Uruguay is a country in the south-eastern part of South America.  It is home to 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area.  An estimated 88% of the population is of European descent.

Uruguay’s only land border is with Brazil, to the north.  To the west lie the Uruguay River and the estuary of the Río de la Plata to the southwest.  To the southeast lies the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of approximately 176,000 km2, Uruguay is the second-smallest nation in South America by area, after Suriname.

Uruguay is one of the most economically developed countries in South America.  Uruguay is also noted for its low levels of corruption, being ranked by Transparency International as the second least corrupt country in Latin America (behind Chile).  It’s political and labour conditions are among the freest on the continent.   It was the highest rated country in Latin America on Legatum’s 2010 Prosperity Index.  Reader’s Digest ranked Uruguay as the ninth “most liveable and greenest” country in the world, and first in all the Americas.  Uruguay is ranked highest in Latin America on the Global Peace Index.

Uruguay and Bolivia were the only countries in the Americas which did not go into recession as a result of the Late-2000s financial crisis.  In 2009, Uruguay became the first nation in the world to provide every school child with a free laptop and internet.  It was the first nation in the Americas to test hemp cultivation.  Uruguay is reimbursed by the UN for the majority of its military spending, because the majority of its military is deployed as UN peacekeepers.

I usually just try to keep the information on each country fairly short but I found Uruguay to be a very interesting and different kind of country then I had been use to during my research so I could not help but to include a more in-depth description of the country.

My ride through Uruguay will pretty much keep me along the coast right into the capital city of Montevideo.  From Montevideo it is only a short ferry ride into Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires.


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