Where is Uruguay located?

What countries border Uruguay?

Uruguay Weather

What is the current weather in Uruguay?

Find more about Weather in Montevideo, UY
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Uruguay Facts and Culture

What is Uruguay famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Uruguay has several unique cultural attributes that distinguish it from other countries in the region. Here are some examples: Mate: Mate... More
  • Family: In the cities, most people live in modern apartment buildings or small houses. The very poor live in shantytowns called... More
  • Personal Apperance: Western style of clothing is worn. Uruguay's gauchos (cowboys) wear baggy pants called "bombachos", wide brimmed black hats that offer... More
  • Recreation: Young boys spend hours playing soccer on the street or in parks. Young women may join a volleyball or basketball... More
  • Diet: Uruguayans eat meat at most meals. Beef and lamb are relatively cheap and Uruguayans prepare them in many ways. The... More
  • Food and Recipes: Uruguay has a varied and rich diet, influenced by its Spanish and Italian heritage, as well as its proximity to... More
  • Visiting: Uruguayans frequently drop in on their friends. Telephoning first is not necessary. Hospitality is always extended to visitors. A gourd... More
  • Dating: The age at which people in Uruguay start dating varies, but generally it is similar to other countries in the... More

Uruguay Facts

What is the capital of Uruguay?

Capital Montevideo
Government Type presidential republic
Currency Uruguayan Peso (UYU)
Total Area 68,037 Square Miles
176,215 Square Kilometers
Location Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
Language Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
GDP - real growth rate 2.8%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $21,800.00 (USD)

Uruguay Demographics

What is the population of Uruguay?

Ethnic Groups white 88%, mestizo 8%, black 4%, Amerindian, practically nonexistent
Nationality Noun Uruguayan(s)
Population 3,387,605
Population Growth Rate 0.25%
Population in Major Urban Areas MONTEVIDEO (capital) 1.672 million
Urban Population 92.500000

Uruguay Government

What type of government does Uruguay have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Luis Alberto LACALLE POU (since 1 March 2020); Vice President Beatriz ARGIMON Cedeira (since 1 March 2020); the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Luis Alberto LACALLE POU (since 1 March 2020); Vice President Beatriz ARGIMON Cedeira (since 1 March 2020)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the General Assembly

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for nonconsecutive terms); election last held on 27 October 2019 with a runoff on 24 November 2019 (next to be held in October 2024 and a runoff, if needed, in November 2024)

election results:

2019: Luis Alberto LACALLE POU elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Daniel MARTINEZ (FA) 40.7%, Luis Alberto LACALLE POU (Blanco) 29.7%, Ernesto TALVI (Colorado Party) 12.8%, Guido MANINI RIOS (Open Cabildo) 11.3%, other 5.5%; percent of vote in second round - Luis Alberto LACALLE POU 50.6%, Daniel MARTINEZ 49.4%

2014: Tabare VAZQUEZ elected president in second round; percent of vote - Tabare VAZQUEZ (Socialist Party) 56.5%, Luis Alberto LACALLE Pou (Blanco) 43.4%
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Citizenship citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 3-5 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 25 August (1825)
Constitution history: several previous; latest approved by plebiscite 27 November 1966, effective 15 February 1967, reinstated in 1985 at the conclusion of military rule

amendments: initiated by public petition of at least 10% of qualified voters, proposed by agreement of at least two fifths of the General Assembly membership, or by existing "constitutional laws" sanctioned by at least two thirds of the membership in both houses of the Assembly; proposals can also be submitted by senators, representatives, or by the executive power and require the formation of and approval in a national constituent convention; final passage by either method requires approval by absolute majority of votes cast in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2004
Independence 25 August 1825 (from Brazil)

Uruguay Video

Marco Buch - YouTube Uruguay Travel - Sights, highlights and insider tips

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Uruguay Geography

What environmental issues does Uruguay have?

