About Uruguay

After Suriname, Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America. But don’t let the size fool you. Translated from Guarani as the “river of colourful birds”, the country is a stunning mix of lush inland greenery and white sandy coastline. For its stable social development, an established democracy and a free education system, Uruguay has received another nickname — “the Switzerland of South America”.

The country’s economy is based on the export-oriented agricultural sector, with the total value of imports and exports making up about 45% of the GDP. Uruguay’s capital is the cosmopolitan Montevideo, the southernmost capital in the Americas. In the extreme east, right on the border with Brazil, you will find the smaller touristy city of Chuy. Also, the old colonial town of Colonia is located in the southwest, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Uruguayans are mainly of European origin — most of them are descendants of the 19th and 20th-century immigrants from Spain and Italy. Spanish is Uruguay’s official language. Uruguay is very welcoming towards visitors, which is well reflected in its visa policy — residents of most countries do not need a visa to travel to Uruguay, and most of those who do require a visa can get one free of charge.

Uruguay is a progressive liberal country with some of the best living and safety ratings across South America, which make it a choice destination for expats worldwide. In fact, Uruguay’s capital, the city of Montevideo, has performed better than most South American cities in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.

When visiting Uruguay, don’t miss some of the region’s key attractions like the La Mano de Punta del Este (The Hand), Palacio Salva, and Isla de Lobos. The country’s stunning coastline is an attraction in itself.