Uruguay is a Spanish-speaking, developing country with a predominantly agricultural functions. The mild subtropical climate and the large number of sunny days, flavor the development of the agriculture and make it one of the most productive on the continent. This is one of the most developed countries in Latin America as regards to the health and education.
Geography. Oriental Republic of Uruguay is located in the southeastern part of mainland South America. It bordered by two countries – in the west with Argentina, and to the north and to the northeast – with Brazil.
It has an outlet to the Atlantic in the south, where the river Rio de la Plata flows into the ocean. Uruguay is located between 30 and 35° south latitude and between 53 and 58° west longitude.
It has an area of approximately 176 215 square kilometers. This is one of the small size countries in South America, especially in comparison with giants such as Brazil and Argentina.
Relief. The relief of Uruguay is dominated by plains and hilly areas with a small altitude.
Despite on the territory of the country are situated the last branches of the Brazilian mountain land, in this country the mountains have insignificant altitude and as a result there are not high peaks and mountain ranges in Uruguay.
The highest point is Cerro Catedral. It rises to a height of 514 m in the southern parts of the country, about 45 kilometers from the ocean shore. The coastline is weakly indented.
There are no large bays and peninsulas, the only exception is the mouth of the river Rio de la Plata, which forms a deep cut in the land Gulf on the border between Uruguay and Argentina.
Climate. Uruguay has a subtropical oceanic climate. The summer is long and quite warm, but the proximity of the Atlantic does not allow to the temperatures to become too high.
In January at the height of the summer in Montevideo the daily temperatures are around 27 – 28°C.
The night temperatures are around 17-18°C. The winter is much shorter than the summer. The coldest month is July, when the thermometers show the enjoyable daytime 14°C.
Even at night temperatures are usually not less than 5 degrees. The spring and autumn are pleasantly warm, with daytime temperatures around and above 20°C.
The precipitation is moderate and is about 1000 – 1300 mm per year. They vary slightly through the year.
As the country is wide open to the south, during the winter months sometimes for a short time in the country invade very cold air masses, coming from to Antarctica.
It is possible in such situations the temperatures to fall below freezing and even sometimes in those moments can drop heavy snowfalls, but this is rare and very short, and soon again the temperatures become around 14 – 15°C.
Nature. In the landscapes of Uruguay dominate steppes and open spaces. The forests are rare in the country and they are not very thick.
In the forest areas thrive dry-loving trees, shrubs and palms, typical for the subtropical climate. The high mountains are missing. The landscapes are dominated by plains, plateaus and hills.
The flat relief in combined with the fertile soil is the reason of the excellent high producing agriculture. Most of the coast of Uruguay is occupied by beaches. The sand varies from pale beige to yellow or brown.
As in the western parts of the country flows the river of Rio de la Plata, the ocean water is relatively cloudy and therefore the tourists are directed towards the north-eastern parts of the country near the Brazilian border, where the sand is better, and ocean waters are clear and much more transparent.
There are the most beautiful beaches in the country. In eastern parts of the country is the Lake Merin, which is the largest in the territory of Uruguay.
It is situated on the Brazilian border and most of it is on the territory of Brazil.
Population and settlements. The population of Uruguay is 3 400 000. Of them, around 1.5 million live in the capital Montrvideo, located in the southern part of the country.
Most of the other major cities are located near the western boundary of the country along the River Uruguay. Some of them are Mercedes (40 000), Fray Bentos (23 000) Paysandú (85 000), Salto (100 000).
Near the Brazilian border town of Rivera is located (65 000), which is among the most important centers in the country. Inside the Uruguay major cities are Treinta y Tres (26 000), Melo (50 000) Tacuarembó (52 000).
Except for Montevideo, on the coast there are also other major cities such as Punta del Este (150 000) and Maldonado (55 000), which together form an urban agglomeration.
Economy. Uruguay’s economy is growing, and the official local currency is called Peso. The country has a good standard of living and low corruption.
The standard of living is higher than that of many countries in Eastern Europe, particularly on the Balkans. The industry is relatively slight.
However, the service sector and agriculture show a pretty good growth. The medical care and the education in the country are at very good level and widely available. There is well developed agriculture.
It provides the biggest part of the income of the country. The fertile soils and mild subtropical climate, makes ideal conditions for growing a large number of crops such as different types of citrus fruits, oil seeds and others.
The territory of Uruguay keeping large quantities of peaches, which grow great at the local geographic conditions. The stock-breeding is also quite well developed.
History. Uruguay was discovered in 1515 by Spanish sailors. The first real European settlement here, has called Colonia del Sacramento, and has founded 165 years later.
The both Iberian countries are not the only exhibiting claims to these lands. England also made several attempts to take over Uruguay, but they has proved unsuccessful.
Brazil was the last which tried in 1822 to occupy Uruguay in order to join it to its territory.
After 6 years of tireless struggle, however, Uruguay has finally won its complete independence and was proclaimed as an independent state.
Today the country boasts a good standard of living, low crime and prosperous economy.