Uruguay is the tranquil buffer between South America's superpowers. The territory won independence in 1828 after centuries of back-and-forth occupation by Spanish and Portuguese interests. Although some influences of Argentina and Brazil are still evident—tango, Carnival, gaucho heritage—Uruguay's culture has been mellowed by sun, sky and sea. This is a friendly, confident nation whose heroes are more likely to be poets and futbolistas than generals or emperors.
Most of Uruguay's population is coastal, while the interior is cloaked in pine forest and rolling plains. In the east, the golden Atlantic shore is dotted with famous resort towns and charming fishing villages. In the south and west, sleepy riverside ports line the Rio de la Plata and Rio Uruguay. The various regions can be combined with ease; Uruguay is not much larger than the State of Florida.
The name Uruguay means "river of birds" in the Charrua dialect, a name that evokes the coastal lagoons of the Atlantic shore and the estuaries of the Rio de la Plata and Rio Negro. Uruguay is home to an estimated 477 avian species, including Southern Lapwings (the national bird), Greater Rheas, three varieties of penguin, seven kinds of parrot, and nine types of hummingbird.
Although most visitors could spend an entire vacation here, trips to Uruguay are often combined with extensions to Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. Direct flights connect Montevideo's international airport to Buenos Aires (50 minutes), Santiago (2.25 hours), and Sao Paulo (2.75 hours). Overnight flights from New York reach the capital in approximately 13 hours, and flights from Miami take about nine hours.
Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Uruguay and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
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