which it is separated by the Uruguay River; to the South it has coasts on the River Plate and the Atlantic Ocean.
It has more than 120 thousand square kilometers of territorial sea plus jurisdictional waters of rivers and lagoons. Immersed in a landscape of prairies and hills of singular beauty, Uruguay conveys a feeling of peace and tranquillity that captivates visitors.
Map of Uruguay
Uruguay offers endless natural scenery and a wide variety of historical sites in a small area, which makes it a natural destination for tourism. Uruguay offers to visitors many options, from unspoiled deserted beaches to other hotspots filled with glamour, natural meadows and extensive wetlands, bird and whale watching, thermal springs and world heritage historical centers.
The preservation and care of the environment, have positioned Uruguay among the countries with best sustainability indicators, recognized by numerous international organizations.Ecotourism
Uruguay is a paradise of fresh water with numerous rivers, creeks, streams, areas of marshland and lagoons that form a dense hydrographic network full of life that shapes the scenery. Hundreds of kilometers of coasts, mostly beaches of the whitest sand, continue without interruption from the Rio de la Plata up to the Atlantic Ocean.
Big extensions of natural prairies, diverse riverside forests, mountain forests, algarroba, a very rich fluvial network, a chain of shallow lagoons in the Atlantic coast and extensive areas of marshland, shape an enormous natural mosaic.
More than 450 species of birds, 4 of 7 existing species of marine turtles, the Southern Right Whale and more than 320.000 marine wolves; they are only a part of " Natural Uruguay ".
The tourism of cruises is one of the activities of the tourist industry with greater growth in the world. Uruguay is a clear example of this growth, with a number of visitors that it increases year by year.
Although Montevideo and Punta del Este nowadays are ports of call, its becoming clear they are shaping to be authentic base ports. There are several reasons why cruise lines choose these ports. Safety, which is one of the most important, is taken care of by the National Naval Prefecture and Tourist Police. The warmth and amiability of the citizens, always at the service of the tourist are very valued aspects, as well as the accessibility of currency exchange, the multiple options of shopping hours and the marvelous gastronomy.
Beaches and Sun
With 650 km of coastline along the Rio de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean, Uruguay offers a wide range of options. Rough and calm beaches, of fresh and salty water, with golden, thin or thick sand, private beaches,crowded beaches, and beautiful sunsets surrounded by natural beauty, are a real temptation for the visitors who want to escape from routine.
Beautiful sunsets make the Uruguayan coastline a feast for the eyes of the visitor. Surrounded with a spectacularly natural environment, the Uruguayan coastline is always a good reason to come back.
In the northeast region of Uruguay you’ll find an extensive zone of thermal offers, a different alternative to recover your well-being and the quality of life enjoying Health Tourism.
Between the river and the prairies, this destination offers thermal springs with high curative properties that, in natural privileged environments, invite you to rest and relax taking thermal waters therapeutic treatments, against stress, for rejuvenation and beauty.Source: Web Page Ministery Of Tourism of Uruguay