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The full official name of the country is República Oriental del Uruguay and the capital city is Montevideo. The ethnic composition of the country’s people is made up of mostly Spanish and Italian immigrants. The indigenous people of the land have disappeared totally.

It is said that Uruguay is the best kept secret of South America. The country is tucked away between Brazil on the east, Rio de la Plata and Argentina towards the northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean on its south. The smallest Spanish speaking country of South America is politically stable, economically developing and home to some of the best beaches on the planet.

Uruguay is a water rich land with flat plains and a few hills. This landscape lends itself well to agricultural activities. Roughly 90% of Uruguay’s land is used for livestock breeding of cattle, sheep, pigs and horses. The main crop is rice with wheat, corn and sugar cane following. Fruit farming, vine-growing and gardening markets are found along the coat of Rio de la Plata. Together agriculture and processed food from animals is responsible for half of the country’s industry. Other manufactured goods include textiles, chemicals, construction materials, coal and oil.

Uruguay’s different regions are vastly different from each other in terms of economic development. The northern areas along the Brazilian border, Artigas, Rivera, Tacuarembó and Cerro Largo are the least developed. A bit more developed is the central region of the country and the even more urbanized and industrialized are Soriano and Salto. The western most areas of Colonia and Paysandú are the most highly developed.

Fast Facts

Capital:   Montevideo

Government:   Presidential republic

Area:    176,215 km²

Climate:   subtropical

Language:   Spanish

Currency:   Peso, designated by the symbol U$

Religion:   Catholic

Dialing code:   +598

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