Uruguay is a small, yet prosperous country found in the heart of South America sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil. Its capital city, Montevideo, one of South America’s most interesting capitals, was founded by the Spanish governor of Buenos Aires, in 1726, to prevent the Portuguese from Brazil extending south and fortifying the strategic heights in the region. It is a delight for lovers of culture with museums, theatres, exhibitions, shows, popular feasts and a living showcase of art and history. The rest of Uruguay offers charming colonial towns, the hilly interior (true gaucho country) and a cluster of internationally renowned beach resorts. These white sandy beaches are beginning to attract the attention of tourists who are welcomed by the friendly native population. For nature lovers, the Eastern Wetlands contain swamps, lagoons, marshes, and streams with hundreds of bird species.
Some of the most impressive seaside resorts in South America are to be found east of Montevideo to the Brazilian border. West of Montevideo and across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the coastal fortress town of Colonia del sacramento. This charming place, a legacy of the Portuguese colony, is an amazing historical site from the 17th century. Its Barrio Historico district is the perfect place for a scenic walking tour to see the colonial houses lining the area’s cobbled streets. Carmelo on the River Uruguay and Mercedes on the Río Negro are amongst the many picturesque river ports which are also worth visiting.