Country Information Uruguay

Location
  Uruguay is a small state at the Eastern coast of South America. It borders on Brazil in the North and the Northeast and on the Atlantic Ocean in the East. In the South the country is limited by the Atlantic Ocean and the Rio de la Plata and in the West by Argentina, where the Rio Uruguay forms the border.
Population
  Approx. 3,2 Million, of which 90% live in the cities
Capital
  Montevideo, population approx. 1.2 million
Currency
  Peso (urug$) (1 urug$ = 100 Centésimos)
Language
  Spanish, in the frontier area Fronterizo, a variation on the Brazilian Portuguese
Time difference
  CET – 4 hours, during the European summertime – 5 hours
Voltage
  220 V alternating current, multi-adapter necessary
Public holiday
  1st ; 6 January; Carnival; Easter; 19 April; 1st, 18 May; 19 June, 18 July; 25 August; 12 October; 2nd November; 25 December
Opening hours
  Shops – Monday to Friday from 10 to 18 or 19 o’clock, Saturday from 9 – 12.30 o’clock; banks – Monday to Friday from 13 – 17 o’clock
Climate
  The seasons are contrary to the European ones. Uruguay is located in the temperate zone; the country has a changeable, temperate and rather warm climate. Rainfalls are more frequent during the wintertime. In summer – December to March - temperatures might rise to more than 30 °C, in winter – May to September – the average temperature is approximately 10 °C.
Best time to travel
  November to April
Clothing
  In summer lighter clothing is recommended, in winter you need between-seasons clothing, as e.g. a warmer coat. Woollen clothes as well as a raincoat should always be brought - good restaurants and hotels may moreover pay attention to jacket and tie.
Politics & Economy
  The first attempt to introduce democracy was made in 1890. A military dictatorship lasted from 1973 to 1984 – at the end of it the former wealthy Uruguay was a ruined state with old-fashioned production methods in the agriculture as well as in the industry. Today Uruguay is a presidential republic with a democratic structure and the firm intention to solve its economic problems.
Tourist destinations
 
Montevideo
capital at the Rio de la Plata, colonial architecture, witness of the formerly very wealthy country, once called „Switzerland of South America“, Tango
Punta del Este
chic seaside resort at the Atlantic coast
Colonia del Sacramento
one of the oldest settlings in Uruguay, old town with nice colonial buildings
Rio Uruguay
13 carefully restored fortresses at its Eastern bank
Rio de la Plata
very clean and fine sandy beaches
Flora & Fauna
  In the flats of the North western part of the country are rivers with narrow marshland areas, most of the land is used for cattle breeding. Above all in the North of the country you will meet jaguar and puma, more over you have foxes, red deer and armadillo. The Nandu, an ostrich-like animal, can only rarely be found.
Food & Drink
  The culinary preferences of the people from Uruguay are similar to those of the Argentineans – they love meat! Asado, beef prepared on an open fire, is being served in high quality at many places. The typical small dish is chivito, a sandwich with beef, cheese, salad, tomatoes and bacon. Moreover people love Italian pasta and fresh marine food. In Uruguay one likes to drink beer, as the national one tastes very good. Mate, tea made of yerba herbs, is like in Argentina the national drink and the mate receptacle the permanent companion of the inhabitants.
Souvenirs
  Leather goods of all types (cowhide, calfskin or sheepskin) are always available, e.g. you might find leathern bridle, decorative saddles or knives in a leather sheath. Many women know how to weave – they produce woven pullovers, skirts, blankets or other covers, which you can buy at quite low prices in the shops called „Manos del Uruguay“.