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Basic Stats

Conventional Name: Eastern Republic of Uruguay

Short Name: Uruguay

Surface: Uruguay, at 68,038 square miles, is the second smallest country in South America.

Population: Uruguay, at 68,038 square miles, is the second smallest country in South America.The population of Uruguay numbers around 3.3 million people with almost half of those people living in the vicinity of Montevideo, the capital. Eighty percent of Uruguay’s population is classified as urban. In rural areas, cattle and sheep ranching are a way of life.

Capital: Montevideo

Local Hour: GMT – 3 hours

Electricity: Electricity in Uruguay is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Uruguay with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.

Language: Official language is Spanish.  English is most often selected as a second language in Uruguay, especially in the business sectors.

Religion: Constitution, as revised in 1966, guarantees religious freedom. Uruguay is the only Latin American nation that approaches religious pluralism. About 52% of Uruguayans identify themselves as Roman Catholic. Approximately 16% of the population is Protestant or other Christian, and 1% are Jewish. As many as 30% are members of other religions or profess no religious faith whatsoever. 

Currency: Uruguayan Peso (UrP)  The peso is divided into 100 Centisimos.

Banking & Shopping Hours: Usually, stores and private businesses are open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Stores also open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. There are several shopping centers, which open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday. Banking hours are from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (certain banks open from 11:00 a.m.) but a vast ATM network is available around the clock. The public offices are open from 2:30 pm to 7:00 pm in winter and 7:00 am to 2.30 pm in summer.

National Holidays:

Jan 1st – New Year's Day
Jan 6th – Epiphany
Feb/Mar – Carnival
Mar/Apr – Easter Holidays
Apr 19th – Landing of the 33 Patriots
May 1st – Labor Day
May 18th – Battle of Las Piedras
Jun 19th – Jose Gervasio de Artigas Birthday
Jul 18th – Constitution Day
Aug 25th – Independence Day
Oct 12th – Day of the Race
Nov 2nd- All Souls Day
Dec 25th – Christmas


The Republic of Uruguay, being the second smallest country in South America is located on the coast of that continent between the countries of Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay is classified as being in the Southern subtropical zone of the South American Continent. This means comfortably warm summers and mild winters.

Uruguay consists of rolling, grass-covered plains in the south and occasional sweeping slopes in the north, broken by broad, wooded valleys with meadows and slow moving rivers.  The low hills are sprinkled with huge granite blocks that can be seen against the horizon.  Uruguay’s highest point is Mount Catedral, which is 1,683 feet high.  Uruguay’s Atlantic coastline stretches 200 miles and contains a series of impressive beaches, tidal lakes, and dunes.  There are five interior rivers that flow westward into the Rio Uruguay, Uruguay’s western boundary.

Three quarters of Uruguay’s area is natural grasslands and supports the grazing of a multitude of livestock.  Five percent of the country is forested, while around ten percent is used for growing crops including a variety fruits and grains.  Cities have spacious green areas and because of the continuity of the winds and the lack of pollutant industries, there is hardly any environmental pollution.  Earthquakes are unknown in Uruguay.

Food & Beverage: Having an economy that has livestock as one of its mainstays, it makes sense that beef  plays a predominant role in Uruguayan cuisine.  Churrasco (grilled steak) is said to be the national dish.  Parrillada is a beef  platter and considered another national dish. Chivitos are also popular; they are hot steak sandwiches topped with bacon, eggs, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Uruguayans also serve traditional Spanish food. Puchero is a meat stew considered a delicacy.  And of course the large Italian influence yields a myriad of pasta dishes, lasagna and pizza being Uruguayan favorites.  Club sandwiches and spicy sausage on rolls also claim a place as favorite Uruguayan snacks.
Uruguay also offers some awesome seafood including Mussels and many types of tasty saltwater and fresh water fish.
Herbal tea, known as MATE is consumed in mass quantities.  Traditionally, mate was drunk from a gourd through a silver straw.  The gourd was passed around the room for people to share.  In recent times, though, individual teacups do the trick. Clericó is a popular drink, containing white wine and fruit juice.  Uruguayans are also fond of mixing white with sparkling wine.  Beer lovers will also find the beer in Uruguay to be pretty good.
Finally Uruguayans have a sweet tooth.  They MUST take breaks during the day to consume such goodies as chaja, a sponge cake loaded with jam and cream.

Transportation: Highways, not railroads, are the principal means of transportation in Uruguay.  Montevideo is Uruguay’s major port.  Montevideo is also the main gateway for airline flights in and out of the country.  Both a ferry and hydrofoil run between Colonia and Buenos Aires.  Buses are plentiful and fares are reasonably priced.  Taxis are convenient for local travel, but car rentals (though expensive) are the usual favorites of foreign visitors.

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Montevideo - Uruguay °C
Ph.:(00 5411) 4394-5080
Fax.:(00 5411) 4394-5066
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