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Uruguay, officially Eastern Republic of Uruguay, is located in the temperate zone of the southern hemisphere, in the southwest area of the American continent, meeting the Atlantic Ocean at the peninsula that indicates the “Punta del Este”. Neighboring the two largest countries in South America -Argentina and Brazil-, it is part of the Río de la Plata Basin along with those two countries, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Uruguay covers 176 215 km² and it has a population of 3,29 millions of inhabitants.

This country takes its name from the location of its territory, to the east of the Uruguay river. This geographical factor -along with some historical reasons- established the nickname of “orientales” (eastern people) that the people from Uruguay still receive, even if the country actually belongs to the western hemisphere. As to the word “Uruguay”, it comes from the Guarani language and can be translated into “river where the bird lives”.

The capital and most populated city is Montevideo, which is also venue for the MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market) and the LAIA (Latin American Integration Association).

Spanish is the dominant language in Uruguay, although in some regions the influence of the Brazilian Portuguese can be identified, which has led to create a fusion between both languages known as the “portuñol riverense”.

Its weather is temperate and humid (average 62,6 °F -17°C-), with warm summers and precipitations more or less homogeneous during the year. Thanks to its latitude, between 30ºS and 35ºS, all four seasons are clearly differentiated.

1.846 kilometers of its perimeter (nearly two-thirds of it) are maritime and river coasts, which is a great advantage for communications, commerce and tourism, and this has definitely had a significant importance in its economic progress.

The mate in Uruguay

The mate is a traditional beverage of the South American region that includes Paraguay, Argentina, Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and Uruguay. It is a sort of tea prepared with yerba mate, extracted from the homonymous plant.

In Uruguay, the mate is considered the national beverage. Among all the previously mentioned countries, Uruguay is the biggest consumer of mate. The Uruguayan mate is served hot and bitter and it is composed by a set that includes a thermos to carry the hot water, a recipient to contain the yerba -also known as mate-, which comes from the porongo (the Lagenaria siceraria or Calabash plant) and a “bombilla” -a sort of metal straw- to sip the water.

In Uruguay, to drink mate is a highly valued ritual among its inhabitants. Some features have been assigned to this ritual: it is a social unifier and a dialogue and meeting generator.

Be sure to try out a nice and hot mate during your next visit to the Uruguayan lands.

For more information about the delights that Uruguay has to offer to its visitors, you can click on this link:


Wikipedia Encyclopedia:
Website Welcome Uruguay
Website Viaje a Uruguay

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