Overview The República Oriental del Uruguay (the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, or roughly translated, the Republic East of the River Uruguay) covers an area of 72,200 square miles, about as large as Greece or the state of Montana. Uruguay’s topography is divided into three parts: the southern area, a belt of gently undulating plains; the western part, an extension of Argentina’s flat pampas; and the northern area, an extension of southern Brazil’s low regions and broad valleys. Maximum elevation above sea level is about 2,000 feet; the average being about 490 feet. Few natural forests exist, but extensive forestation with pine and eucalyptus trees has been undertaken.
Climate Except for a small subtropical area in the northwest, the climate is even throughout Uruguay. Temperatures are generally mild, but seasons are distinct: summer daytime temperatures average 70 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely exceed the mid-90s; autumn (March-May) is mild; and spring (September-November) is often damp, cool and windy. In winter, monthly temperatures range from 44� 60 degrees Fahrenheit with rare frost. However, humidity, averaging 75% year round, intensifies the cold. Average annual rainfall is 39.5 inches.
Border Countries Argentina 579 km, Brazil 985 km
Environment - Current Issues water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal
Environment - International Agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
Terrain mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland

Uruguay Economy

How big is the Uruguay economy?

Economic Overview Uruguay has a free market economy characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending. Uruguay has sought to expand trade within the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and with non-Mercosur members, and President VAZQUEZ has maintained his predecessor's mix of pro-market policies and a strong social safety net.

Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Uruguay's economic growth averaged 8% annually during the 2004-08 period. The 2008-09 global financial crisis put a brake on Uruguay's vigorous growth, which decelerated to 2.6% in 2009. Nevertheless, the country avoided a recession and kept growth rates positive, mainly through higher public expenditure and investment; GDP growth reached 8.9% in 2010 but slowed markedly in the 2012-16 period as a result of a renewed slowdown in the global economy and in Uruguay's main trade partners and Mercosur counterparts, Argentina and Brazil. Reforms in those countries should give Uruguay an economic boost. Growth picked up in 2017.
Industries food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages
Currency Name and Code Uruguayan Peso (UYU)
Export Partners Brazil 22.1%, US 8.4%, Germany 5.4%, Argentina 5.1%, Mexico 4.2%, Italy 4.1%, Paraguay 4.1%, Spain 4%
Import Partners Argentina 23.1%, Brazil 17.5%, US 8.9%, Mexico 4.7%, China 4%

Uruguay News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Uruguay?
Source: Google News

Uruguay Travel Information

What makes Uruguay a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Uruguay is a constitutional democracy with a large, educated middle class and a robust developing economy. The capital city is Montevideo. Tourist facilities are generally good with many five star accommodations at resort destinations such as Punta del Este and Colonia de Sacramento. Spanish is the national language. English is frequently understood in major tourist hotels or resorts but is not widely used outside those areas. The quality of tourist facilities varies according to price and location.


Street crime is common throughout Montevideo and criminals may resort to violence when the victims resist. Common targets for criminals may include tourists, individuals openly carrying valuable items, and motorists in unlocked vehicles stopped at busy intersections, including Montevideo's riverfront road known as the Rambla.

You should exercise reasonable caution to minimize your exposure to crime. Criminals are opportunists and prey on unwary people, particularly those carrying cameras, pocketbooks, laptops, or backpacks. Lock your valuables in secure hotel safes and empty your wallets of excess credit cards and cash. If dining at an outdoor restaurant, keep an eye on your belongings at all times. While driving, it is best to keep all car doors locked, windows open no more than one inch, and purses, bags, briefcases, and other valuables out of sight on the floor or in the trunk. Parked cars, particularly in the Punta Carretas and Pocitos neighborhoods, also have been broken into.

Parts of Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja are popular tourist attractions, but the only sections of Ciudad Vieja with continual police patrols are Plaza de la Independencia, the pedestrian street Sarandi, and the Mercado del Puerto. Muggings have occurred in other parts of Ciudad Vieja - particularly for travelers walking alone or couples walking at night. A smart alternative is to call for a taxi for evening travel between restaurants, bars, and hotels. Muggings and other street crime also have occurred in residential districts of the downtown area, including Pocitos and Punta Carretas.

Montevideo continues to experience armed robberies of patrons at crowded restaurants. Most of these crimes have occurred late at night, so you should exercise additional caution if you choose to dine late.Burglaries and attempted burglaries are increasingly common in upscale residential neighborhoods, including Carrasco, Montevideo. A combination of preventive measures including rigorous use of locks and alarms, strong grillwork on all windows, guard dogs, keeping a residence occupied as much as possible, and using a security service is recommended.

During the summer months (December-March), beach resort areas such as Punta del Este see an increase in the number of petty street crimes and residential burglaries.

