Theme Week Uruguay

Monday, 20 August 2018 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks
Reading Time:  8 minutes

Punta del Este © Roberto Tietzmann/cc-by-2.5

Punta del Este © Roberto Tietzmann/cc-by-2.5

Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a state in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata (River of Silver) to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo (List of cities in Uruguay). With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname. Uruguayan culture is strongly European and its influences from southern Europe are particularly important. The tradition of the gaucho has been an important element in the art and folklore of both Uruguay and Argentina.

Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for approximately 4,000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento in 1680, meaning that Uruguay began to be colonized by Europeans relatively late compared with neighboring countries. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain, Portugal, and later Argentina and Brazil. It remained subject to foreign influence and intervention throughout the 19th century, with the military playing a recurring role in domestic politics until the late 20th century. The military seized power in a 1973 coup, installing a civic-military dictatorship; the military government persecuted leftists, socialists, and political opponents, resulting in several deaths and numerous instances of torture by the military; the military relinquished power to a civilian government in 1985. Modern Uruguay is a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government.

Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, e-government, and is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. On a per-capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country. It tops the rank of absence of terrorism, a unique position within South America. It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth, innovation and infrastructure. It is regarded as a high-income country (top group) by the UN. Uruguay was also ranked the third-best in the world in e-Participation in 2014. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, rice, soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk. Nearly 95% of Uruguay’s electricity comes from renewable energy, mostly hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay is a founding member of the United Nations, OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR and NAM. The Economist named Uruguay “country of the year” in 2013, acknowledging the innovative policy of legalizing the production, sale and consumption of cannabis. Same-sex marriage and abortion are also legal, leading Uruguay to be regarded as one of the most liberal nations in the world, and one of the most socially developed, outstanding regionally, and ranking highly on global measures of personal rights, tolerance, and inclusion issues.

Tacuarembó - Plaza 19 de Abril © Tano4595/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ciudad de la Costa - Bridge of the Americas © Maxpana3/cc-by-sa-3.0 Colonia del Sacramento - Calle San Pedro © Herbert Brant/cc-by-sa-3.0 Florida - Plaza Asamblea and Cathedral © Profemate/cc-by-sa-3.0 Intendencia Departamental de San José de Mayo © Hoverfish/cc-by-sa-3.0 Monotevideo - Palacio Legislativo © Coolcaesar/cc-by-sa-3.0 Montevideo - Plaza de la Independencia © flickr.com - Marcelo Campi/cc-by-sa-2.0 Monument to Charruas native people in Montevideo © Maximasu/cc-by-sa-3.0 Punta del Este © Roberto Tietzmann/cc-by-2.5
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Montevideo - Plaza de la Independencia © flickr.com - Marcelo Campi/cc-by-sa-2.0
With 176,214 km (68,037 sq mi) of continental land and 142,199 km (54,903 sq mi) of jurisdictional water and small river islands, Uruguay is the second smallest sovereign nation in South America (after Suriname) and the third smallest territory (French Guiana is the smallest). The landscape features mostly rolling plains and low hill ranges (cuchillas) with a fertile coastal lowland. Uruguay has 660 km (410 mi) of coastline. A dense fluvial network covers the country, consisting of four river basins, or deltas: the Río de la Plata Basin, the Uruguay River, the Laguna Merín and the Río Negro. The major internal river is the Río Negro (‘Black River’). Several lagoons are found along the Atlantic coast. The highest point in the country is the Cerro Catedral, whose peak reaches 514 metres (1,686 ft) AMSL in the Sierra Carapé hill range. To the southwest is the Río de la Plata, the estuary of the Uruguay River (which river forms the country’s western border). Montevideo is the southernmost capital city in the Americas, and the third most southerly in the world (only Canberra and Wellington are further south). There are ten national parks in Uruguay: Five in the wetland areas of the east, three in the central hill country, and one in the west along the Rio Uruguay.

The tourism industry in Uruguay is an important part of its economy. In 2012 the sector was estimated to account for 97,000 jobs and (directly and indirectly) 9% of GDP. In 2013 2.8 million tourists entered Uruguay, of whom 59% came from Argentina and 14% from Brazil, with Chileans, Paraguayans, North Americans and Europeans accounting for most of the remainder. Cultural experiences in Uruguay include exploring the country’s colonial heritage, as found in Colonia del Sacramento. Montevideo, the country’s capital, houses the most diverse selection of cultural activities. Historical monuments such as Torres Garcia Museum as well as Estadio Centenario, which housed the first world cup in history, are examples. However simply walking the streets allows tourists to experience the city’s colorful culture. One of the main natural attractions in Uruguay is Punta del Este. Punta del Este is situated on a small peninsula off the southeast coast of Uruguay. Its beaches are divided into Mansa, or tame (river) side and Brava, or rugged (ocean) side. The Mansa is more suited for sunbathing, snorkeling, & other low-key recreational opportunities, while the Brava is more suited for adventurous sports, such as surfing. Punta del Este adjoins the city of Maldonado, while to its northeast along the coast are found the smaller resorts of La Barra and José Ignacio. Punta del Este has 122 hotels, 80 restaurants, an international airport and a yacht harbor that can accommodate 500 boats.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Uruguay Tourism, U.S. State Department – Uruguay, LonelyPlanet.com – Uruguay, History, Culture, Cuisine, Tourism, Economy, Democracy, Human Rights, Wikitravel Uruguay, Wikivoyage Uruguay and Wikipedia Uruguay. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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