Uruguay is the only country in South America where there are no native Indians. However, Uruguay still amazes tourists with its unique flavor, culture and beach resorts on the Atlantic coast. Tourists note that the Old Town in Montevideo is very reminiscent of old Havana. Every foreigner who comes to Uruguay considers it his main duty to visit the ranches of famous gauchos, Uruguayan cowboys.
Geography of Uruguay
Uruguay is located in the southeast of South America. Uruguay borders Brazil to the north and Argentina to the west. In the east and south, the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Total area – 176,220 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 1,564 km.
The landscape of Uruguay is dominated by plains, and off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean there is a fertile lowland. The highest local peak is Mount Cathedral, whose height reaches 514 meters.
There are a lot of rivers in Uruguay. The largest of them are La Plata, Uruguay, Lagoa Mirini and Rio Negro. Along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean there are several very beautiful lagoons.
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay. More than 1.5 million people now live in this city. Montevideo was founded by the Portuguese in 1680.
The official language is Spanish.
About 46% of the population are Catholics, about 9% are Protestants and Orthodox.
State structure of Uruguay
According to diseaseslearning.com, Uruguay is a presidential republic. The President is elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years. Executive power belongs to the President and the Cabinet of Ministers.
The bicameral local parliament is called the General Assembly, it consists of the Chamber of Deputies (99 deputies) and the Senate (31 people).
The main political parties are the Broad Front coalition, the Colorado Party, and the White National Party.
Administratively, the country is divided into 19 departments. Each department has its own authorities, elected by popular vote.
Climate and weather
The climate in Uruguay is subtropical. Since this country is located in the southern hemisphere, we have summer in December-March, and winter in June-August. Strong winds and showers occasionally occur from late April to November.
The best time to visit Uruguay is from December to mid-March, when the weather is at its most pleasant and the average air temperature is +27C.
Seas and oceans of Uruguay
In the east and south, the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The length of the sea coast is 660 km. The average annual water temperature near the shore is +20C.
Rivers and lakes
A lot of rivers flow through the territory of Uruguay. The largest of them are La Plata, Uruguay, Lagoa Mirini and Rio Negro. Through the entire center of the country from east to west flows the Rio Negro, which then flows into the ocean.
The vast majority of Uruguayans are of European descent. Only about 6% of the inhabitants of this country are from Africa and Asia. Uruguay is the only country in South America where there are no Indians who once inhabited it.
Uruguayan culture is a combination of traditions and customs of people from Europe (Spanish, Italians, British, Germans, French, Swiss, Russians, Portuguese, Poles, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, etc.), Africa and Asia.
A popular local holiday is Carnival, which lasts 40 days from January to February (this is the longest carnival in the world). Although this holiday is celebrated throughout the country, the most grandiose street processions and performances take place in Montevideo.
During the Carnival, colorful processions with chariots and platforms take place through the streets of Uruguayan cities, on which local dancers show their art of samba. These processions cannot be imagined without acrobats, musical and theater groups.
Uruguayan cuisine was formed under strong European influence. The main food product is meat (beef and lamb), which is due to the pampas. Chileans also eat a lot of fish and seafood, cheese and eggs. Note that throughout Uruguay, you can find a large number of Italian dishes, including, of course, pizza.
Tourists in this country are recommended to try Parrilladas beef steak, Chivito steak sandwich, empanadas, Choripan (sausage sandwich on a French bun). Grilled meat dishes are often served with green Chimichurri sauce, which has Italian roots.
Very popular in Uruguay are lean Frittatas omelettes and various pies, including Pascualina with spinach and chard. On the coast, Lechuga de Mar seaweed is often added to omelettes.
Traditional soft drinks are mate, coffee and tea.
Traditional alcoholic drinks – wine, grappa (strength – 40-50%), whiskey, gin, beer.
Sights of Uruguay
There are not very many historical and cultural attractions in Uruguay, but this country amazes tourists with its unique flavor. Any tourist who has visited Uruguay will definitely fall in love with it.
Tourists are advised to visit the Uruguayan Carnival, which takes place every year from January 23 to February 10. The most grandiose Carnival celebrations are in Montevideo.
Most tourists who come to Uruguay make sure to make a sightseeing trip to Bunos Aires, Argentina. Of course, this has little to do with Uruguayan sights, but we consider this event as an interesting pastime.
In Montevideo, we recommend that you visit Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) without fail, which is very reminiscent of the old part of Havana.
When you are in Uruguay, don’t forget to visit the ranch of gauchos, Uruguayan cowboys. Gauchos are the equivalent of American cowboys.
Uruguayan national parks and reserves are of great interest to tourists. The most famous of them are Cabo Polono National Park (located on the Atlantic coast) and Santa Teresa National Park in the east of the country.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are Montevideo, Salto, Ciudad de la Costa, Paysandu, Las Piedras, Rivera and Maldonado.
Uruguay is known for its beautiful beaches that stretch along the entire coastline. The most famous is the “Ash Coast” (Costa de Oro) – several resort towns located over 70 kilometers. The most popular of them are Atlantis, Minas, La Floresta, Piriapolis, Cerro Pan de Azcar. Another popular Uruguayan beach resort is Punta del Este. All these and other resorts have excellent infrastructure for a beach holiday.
Tourists in Uruguay buy handicrafts, jewelry, football souvenirs, leather goods (belts, wallets, purses, bags), alcoholic beverages (most often wine).
Ukrainians need to apply for a visa to visit Uruguay.
The Uruguayan peso is the official currency in Uruguay (its international designation is UYI). One UYI = 100 centesimos. Credit cards are widely accepted in big cities and tourist centers, including Montevideo, Punta del Este and Colonia del Sacramento. Outside major cities, most stores and other establishments do not accept credit cards. Most often in Uruguay, Visa and MasterCard credit cards are used, less often – American Express and Diners Club.
Some Uruguayan banks and exchange offices accept travelers checks.
There are no restrictions on the import and export of local or foreign currency. Amounts in excess of $10,000 must be declared. Mobile phones must also be included in the declaration.
It is forbidden to transport pornographic materials, drugs, alkaloids, counterfeit goods, historical and cultural monuments, explosive and flammable materials, plants, fruits, vegetables, seeds, trees, fresh dairy products (milk, cream), meat, honey, birds.
An international veterinary certificate is required for the import of cats and dogs.
The export of skins and stuffed animals, medications, drugs, etc. is prohibited.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Honorary Consulate of Uruguay in Ukraine:
Postcode: 01025 Kiev, st. Stritinskaya 10
272-28-41 mail: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Uruguay are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Argentina:
Argentina, Buenos Aires, Belgrano “R”, c. Conde, 1763
Email. Email: [email protected]
911 Emergency Phones
– All Emergencies
Behind Kyiv for 6 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Montevideo – 07:00.
Tipping in Uruguay is optional. In restaurants, for example, tips range from 5% to 10% of the bill. When traveling by taxi, the bill is rounded up. In hotels, porters are given US$1 per bag.
Doctors recommend getting vaccinated against hepatitis A before traveling to Uruguay. Tourists are advised to take measures against mosquito bites to eliminate the risk of dengue fever.
The crime rate in Uruguay is typical for South American countries. Carry a photocopy of your passport with you and keep the original in a safe place. Most crimes occur in Montevideo. Be especially careful in the city center and in the port area – there are a lot of pickpockets.