Exercise common sense in your activities in Montevideo and in Uruguayan resort areas, and be attentive to your personal security and surroundings in these areas.

Uruguayan law enforcement authorities have increased the number of patrol cars in residential areas and of uniformed policemen on foot in areas where criminal activity is concentrated. Patrol cars are clearly marked and equipped with cellular phones. Most police do not speak English.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Uruguay, you are subject to its laws. If you break the law in Uruguay, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is important to know what activities are legal and what activities are illegal wherever you go. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Criminal penalties can be more severe than those in the United States for similar offenses. There are also some activities that may be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. Engaging in sexual conduct with children and using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country remains illegal in the United States and may subject you to prosecution in the United States.

Persons violating Uruguay’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uruguay are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available, as you may be breaking local law.

The Uruguayan Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing strictly enforces all regulations regarding hunting permits, as well as seasonal and numerical limits on game. Visitors who contravene local law are subject to detention by the authorities and the seizure of their weapons. Under Uruguayan law, seized weapons can only be returned after payment of a sum equivalent to the value of the property seized. Hunters are also subject to stiff fines for hunting without all appropriate permits.

Arrest notifications in host country: Uruguayan law enforcement officers are trained to automatically notify the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy immediately if you are arrested or detained.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Facilities for medical care in Uruguay are considered adequate. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Safety and Security

Protests, some with anti-U.S. sentiment, are common in Uruguay, particularly near the Legislative Palace, City Hall, and the Universidad de la Republica (University of the Republic) in Montevideo. U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Uruguay should take common-sense precautions and avoid large gatherings or events where crowds have congregated to demonstrate or protest. If you encounter a protest, you should walk the other way or enter a commercial establishment until the protest passes and should avoid taking pictures.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in a foreign country, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The Uruguayan Ministry of Transportation is responsible for maintaining safe road conditions countrywide. The Uruguayan Ministry of Interior highway police (tel. 1954) are responsible for traffic safety on highways and other roads beyond city limits. In urban and suburban areas, transit police and municipal employees share road safety responsibilities.

You may drive using your foreign driver’s license in Uruguay. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Seat belts are mandatory. Headlights must be on when driving on highways and other inter-city roads 24 hours a day. Children under 12 years must ride in the back seat. Motorcyclists must wear helmets. The use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited. Right turns on red lights and left turns at most intersections marked with a stoplight are not permitted. Drivers approaching an intersection from the right or already in traffic circles have the right of way. Flashing high beams indicate intent to pass or to continue through unmarked intersections. Many drivers ignore speed limits, lane markings and traffic signs. If you plan to drive, use caution and drive defensively.

Drivers who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be fined and their license may be confiscated and retained for up to six months. Drivers who are involved in accidents that result in injury or death are brought before a judge who will decide if incarceration is warranted.

Uruguayan law requires drivers to have both hands on the steering wheel at all times while driving. Failure to do so may bring a charge of distracted driving ("imprudencia en el manejo"). This includes talking on a cell phone and drinking "mate" (a traditional Uruguayan herbal beverage) while driving. The fine charged is approximately $25.00 (U.S.). Speed limits are posted on highways and some main roads. Most taxis have no seat belts in the back seat. Cycling outside the capital or small towns is hazardous due to a scarcity of bike paths, narrow road shoulders, and unsafe driving practices.

Illumination, pavement markings, and road surfaces are sometimes poor. Route 1, which runs between Montevideo and Colonia or Punta del Este, and Route 2, between Rosario and Fray Bentos, are particularly accident-ridden because of heavy tourist traffic. The frequency of road accidents rises during the summer beach season (December to March), Carnaval (mid-to-late February), and Easter Week.

Within Montevideo, the emergency number for the police, fire department, rescue squad, and ambulance service is 911. In the rest of the country, dial 02-911 to connect with the Montevideo central emergency authority, which will then contact the local emergency service.

SEMM (tel. 159) and UCM (tel. 147), Montevideo-based ambulance services manned by doctors, have agreements with emergency medical units in other cities. Coverage in rural areas may be limited.

For emergency roadside assistance, call the Automobile Club of Uruguay at 1707, "Car Up" at 0800-1501, or the Automobile Center of Uruguay at 2-408-6131/2091.

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